Amber Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a fort located in Amer, a town situated 11 kilometers away from Jaipur.
A trip to Jaipur remains incomplete without visiting this magnificent fort, made with yellow and pink sandstone. The fort is situated on a hill and overlooks the beautiful Maota Lake, which is unfortunately now drying up because of less rainfall in the past few years.
Amber Fort is a major tourist attraction in Jaipur and a lot of movies have also been shot here. The most famous of them is Jodha Akbar.
The Fort was built by Raja Man Singh I – the ruler of Amer. It has various gates and courtyards. Before moving on to the highlights of the fort, let me tell you how you can reach this fort and what are the timings.
HOW TO REACH THE FORT –
There are three ways to reach Amer Fort – Car, Elephant Ride and on Foot.
If you prefer to go by Car, you can take it up till the parking, from where it’s 5-6 minutes walk till the courtyard.
You can even go to the top on elephants, which are easily accessible to all visitors.
And lastly, you can walk all the way up, it’ll only take you 15-20 minutes to reach the main entrance.
The fort is open from 8:00 am to 5:30 pm and reopens at 6:30 pm for the light and sound show, which showcases the history of the fort and the rulers.
The entry tickets cost only Rs 25 for Indians (Rs 10 for students) and Rs 200 for foreigners (Rs 100 for students).
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE FORT
- Ganesh Pol
The Ganesh Pol is the main gate of Amber Fort and was used to welcome the royalty when they returned from long journeys or battles. The three windows you can see above the gate are of a chamber known as Suhaag Mandir. From here, the queens could witness what was happening down in the courtyard.
The Gate was painted using vegetable dyes and no other paint has been used on them since then. The paintings all over the fort are a fusion of Mughal and Rajput culture.
Right opposite to the Ganesh Pol, is the Diwaan-e-Aam, or the Hall of the Public Audience. This is where all the public meetings and gatherings used to take place.
3. Jai Mandir
Jai Mandir, according to me is the most intriguing part of Amber Fort. It has three sections – Diwaan-e-Khaas, Sheesh Mahal and Aram Bagh.
Diwaan-e-Khaas or the Hall of Private Audience is where private meetings, with really important people and officials, used to take place.
Sheesh Mahal or Glass Palace is full of mirrors and glass works. It looks absolutely stunning, with each piece of mirror intricately cut and placed on the walls and ceiling. This is how the interiors look –
Then there is the Aram Bagh, which is a garden with bushes perfectly cut to form a geometrical pattern.
4. Zenana Mahal
Last but not the least, there is the Zenana Mahal, where the queens used to stay. The biggest room belonged to the king. There are 12 other rooms, each belonging to one of the queens. Each room had a separate secret passageway which connected to King’s room.
The King was so superstitious that he had one queen from each Zodiac sign.
As I said before, a trip to Jaipur would be incomplete if you don’t visit the magnificent fort. Here, you can get a glimpse of the how the royals lived and the Rajput culture.
And if you want to take a tourist guide, you can find a list of guides here, these are approved by the Department of Tourism, Rajasthan.