Amer Fort: A royal edifice hued in vibrant colors
Amer Fort or sometimes spelled as ‘Amber Fort’ is one of the major tourist attractions in India enticing around 5,000 visitors daily. What we call it today ‘a tourist attraction’ was once the royal capital of Rajasthani Rajputs.
Located on the ridge of a rocky hill, 11 km far from the Jaipur City, impressively overlooking the Maota Lake, offering a mesmerizing view from the high above, reciting the rich, elegant and majestic bygone era of Rajputs, influenced by both Hindu & Muslim kind of ornamentation, Amer Fort is peculiarly known for its prodigious artistic style. Maybe this is why it is one of many unusual places to visit in Rajasthan.
In fact, it is the most precious jewel in the crown of Rajasthan which has also been bestowed with the tag of UNESCO World Heritage Site along with other hill forts of Rajasthan in 2013.
History of Amer Fort:
Amer Fort was always ruled by the Rajputs only. The history of this fort goes around thousand years back. Earlier, this region was possessed by the Meenas. Who built the first structure of the fort is unknown. What we see today as Amer Fort, is completely built by the Raja Man Singh with the help of the remnants of the earlier structure.
Raja Man Singh, one of the most loyal general and nine gems of Akbar, built the fort in 1592 and made it the royal Rajputana capital. Then, his decedents Raja Jai Singh I and Sawai Jai Singh renovated the fort in their regimes and also commissioned some new structures.
It remained the royal capital of Rajputs for over a long period of 200 years until their capital was shifted to Jaipur in 1727. Though, the royal capital was shifted, the fort remained under the commands of Rajputs only.
Architecture of Amer Fort:
Built with red sandstone and white marble, Amer Fort is the finest blend of Rajputani and Mughal architecture. The fort is designed out in a typical Hindu style with some Muslim embellishments. Comprising of ornate multi-storied palaces, ramparts, spectacular temples, lush gardens, and the colossal armories, the construction style of Amer Fort is way too superior to the monuments built by the other Hindu kings. And to add on a charisma to its splendid architecture, the walls, ceilings, and pillars are exceptionally adorned with the lifelike paintings, intricate carvings and outstanding mirror work. From the embellished balconies, one can have the picturesque view of Maota Lake which was the prominent water supply source of the fort.
The entire Amer fort is divided into four divisions and each division is called ‘Courtyard’. Four massive gateways make these courtyards accessible which are progressing from the most public to the most private sections.
‘Suraj Pol’ is the main entrance gate that leads to first courtyard ‘Jalebi Chowk’. This courtyard was mainly a mass gathering and military section consisting of stables, rooms for soldiers and armories. Then, a set of exquisitely decorated staircase leads to the second courtyard where Diwan-e-Aam, a colossal hall with two rows of exuberant ornate pillars, enthralls the visitors. The other two courtyards are connected with the remaining gateways.
In this courtyard, there is also a palace named Sukh Nivas which is the most astonishing architectural design of this fort. Having the sandalwood doors, the palace was designed in a way that there was always air-conditioned environment. Here, the king used to spend quality time with his queens.
In Amer Fort, every corner had been built with some specific purpose. The gateways, courtyards, water bodies, royal queen chambers, gardens, and the temples articulate the entire setting of the fort. The construction style of gardens was based upon the Mughal gardens.
The overall construction and decoration style of Amer Fort is so phenomenal that it takes the visitors deeper into the thoughts of Rajputana lifestyle.
Places of interest in Amer Fort:
Actually, I should have written ‘palaces of interest in Amer Fort’ because Amer Fort is full of unprecedented palaces with a touch of never-dying historical saga. From the stellar wall paintings to the trenchant carvings, ravishing embellishments, bewildering traditional mirror-work, latticed galleries and pavilions, and to the implausible illumination-work, the fort renders a vividly decorated architectural style. Walking through the high ramparts, cobbled paths, sweeping courtyard, and grand gateways of the fort capturing the awe-inspiring view of the fortress is truly a visual treat for eyes. The stateliness of Amer Fort will astonish you in every single step and to add more to your amusement, must visit the below-mentioned places of Amer Fort and witness the splendid exaltation and architectural inclination of Rajputs.
- Sila Devi Temple
- Jai Mandir
- Sukh Niwas Palace
- Man Singh’s Palace
- Jas Mandir
- Sheesh Mahal
- Kali Temple
- Ganesh Pol
- Magic Flower Fresco
- Kesar Kyaari Bagh or Mughal Garden
Light & Sound Show of Amer Fort:
Things are clearly understood only when they’re visual. Though the lofty walls of Amer Fort impeccably recount the glory of Rajputs but the Light & Sound Show gives it a life with the amazing visual effects and staggering cultural performance. The show paints a flamboyant picture of royal stories of this 600-years-old fort.
The sonorous voice of megastar Amitabh Bachchan in Hindi Shows takes the audience through the memory lane of Amer’s history and traditions. Below find all the details about the show and must catch the show at least once because Rajasthani culture is probably the most vibrant culture in the world.
|English Show||Hindi Show|
|Timings||7:30PM –8:20PM||8:30PM- 9:20PM|
|Ticket Price||Rs. 200/head||Rs. 100/head|
|Ticket Booking||On ticket counter as well as online.|
Note – Show timings are scheduled half an hour earlier in winters.
How to reach Amer Fort:
Amer Fort is just 11km from the Jaipur City so, getting there is very convenient. Jaipur Railway Station and Jaipur Airport are just 15km and 22km far from the fort respectively.
Being a tourist city, Jaipur is well-connected to the major cities of India by the road network. And within Jaipur, myriad of local taxis, autos, and rickshaws keep shuttling to the fort. Even 12 at the night, the local transportation won’t let you down. The vehicles will drop you at the bottom of the fort.
Since the fort is rested in a hill so, to getting there you have to either walk or you can take an elephant ride for which Amer Fort is well-known.
Entry Fees and Timings of Amer Fort:
|Entry Fees||Opening Days||Timings|
|Rs.25/head||Rs.200/head||All Days||8:00 AM – 5:30 PM|
|Elephant Ride||Rs. 900 for two persons|
Hotels nearby Amer Fort:
After visiting the Royal Palaces of Rajputs, every visitor wishes to be a part of that luxurious lifestyle though for a moment. Obviously, this dream remains a dream because time can’t be got back. But don’t lose hope.
Jaipur City provides you unnumbered of hotels with a touch of that grand lifestyle. Below take look at the best accommodation possibilities nearby Amer Fort.
- OYO Rooms Amer Fort
- Hotel Amer View
- KK Royal Hotel & Convention Center
- Prince Palace Restaurant Hotel
- La Premier Spa & Resort
- Hotel White Palace
- Regenta Central Jal Mahal
Interesting Facts about Amer Fort:
- The Fort is believed to have got its name from Goddess Ambe, the prime deity of Rajputs.
- Amer Fort is predominantly known for the artistic style of architecture.
- Elephant Ride is a must do activity in Amer Fort. The timing for elephant ride is 7:30 AM to 12:30 PM.
- After 1727, when Sawai Jai Singh shifted his capital, the fort was abandoned which led the dilapidated conditions of the fort. After the independence, Indian government refurbished it. A renovation project worth of 40 crores has been undertaken by the Amer Development and Management Authority.
- ‘Pyaar kiya toh Darna Kya’, a super-hit song from the Bollywood classic movie ‘Mughal-e-Azam’, was shot in Sheesh Mahal of Amer Fort.
- Before some years, a 500-years-old canopy and the old limestone roof of Chand Mahal was damaged by a film unit while shooting. Since then, the film shootings and other such activities have been banned within the premises of Amer Fort.
- The Diwan-e-Aam and Diwan-e-Khaas constructions were adopted by the Mughal architecture.
- The Amer Fort is unconquered even till today. And that’s quite obvious. It was only Mughals who were hungry for the lands and Rajputs had good relation with them that’s why fort remained safe. I wonder how those British couldn’t get the whiff about the fort.
Amer Fort Today:
Today, Amer Fort is solely a tourist attraction in India. Worldwide tourists flock daily to have a glimpse of this phenomenal majestic beauty. The fort was unused since 1727 so, some portions of it went in ruins but the central government revamped the chief portions and the renovation work is still going on.
Rajasthani Rajputs hold a very prominent place in Indian History. Be it their royal lifestyle, valiant gallantry, vibrant culture & traditions, love for art, the beautiful princess or be it the peerless architecture, Rajasthani Rajputs knew very well how to make someone go weak at the knees. And, Amer Fort is one such specimen of their unsurpassed architecture.
The glory of this fort is still resonant within the elevated walls of the fort reminding Amer’s heyday during the era of Rajashtani Rajputs.