Jaipur, the royal city of North India also known as the Pink City, encompasses a myriad of majestically humongous forts, which depict ancient artistic enthusiasm. Recently declared a UNESCO world heritage site by itself, a vibrant and colourful city Jaipur possesses a number of stunningly exquisite world heritage sites like Jantar Mantar, Amber Fort, etc. Known for its culture, valour and ancient art, Jaipur succeeds in drawing tourists from across the world owing to its unique and captivating hospitality.
Amber Fort, a glamourous world heritage site, adds another moon to the surreal beauty of the city of Jaipur, located in the northwestern Indian state of Rajasthan.
The magnificent scenic view of the Maota Lake arrests your body and soul at first sight. Its becalmed water hypnotizes you. The bewitching panorama of the lake casts a spell on you when you see into it. The flickering water mirrors a ravishing edifice, immovably cradled on the towering hills. And, that’s Amber Fort, also known as Amer Fort.
Efficiently fortified by 12 kilometres stretch of rocky hills, sparsely dotted with moorland, the construction of Amber Fort dates back to 967 CE and it was founded by Raja Alan Singh.
Landing up to the fort requires you to hike the long and conveniently reclined ascending trail, inlaid with the rocky stones. The pathway is covered with thick walls from either sides in a way that its distant look gives you the view of the Great Wall of China. Here, you can substitute your climb with a cheery and gladsome elephant ride for a minor fee.
Ultimately, the climb leads you to the colossal arch-shaped doorway of the fort which is topped by two temple-like structures. At the doorway, you are welcomed by two ancient but still intact heavy-iron cannons which look as if venerating you with an arrival salute.
Once you step in through the entrance, the first view that you get is of Jaleb Chowk. Having Suraj Pol (Sun Gate) and Chand Pol (Moon Gate) on two opposite sides, the primary courtyard holds its own historical significance. The courtyard, in the past, has borne witness to the vast assemblies of soldiers and numerous parades that happened here.
Even the elephant ride that you might prefer to leapfrog the long ascending path, will end up here at the courtyard. At Jaleb Chowk, you start experiencing the headwinds that are blowing against you, touching your skin and cooling it down to the temperature of water pot made of baked clay.
As you softly struggle to advance your footsteps towards the incapacious staircase which leads you to the magnificent Deewan-E-Aam (the Hall of Public Audience). An open hall with a ceiling, depicting awe-inspiring artistic creations, Deewan-E-Aam is the second courtyard of Amber Fort which is full of fresh air, aesthetically charming and propped up by so many cylindrical pillars.
Having witnessed a spate of big Bollywood blockbusters like Jodha Akbar, Deewan-E-Aam mesmerizes the visitors with a fabulous view. Though largely influenced by the Mughal artistic culture, the Amber Fort is, indeed, an amalgamation of Hindu and Mughal ancient artistic imagination. And, the fact is corroborated by the aesthetic view of the polls of Diwan-E-Aam which are beautifully carved with elephant heads and flowers that give the visitors a majestic peek into the traditional Hindu and Mughal architecture, respectively.
Right in the north of Diwan-E-Aam, lies the third and most glittering courtyard of the fort, which opens through the mesmerizing Ganesh Pol. Glistening with ancient ornate mosaic, Ganesh Pol is widely treated as the exquisite thumbnail of the Amber Fort. With its fascinating elegance, the facade bewitches your eyes and compels you to get lost in its glamorous ornamental art. Being the star attraction of the travellers, Ganesh Pol grants a perfect and picturesque backdrop for selfie-freaks too.
Ganesh Pol gives you access to the two crucial and captivating edifices—Dewan-E-Khas and Sukh Mandir—separated by a beautifully groomed Mughal Garden.
Dewan-E-Khas was constructed in 1621 on the behest of Raja Jai Singh with a purpose to accommodate his special visiting guests. Owing to its charmingly intricate mirror artistic work, the place was also called ‘Sheesh Mahal’. The open hall is densely dotted with Belgium-imported splendent mirror. The surreal beauty of walls and ceiling bejewelled with small pieces of colourful mirrors imparts a sense of awe. Such finest architectural extravagance of Sheesh Mahal seduces you to immerse in its spectacular artistry. Now, you shake yourself vigorously to bring your mind and soul alive from that fascination of plush elegance of Deewan-E-Khas to move forward towards Sukh Mandir.
As you make your way to have a picturesque view of Sukh Mandir, you pass through the decently combed Mughal Garden. The way milky water rises above, emanating from the fountains embedded midmost of the garden, it adds another moon to the dazzling green charisma of it. Having been witness to a number of big Bollywood takes, the ornamentally loaded garden lures you to trespass and experience the ravishing aura of nature hostaged in that garden to the fullest. The aesthetically trimmed shrubs and bushes smell as if it were cropped just recently. And, the fragrance of those barbered plants blends with the odour of irrigated soil to let you feel green heaven snuggled up inside the fort.
After adoring the idyllic and lush green heaven of Mughal Garden, you land up at Sukh Mandir only to see the opulence and grandeur enjoyed by the emperors who stayed here for centuries.
The systematically architectured Sukh Mandir was used as a place for pleasure for King. At this place, King used to relax with his queens and enjoy the natural air-conditioning during the scorching summers of Jaipur.
Decently draped in white lavish marble with Mughal artistic designs inscribed on it, Sukh Mandir is a testimony to the architectural brilliance of the princely times of India. Here you can see several royal legacies like Maharani Ki Palki, which was used to ferry the queen throughout the fort during an occasion as she used to wear a hefty dress embedded with valuable ornaments, and an ancient sandalwood door has also been preserved here.
In essence, the lavish architecture of Sukh Mandir takes you back to the royal times and, for a moment, lets you live with those luxurious surroundings that you can only imagine, in the present age.
Now, as you head towards the rear side of the fort passing through several narrow corridors and tucked passages, you reach a wide, but precinct courtyard of the fort and here ensconces the palace of Raja Man Singh. The palace has 12 separate quarters with a hidden passage for each. The king kept each of his 12 wives separately in these quarters to avoid any wrangle among them and used the same hidden passage to visit any of his queens, whenever he wished. Though this part of the fort doesn’t have much to talk about in terms of artistic beauty, the systematic architectural way in which the Palace has been designed astonishes the visitors and let them appreciate the amazing wit of the royal architects.
Amber fort has an open-air passage to reach Jaigarh Fort straddled atop the hills, and it can be overviewed from the ramparts of the Amber Fort. Over the years, the Amber Fort has witnessed the emergence, dominance and collapse of several kingdoms. And apparently, each king left his profound artistic imprints on the interiors and exteriors of the fort. Every wall, every pole of the fort reflects a stunning amalgamation of Hindu and Mughal artistic creativity of the princely times.
Moreover, the noisy unbridled air, the calm surroundings filled with birds’ chirping, the cobbled narrow corridors reeking of peeling layers of old walls and the intermittent but lush greenery rejuvenate your mind & soul. The cultural and artistic diversity displayed at every step of your stroll here broadens the criteria of your creative imagination. Every courtyard of Amber Fort is stunning enough to mesmerize you with the glittering panorama of its architectural extravagance. On top of everything, the fort is both hip and historic, cool and classic, trendy and traditional that it compels you to pin it on your must-visit lists.