Amer Fort in Jaipur – Everything you need to know
Amer Fort or Amber Fort or Amber Palace is the most visited fort in Jaipur and a popular tourist destination in India. A trip to Jaipur is definitely incomplete without visiting the Amer Fort.
As soon as you reach the entrance of the Fort area downhill, you will see a magnificent looking structure. The walls of the fort perfectly blend with the topography of the mountains. This fort is one of the finest examples of mughal-rajput architecture.
Some interesting facts about Amer Fort
1) Amer Fort is one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites in India.
2) The fort has the world’s third longest wall after Kumbhalgarh Fort (also in Rajasthan) & Great Wall of China.
The Layout of Amber Palace
Right at the base of the Amer Fort is a beautiful lake called Maoti Lake. It has a garden at the centre where Kesar or saffron is said to have been cultivated, many years ago. Rajasthan has hot weather conditions and no one knows if the King was successful in growing Saffron in the arid desert. This garden since then has been called ‘Kesar Keyari‘ and today houses various other plants.
If you are wondering what made the King grow Saffron, then here is a story. Raja Man Singh I was a Rajput King who fought along with Mughals far up the Northern borders. He had learnt of Saffron and its benefits. Impressed with its benefits, the King decided to grow them in Jaipur.
Did you spot the elephants walking down in a line?
Once we passed this passage, next came a cobbled road. Many elephants lined up one after another walked down the streets. I had an extremely happy face watching the elephants move. They were healthy, well-fed (unlike the Malaysian elephants used for safaris) and well-decorated. Tourists waited in a queue for an elephant ride that would drop them to the palace gate. We decided to walk as animal-cruelty consicious in us started to alarm.
As you enter the Amer Fort, a large empty courtyard called Jaleb Chowk welcomes you. It is here where the all military action and parading took place. There are two gates on either sides, the Suraj Pol(Sun Gate, east facing) and Chand Pol(Moon Gate).
There is also a place called as ‘Naqqar khana‘ (or drum house) where various musical instruments were placed. Today, you can only find a huge drum on the upper deck. Live music is played here every morning till about 11AM. The music surely gives a dramatic entry to your walk at the palace.
Next comes the Ganesh Pol, which is the main entrance to the personal quarters of kings and queens. Only important people were allowed entry beyond this gate. Ganesh Pol is the finest example of the Mughal and Rajput influences in creating an artistic structure such as this. As per Hindu religion(even until today), Lord Ganesha’s blessing are sought before any auspicious beginning. He is the Lord of removing obstacles. Hence the name Ganesh Pol. You will find a small picture of Lord Ganesha at the entrance.
On the upper deck of the Ganesh Pol is Suhag Mandir. It has small wall openings where royal women would get a little view of their visitors at the court and also the victory parade performed by their soldiers after a war. The victory parade was performed at Diwan-e-Aam or Hall of public audience. The Kings would address to public audience here and heard petitions.
Every corner inside Amber Palace is a photographer’s paradise
Diwan-e-Khas or Hall of Private audience as the name suggests is an open courtyard where the king would address the important people during meetings and gatherings.
Sheesh Mahal or Mirror Palace has walls and ceilings made of mirrors and glass. Again a very impressive structure that has its own shine in natural day light. I wonder how it would look around torch light in the night that were used back in those days. There are many other fine marble work art on display here.
Sukh Mahal or Pleasure Palace (or Summer Palace) has interesting mechanism to keep the palace cool even during peak summer. It was well explained by our guide and worth noting down how the water would flow through small openings that would keep the area naturally cooler.
Zenana section has rooms for the royal women and King’s mistress. The chambers were designed such that no women would know which room the King has entered…(or at least that’s what the King thought-wink!).
The palace also houses few temples, one of which was used to sacrifice animals before going for a war. This practice has now been stopped. Temples follow a strict policy here of not allowing leather products, shoes, cameras, phones etc. The ownership of this temple still lies with the Royal family while rest of the fort is managed by the government.
Mughal emperor King Akbar had also visited Amer Fort and during his visit, Man Singh Mahal was constructed. Some Persian texts also adorns its walls.
Hamam or bath is another interesting section at the Fort. You need a guide to explain how hot and cold bath was made available without technology.
Amer Fort also hosts a heritage water walks tour which explains how water was made available so high up on the fort. There are few sections in the fort that are accessible only when you opt for this tour. There are still ancient pipes and openings, Persian wheels that were driven by man and animal power to lift water up the hill. Persian wheels are an influence of Mughal lifestyle. Many Rajput Kings were Generals at the Mughal army from where this system may have been followed.
The best part I loved of the Amer Fort was its secret tunnel that was recently discovered. Most tourists do not end up finding this place and therefore I thoroughly enjoyed my walk here with no-one to disturb. This secret passage leads to Jaigarh Fort from where Kings would escape in case of siege.
How to reach Amer fort?
A/C Buses – from Hawal Mahal to Amber Fort. Costs INR 30 approximately
Uber – Book an uber rickshaw or cab at standard rates
What are the Amer Fort Timings?
8 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. during the day, to view the fort.
The Fort also has Light and Sound show in the night. Its timings are:
-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 pm. and Hindi 8.30 p.m
I have personally not attended the night show, so cannot comment on this much.
How much the Amer fort entry costs?
Indians INR 100, Others INR 500
Night entry INR 100
There are discounts are offered for students, if you carry your id proof. Children under the age of seven are free.
You can also purchase your ticket online which I would personally recommend doing.
How to climb up the Amer fort?
If you are against animal cruelty and do not wish to take elephant ride, then there are Jeeps and Golf carts. You could also choose to walk. Golf cart costs about INR 40 per person. If you are in a large group, Jeep would be a better option.
How much time do you need to visit Amer fort?
You will need at least 3 – 4 hours to explore the fort. Carry comfortable shoes as it requires lot of walking.
Kindly note, this place is not accessible by wheelchair.
Jaigarh Fort or Victory Fort was named after Rajput Ruler Jai Singh II. This Fort houses the World’s largest Cannon of wheels in Modern history. Irony of this cannon is that, it has never been used in any battle as Rajputs had friendly relationship with the Mughals. There are also false rumours about Khachwaha rulers hiding all their treasures at this fort. During the Emergency declared by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, there was a search at this fort for the treasures. Some people do believe the treasure was found and used.
The views from Jaigarh Fort are very impressive.
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I am at #Jaipur – a city where a series of hill forts stand tall and strong bearing testimony of time and power of Rajputs. What I most loved about the Amer and Jaigarh Fort is how the walls of the fort have blended with the topography of the Aravalli mountains. . . . . #jaipur #jaipurdiaries #amerfort #jaipurtourism #indiantravelblogger #sheisnotlost #rajasthantourism #travelindia
What can you find at Jaigarh Fort?
Jaigarh Fort has a museum with artefacts and photographs of the Royal family. The photograph displays life in picture of the last two ruling Maharajas of Jaipur, H.H. Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II (1911-70) and H.H. Maharaja Sawai Bhawani Singh of Jaipur (1931-2011).
What I personally found missing in the museum is that there is no mention of the Queens of Jaipur! Gayatri Devi (third)wife of H.H. Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II was a popular figure in India. She was included in Vogue magazine as Ten Most Beautiful Women and no doubt she was. Gayatri Devi also started schools in Jaipur and promoted the dying art of blue pottery. Sadly, the museum does not cover anything about her or other Queens of Jaipur.
The Armoury chamber displays wide variety of vintage weapons such as shields, helmets, axes, rifles, swords, daggers, and other war related arms and weaponry from the 17th, 18th, and 19th century.
In the vicinity of the fort, there was iron ore found in abundance. This iron ore was used to build Cannons and metal balls. The process is well written outside the Cannon Foundry. The high temperatures in the mountain provided an appropriate condition to melt the metal and build cannon.
How much the Jaigarh fort entry costs?
Foreign Tourists INR 85 and Indian Tourists INR 35
What are the Jaigarh Fort Timings?
All days between 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM.
There is no much crowd at this fort and a restaurant is available to have lunch. Since most tourists visit the Amer Fort in the morning hours, the ideal time to reach Jaigarh Fort is during lunch time.
How much time do you need to visit Jaigarh fort?
Around 1 hour should be sufficient
How to climb up the Jaigarh fort?
You could also choose to walk or opt for Golf cart. Golf cart costs about INR 40 per person.
I spent nearly 6 hours to cover both the forts, which includes a lunch break. Although I was visiting the fort for the first time, every corner looked familiar. I had read extensively about this place and had seen so many pictures of Amer Fort on Instagram that I could relate to the place so well. Even after spending six hours at the Fort, I didn’t want to leave the place. The old charm and beauty of this place had made me spellbound.
TIPS to visit Amer Fort and Jaigarh Fort
1) You can hire an official guide at Amer Fort to explain the architecture. Alternatively, you can read any article before you visit this place. There is a lot of information available on the internet on Amer Fort. There are audio guides available too
2) As earlier mentioned, Amer Fort also hosts a heritage water walks tour which is quite unique and provides good insights.
3) Wear comfortable shoes and clothing
4) To avoid crowd, visit on a weekday during early hours. Jaigarh Fort is not much crowded.
5) Do not miss the tunnel that leads to Jaigarh Fort
6) Panna Meena ka Kund is a stepwell very close to Amer Fort. Visit this place before going to Amer Fort. The guards do not allow visitors to enter the stepwell, which is weird. So your order for the day should be:
Panna Meena ka Kund stepwell—–Amer Fort—–Jaigarh Fort—-Possibly night show at Amer Fort
And with this I finish covering the two amazing forts of Jaipur. Hope you enjoyed reading our blog. Do write to us if you have any queries or feedback. Our email ID and Instagram account handles are available on this blog.