Rajasthan is a land of forts and palaces – a testimony of how the royal elites used to live and fight for sustenance and expansion. The state has seen the rule of some of the bravest and fierce ruler who have lived life royally and fought wars with all their might. While we had a ruler who is famous to have eaten grass bread, we have another who challenged the might of British. In all this, we have this small city of Jaipur, which saw some of the most scientific, brave and intelligent rulers of their times. Amber is a fort, which enlivens the life of such rulers especially their fighting spirits.
While known as a tourist spot of Jaipur, technically the fort is located in a small town called Amer. The fort is about 11 kilometers away from the city of Jaipur and is situated on top of a hill. Now, this may not be surprising as most kingdoms had their forts on higher grounds to make it difficult for the opposing force to attack – one in the fort was always at an advantage compared to the attacking troops who had to climb uphill and be ready targets of those sitting at the top. The fort is well connected from Jaipur through various public transport options including city buses, radio cabs, and tourist buses. Plan for at least 30-40 minutes of travel time from the city center.
Initially built by Raja Mann Singh in 1592, the fort was extended during the rule of various emperors who succeeded him. The fort is a story of aesthetics and strength – a combination which is difficult to achieve. The exteriors of the fort are done in marble and sandstone, which give it a unique look while the interiors have been carefully crafted. The walls are donned with glasswork, wall art, décor from across the country and decorated galleries. The entire package shows the rich history and culture that this fort represents along with experiencing innumerable attacks and defense.
The fort presents such a wonderful experience for its guests and so did we have our share. We visited the fort on a weekday morning but still realized that travel times can be insane - given the narrow lanes up the hill and the touristy rush. We finally managed to maneuver the lanes and reached the sloping hill parking by the large pathway to the main entrance. After ticketing and crossing the huge entrance door, you find yourself in a different world itself. Huge hallways, large galleries, royal lifestyle and carefully guarded architecture is something, which is evident. There are separate sections of various members of the royal family and court for the king. In all, this is a nicely designed structure - displaying the rich knowledge of the era.
We would recommend you to engage a guide, available at the ticketing office because, without someone to tell you, there are just structures and rooms and walls – you do not get to appreciate their purpose and various intricacies. Also, please budget adequate time for a visit to this monument – half a day is something which is the bare minimum to explore the vastness encompassed within.