As you walk up the steep path to the magnificent Amer Fort you enter another world. Cobbled paths, sprawling courtyards and halls, secluded women’s quarters, a temple, a manicured garden, narrow maze-like corridors and steep stairs take you straight into the world of Rajput royalty. The fort was the seat of the Kachchawa Rajput rulers for over two centuries till they built their new capital Jaipur. It is an absolute must see if you are visiting the city.
Curious to know more…
Amer Fort was built in the late 16th century by Raja Man Singh, who served as Mughal Emperor Akbar’s general. It was extended by later rulers of Jaipur. The marble and sandstone structure with massive ramparts has a spectacular setting on a hill above the Maota Lake. The architecture is a mix of Mughal and Rajput styles. The expansive Jaleb Chowk that you see on entering the fort was used as a parade ground. Make sure not to miss the Jai Mandir or Hall of Victory with inlaid wall panels and a mirrorwork ceiling.
How to get there?
Amer Fort is a 20 minutes’ drive from the area around City Palace in Jaipur. Book a cab for a day to see the fort and other nearby sites. It’s a 10 minutes’ walk up the hill to the fort gates. You could ride an elephant up instead or hire a vehicle that will wait to bring you down while you see the fort.
There are direct flights to Jaipur from major Indian cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Chennai and Hyderabad as well as trains.
The NH8 connects Jaipur to Delhi. Air-conditioned buses ply regularly on this route. You could also hire a car.
Plenty more to HopOn Near Amer Fort…
If you want more forts, the rugged Jaigarh – garh is fort in Hindi – sits on a hill top above Amer and is connected by an underpass. Check out the Jainava – said to be the largest cannon on wheels in the world which is on display at Jaigarh Fort.
On the way to Amer Fort from Jaipur you can’t miss the Jalmahal. Built as a retreat for the maharajas it is partially submerged in the Man Sagar Lake making for a magnificent photo op.
Then of course there is the Pink City itself with its bustling markets and monuments. HopOn India has a popular audio walk that guides you through these.
Places you shouldn’t miss…
Slip in an overnight trip to Ajmer and Pushkar. About 131 kms away, Ajmer’s top attraction is the Dargah of Moinuddin Chishti, one of India’s most famous Sufi shrines. Just 11 kms away from Ajmer is the holy Hindu temple town of Pushkar located around a lake. Pushkar has India’s only temple dedicated to the Hindu god of creation Bramha. It’s a buzzing little town which offers a large variety of international food in quaint rooftop restaurants.
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