The Pink City of Jaipur has so many forts, museums, and palaces that are like the exclusive strings of pearls, this tourist destination is adorned with. One of which is Bollywood’s most loved and popular tourist attraction, Amer Fort.
One of the key things to do in Jaipur is a visit to this UNESCO heritage fort. Just outside the city. Amer Fort or Amber fort used to the powerhouse of the rulers before Jaipur became the capital.
Amer fort – Constructed with red and yellow sandstone and white marble resembles the Hindu styled fort but with the blend of Muslim architecture. The looks of the serene lake are quite greenish and sometimes bluish if you walk from one end to another.
This fort which was the gift of Raja Man Singh I to the city has ever been shining and got pleasing with time from the heartfelt efforts of Raja Jai Singh I. And his prestigious fort along with other marvels is the true means of making tourism in Rajasthan known worldwide. Sunshine feels good on the shoulders and cheerful vibes fill the air.
To arrive at the main Amer fort, there are two ways: either you can take a car or elephant rides are also available at one of the ends but it present at the other end of Amer fort. As I was at the front end of Amer there is just a staircase in a zigzag way for approx. 500 m way. That’s why I took the zigzag way covering some of the other scenic views which you may not experience from the car.
Get access to all the private palaces of the Maharaja from Ganesh Pol
Ganesh Pol is the main entrance to the personal quarter of kings and queens. Only important people were allowed entry beyond this gate. It is incredibly beautiful and is one of the most photographed locations in Amer Fort. It’s a popular selfie point too. Pol refers to a gate in the local dialect. Ganesh Pol is the finest specimen of amalgamation of the Mughal and Rajput influences in creating a masterpiece.
Tip: Do visit the viewing deck above Ganesh Pol called Suhag Mandir. It has latticed windows used as a viewing deck by the royal women as they were not allowed to make a public appearance. Don’t miss the beautiful frescoes inspired by the Mughal influence on the wall.
Amer Fort’s Sheesh Mahal is the heartthrob of Bollywood films
A real and reel life charmer, whose one look can sway away your heart, like literally is the star attraction of Amer Fort, Sheesh Mahal. Remember the black and white historical epic, Mughal-e-Azam, its most famous song ‘Pyaar Kiya Toh Darna kya’, that we hum till date was shot here. It is also said that it just takes one slight source of natural light that can light up this Mahal covered in concave mirrors.
Sheesh Mahal is considered as a ‘Jewel in the crown’. Diwan-e-Khaas means a place where the king would meet only close and important people. Sheesh Mahal refers to a section where walls and ceilings are covered with millions of small mirrors. [Sheesh = Mirrors]
Tilt your head a bit here and there, because then only will you be able to figure out the intricate finesse of this Magic Flower embossed on one of the pillars of the Sheesh Mahal. Standing in front of the fresco? Get ready to spot lotus, hidden cobra, scorpion, lion’s tail, a cob of corn, fish tail and two butterflies on each side.
Spot the ethereal Kesar Kyari from the Fort the way the queens did-
Proffering a dreamy reflection of the fort is the gleaming water of the Maota Lake. Not only this tourist attraction is home to the aromatic Kesar Kyari (Saffron Garden) but was also a source of water for the mighty Rajput clan. If we weigh the beauty of the sky and the Kesar Kyari, then this Saffron Garden might just win. A visual treat in the day and an extraordinaire at the night, this Mughal style garden is built on a man-made island in the Maota Lake and can be relished from the top of Amer Fort.
It took 100 years to turn Amer Fort into the beauty that it is today-
100 years, that is something right? Well, this visionary marvel of Jaipur came out of the thought of Raja Man Singh I in the year 1592. Later it was further beautified by Raja Jai Singh I, who didn’t stop refining the Fort until it was turned into an epitome of grace.
Diwan-e-Aam is a court where the king used to meet his administrative officials and appeared before important people during auspicious and important occasions. Built during the late 16th century, it features a beautiful mix of two different architectural styles- Mughal and Rajput. Pillars in this hall are constructed using red sandstone as well as white marble.
Zenana means women. Zenana section has personal chambers of the queens and royal women. Some people call it Harem. The chambers were designed in a way that the king finds his way to any of them discreetly to rule out a feeling of jealousy among the queens. Personal attendants of queens too lived in these chambers.
Man Singh Palace-
Man Singh Mahal is not to be missed as it was constructed during the Mughal Emperor Akbar’s visit to Amer and completed in 1599 AD. A stone slab is written in Persian language having a message of Akbar adorns on one of the walls here. A pavilion or Baradari can be found in the center of Man Singh Palace. As per a popular legend, this pavilion was a meeting place for the queens.
Sheela Mata Mandir-
Sheela Mata temple has an interesting history. Maharaja Man Singh while fighting against the local king in Jessore, Bengal (now Bangladesh) in the 16th century could only secure the win after worshipping a local deity. He brought back the idol in a form of a slab and installed it in Amer Fort. A custom of offering a goat sacrifice was followed for centuries but was later abandoned. The ownership and management of this temple are retained by the descendants of the royal family while the government retains and manages the Amer Fort. The temple is made from Makrana white marble, one of the best white marble in the world. Temple follows a strict policy of not allowing leather goods, shoes, socks, wallets, cameras, and mobile phones inside the temple.
It is best to hire an approved guide or an audio guide when you visit Amer Fort. Without the context and information, you probably won’t enjoy your visit to Amer Fort. Official guides charge INR 200 to INR 500 for a tour.
The ‘Pink City’ or the ‘Gulabi Sheher’ of Jaipur is truly the epitome of magnificence for any traveler.
Till then- KEEP TRAVELLING. KEEP WANDERING.