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AMBER FORT

Location : Jaipur, Rajasthan
Built By : 16th Century
Constructed By : Maharaja Man Singh I
Timings : Open 9.00am - 4.30pm

The Kachchawahas ruled drom Amber, 11-km from Jaipur, for seven centuries. With a history so old, it is not unexpected that there is a lot of the past that can be traced in its archaeological history. While many of the very early structures have either disappeared or been ruined, those dating from the 16th century on are in a remarkable state of preservation.



Construction & Architecture Of Amber Fort

Amber as it exists now is the handiwork of three of the kingdom's rulers that include Man Singh, army commander of Mughal Emperor Akbar in 1592, and Jai Singh I and II. IT is a classic fusion of Mughal and Hindu architecture, built in red sandstone and white marble.

Amber had reason to be concerned since its history had seen skirmishes with other 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 Royals, and especially the women, spent almost all their time within the fortified palaces.

ATTRACTIONS OF THE AMBER FORT

The palace or the royal apartments lies inside the massive Amber fort complex with gateways, gardens, halls, stairways, pillared pavilions, temples and palaces. Some of the noteworthy architectural marvels in the complex are the 'Diwan-E-Khas', the 'Sheesh Mahal' and the 'Jai Mandir' with exquisite mirror work, the 'Diwan-E-Aam', the 'Sukh Niwas', the Shila Mata Temple and Kali temple and the well laid out garden the 'Kesar Kyari'.

Ganesh Pol
The emperors apartments lies on a higher terrace beyond a two tiered decorative gateway, Ganesh Pol, covered with elegant frescoes and pavilions having fascinating Jali or Lattice work screens.


ai Mandir, Diwan- E- Khas & 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', hall of private audience is similar in ornamentation to Jai Mandir and the 'Sheesh Mahal', hall of Mirrors known for its craftsmanship in mirrors, is the most spectacular of the lot. Thousands of mirror pieces adorn the walls and the ceiling that, any streak of light makes them sparkle and illuminates the entire room.


Dil-E-Aaram & Diwan-E-Am
The 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-Am' 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 steps that lead to the small Kali Temple. Maharaja Man Singh was a great devotee of Goddess Kali and prayed to the Goddess for victory during battles. The temple has huge doors made of silver. The larger white marble Shila Mata temple, has the image of Goddess Kali, brought by Raja Man Singh from Jessore in East Bengal, now Bangladesh.


The Zenana
The 'Zenana' or the Women's Apartments and frescoes depicting Krishna Leela scenes surround a spectacular courtyard. There are private chambers from where the royal women could watch the proceedings of the royal court in privacy.


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 with a channel running through, which formerly carried cool water acting as an air cooler.

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