Situated at a distance of about 11km from Jaipur, amidst the rugged Aravalli ranges, Amber or Amer Fort is one of the major attractions of Jaipur and a finest examples of amalgamation of Rajput and Mughal architecture. The construction of fort was started by Raja Man Singh and was furthered by successive rulers. Built in red sandstone and white marble this marvelous fort encompasses numerous attractions like temples, gardens and palaces . And the whole fort is facing the Maota Lake, which enhances the beauty of the location.
Originally Amer was the capital of Rajput Empire but, due to its rugged terrain, its expansion was becoming difficult, hence the capital was shifted to Jaipur subsequently. The earlier structure was built in the Rule of Raja Man Singh and the process of expansion and improvement continued till 1727 when “Sawai Jai Singh II” shifted his Capital to Jaipur. The Rajput rulers operated from this fort till the capital was shifted to Jaipur.
The fort complex is divided into four sections, each having its main entrance. The Main entry to the fort complex is through the Suraj Pole (Sun Gate), It faced the eastern direction towards the rising Sun. It leads to JalebChowk, the place for soldiers to assemble. JalebChowk , built during the rule of Sawai Jai Singh (1693-1743 AD) is the first main courtyard of Amer Palace.
The first courtyard contains the “Sila Devi temple” where Rajput Maharanis used to worship .The temple is at the right of the big stairway, which leads to the second courtyard or the main palace. The second courtyard, houses the Diwan-i-Am or house of commons, an impressive structure built on a raised platform with 27 columns.
The main entrance to the third courtyard is “Ganesh Pol”, A beautiful three leveled structure decorated with mosaics and sculptures leads to the private palace of the rulers . Above the Ganesh Pol is “SuhagMandir” from where the Royal ladies used to see the proceedings of Diwan –e –aam” through latticed windows.
The third courtyard has two buildings, opposite to the other, separated by “Char bagh”, a garden laid in the fashion of the Mughal Gardens. The building to the left of the entrance gate is called Jai Mandir or “Sheesh Mahal”. Beautiful Sheesh Mahal is covered with coloured mirror mosaics of convex shape which glitter under flickering candle light.
A major attraction in the Sheesh Mahalis “magic flower” fresco carved on marbles which has unique designs. A lotus, a hooded cobra, an elephant trunk, a lion’s tail, a cob of corn and a scorpion, each design is viewed by partially hiding the panel with hands.
The other building opposite to the Jai Mandir is called SukhNiwas or SukhMahal (Hall of Pleasure)it has doors made up of sandalwood. There are channels within the palace which was used to flow water to keep the atmosphere inside the palace cool and pleasant.
To the south of this courtyard lies the fourth courtyard apparently the oldest part of the palace, comprises mainly of “Zenana Palace” for queens of royal family. In the central courtyard of the palace is the pillared pavilion, was used as the meeting venue by the queens. All sides of this pavilion are connected to several small rooms ofqueens. The structure is developed in such a way that king can visit any room at any time without getting noticed by anyone else.
Amer is definitely a place worth visiting when you are in Jaipur. The road leading to the fort itself is a great experience, meandering through the Aravalli ranges, giving a grand view of whole city of Jaipur. The fort is a marvelous example of grandeur and opulence of Rajput lifestyle of bygone era. Do not forget to capture the wonderful experience in your lenses
• Best time to visit Amer or Jaipur is October to February
• The fort remains open from sunrise to sunset from 9.00a.m to 4.30 p. m. all days.
• One can also see the beautiful “Light sound show” that taking place in the evening.
How to reach Amer
Amer Fort is situated at a distance of 11km from Jaipur. Buses and taxis are easily available from the city. Buses leave from Hawa Mahal every 30 minutes to connect the city to this monument.