Even though Rajasthan offers multiple forts for the tourists to appreciate, each fort nurtures a new image in the mind of the visitor about the royalty of Rajasthan. Each fort in their unique way sings a saga of the heroism, valour and courage of the Rajputs that still shines in all its glory through the ruins of these forts.
Today, the Amer fort is one of the main attractions in the state. Lying just 11 kilometres from the capital city of Jaipur Amer also known as Amber was the capital of the princely Jaipur state. The fort was built in 1592 on the remains of the 11th-century fort by Maharaja Man Singh I, who was a trusted General of Mughal Emperor. Also, once know as Dhundhar, it was ruled by Kachhwahas from the 11th to 16th century, until the capital was shifted to Jaipur.
The marvellous fort with 5 other forts was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2013, as part of a group of six hill forts in Rajasthan.
Cradled on the top of Cheel ka Teela (Hill of Eagles) of the Aravalli hills range Amber Fort consists of a series of four courtyards, palaces, halls, and gardens. At the centre lies the Jaleb Chowk, a staircase from which leads to the Shila Devi Temple, according to legend a human head sacrifice used to be made for Goddess Kali before switching to buffalo and goat sacrifice. This practice was stopped altogether in the 1980s. The staircase further leads to the Diwan-e-Aam (Hall of Public Audience) on the second level. The third courtyard makes its way from the ornate Ganesh pol to the king’s private quarters which is also known as the Jai Mandir or Sheesh Mahal (mirror palace).
The Diwan-e-Khas (Hall of Private Audiences) is an exquisite part of the fort that is covered in intricate mirror work which is believed to be imported from Belgium. The other building here is the Sukh Niwas where the Kings and Queens relaxed.
Clad in pink and yellow sandstone, in the rear of the fort lies the Palace of Man Singh, which has the zenana (women’s quarters). The kings’ bedroom has an ornate mirror which gives an impression of a starry night when lit by a candle.
The Amer palace is connected to the Jaigarh Fort through a tunnel, which is also a part of the complex. The fort overlooks the Maota lake where every evening a light and music show takes place focusing on the history of Jaipur. The best way to reach Suraj Pol is on an elephant, to make the visit more royal. Amer Fort makes a special place in the mind of the visitors with its aesthetic appeal and regal charm.
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