Fort is located on the sheer rugged ridge of Aravali Hills and
it forms an impressive northern backdrop of Jaipur. It looks
most classy when floodlit at night. The fort overlooks the city
and presents a glittering view of the city lights. It was built
in 1734 and extended in 1868. Nahargarh meaning abode of the
tigers was built by Jai Singh to bolster the defense of Amber.
The legend also have it that it was named Nahargarh after Nahar
Singh a prince whose spirit would destroy the construction and
not allow its progress further. So after a tantrik prayer to the
spirit it agreed to leave on condition that the fort is named
after him. The Madhavendra Bhawan, built by Sawai Ram Singh II
has uniquely a cluster of 12 identical suits for queens and at
the head is a suit for the king himself. The rooms are linked by
corridors and retain some delicate frescos as well as toilets
and kitchen hearths. It was used by members of the royal family
for excursion in summers and is now even a favoured picnic spot.
Durg Cafeteria just above the entrance sells meals and
refreshments, while Padao Restaurant on the west sells drinks
Amber (pronounced Amer) is situated about 11 kilometres from
Jaipur and was the ancient citadel of the ruling Kachhawa clan
of Amber, before the capital was shifted in the plains to
present day Jaipur.
The Amber Fort set in picturesque and rugged hills is a
fascinating blend of Hindu and Mughal architecture. Constructed
by Raja Man Singh I in 1592 and completed by Sawai Jai Singh I
the fort is made in red sand stone and white marble. The rugged
forbidding exterior belies an inner paradise with a beautiful
fusion of art and architecture. Amber is the classic and
romantic fort- palace with a magnificent aura. The interior wall
of the palace depicts expressive painting scenes with carvings,
precious stones and mirror settings. In the foreground is the
Maota Lake providing a breathtaking look. Built mainly for the
warring enemies as a safe place, the heavily structured walls
could defend the residents within the ramparts of the fort.
the means of survival & luxuries for the royal families and the
people who were concerned with the functioning of this small
kingdom of the Kachhawas were well provided. The Rajputs who had
apparently won a small structure passed on by Meena tribes,
later on renovated it into the grand Amber Fort. Holding a
history so old as 7 centuries, this place vibrates with its
legendry past, in the archaeological history. Although many of
the early structures have been literally ruined but at the same
time, those dating from the 16th century on are remarkably
preserved by sincere efforts.
The fort has 4 sections; each with the premises and one has to
climb up through the imposing stairway or else the broad aisle,
where one can ride on the elephant back for royal feel. The main
gate Surajpol that leads to the Jaleb chowk, which is the main
courtyard from where one can walk up the stairway, that leads to
the palace. Jaleb Chowk was also the area where returning armies
were welcome and they would display their war earnings to the
population at large.
Before you enter the palace just towards the right is a sleep
aisle and a narrow staircase reaching up to Kali Temple also
called Shila Devi Temple famous for its mysterious history and
the huge silver lions. It is a gorgeous temple featuring silver
doors with raised relief. According to a legend, Maharaja Man
Singh I had worshiped the Goddess for a victory over the rulers
of Bengal. The Goddess appeared in the Maharaja's dream and
ordered him to recover her statue lying under sea near Jessore
(now in Bangladesh) and install it in a befitting Temple. True
enough, after subjugating the enemies the Maharaja recovered the
statute from the bed of the sea. The temple is called after
Shila Devi, "shila" meaning stone slab. Like all temples this
too has an image of Ganesha on the doorway, but carved from a
single piece of coral.
Getting back from the temple the main stairways lead to the
second courtyard of the fort. Here situated is the imposing
Diwan-I-Aam, the hall of public audiences where the Maharaja
received the populace and their petitions. This is a pavilion of
double row of columns each capped by an elephant shape. There is
a lattice gallery also.
Behind the exquisite and fabulous Ganesh Pol, "pol" meaning gate
are located in the residential apartments of the Maharaja. The
Jai Mandir, the Hall of Victory is famous for its inlaid panel
and dazzling mirror ceiling. Much of it had deteriorated with
neglect and is under restoration.
On the other side is Sukh Niwas, the residence of pleasure or
pleasurable residence. The palace has an ivory inlaid sandalwood
door. A channeled laid for flow of water is an inventive system
of cooling. The water flowing from the channel wasn't wasted as
it was allowed to flow in the garden. From there you can also
take pleasure in viewing of the fort rampart and its reflection
in the Moata Lake.
The Zenana or the palace of the women are in the forth
courtyard. The rooms are though connected through a common
corridor are cleverly designed to give each room privacy.