Amer Fort – Rajasthan

Early history

Earlier to the Kachwahas, Amer was a small place built by Meenas in the town they consecrated to Amba, the Mother Goddess, whom they knew as ‘Gatta Rani’ or ‘Queen of the Pass’.[7] The fort is originally believed to have been built by Raja Man Singh during 967 CE.[16] Amer Fort, as it stands now, was built over the remnants of this earlier structure during the reign of Raja Man Singh, the Kachwaha King of Amber.[7][17] The structure was fully expanded by his descendant, Jai Singh I. Even later, Amer Fort underwent improvements and additions by successive rulers over the next 150 years, until the Kachwahas shifted their capital to Jaipur during the time of Sawai Jai Singh II, in 1727.[1][7][8

Amer Fort (Hindi: आमेर क़िला or Amber Fort) is located in Amer, a town with an area of 4 square kilometres (1.5 sq mi)[1] located 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) from Jaipur, Rajasthan state, India. Located high on a hill, it is the principal tourist attraction in the Jaipur area.[2][3] The town of Amer was originally built by Meenas,[4] and later it was ruled by Raja Man Singh I (December 21, 1550 – July 6, 1614).

Amer Fort is known for its artistic Hindu style elements. With its large ramparts and series of gates and cobbled paths, the fort overlooks Maota Lake.[3][5][6][7][8][9] It is the main source of water for the Amer Palace.

Constructed of red sandstone and marble, the attractive, opulent palace is laid out on four levels, each with a courtyard. It consists of the Diwan-i-Aam, or “Hall of Public Audience”, the Diwan-i-Khas, or “Hall of Private Audience”, the Sheesh Mahal (mirror palace), or Jai Mandir, and the Sukh Niwas where a cool climate is artificially created by winds that blow over a water cascade within the palace. Hence, the Amer Fort is also popularly known as the Amer Palace.[5] The palace was the residence of the Rajput Maharajas and their families. At the entrance to the palace near the fort’s Ganesh Gate, there is a temple dedicated to Sila Devi, a goddess of the Chaitanya cult, which was given to Raja Man Singh when he defeated the Raja of Jessore, Bengal in 1604. (Jessore is now in Bangladesh).[3][10][11]

This palace, along with Jaigarh Fort, is located immediately above on the Cheel ka Teela (Hill of Eagles) of the same Aravalli range of hills. The palace and Jaigarh Fort are considered one complex, as the two are connected by a subterranean passage. This passage was meant as an escape route in times of war to enable the royal family members and others in the Amer Fort to shift to the more redoubtable Jaigarh Fort.[5][8][12][13]

How to reach

Amer palace is situated on a forested hill promontory that juts into Maota Lake near the town of Amer, about 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) from Jaipur city, the capital of Rajasthan. The palace is near National Highway 11C to Delhi.[7] A narrow 4WD road leads up to the entrance gate, known as the Suraj Pol (Sun Gate) of the fort. Elephant rides are taken through the narrow Sun Gate.[5]

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