19 June 2015

The Royal Rajputana Architecture of Amber Fort !!!

While our first day in Jaipur took us through the Pink city, with the tour of its heritage sites, we had planned our second day to explore Amber, with three of its forts, Amber, Jaigarh and Nahargah Forts. This time as well we didn't wanted to have an autorickshaw tour as we wanted to explore in ease, so asked the rickshaw wala to just drop us to Amber Fort.

We thanked ourself for hiring them just for the drop, as they don't take you till the fort and we were dropped at the foot hills of the hill Amber Fort stands on. You can get to the fort either by foot(its around 200+ steps), or take elephant ride or hire a jeep, who take you through the Amber village to reach the fort. With kiddo, we didn't have an option to climb by foot and elephant ride seemed expensive, so hired a jeep and a guide to take us through the tour. The drive to the fort through Amber village is beautiful and reflects the Rajasthani culture. En-route, our guide took us to Sri Jagat Siromaniji Temple and after a quick visit to the temple we drove to Amber Fort. Amber Fort houses one of the beautiful palaces of Jaipur and a visit to Jaipur is never complete without a visit to it.
Ganesh Pol
Nestled in the foot hills of Aravalli, Amber is around 11km from Jaipur city. The history of this palace takes back to 16th century, even before the construction of the Pink city, Jaipur. Said to be built by Raja Shri Maan Singh I, the fort is constructed with red sandstone and marble. As you enter the fort there is a big courtyard(the first courtyard), with few steps climb you reach the Sheela Mata mandir, a temple visited by most to be blessed by the patron goddess of the Rajput rulers. Few more steps climb reaches you to the second courtyard with Deewan-i-aam and Ganesh Pol/Ganesh Gate. Ganesh Pol an entry to the third courtyard, is a tall building with beautiful paintings, said mostly to be done by vegetable colours. Through Ganesh pol you reach the third courtyard, the courtyard which houses the two beautiful structures opposite each other, with Mughal garden separating both. While one structure Sheesh Mahal, is known for its rich mirror works and served as a royal bedroom for the royal family, the other Sukh Mahal, with its piped water supplies creating an air-conditioned environment, served rather as a summer retreat. The Sheesh Mahal is one of the places in this palace, which attracts most of the visitors, its said, candles lit at night would give the hall an open space feeling with glittering stars.
Tourists taking elephant ride to reach the Fort, this reminded me so much of the movie Jodhaa Akbar
Our guide was kind enough to answer all our queries. The palace's royal architecture and stunning landscapes mesmerize you. Though we visited in summer, a visit post monsoon would give you much marvelous view with the Aravalli hills with its lush greens.
Maota lake and garden, its said during royal rule of Rajput and Akbar, this garden was used for Saffron plantation
  
A musician playing Ravanhatta. Ravanhatta: Music for the Gods. An ancient bowed violin, once popular in India and Sri Lanka is still played in parts of the country. It is believed Ravana served Lord Shiva using the Ravanhatta. The legend goes that after the war Hanuman got the instrument to India. It is made from, coconut shell, bamboo and goat hide. The strings are made of steel and horse hair. (Info source Epicgram)
Sheesh Mahal
Magic flower fesco at Sheesh Mahal, it has seven unique designs, including a fish tail, lotus, hooded cobra, elephant trunk, lion’s tail, cob of corn, and scorpion, each one of which is visible by a special way of partially hiding the panel with the hands.


The walls of Sukh Mahal, a pleasant soothing white palace, which served as air conditioned room for the royal family 

Sheesh Mahal as seen from the first floor of Ganesh Pol

Top arch of Ganesh Pol, you get the view of the second courtyard with Diwan-I-Aam
While returning back from Amber fort, our guide took us to Rajasthan Small Scale Cottage Industries, a single stop to shop all Rajasthani handi craft. You can as well have a look at the craftsmen at work. The shops have textile, marble work, paintings, jewelry and other art works. They strictly restrict photographing. 

Travel Info:
Getting there: Amber is around 11km from Jaipur city, you can hire a taxi or auto rickshaw to reach Amber.
You can reach the fort by foot(around 200+ steps) or take Elephant ride, they charge around INR 1100(one way)/per elephant(for two people), or hire jeep, they charge around INR 350, we booked the jeep for the tour of Amber, Jaigarh and Nahargarh Forts for INR 900.

Timings: 8AM to 6PM
Entry Fee:
Indians: INR 25/adult, INR 10/child
Foreign tourists: INR 200/adult and INR 100/child
(We had bought the composite entry ticket for Rs. 70/adult(Indian, valid for two days), which covered Amber Palace, Albert Hall, Jantar Mantar, Hawa Mahal and Nahargarh.

There is also Light and Sound shows in the evening
Timings:
English: 7:30PM onwards, entry INR 200
Hindi: 8PM onwards, entry INR 100

Related Posts: Check out the complete series on Golden Triangle Tour.  

30 comments:

  1. What a beautiful place !!! It would be great to visit someday...Gorgeous pictures !
    Greetings

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    1. Thank you Ela, you should plan a visit to India soon, there is lot to see here.

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  2. Stunning captures. This looks like a great trip!

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  3. It's mind boggling how such structures could have been built at the time they were. The artisans were amazing. The garden reminded me of a huge version of my floating garden on Powell Lake in BC. - Margy

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    1. True, lot of creativity has gone into these structures. Now I would like to visit your floating garden sometime.. :)

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  4. What superb captures of an incredible place!! These really took my breath away!! Thank you so much for sharing!! The lake and the gardens are awesome!! I hope you have a lovely week!! Enjoy!!

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    1. Thank you Sylvia. A happy week to you too.. :)

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  5. Fabulous photos. Loved the one of the elephants.

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    1. Thank you, that elephant pic is my fav too. You get to experience the royal life through the elephant ride.. :)

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  6. Really stunning pictures and description.All the best.

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  7. I remember by jeep ride up. :)
    Thank you for the sights, Meghana. They did bring up some memories (It was a trip with friends) :)

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    1. Great to hear this post brought up your memories. Trips with friends are always fun..

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  8. Have been to Jaipur many times as it is close to Gurgaon (225 kms).
    Never tried jeep , not a bad idea Rs. 900/- for all three forts.
    Thanks for sharing with us.

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    1. True Mahesh, Rs. 900 seemed ok when compared to elephant ride.Though elephant ride is one off and incomparable..

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  9. amazing place and stunning pictures Meghana.... thanks for sharing :)
    cheers, Archana - www.drishti.co

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  10. I admire the photographs you took of these places and people. Nice job!
    JM, IL-U.S.A.

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  11. I have visited Amer Fort too. Did u see the huge canon? Fort is really so grand and a beauty...

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    1. Good to hear you have visited Amer. Yes Shoma, we visited the great canon, its in Jaigarh fort, do check out my post of Jaigarh for :)

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  12. Excellent shots.Had been to Amber fort during 2011. A lovely trip.Thanks for bringing those memories.

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    1. Thank you Sri Kri, good to hear this post brought back your memories of Amber fort. :)

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  13. Magnificent fort and palace. Thanks for reminding me of my visit.

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  14. Beautiful post and wonderful pics

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