Amber Fort – The Soul of Jaipur !
Amber or Amer Fort is synonymous to the city of Jaipur. A must visit if one is visiting the pink city and be prepared to be awed by its grandeur. Set off to visit this fort on a weekend morning and wanting to get into the details and historical significance of this place, opted for a government sponsored guide to take us around. It is strongly recommended that one takes the services of a guide to explore this palace without whom it is difficult to understand what each section of the fort or palace resembles and its significance. The guide would charge you Rs 250 for taking around and it’s a fixed rate by the government, they have id’s on them and do verify the same before finalizing the guide.
There are different gates to the fort and 3 ways to reach to the top to the entrance. By Walk, Opting for an elephant ride or a jeep right up to the gate. We opted to walk with the guide on toe and it was an experience to cherish. Get your stamina up to climb the steps though and it is not that tough ! On our way up, came across the Shila Devi Temple which unfortunately was closed as it was past 12 pm which was the closing time of the temple. It is said that the temple is very significant , the entrance of which has the idol of Lord Ganesh and the door made of ivory, due to which it is a high security zone with photography not being allowed and monitored through CC TV Camera’s. Once at the top, the picturesque bliss takes over. The sights are majestic and pleasing. There is an entrance ticket to get in and if you are opting for the guide ,they will assist in getting the tickets as well.
The view from the palace is amazing and is fortified on all sides to protect the Rajput’s way back in history.
There is also a lake and a garden in the surroundings of the palace which adds to the charm.
The architecture speaks laurels of the knowledge, thinking and talent that has got into building these.
The Marble structures have stood the test of times and is testimony to the saying that old is gold !
And what caught our eye was the fact that they had Jacuzzi too at that time !
Another highlight in the palace was the Sheesh Mahal, where one of the most famous songs of all time ‘Jab Pyaar Kiya to Darna Kiya’ from the Bollywood movie – ‘Mughal-E-Azam’ was filmed here. The place still restores its charm and the mirror’s are arranged in such a way that lighting a single matchstick can illuminate the entire area through the mirror reflections. Absolutely amazing !
Talk about innovation and you will find every bit of it in this fort. An awesome natural air cooling system and a private balcony for viewing the proceedings of the palace built in a way that only the person viewing from these windows are able to see on the other side while for the folks on the receiving end of it will not know who is watching them
Another interesting aspect is that the king had 12 Queen’s, which meant 12 different sections for the Queen’s residences each separated to ensure privacy with pathways for each of these sections leading to a single meeting area. Well, one may ask what if there were more number of queen’s or less, and how did they decide exactly on 12, the answer to which is that the King was entitled to have the exact same number of Queen’s as the number of Zodiac sign’s !
There were also doors and windows which were made of ivory and was open for public earlier but with theft happening, they had to seal it to ensure things don’t repeat.
Another grand sight at the Amer Fort was these huge vessels used for cooking purposes but wait for it – it is not part of the palace and not real to the Amer history itself but left back by the movie crew of ‘Jodha Akbar’. Apparently it is said that the crew found it difficult to take back these vessels after the movie shooting and decided to leave it here. So enjoy the sights and relate it back to the movie but not to anything that needs to be done with Amer fort.
Here is some more pics from this beautiful Fort / Palace !
If you are in Pink City – this should be No.1 in your places to visit list !