Amer Fort, Jaipur
What do you do when you get an extended weekend from your underpaid and overworked jobs? You travel. Due to heavy rains in the mountains and the accompanying landslides, we sadly had to postpone our trekking trip and wait for the monsoon to stop unleashing its fury on the hills. With everything planned and all the bookings made for the mountain trips (everyone knows my love for the hills which I have covered here, here and here) the heart and the mind were already in the “fernweh” state, so we decided to travel to the more drier state, Rajasthan. In this post, I will share the beauty of the magnificent Amer Fort in Jaipur.
Reaching Amer Fort
Jaipur is nearly 280 km from Delhi and is perfect for a weekend getaway. With its vibrant culture and enticing food, Jaipur was the ideal choice for the Independence Day weekend. Jaipur offers a lot many places to wander around and mouth-watering food to satiate your palate, which I will cover in the later posts.
It is believed that Amer was named after Amba Mata, goddess of Earth and fertility for the meenas. Another belief states that it was named after Ambikeshwar, worshipped as Lord Shiva. It is approximately 11km from main city of Jaipur and is situated atop a hill Cheer ka Taal, and overlooks the Maota lake. It was built in 1592 by Raja Mann Singh I, but it was Raja Jai Singh I who completed it. Amer was built using red sandstone combined with marble and has both Rajput and Mughal Influence, as can be seen from the architecture of the fort. Sadly a lot of the Fort is in a state of disrepair, a heritage paying the price of time.
Amer fort overlooking the Maota Lake.
The fort in its full glory
The fort has four sections/courtyards. Entry to the first courtyard is through the Sun Gate to the Jaleb Chowk. The first courtyard is where the soldiers assembled for the victory parades. To the right of the first courtyard is the Shila Devi temple, the door to which is made of Silver. To date, every evening a goat is sacrificed at the temple as an offering to the Goddess, as informed to us by our guide.
The old city of Amer, as seen from a high point on the fort. It is also believed to be the house of Jodha, sister of Raja Man Singh and wife to Akbar.
The second courtyard through the Lion gate was the Diwan-i-Aam, where the Raja used to sit and address his people and listen to their grievances.
Ganesh Pol as seen from Diwan-i-aam
The third courtyard is the Diwan-i-Khas or the Hall of the private audience. Ganesh pol or Ganesh gate is the entrance to the private quarters of the Maharajas. In the third courtyard is the stunning Jai Mandir also called as the Sheesh Mahal/Glass Palace because of the beautiful glass work.
Amazing Glass work in Sheesh Mahal
Roof of Sheesh Mahal
The fourth courtyard of the fort is the Zenana area where the queen and the all the other female attendants used to stay.
The fourth courtyard as seen from the Sheesh Mahal
View of the Kesari lake from top of the fort
Amber Fort or the Amer Fort is a spectacular example of authority and craftsmanship. The opening time for the fort is 8 am to 5 pm. It’s advisable to reach the fort early morning to avoid the traffic as limited parking space leads to plenty of congestion on the roads. Carry drinking water with you and a good SPF, the fort is spread over acres and one needs to walk quite a lot to enjoy the magnitude and vastness of this marvel. Do visit Amer Fort whenever visiting Jaipur. Until then enjoy the pictures from this post.
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