Amber Fort, Jaipur: Introduction of Amber Fort, Various Attractions inside the Amber Fort

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Amber Fort, Jaipur

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Introduction of Amber Fort

Amber was the ancient capital of Kachhawaha dynasty for 6 centuries before it was moved to newly created Jaipur. Amber is situated about 11 km from Jaipur, the capital city of Rajasthan. While many of the early structures have either disappeared or ruined, but those belonging to 16th century onwards are present in a remarkable state in the fort. The existence of Amber Fort belongs to various rulers like Raja Man Singh and Raja Jai Singh I and II. The Amber fort also displays unmistakable Mughal influences. Amber Fort is a classic fusion of Mughal and Hindu architecture, built in red sandstone and white marble.

Amber Fort, Amber Fort in Jaipur
History of Amber Fort

The history of Amber Fort was concerned with various Rajput kingdoms, and had at various times faced the armies of the sultans of Gujarat, the Marathas, and the Mughals. No wonder its architecture, like that of other Rajput palaces, consists of narrow passages and staircases that can be defended by a single swordsman, ridged ramps to allow the cavalry to move within the fortifications, high walls that cannot be easily scaled, and windows at only the highest levels. While the exterior is forbidding, the interiors are lavished with decoration since the kings and especially the women, spent almost all their time within the fortified palaces. 

Amber Fort is approached through the grand Singh Pol (Lion Gate) towards the Jaleb Chowk. From here, there are two flights of steps, one leads to the Shila Mata Temple, and the other to the main palace complex. You can reach the palace on foot or by elephant ride or by any vehicle. From the top of the fort, a spectacular view of the gorge and the land surrounding hills can be seen. There are sprawling complex of courtyards, halls, palaces and apartments separated by several gates.

The palace complex has various courtyards, gateways, gardens, halls, stairways, pillared pavilions, temples, palaces and apartments separated by several gates. Some of the famous architectural marvels in the complex are the Diwan-E-Khas, the Sheesh Mahal, the Jai Mandir with exquisite mirror work, the Diwan-E-Aam, the Sukh Niwas, the Shila Mata Temple, Kali temple and the Kesar Kyari, a well laid out garden. The Ganesh Pol, an imposing gateway painted with images of the god Ganesh is the pride of the palace. The painted façade of the gate with its arcades shows a rich harmony of Hindu and Mughal styles. Also a part of the complex is the Diwan-E-Aam or hall of the public audience with its spectacular display of pillars. The typical merging of Rajput and Mughal architectural styles is captured in the Sukh Nivas and Jas Mandir apartments, and the Charbagh garden with its perfectly proportioned landscaping. Several other gardens and pavilions within the fort offer enough scope for investigating medieval lifestyles at leisure. Inside the fort are the Zenana or the women apartments and frescoes with Krishna Leela scenes. These are private chambers from where the royal women could watch the proceedings of the royal court in privacy. 

Various Attractions inside the Amber Fort

Dil-E-Aaram and Diwan-E-Aam
The Amber fort is entered through the Dil-e-Aaram Garden, laid out in the traditional Mughal style. An imposing flight of stairs leads to the Diwan-E-Aam or Hall of Public Audience, which has latticed galleries and double row of columns each having a capital in the shape of elephants on the top.

Kali Temple
To the right are the steps that lead to the small Kali Temple. Maharaja Man Singh was a great devotee of goddess Kali and he worshipped the goddess for victory during battles. The Kali temple has huge doors made of silver. The image of Goddess Kali was brought by Raja Man Singh from Jessore in East Bengal, which is now known as Bangladesh.

Jai Mandir, Diwan-E-Khas and Sheesh Mahal
The Jai Mandir or the Hall of Victory has a glittering ceiling with mirror pieces on stucco and elegant inlaid panels. The Diwan-E-Khas or the hall of private audience is similar in ornamentation to Jai Mandir. The Sheesh Mahal, hall of Mirrors is known for the craftsmanship in mirrors. Thousands of mirror pieces adorn the walls and the ceiling and any streak of light if pass through sparkle and illuminates the entire room. In this palace, a single lamp is replicated in thousands of glittering mirrors.

Sukh Niwas
In front of the Jai Mandir is the Sukh Niwas or the hall of pleasure with a door made of sandalwood, inlaid with ivory and a channel running through, which formerly carried cool water acting as an air cooler.

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