Location: On Delhi-Jaipur highway, 11 kilometers away from Jaipur
Time to Visit: Open on all days, except Holi
Preferred Timings: 9.30 a.m.- 4.30 p.m.
Admission: Citizen INR 10/ Foreigner: INR 50
Photography charges: Citizen/foreigner: Rs 40/25
Video charges: Citizen/foreigner: Rs 100/150 but it includes all the three charges (entrance, still camera and video camera).
How to Reach: Tourists can either take local buses from various points within the city to reach the central museum or they can hire rickshaws, tempos and taxis
Nearest Railway Station: Jaipur Railway Station
Nearest Airport: Jaipur Airport
Time required for sightseeing: 60 minutes
(Data as of November 2005)
The city of Amber, which was once the capital of the Kachhawaha Rajputs, traces its history over such a wide span of centuries that there are many tales and fables attached to the construction of this majestic Fort city. The colossal grandeur of Amber Fort is fascinating evidence of the grandeur of ancient times. It lies peacefully, just 11 kms away from the capital of Rajasthan, Jaipur.
Standing tall on the Delhi-Jaipur highway, the palace is located on a hillside, overlooking the Maotha Lake. Three charismatic rulers oversaw the construction of this monument. It was started by Raja Man Singh I, army commander of Mughal Emperor Akbar in 1592 and was completed by Mirza Raja Jai Singh and Sawai Jai Singh, over a period of about two centuries. Amber Fort, as it is commonly known, is a classic fusion of Mughal and Hindu architecture, beautifully built in red sandstone and white marble.
You can climb up the hill to the Amber Fort (approx 15 minutes), or travel in royal style on elephant back. (Elephant rides cost INR 450 for four persons -one way) Jeep rides (Rs 150 per person - one way) are readily available. Trained tourist guides are also available.
This is the first delicate palace that you will come across, as you will enter the palace area through an imposing stairway. It is a well-proportioned forty pillared beautiful pavilion made with a pleasing combination of marble and red sandstone. Built by Mirza Raja Jai Singh, the pavilion functioned as a place where Maharajas received the general public and listened to their problems and various issues concerning the kingdom. During the proceedings the king used to sit in the middle of the pavilion with his prominent nobles and officers on the northern side while the less prominent officials and the general public sat on the western part of the pavilion and in the adjoining courtyard. The southern area was kept clear so that the royal ladies of the palace could watch the proceedings of their Diwan-i-Am from the zenana. (Women's quarters)
The pillars of the pavilion are worth noticing as they have been intricately carved, reflecting the mastery of the artisans of Rajasthan.
Dedicated to Shila Mata (Goddess Kali), the goddess of victory, the temple is located near the Singh Pol. The temple houses a unique black marble idol of the goddess, which was brought here from Jessore (now in Bangladesh) by Raja Man Singh in 1604. There is a famous legend attached to the idol. Before the war with the Maharaja of Bengal, Man Singh prayed to the Goddess for victory. The Goddess appeared in his dream and instructed him to retrieve her idol hidden in the mighty Bay of Bengal, if he won the war. Man Singh retrieved the idol after winning the battle and installed it in this temple.
The images of nine forms of Goddess Durga (strength) and ten forms of Goddess Saraswati (knowledge) are depicted on the silver gates of the temple. The mandap of the temple is made up of white marble contrasting with the color of the idol.
To the south of Diwan-i-Am lies an imposing gateway, the Ganesh Pol. The whole gateway has been very beautifully painted with vegetable colors using all the typical rajasthani motifs. The attraction of the gateway however is the carved statue of Lord Ganesh, the elephant-headed god.
On the top of the gateway is the Suhaag Mandir, the chamber from where only the present queen was allowed to watch the events of the Hall of Public Audience from the marble jallis. From the Ganesh Pol steps lead to the beautiful garden or Charbagh, based on the Mughal pattern of gardens.
A typical merging of Rajput and Mughal architectural styles is captured in the fascinating Diwan-i-Khas, Sukh Nivas, Jai Mandir and Jas Mandir apartments along with the Charbagh garden with its perfectly proportioned landscaping. Diwan-i-Khas is decorated with beautiful mirror work and has wonderful carvings on the walls and the ceilings. The main attractions of the hall are the miniature murals made of colored glasses depicting Radha and Krishna.
Opposite to the Diwan-i-Khas is the Sukh Nivas, having doors made of sandalwood, inlaid with ivory. There is a channel running through the hall, which formerly carried cool water that worked as an air cooler with the aid of the breeze. Just next to the Sukh Niwas is the Jai Mandir or Hall of Victory, which houses the wonderful palace of mirrors, Sheesh Mahal or the Hall of Mirrors. The shimmering mirrors encrusting the walls and ceilings of the Sheesh Mahal can mesmerize any visitor with their intricate designs and patterns. Above the Sheesh Mahal is built the Jas Mandir or Hall of Glory. The major highlight of the palace is the pierced screen windows, which offer views from points of vantage. The beauty of Kesar Kyari (saffron bed), a garden of geometric design amidst the Maota Lake can also be admired from the alabaster windows of the palace. The Diwan-E-Khas, Sheesh Mahal and the Jai Mandir are worth a visit for anyone visit Jaipur to bask in the glory of their exquisite mirror work.
The zenana or the women's apartments located behind the palace depicts erotic Krishna Leela scenes and surrounds a spectacular courtyard. In the earlier times, they were the private chambers from where the royal women could watch the proceedings of the royal court in privacy. The well-proportioned garden, Kesar Kyari in the center of Maotha Lake and the Dilaram Bagh at its north end provide a spectacular view of the palaces.
No main bazaars are nearby except the shops selling beverages and camera reels. For shopping Johari Bazaar, Chandpol Bazaar, Tripolia Bazaar, Bapu Bazaar, Nehru Bazaar, Kishanpol Bazaar and Khazana Walon Ka Rasta are the better options.
Jaigarh Fort, Hawa Mahal, City Palace, Central Museum, Jantar Mantar, Jal Mahal and Seven Gates of the Old walled city.
Chanakya restaurant, LMB hotel, Niro's, Natraj restaurant, Surya Mahal, Copper Chimney, Handi restaurant, Sagar Ratna and Jaipur Inn.
Last Updated On: 2011/07/08