Amer Fort Jaipur as well as known as Amber Palace is an incredibly stunning sight to behold – its majestic walls stretch along the hills of Rajasthan, and its vibrant sandstone facade embodies India’s beauty. With its swirling gardens, towering walls, and palaces dripping with royalty and wealth, Amer Fort offers more than enough sights to see.
As you explore this fort that has been beautifully preserved over centuries, you will embark upon a remarkable journey and immerse yourself in the country’s ancient history. Whether you plan on visiting Amer Fort as part of an elaborate itinerary or simply want to spend some quality time wandering these timeless grounds.
There’s no doubt that Amer Fort is one of Rajasthan’s premier spots for tourists… and this traveler’s guide post will take you every step (or should we say stepwell) of the way!
Table of Contents
Amer Fort History
Amer Fort, also known as Amber Fort, is one of India’s most iconic structures. Located in Amer, a town about 11 kilometers from Jaipur, Rajasthan, the fort is a dazzling testament to the grandeur and richness of Indian history, art, and culture.
The history of Amer Fort goes back to the late 16th century. It was constructed by Raja Man Singh I, one of the navratnas (nine gems) of Emperor Akbar’s court, in 1592. The fort was built in red sandstone and marble, making it a prominent example of the amalgamation of Rajput and Mughal architectural styles.
Raja Man Singh I, the Kacchwaha Rajput ruler of Amber, initiated the fort’s construction, but it saw further additions and expansions over the next 150 years by successive rulers. Most notably, Raja Jai Singh I greatly expanded the fort during his reign.
Amer Fort is strategically located on a hill, which was a common choice for fortifications as it provided a natural defense. Overlooking the Maota Lake, the fort is laid out on four levels, each with its own courtyard. The fort complex includes various buildings such as the Diwan-e-Aam (Hall of Public Audience), Diwan-e-Khas (Hall of Private Audience), the Sheesh Mahal (Mirror Palace), and the Sukh Niwas (Hall of Pleasure).
Sheesh Mahal is particularly noteworthy. It is an enchanting hall of mirrors, designed in such a way that a single candle flicker could illuminate the entire room, reflecting in the thousands of tiny, intricately placed mirrors.
Amer Fort also served as the residence for the Rajput Maharajas and their families. The fort was not just a military stronghold but also a city within a city, complete with residential areas, temples, and gardens.
The reign of Raja Man Singh I and his descendants marked a period of prosperity and artistic renaissance in Amer. The kingdom of Amer had always been strategically important due to its location and resources, but the construction of Amer Fort turned it into one of the most fortified cities of its time.
Amer Fort was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2013, as part of a group of six hill forts in Rajasthan. Its intricate artistic style, coupled with its historical significance, continues to draw millions of tourists from around the world every year.
In 2003, the Rajasthan tourism department introduced an exciting night viewing opportunity of Amer Fort, which provides a mesmerizing view of the fort, basking in the golden glow of lighting.
The fascinating history of Amer Fort, from its initial construction to its recognition as a World Heritage Site, paints a rich tapestry of the social, political, and cultural history of Rajasthan, and indeed, of India itself. The fort stands as a timeless monument, bearing witness to the changing tides of history, and the enduring legacy of the great rulers who built it.
An Inside Tour Amer Fort Jaipur
In this part of the Ultimate Traveler’s Guide, we’ll take you through an insider’s tour of the key sections of Amer Fort: the resplendent Suraj Pol, the impressive Diwan-e-Aam, the ornate Ganesh Pol, the hypnotic Sheesh Mahal, the comfortable Sukh Mahal, and the regal Diwan-e-Khas.
1. The Majestic Entrance – Suraj Pol
Suraj Pol, translating to ‘Sun Gate’, is the main entrance to the Amer Fort. Revered for its ingenious design, it symbolizes the fort’s resilience and architectural grandeur. Built facing the east, it gets its name as it is the first to be illuminated by the rising sun’s rays. This intricately decorated gate provides an impressive welcome to travelers, setting the stage for the awe-inspiring sights within the fort.
2. The Awe-inspiring Diwan-e-Aam
Next on our tour is the Diwan-e-Aam or ‘Hall of Public Audience’. This grand hall, adorned with stucco and mirror work, was where the Maharaja held meetings with the public and listened to their grievances. With its forty pillars and delicate frescoes, the Diwan-e-Aam stands as a testament to the Maharaja’s dedication to his subjects, and the finesse of Rajputana architecture.
3. The Ornate Ganesh Pol
Further into the fort, we encounter Ganesh Pol, a gateway leading to the private palaces of the Maharaja. The gate, named after the Hindu deity Lord Ganesh, is an exquisite blend of Mughal and Rajput architectural styles. The beautifully painted frescoes and intricate latticework will undoubtedly captivate your senses as you make your way through this ornate passage.
4. The Enchanting Sheesh Mahal
The ‘Mirror Palace’ or Sheesh Mahal is perhaps the most mesmerizing part of Amer Fort. Covered in convex mirrors and colored glasses, the palace comes alive with thousands of reflective fragments when a single candle is lit, mimicking a starry night sky. The ingenious use of light and reflection in the Sheesh Mahal demonstrates the advanced understanding of architecture and aesthetics in Rajputana society.
5. The Opulent Sukh Mahal
As the name ‘Pleasure Palace’ suggests, Sukh Mahal was built for leisure and relaxation. A fascinating feature of this palace is its ingenious cooling system. Hollow walls were designed to circulate cool water, reducing the temperature and creating a comfortable refuge from the harsh desert heat. The Sukh Mahal, with its verdant gardens and cool interiors, provided a luxurious respite for the royal family.
6. The Regal Diwan-e-Khas
Last on our insider’s tour, but certainly not least, is the Diwan-e-Khas or ‘Hall of Private Audience’. Here, the Maharaja conducted private meetings and consultations. The hall is known for its two colossal silver vessels, recognized by the Guinness World Records as the largest in the world. The elegance and lavishness of the Diwan-e-Khas encapsulate the opulence of the Rajput reign.
Visiting Amer Fort is a journey through time, each corner unfolding a new chapter of the past. This regal fortress stands not just as a testament to the aesthetic sensibilities of a bygone era, but also as a reflection of the powerful and resilient Rajputana heritage. We hope that this insider tour adds to the richness of your experience, making your visit to Amer Fort an unforgettable part of your Jaipur adventure.
Amer Fort Famous For: Experiencing the Culture
In this section of our Ultimate Traveler’s Guide, we delve into the cultural experiences that Amer Fort offers.
1. Enjoying the Light and Sound Show
One of the major highlights of a visit to Amer Fort is the mesmerizing Light and Sound Show. As dusk descends, the fort comes alive with a spectacular display of lights that illuminate the structure, recounting the tales of its glorious past.
The poignant narration, available in both English and Hindi and the soul-stirring musical score adds an ethereal charm to the overall experience. Witnessing the fort under the starry sky, you are sure to be transported back in time, as the history of the Rajput kings unfurls in front of your eyes.
2. Elephant Rides: A Royal Experience
To add a regal charm to your Amer Fort visit, embark on an exciting elephant ride up to the fort. A typical means of transport for the kings and queens of yesteryears, this experience provides a unique perspective of the fort and its surroundings. However, it’s essential to note that these elephant rides have been under scrutiny for ethical reasons, and it’s up to each traveler to decide if they want to partake.
3. Local Handicrafts and Shopping in Amer
Your cultural immersion at Amer Fort wouldn’t be complete without delving into the vibrant world of Rajasthani handicrafts. The small shops and stalls around Amer Fort present a plethora of shopping opportunities.
From intricate miniature paintings and handloom textiles to colorful lac bangles and ornate blue pottery, the local markets are a shopper’s paradise. Each artifact tells a story of the skilled artisans who pour their hearts and soul into creating these masterpieces.
4. Panoramic Views
The fort’s strategic location on a hill provides spectacular views of the surrounding landscape and sunsets. The Maota Lake in the forefront makes the entire landscape breathtakingly beautiful.
5. Intricate Artwork
The fort is well-known for its artistic style of decoration. The intricate work of carving and precious stone and mirror inlay work is fantastic, reflecting the craftsmanship of the Rajput era.
6. Architectural Marvel
The Fort’s architecture is a magnificent blend of Hindu and Mughal influences, constructed using red sandstone and marble. Its large ramparts, series of gates, and cobbled paths are all distinctive features of this massive fort.
Must-See Areas Around Amer Fort Jaipur
In this chapter of our Ultimate Traveler’s Guide, we explore the breathtaking landscapes around the Amer Fort. Let’s uncover the charming Maota Lake, the mysterious tunnels of the fort, and the inviting Kesar Kyari Garden, all adding to the rich tapestry of this historical gem.
The Charming Maota Lake
At the forefront of the Amer Fort, the Maota Lake forms a beautiful foreground that compliments the majestic structure. Named after the village Maota which lies in proximity, the lake was a primary source of water for the fort and its inhabitants.
It is the serene reflections of the fort in its calm waters that often become a subject of photography. Come, bask in the tranquility offered by the Maota Lake and let the beautiful view set the tone for your exploration of the Amer Fort.
The Mysterious Tunnels
Amer Fort isn’t just an architectural masterpiece above ground; it houses an intriguing network of tunnels that hint at the strategic military planning of the era. The most remarkable among them is the tunnel connecting Amer Fort to the nearby Jaigarh Fort, which served as an escape route for the royal family in times of danger.
As you navigate these ancient tunnels, you’ll feel a sense of awe at the sheer complexity and foresight of the architects from a time long past. However, remember to tread carefully and follow the signs, as these tunnels can be quite a labyrinth to the uninitiated.
The Inviting Kesar Kyari Garden
Located in the middle of Maota Lake is the beautifully manicured Kesar Kyari (Saffron Flowerbed) Garden. The design of the garden forms a mesmerizing geometric pattern when viewed from the fort above.
True to its name, the garden was initially planted with Kesar (saffron) plants, but due to unsuitable climatic conditions, it now thrives with lush green vegetation. This peaceful garden, isolated from the bustle of the fort, provides a serene spot for introspection and relaxation.
A trip to Amer Fort is as much about these fascinating areas around the fort as it is about the fort itself. Each of these sites, with its unique charm, adds another dimension to your experience of Amer Fort. In this immersive journey, you will witness history and live it, even if just for a day.
Essential Travel Tips for Visiting Amer Fort Jaipur
Visiting Amer Fort can be an exciting and enriching experience. Here are some essential travel tips to help you make the most of your visit:-
1. Dress Comfortably:- The fort is vast and requires a lot of walking, often on uneven surfaces. Wear comfortable footwear and light, breathable clothing, especially during the hot summer months. Don’t forget to carry a hat or umbrella for shade.
2. Stay Hydrated:- Always carry a bottle of water, especially if you’re visiting in the summer. You’ll be doing a lot of walking, and staying hydrated is essential.
3. Hire a Guide:- Hiring an official guide can enhance your experience significantly. They’ll be able to give you detailed explanations about the history and significance of different sections of the fort. Be sure to hire only authorized guides who display valid ID cards issued by the Rajasthan Tourism Department.
4. Photography:- Don’t forget your camera! The fort is photogenic, with beautiful architecture and stunning views of the surrounding countryside and the town below.
5. Avoid Touts and Unofficial Guides:- Be cautious of touts and unofficial guides who may approach you offering services.
6. Respect the Place:- Remember that the fort is a historical monument. Respect the site and avoid any activities that could damage the structures.
7. Plan Your Day:- Lastly, plan your day effectively. The fort is vast and can easily take several hours to explore thoroughly. It may be worthwhile to combine a visit to the fort with other attractions in Jaipur.
Amer Fort is a must-visit place if you’re in Jaipur, and these tips should help ensure your visit is comfortable, rewarding, and memorable.
Amer Fort Timing
The fort opens at 8:00 AM and closes at 5:30 PM for general visits. For the Light and Sound Show, the timings are:-
October to February – 6:30 pm (English)/ 7:30 pm (Hindi)
March to April – 7:00 pm(English)/ 8:00 pm (Hindi)
May to September – 7:30 pm(English)/ 8:30 pm (Hindi)
It’s usually less crowded early in the morning, and it’s also a good time to beat the heat during summer.
Amer Fort Ticket Price
Here are the entry fees for Amer Fort in Jaipur, India.
|INR 25 per person
|INR 10 per person
|INR 200 per person
|Foreign national students
|INR 100 per person
|INR 550 per person
|INR 100 per person
|Amer Fort light and sound show
|INR 295 per person including GST
Q. Can Amer Fort be visited in one day?
Yes, Amer Fort can be explored in a day, including the Light and Sound Show in the evening.
Q. What is the significance of the Sheesh Mahal?
Sheesh Mahal, or ‘Mirror Palace’, is renowned for its intricate mirror work that creates a starry effect when lit.
Q. Is it ethical to take the elephant ride at Amer Fort?
The ethics of elephant rides at Amer Fort are debated, considering the animals’ welfare. It’s a personal decision.
Q. What are the timings for the light and sound show at Amer Fort?
The Light and Sound Show at Amer Fort takes place daily at 7:30 PM in English and 8:30 PM in Hindi.
Q. What other activities can be done around Amer Fort?
Apart from exploring the fort, visitors can shop local handicrafts, enjoy local cuisine, and visit nearby attractions.
Q. Are there any accommodations available near Amer Fort?
Yes, there are various hotels and guest houses near Amer Fort, ranging from budget to luxury options.