Amer Fort, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India: A Complete Guide

The Amer Fort, situated in Amber, 11 kilometers from Jaipur, is one of the most famous forts of Rajasthan. Amer, originally, was the capital of the state before Jaipur. It is an old fort, built in 1592 by Raja Man Singh. This fort is also very popularly known as the Amer Palace. The Amer Fort was built in red sandstone and marble and the Maotha Lake adds a certain charm to the entire Fort. Though the fort is quite old and may even look so from the outside, it is beautiful on the inside and boasts of various buildings of prominence like the ‘Diwan-i-Aam’, the ‘Sheesh Mahal’ and even the ‘Sukh Mahal’. The Amer Fort has influences of both Hindu and Muslim architecture. This fort also has the ‘Shila Devi’ Temple and the ‘Ganesh Pol’ which is a gate that leads to the private palaces of the kings. The Amer Fort has many pavilions and halls of great interest and other popular attractions.

History of amber fort

Establishment of this fort was done in 16th century and was initiated during the reign of Raja Man Singh. Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the founder and the ruler of Jaipur city under his resign the fort was personalized. . Construction of the Fort was started by Raja Man Singh I in the year 1592. The Amber fort was built by Raja Man Singh in the 16th century and was completed by Sawai Jai Singh in the 18th Century. Amber Fort was completed within two centuries by consistence efforts of three consequent kings following Raja Man Singh.

Major attractions of Amer are :

Diwan-e-Aam, Diwan-e-Khaas, Ganesh Pol, Jaleb Chowk, Singh Pol, Jai Mandir, Yash Mandir, Sukh Mandir, Sheesh Mahal (Hall of Mirrors), Suhag Mandir, Shila Devi Temple, Bhool Bhulaiya, and Zanana Dyodhi.

Initially, the palaces at Amber were constructred by Raja Bharmal in 1558 and his successor Raja Man Singh. Later on their descendents added some structures. Some of the structures get destroyed with the time and some of the structures changed. But most of the structure is preserved and is now maintained by the state government. The Amber fort as it exists today has been shaped by mainly Raja Man Singh, Jai Singh I, and Jai Singh II.

Amber palace complex mainly includes Jaleb Chowk, Singh Pol, Diwan-e-Aam, Diwan-e-Khaas, Ganesh Pol, Yash Mandir, Sukh Mandir, Suhag Mandir, Shila Devi temple, Baradari, Bhool Bhulaiya, and Zanana Dyodi (women’s apartments). Indian Vastu can be practically approached if one experiences the Jaipur tour. And the architectural excellence and fabulous stone carving work accomplished manually at Amber palace around four centuries back.

There were two ways to reach the Amber fort as it is situated on a hill. One was for elephant riding, and another was walk-way which was in natural raw shape of hill and rock way. Now, the walk-way is modified in shape of new cemented staircases. Now, one road from bottom of the hill to Amber fort for vehicles also has been constructed, but to enjoy the trip of Amber fort, the walk-way or elephant riding is most preferable. Riding an elephant uphill seems a cliche for tourists. But it really helps feeling the ambience and plunging deeper in India. The elephant ride offers a skyline view of the Pink city and a mesmerizing sight over Maotha Lake. We can choose a guide to assist, or an audio guide is even a good option which is available at the doorstep of the fort. To make your trip more spectacular and memorable one, elephant safari will be the best and it provides a royal feeling as well.

ADDRESS

Devisinghpura, Amer, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302001, India

PHONE

 +91 141 253 0293

Location

Amber Fort is about 20 minutes northeast of Jaipur’s city center..

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, golf cart, or take your vehicle. 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.

Tickets for the sound and light show cost 295 rupees per person, including tax, for both the English and Hindi shows. They can be purchased at various places including at the fort, Jantar Mantar, and Albert Hall Museum. If buying tickets at the fort, try to get there an hour before the show starts to ensure availability.

Information About Elephant Rides

A popular way of reaching the top of Amber Fort is to ride on an elephant from the car park to Jaleb Chowk. However, due to concerns over the welfare of the elephants, some tourists are now choosing not to do this.

If you do go ahead with it, expect to pay 1,100 rupees per elephant (which can carry two people at a time). The rides take place in the mornings from 7 a.m. until 11.30 a.m. There used to also be afternoon rides. However, these were stopped in November 2017, so the elephants could rest. Be sure to arrive as early as possible to get one, as demand is high and it’s not possible to book in advance.

Segway Tours

Joyrides on Segway scooters have been introduced at Amber Fort. The tours run from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. every Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

What to See

Made out of sandstone and marble, Amber Fort consists of a series of four courtyards, palaces, halls, and gardens. At its entrance lies the primary courtyard, known as Jaleb Chowk. It’s here that the king’s soldiers assembled and paraded themselves around. Suraj Pol (Sun Gate) and Chand Pol (Moon Gate) lead into this courtyard.

Easy to miss, to the right are some small steps leading to Shila Devi temple. It’s open from 6 a.m. until noon, and again from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. Sacrifices were part of the temple rituals, as the goddess is an incarnation of Kali. Legend has it that human heads were originally offered to the goddess before she was persuaded to accept goats!

Head inside the fort, up the stately staircase from Jaleb Chowk courtyard, and you’ll reach the second courtyard that houses the Diwan-e-Aam (Hall of Public Audience) with its many pillars.

The third courtyard, accessed through the ornate mosaic Ganesh Pol, is where the king’s private quarters were located. It has two buildings separated by an expansive ornamental garden. It’s here that you’ll marvel over the fort’s most exquisite part — the Diwan-e-Khas (Hall of Private Audiences). Its walls are covered in intricate mirror work, using glass imported from Belgium. Hence, it’s also called Sheesh Mahal (Hall of Mirrors). The upper part of Diwan-e-Khas, known as Jas Mandir, has delicate floral designs with glass in them. The other building, on the opposite side of the garden, is Sukh Niwas. A place of pleasure, it’s where the king reportedly relaxed with his ladies.

At the rear of the fort lies the fourth courtyard and Palace of Man Singh, which has the zenana (women’s quarters). One of the oldest parts of the fort, it was completed in 1599. It has many rooms around it where the king kept each of his wives and visited them when he wished. At its center is a pavilion where the queens used to meet. The courtyard’s exit leads down to the town of Amber.

Unfortunately, the king’s bedroom (near the Sheesh Mahal) remains closed. However, you can sometimes buy a separate ticket (from inside the area where it’s located) to see it. Its marvelous ceiling is covered in small mirrors that give the impression of a starry night when a candle is lit.

Amber Fort also has an open-air passage that connects it to Jaigarh Fort. Tourists can walk along it from Ganesh Pol, or be transported by golf cart.

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