Declared as a UNESCO World Heritage site, Amer fort is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Jaipur. If you are planning a Jaipur tour then you must not skip visiting this amazing palace that bursts with nostalgic reminiscences of Rajputana and how the Kings and Queens lived in the Rajput Kingdom. The architecture style itself has so much to offer you that after going there the time will seize for a moment and you will be transferred to a world of royalty.
That said, it is also important to tell you some legends and facts about Amer palace so that when you visit it, you can identify different parts of the fort yourself.
Amer Fort and its History
Also known as Amber Fort, Amer fort is one of the oldest palaces in India, which was built on the remains of an 11th-century fort by Maharaja Man Singh I in 1592. The fort underwent several renovations for the next two centuries until the Maharajas of Rajput shifted their capital from Amer to Jaipur in 1727.
Amer Fort Location
It is important to point out that Amer Fort is not a fort located in Jaipur but 11 kilometers away from Jaipur. Technically, the palace is placed on a high hill ((Cheel ka Tila in Aravali Hills) in Amer, which is a town near Jaipur the capital city of Rajasthan and is spread in an area of 4 square kilometers. This city was originally built by the ruler of the Chanda clan of the Meenas – Raja Alan Singh and was later ruled by Raja Man Singh I. That is why the old part of the fort was built by Raja Alan Singh.
The architecture of Amer Fort
The most intriguing part of the Amer fort is not the folk or the legends attached to the palace but its architecture. A blend of Mughal Islamic architecture style and Hindu Rajput architecture style, this palace is constructed of red sandstone and marble.
As far as the layout of the Amer Fort is concerned, it has the Diwan-e-Aam (Hall of Public Audience) and the Diwan-e-Khas (Hall of Private Audience), which were found in almost all Mughal built a fort, such as Agra Fort, Red Fort Delhi, etc. However, the Amer palace has its touch of Rajput style with a temple at the entrance of Ganesh Gate dedicated to Shila Devi (a goddess of the Chaitanya cult) and it was built for Raja Man Singh after he defeated the Raja of Jessore (Bengal) in 1604.
You will be entering the Amber fort through its Dil-e-Aaram Garden, which has a traditional Mughal style layout. You will find amazing latticed galleries and a double row of columns throughout the stairs of the Diwan-e-Aam which was also the second courtyard.
There are mainly two gateways of the Amer fort which are very famous – Suraj Pol or Sun Gate and Ganesh Pol or Ganesh Gate. The two-tiered painted gateway Ganesh Pol was built by Mirza Raja Jai Singh, who ruled Amer from 1621 to 1627 and is embellished with colorful mosaics. The Sun Gate which faces east leads to a courtyard named Jalebi Chowk, which was used as a spot by soldiers to celebrate their victory so that the royal women could view it. Even the Sun Gate was used for the entry of the royal dignitaries as it was heavily guarded.
Sheesh Mahal and Sukh Mahal
The two most impressive parts of the Amer Palace are laid out in its third courtyard – Jai Mandir or Sheesh Mahal (palace of mirrors) and Sukh Mahal (Hall of Pleasure). Both the buildings face opposite to each other. On the left of the courtyard, you can find the splendid Jai Mandir or Sheesh Mahal that celebrate the victories of Rajput warriors and other important celebrations. On the other hand, Sukh Mahal was primarily meant for the use of the royal family, where they spent some quality time in peace.
The Sheesh Mahal is famous for its exquisite mirrors (convex in nature) inlaid on the walls which reflect the architecture blend of both Mughal and Rajput style. The elegantly carved Jali screens, as well as the stucco work in the Sheesh Mahal, are explicit evidence of this blend. The huge opening of the Jal Mandir with sandalwood doors has the air conditioning quality due to the regular flow of water and the entire edifice of Sheesh Mahal could glow by lighting just a few candles.
The fourth courtyard was meant for the royal women or Zenana including royal mistresses, queens, etc. This was an extremely secluded part of the palace and used by kings without getting noticed by anyone else.
Other two major attractions of the Amer Fort are a magic flower that depicts two hovering butterflies and the garden that has a striking resemblance to the Chahar Bagh or the famous Mughal Garden. At the center of the garden, you can see the pool which is star-shaped and the awe-inspiring Maota Lake at the forefront of the Amer palace gives a spectacular reflection of the fort.
Elephant Ride and Sound and Light Show
If you want to make a grand entrance in the Amer fort then you can choose elephants, which will slowly transport you up the ridge. Toward the bottom of the fort, you can enjoy the popular sound and light show in both English and Hindi near Maota Lake, which tells you the history of the Amer palace by using many special effects.
- The timing of the Sound and Light Show:
- October to February: English 6:30 p.m. and Hindi 7:30 p.m.
- March to April: English 7 p.m. and Hindi 8 p.m.
- May to September: English 7:30 p.m. and Hindi 8:30 p.m
If you are someone who is fond of visiting historical places, then you cannot ignore Amer Fort. The opulent regal ambiance offered in this amazingly beautiful fort cum palace will leave you spellbound and you will definitely feel elated after visiting here.
- Address: Devisinghpura, Amer, Jaipur, Rajasthan
- Built By: Raja Man Singh I
- Year of Construction: 1592
- Visiting Time: 8.00 am – 5: 30pm
- Visiting Fees: Foreign Tourists – 500INR, Indian Tourists – 100INR