Amber Fort Jaipur – History, Architecture, and Facts
Amber is a small town located 11 km away from Jaipur. It is the place which has wonderful constructions and the information can be found online or in any guide of India.
The fort of Amber, located on a hill, in a strategic position, serves as an example to see to what extent the Hindu and Muslim architectural styles could be historically fused.
The fort of Amber can be considered, quite rightly, one of the most beautiful fortresses in India. Those who visit Amber Fort can find in it beautifully decorated pavilions, palaces, gardens, halls… From there, you can also enjoy a wonderful view of the city of Jaipur, as well as its original wall and Maotha Lake.
It was Maharaja Man Singh, commander and Rajput ruler of Akbar’s army, who gave the order to build Amber Fort. To do so, a very special place was selected: one in which the ruins of a temple to the sun of the tenth century existed. After it, the successive leaders were making changes in the architectural complex of Amber until the rulers of the Kachwah caste were moved to Jaipur and established the capital of their kingdom there.
The different buildings within Amber Fort serve to give us an idea of what life was like inside it when it was fully operational. Among the different existing constructions within this architectural complex, we can highlight the main courtyard, the public hearing room, the Siladevi temple, the Royal Council room, the Ganesh Pol, the Victory Hall or the Zenana or women’s apartments.
Let’s see the main features of each of these spaces that are part of the Amber Fort.
Main courtyard or Jaleb Chowk
When entering through the Sun Gate (or Suraj Pol), the main courtyard is the first thing you see in Amber Fort. There are many rooms in the fort of Amber from which you can see the Jaleb Chowk. In this patio, the booties made by the troops of the Kachwahas in their conquests used to be exhibited.
Hall of public hearings or Diwan-i-Am
As the name indicates, it was in this room at the Amber fort that the hearings and meetings were held. The Amber Fort public hearing room is an architectural space decorated with endless details, many of them placed in its 40 artisan columns.
The Diwan-i-Am is crowned with an elephant-shaped capital and is, by far, one of the coolest places in Amber Fort. This room is a room open on three sides and has a double row of columns of pink sandstone and also large cornices.
Temple of Sila Devi
It is known that for years’ goats were sacrificed in this temple of Amber Fort that is halfway to the main palace of the fort and the main courtyard. The tourists that visit India and wish to enter this space of the temple of Sila Devi should take off their shoes and give up keeping an image of their interior since they forced to leave cameras and mobiles at the entrance of it.
Inside this temple is an image of the goddess Sila Devi. The legend says that it was Maharaja Sila Devi who recovered this image from the bottom of the sea. The Maharaja had begged the goddess for his victory over the governor of Bengal. The goddess, appearing in dreams, promised her help and imposed an obligation on her: to recover her image from the seabed after winning the battle.
Located to the south of the audience hall, the Ganesh Pol is an imposing gate, one of the great jewels of Amber Fort. Decorated with sculptures, mosaics, and engravings, this wonderful door gives access to the royal rooms of the Maharaja and to a beautiful garden made according to the Mughal canon.
This fantastic door is named after the image of the elephant-god located in the center of the arch. The Ganesh Pol has lattice windows or jali. These windows allowed women to look without being seen.
Hall of Victory or Jai Mandir
This space of the Amber fort stands out, especially for its wonderful ceilings. The roofs of the Victory Hall are full of mirrors. Next to this room is located
Royal Council Room or Divan-i-Khas
This is a very luxurious room. Both its ceilings and its walls are decorated with white marble and mosaics. The miniature murals in this room, made with colored crystals, represent Krishna and Radha.
Nothing better than an architecture based on the sublime use of symmetry and engineering to hide what happens inside it. That’s something they had very close to who built the Zenana from Amber’s fort. In the Zenana, at the end of the day, were the rooms of the women of the court. Nothing better than that architectural design to cover the Maharaja in his crazy nights.
If there is a place in India that can contain endless secrets and legends, it is Amber’s fort. In its passageways, between its walls and in its patios, the heart of the legends of everything that could be lived there pulsates when the kachwahas placed in it the seat of their kingdom.
To get to the fort of Amber it is recommended to travel in the tuk-tuk from the pink city (it is the most “exotic”) but you can also use local buses.
Once you reach the foot of the hill where Amber Fort is located, you can climb up to the fort by the ramp that leads to it using any of the eighty elephants that, at the foot of the hill where the strong and perfectly adorned, you can hire for an elephant ride.
We will talk about the importance of the elephant in the Indian culture and its use for touristic tours in our next article.