Amber Fort

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Amber Fort - Sheesh Mahal Mirror Palace)

Amber fort jaipur
Amber fort in jaipur

Amber fort is also referred to as the Amber Palace, the fort is located on a hill in Amer, jaipur. Just eleven kilometers from the city of Jaipur, the Amber fort is a major tourist attraction. Built by king Man Singh.

The fort presents a fascinating blend of Hindu and Muslim architecture. It is built using red sandstone and white marble. 

It is one of the most well-known and most-visited forts in India. Not surprisingly, it features prominently on the list of Jaipur’s top attractions. Here’s what you need to know to plan your trip.

History

Amber was once the capital of princely Jaipur state, and the fort the residence of its Rajput rulers. The King Man Singh I, who led Mughal Emperor Akbar’s army, commenced its construction in 1592. This is remains of an 11th-century fort. Successive rulers added to Amber Fort before moving the capital to Jaipur in 1727. The fort was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2013, as part of a group of six hill forts in Rajasthan. Its architecture is a noteworthy fusion of Rajput (Hindu) and Mughal (Islamic) styles.

Construction

It was modified on regular intervals by several rulers and the trend continued up until late 1600. The fort was mostly constructed using red sandstone and white marble. Though basically a fort, it also served as the main residence of the Rajput Kings. 

Hence, in its subsequent modifications, the fort was deliberately made to look more like a lavish palace. There is also another palace, which was constructed before the construction of Amber fort. The older palace rests on a valley behind the fort. This palace is one of the oldest in India.

Layout of the Fort

Four different sections combine to form the fort or the palace. Each section has its own gate and courtyard. The first gate, which is also the main entrance, is called Suraj Pol or Sun Gate. The gate faces east, witnessing the sunrise every morning and hence the name. This gate leads to the first courtyard named Jalebi Chowk.
The front courtyard of the fort complex is adorned with the splendid, pillared hall of the Diwan-i-Am, and the two-tiered painted gateway, Ganesh Pol. The entrance of the Amber fort is through the Dil-e-Aaram Garden, which is laid out in the traditional Mughal style.

Complex yard.

The front courtyard of the fort complex is adorned with the splendid, pillared hall of the Diwan-i-Am, and the two-tiered painted gateway, Ganesh Pol. The entrance of the Amber fort is through the Dil-e-Aaram Garden, which is laid out in the traditional Mughal style.

Last courtyard

The fourth courtyard is rather an interesting one. The royal women including the mistresses lived in this part of the palace. They were collectively known as the Zenana. Even the queens and queen mother lived in this part. This part of the palace was extremely secluded as the kings used to visit the queens or their mistresses without getting noticed by anyone.

Conservation of the Fort

The Amber fort, along with five other forts of Rajasthan, was named as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the year 2013. 

The ADMA (Amer Development and Management Authority) has so far spent around 40 crore rupees to safeguard the fort from threats and external damages. However, commercialization of the fort is proving to be a huge threat. It is said that a team of a Bollywood movie damaged an old canopy belonging to the fort.

Getting There

If you’re on a strict budget, take one of the frequent buses that depart from near the Hawa Mahal in the Old City. They’re crowded but will only cost you 15 rupees (or 25 rupees if you want air-conditioning). 

Alternatively, it’s possible to take an auto rickshaw for about 500 rupees for the return trip. Expect to pay 850 rupees or more for a taxi.
Amber Fort is also included on the itinerary of the Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation’s inexpensive full and half day city tours.

How to Visit

Amber Fort is open daily from 8 a.m. until 5.30 p.m. To reach the entrance at the top, you can either walk uphill, ride on elephant back, go by jeep. However, do note that it gets very busy during the tourist season and traffic jams are common.
Many people choose to remain at the fort for the evening sound and light show, night viewing, and dinner. The fort reopens, evocatively illuminated, from 6:30 until 9:15 p.m.


While inside the fort, it’s worth eating at 1135 AD for the opulent regal ambiance. This fine dining restaurant is situated on level two of Jaleb Chowk. It’s open until 10:30 p.m. and serves tasty authentic Indian cuisine. You’ll really feel like a maharaja there!


Toward the bottom of the fort, near Maota Lake, a popular sound and light show showcases the history of Amber Fort using many special effects. There are two shows per night, in English and Hindi. The starting times vary according to the time of year as follows:


• October to February (tourist season): English 6:30 p.m. and Hindi 7:30 p.m.
• March to April (summer): English 7 p.m. and Hindi 8 p.m.
• May to September (monsoon): English 7:30 p.m. and Hindi 8:30 p.m.


If you’re interested in the art of traditional block printing, don’t miss the Anokhi Museum near Amber Fort. You can even take part in a workshop.

Tickets and Cost

Ticket prices increased substantially in 2015. The cost is now 500 rupees for foreigners and 100 rupees for Indians during the day. Composite tickets, costing 300 rupees for Indians and 1,000 rupees for foreigners, are available. These tickets are valid for two days and include Amber Fort, Nahargarh Fort, Hawa Mahal, Jantar Mantar observatory, and Albert Hall Museum.

Admission to Amber Fort at night costs 100 rupees for both foreigners and Indians. Discounts on ticket prices are available for students, and children under the age of seven are free.

The ticket counter is located in Jaleb Chowk courtyard, across from Suraj Pol. You can hire an audio guide or official tourist guide there as well. Alternatively, tickets can be purchased online.


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