The mind-blowing Amber/Amer Fort can take us on an incredible journey through the rich cultural heritage of Rajasthan. This is a castle that is imprinted on several minds when one takes a tour around this fort. This fort projects the grandeur of the past and its mystifying beauty sure cannot be forgotten.
Aerial View of the Fort
PC: Aaron Zhu
Located on a hill named Cheel Ka Teel, this majestic fort is one of the top attractions in Jaipur. The Amber fort, which was built in the late 16th century, is situated in a town called Amer, which is located around 20 km from the outskirts of Jaipur.
It is open every day between 9.30 AM and 4.30 PM and it attracts tourists in large numbers all year round. Such an enticing destination must have some interesting stories, isn't it? Yes, here are some of the incredible facts on Amber fort that will take you on a roller-coaster ride depicting the tales associated with this fort.
A view of Amer Fort
How Was The Name Given?
There are two interesting stories behind the name 'Amber'. According to folklore, it is said to have been named after Amba Mata, a form of Goddess Durga, who was the presiding deity of the Meenas who lived in this region. Another story suggests that it is derived from the name "Ambikeshwar", who is worshipped as a form of Lord Shiva.
Khogong to Amer!
Once upon a time, Amer was ruled by a small community named the Meenas and the region was known as Khogong. It was later invaded by the Kachwahas (a Rajput clan) who made it their kingdom. Thus, it became a new capital of the Kachwaha Rajput clan and got the name Amer (Amber).
PC: Hari Singh
100 Years of Construction!
The construction of the Amer fort was initiated during the rule of Raja Man Singh in the late 16th century. However, it was totally renovated to its present form by Raja Jai Singh I and Sawai Jai Singh II. So, the structure has been revamped over the course of 100 years.
Suraj Pol - The First Entrance
Suraj Pol, the first entrance of the Amer Fort, takes us to a courtyard named Jalebi Chowk. This courtyard was used to celebrate various victories after the war.
The Stone Goddess
The legend of Shila Devi Temple inside the Amber Fort is rather interesting to know. It is said that Goddess Kali appeared in the dream of Raja Man Singh I and told him to find her statue on the shores of Jessore (near Bangladesh). Raja Man Singh I went in search of the idol but only found a large stone. After returning back to Amer, he ordered his servants to wash the stone only to see a beautiful idol of Shila Devi. Henceforth, Shila Devi became the presiding deity of the clan and a temple was constructed for her near the Ganesh Pol in Amber Fort.
PC: Hermann Luyken
Ganesh Pol - A Unique Entrance
Ganesh Pol is one of the most beautiful and spectacular fort entrances in the Amer Fort. Named after Lord Ganesha, this is a gateway to all the private palaces inside the fort.
Mirror Palace of Amber Fort
Sheesh Mahal is one of the most beautiful attractions inside the Amber Fort. The walls of this palace are etched with concave mirrors, which makes the castle look highly exotic. Sheesh Mahal (Mirror Palace), which is also called Jai Mandir, is one of the most beautiful mirror palaces in India.
A UNESCO Heritage Site
Amer Fort, along with five other forts in Rajasthan, was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site under the group 'Hill Forts of Rajasthan' in the year 2013.
Amer Fort And Jaigarh Fort
Amer Fort is also connected to Jaigarh Fort through passages, as they are both situated on top of the Cheel Ka Teel (the hill of Eagles) hill in Jaipur. These forts were considered as important monuments during the rule of the Rajputs.
Elephants at Amer Fort
PC: Colin Tsoi
Elephant Ride in Amber Fort
Elephant ride is probably one of the major attractions of the Amer Fort. However, there have been serious concerns raised about the domesticated elephants. These elephants are not native to Rajasthan and hence they are often not in good health. Many organisations have brought the issues regarding the usage of elephants to the government. So, it is one concern every visitor should raise and support the ban on using elephants for tourism.
Another incredible attraction is the reflection of the Amer Fort in the Maota Lake situated at the base of the fort. This lake was also the source of water for the Rajput clan in those times. Today, it is amazing to see the reflection of the whole fort in this lake.
These interesting facts about the Amber Fort will definitely make you want to visit this fort for sure! Yes, it is a great heritage site and we need to preserve it as well.