When one is visiting Rajasthan, the ancient forts are not to be missed, and if it as glorious as the Amer Fort of Jaipur, there is a no way you can consider skipping it. Bollywood buffs will remember Amer Fort from historic sagas like Jodha Akbar and Bajirao Mastani and almost fell in love with the sheer magnificence of the Fort. We certainly are a huge fan of the song “Mohe Rang do Laal”, where Deepika wooed her love with a beautiful performance outside the Amer Fort at the Maota Lake. So, when we visited Jaipur, we couldn’t have let go of the opportunity to explore the place we have read and revered so much about.
Related post: Top things to do in Pink City, Jaipur
History of Amer Fort
Amer or Amber Fort was built in the Aravalli hill ranges during the 1600s by Raja Man Singh I, and it was completed in the 1800s. The fort built with red sandstone and marble was the former capital of Jaipur with the architecture being a splendid combination of Mughal and Hindu elements. The Fort has six main sections with courtyards of its own. It is also said to be connected to the Jaigarh Fort through a secret underground tunnel, which was used an escape for the royal family during the times of war. The main village of Amer still exists at the foot of the fort and is said to have more than 300 temples. The Fort’s history and eye-catching architecture attracts millions of tourists from all over the world and is definitely one of the must-visit places in the Pink City of Jaipur. The Amer Fort is about 11 kilometers away from the Pink city and it is best if you plan your visit early morning to avoid the excessive heat.
Suraj Pol and Jaleb Chowk
We had hired a guide to show us around the Amer Fort, not entirely sure if he did a great job as he skipped a couple of spots in the fort and kept rushing us during the whole tour. Our tour started at the Jaleb Chowk which is the main courtyard of the fort, where the army conducted parades in front of the Maharaja and his family. The main gate of the fort is the “Suraj Pol” which was built mainly as an entry for the royal processions and special guests. Today there is an option to enjoy a royal elephant ride up the hills and enter the Suraj Pol just like old times.
Ganesh Pol and Diwan-e-Aam
Climbing a few steps higher from the Jaleb Chowk, we reached the Amer Palace grounds, where the magnificent Ganesh Pol is located. The Ganesh Pol is a medley of beautiful floral motifs painted through vegetable paints and is a finest example of Hindu and Mughal artwork. The Pol is a three-storied structure with the topmost section, “Suhag Mandir” dedicated for the ladies of the Royal Family to sit and enjoy the Royal festivities from inside through the jaalis (latticed windows).
Before entering the palace, we took a stroll in the Diwan-e-Aam, where the Maharaja held public audiences. A small open courtyard located to the right of Diwan-e-Aam, is one of the best places to enjoy the view of the Maota Lake and Kesar Kyari, “Saffron Garden”, where the light and sound show is held every evening now.
Sukh Niwas and Sheesh Mahal
Ganesh Pol leads you to a beautiful Mughal garden which sadly is not accessible, but to its either side are two very important buildings of the palace: Sukh Niwas and Sheesh Mahal. “Sukh Niwas” was the private section of the king to rest on a hot summer day. The rooms were kept cool through the channels of water running through the building walls.
Facing the Sukh Niwas is one of the most beautiful rooms of the palace, the famous Sheesh Mahal (Palace of Mirrors). It is a perfect amalgamation of colored glasses and mirrored tiles, artistically designed into floral motifs on the walls and ceiling of the building. If the Palace was empty of crowds, we sisters would definitely would have danced our hearts out, imagining ourselves to be princesses dressed in gorgeous royal attires. Sadly, all we could do is click a handful of decent pictures of ourselves through the hustle of excited tourists. The beauty of Sheesh Mahal will be best witnessed under the glow of candlelight as the mirrors and glasses would glitter and play in the night.
We did not get to completely explore Zenana Mahal (ladies quarter), as our guide was busy rushing us to some unknown location saying that is more interesting. The Baradari (pavilion) located in the centre of the Zenana courtyard is said to be the oldest part of the fort and was a meeting point for the King and his Queens. Surrounding the pavilion were the living quarter of the Maharaja and his 12 queens (not too much we think). Each queen had a living quarter of her own and apparently, there was a secret passage from king’s private chambers to each of the rooms so as to prevent the queens from knowing who the king was visiting ;).
The next section of the fort which our guide thought was more interesting was the fort exteriors, a high wall separating the Amer village and the Aravalli hills. It was a great spot to enjoy the scenic view of the mountains, as there were not many people around. But there wasn’t any real need to skip the ladies’ quarters, we could have explored both just as leisurely. Realizing he wasn’t going to take us any further, we decided to bid adieu to our guide. He did offer to take us to a nice souvenir shop and a restaurant nearby whom he knew personally. Sensing this was just a money-making scheme we rejected his offer and headed to 1135 AD, a fine dine restaurant located within the fort. And we honestly, did not regret our decision, the food here was extremely delicious and the elegant décor was the added bonus for us.
Sensing this was just a money-making scheme we rejected his offer and headed to 1135 AD, a fine dine restaurant located within the fort. And we honestly, did not regret our decision, the food here was extremely delicious and the elegant décor was the added bonus for us.
Hope you guys enjoyed reading our post, do leave us a comment on your thoughts on the majestic Amer Fort!
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