Amer Fort in Jaipur: Escape the City and Visit This 16th Century Fort
Jaipur was founded by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh in the year 1727 and got its name from the founder. Maharaja Jai Singh founded Jaipur with a crystal clear vision for a safe, unique, and progressive city that became testimony to his open-mindedness, enterprising and visionary side of his personality. India’s first planned city Jaipur is complete with modern houses, shops, schools, beautiful palaces and every scientific observatory like Jantar Mantar and speaks volumes of the Hindu culture of those times.
Sitting quietly atop the lush hills of Kalikho hills in the Aravalli Ranges and flaunted by Sagar lake and Maotha Lake, is Amer Fort that is yet another attestation of Maharaja’s thoughtful ways. An epitome of valor, courage and Rajputana honor, the fort is also reminiscent of the royal patronage of architecture and science, which is evident in its construction.
When to Build
An interesting fact about the fort is that it took two centuries for this fort to be constructed. Raja Bharmal and Raja Man Singh began the construction in 1558. Two centuries later Raja Sawai Jai Sigh II finished the colossal structure in 1727. Later the royal family moved its residence from the Jaigarh Fort to Amer Fort, while Jaigarh Fort was being used as a refuge for the royal family and their attendants during wars. Jaigarh Fort and Amer Fort are connected through a few tunnels used as a passageway. The tunnels are restored and some part is open to the public.
India Amber Fort, Jaipur
Structure of Amer Fort
Amer Fort or Amer Fort, as it is also called, is a capacious palace complex, built in white marble and pink and yellow sandstone. Constructed in four main quarters, each one has its courtyard. Suraj Pol and Chand Pol are the two gates; Chandpol for the entry by car. Both the gates lead to Jalebi Chowk- the main courtyard. This is where the armies used to show their strength to the people upon returning from major assignments. The king’s quarters, the Zenana (women’s quarters), diwan-e’-aam, temples, gardens, are the places from yesteryears' daily life.
The Sheesh Mahal is an example of magnificence and its stupendous arrangement of mirrors is a unique architecture. The fort is rightfully recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Site in the year 2013 as ‘Hillforts of Rajasthan.’
Raja Alan Singh from Kolkata architectured the city as per Rajput architecture. Maharaja Jai Singh was a keen student and follower of astronomy and other astro sciences ensured that the principles of Shilpa Shastra were followed throughout the city and in the Amer fort. There was a pattern followed, like the important buildings were made in sandstone, found abundantly in the region. Covered in mountain ranges, the fort’s reflection falling in Maotha Lake makes a mesmerizing view.
The fort has a customary Diwan-e’-Khas for office bearers, Diwan-e’-aam for commoners, a Ganesh temple called Ganesh Pol, Singh Pol, Jai Mandir, Jaleb Chowk, Yash Mandir, Sheesh Mahal, Suhag Mandir, Sukh Mandir, Sila Devi Temple, Zanana Dyodhi, and a Bhool Bhulaiya.
Name of Amer FortEarlier the fort was named Dhundar, there are many stories behind how it got its name Amer Fort or Amer Fort. As per the folklore, it was later named to Ambikeshwar, after lord Shiva. As a mark of respect, a shivling was installed in a lake in the middle of the fort. Some people say that it was derived from Amba, the universal mother. However, the Jain scriptures attribute it to Goddess Ambavati. The fort was earlier ruled by Kachcwahas for some time during Raja Alan Singh’s rule. Kachchwahas were believed to be descendent of Kush, one of Lord Ram’s two sons.
History of Amer Fort
As the capital of Rajasthan shifted from Amer to Jaipur in 1727, the fort was abandoned by Kachchwahs. The strategic decision helped the kingdom in terms of safety as attacking Jaipur was not so easy, and this move allowed them to oversee their frontiers. Gujarat, on the trade route, helped keep the city in rotation and Amer Fort alive and saved from abandonment.
Amer fort has the distinction of never falling under direct British rule. However, there have been many restoration activities by the government and an estimated forty crore rupees have been spent on it till now. It is a huge revenue generator for Amber. Almost one-third of its revenue comes from Amer Fort. Amer Fort earns from tourism as well as being Bollywood's favorite movie shooting destination. However recently Rajasthan government has slapped a ban on filming movies here after sizeable damages done during the shoot of a movie.
Top Things to Do in Amer FortThis 16th-century fort is an attraction amongst the tourists. The night light show attracts tourists even at night time. The elephant rides are especially a craze amongst children and adults alike. The ride starts from the foot of the hills and culminates at the fort. The forts’ grandeur is very alluring in the yellow light of the bulbs glowing at night under the delicate moonlight, it is one to cherish for a lifetime. A guide is a good company at Amer Fort as they relate places to the historical account and show every nook of the fort.
Rajasthan Tourism runs the light and sound show at night. The distance at which this show is conducted gives a complete view of the fort. The show is themed on local folklore, myths, and tales about the fort. The show later chronicles the history of kings who ruled this region and their valor in important wars they fought.
Timings: Open every day of the week between 8:00 am to 5:30 pm.
How to reach: One can catch buses from M.I. Road or Ajmeri Gate. 11 Km from Jaipur city it takes 40 min to reach. You can also get direct buses from Badi Chaupar bus stand (near to places like Hawa Mahal, City Palace, Jantar Mantar, and Albert Hall). Auto rickshaw, and cabs/taxis are convenient options to reach Amer Fort. On the way, you can also visit Jal Mahal, Nahargarh Fort, and Jaigarh Fort.Tickets: If planning in advance, you can book your tickets, not only for the Amer Fort but other places on your itinerary. (Entry Fee per person is in INR).
• 25 - Indians
• 10 - Indian Students
• 550 - Foreign Tourists
• 100 - Foreign Students
• 200 - Light Show in English
• 100 - Light Show in English
Tickets for Elephant Ride:
• 1100 - per couple
• Light Show Timings: English: 7:30 pm, Hindi: 8:00 pm
• Elephant Ride Timings: 7:30 am to 12:30 pm
Nearby Attraction: Panna Meena Ka Kund – Ancient Stepwell in Jaipur