Amber also known as Amer was the former capital of the Kachhwahas. The majestic fort built on Cheel ka Teela (Hill of Eagles) in the Aravalli range of hills above the Maota Lake is visible from far and gives a royal look to the city of Jaipur, Rajasthan.
The fort contains beautiful palaces and temples built with a blend of Hindu and Moghul architecture. Carved lattice windows, sculpted pillars, huge halls, painted doorways, and courtyards in the fort make you wonder at the amazing skills of the craftsmen.
The original palace was built by Raja Man Singh in red sandstone and marble. Later the palace was extended by Maharaja Mirja Raja Jai Singh and Sawai Jai Singh lI. The last king Sawai Jai Singh lI built Jaipur and made it his capital in 1727.
The fort has four gates each leading to a courtyard, temple, gardens, or halls. The gates and the courtyards that they lead to are as follows:
- Suraj Pol – This gate leads to Jaleb chowk, where army contingents would hold victory parades.
- Ganesh Pol – Near this gate is the popular temple dedicated to Goddess Kali / Sila Devi. Through this gate, the beautiful garden structured around the Moghul gardens is accessible.
- Singh / Lion Pol – Private quarters of the palace and Jas Mandir is accessible through this gate.
- Tripolia – Tripolia means three gates and the west side of the palace is accessible through this gate. This opens in three directions (Jaleb Chowk, Man Singh Palace, and Zanana Deorhi)
Following are some of the halls built lavishly and takes your breath away:
- Sheesh Mahal or Jai Mandir – This is a hall of mirrors and when a candle is lit inside the hall, it is magical. Mirrors of all sizes are embedded on every single inch of the wall.
- Diwan-e-Aam – This is the hall of public audience lined with beautiful sculpted pillars.
- Diwan e-Khas – This is the hall of private audience and is decorated with glass work.
- Sukh mandir – this is an air conditioned room of the palace. The entrance has sandalwood doors inlaid with ivory. The air conditioning is created by piped water that is blown by winds into the room, keeping it cool during summer. The view of the Maota Lake is fascinating from the lattice windows of this room.
- Jas Mandir – This is another hall of private audience with floral glass inlays and alabaster relief work.
- Zenana – This is a group of rooms built for Zenana (Royal family women, including concubines or mistresses)
Amber Fort and Jaigarh Fort are considered as one complex
You can up Amer fort on a decorated elephant.
Other interesting places in Amber / Amer are Jagat Shiromani Temple, Narsinghji temple, the stepwell of Panna Meena and fine carved royal cenotaphs on the road to Delhi.
Type of place: Palace
Situated: Amer, Jaipur
Distance: 11 Km from Jaipur
Transport: Well connected by road, can hire rickshaws and taxis from Jaipur, local buses also ply
Facilities: Rest room, restaurant
Timings: 9:30 a.m to 4:30 p.m