Amer Fort (also called Amber Fort) is located in a small hilltop town called Amer which is 11 km from Jaipur. Surrounded by beautiful Aravalli mountain ranges and facing Maota Lake, Amer Fort sets a great example of the traditional Indian/Rajput architecture. As with most forts of Rajasthan, Amer Fort too has carvings on ceilings, walls and windows and you will amazed with the intricacy of the work.
Maota Lake and Amer Fort
Entry to Amer Fort
Open Area at the entrance of the fort
There are two huge halls that used to be the “listening” halls for the kings. Diwan-e-Aam or Hall of General Public is a hall where the kings used to listen to the needs and complaints of common men. Diwan-e-Khas or Private Hall is where the kings would host special guests, ministers or friends. The hall is open on three sides and has huge number of artistic pillars.
Diwan-e-Aam (Hall of General Public)
Next to the halls is a huge and magnificent entry gate to the palace called Ganesh Pol (Gate). The stunning entry gate of Ganesh Pol has amazing art work and is very stylishly designed. The style depicts the royal mix of both Mughal and Rajput style architecture. Apart from the colorful and contrasting colors used on the entry gate, the intricacy of the designs which are hand crafted will leave you stunned and amazed. The gate also has a picture of Lord Ganesha carved and pained slightly above the entry arch.
Ganesh Pol (Ganesh Gate)
As you enter inside Ganesh Pol, you can see several private corridors that were used by the royal family. One of the corridors has beautiful view of the Maota lake and the surrounding Aravalli hill range.
View of the Maota Lake from the corridor
View of the route to the fort (from the corridor)
Apart from the private chambers, the inside of the fort also has a beautiful garden that is designed similar to (but much smaller than) Mughal Gardens.
After the private garden is perhaps the most attractive part of the fort, the Sheesh Mahal (translates to Palace of Mirrors). It is an absolute delight to watch Sheesh Mahal. The walls and the ceilings have various designs that are a mixture of designs, carvings, paints, and has numerous small mirrors. The sheer quality of the work and the design will leave you awestruck. You will run out of words to describe the beauty of Sheesh Mahal.
It is believed that the queens of the fort used to love sleeping under the stars, watching its beauty. However, the traditional custom did not allow them to sleep in open air. Hence the king brought in finest artists and architects to design a room that could very closely resemble “sleeping under the stars”. The mirrors in Sheesh Mahal are placed in such a way that if a candle is lit at night, due to the numerous reflections off these mirrors, it would appear as if thousands of stars are glittering on the ceiling!
Ceiling of Sheesh Mahal
Open Space in the palace
It is amazing to know that such a beautiful fort was built during the 16th century when none of the modern technology existed! The fort is accessible through a 15 minute uphill trek/hike, and it is definitely worth the effort. If you have a vehicle, there is a narrow lane that can get you very close to the entry gate. However, the road is so narrow that the amount of time you spend waiting for other vehicle to pass through, can be spent in the hike/trek which has an added attraction of enjoying the beautiful surroundings!
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