Tuesday, 24 July 2012

JAIPUR AMBER FORT

Amber Fort - Jaipur

Tourism in Jaipur is all about the amazing palaces, forts, temples, lakes, markets, and even the colorful streets of the city as well as the amiable locals. The magnificent Amber fort, also known as Amer fort, is one of the most famous forts in Rajasthan, and one of the major tourist attractions of Jaipur. The fort served as the headquarters of the Kacchwa rulers who shifted to Jaipur under the reign of Sawai Jai Singh. It was built on a lesser structure built by the Meenas, the ruling clan before the Kacchawas. The construction of the fort was started under Raja Man Singh, who is best known as one of the nine gems in Akbar’s court and his commander in chief. Construction commenced in 1592 and over the next one and half centuries, the subsequent rulers continued adding to the building. The fort is one of the major highlights of tourism in Jaipur. The present building which is known as the Amber fort was originally a place within the much larger area of what is today known as the Jaigarh fort. The Jaigarh fort is situated on a hilltop above the Amber fort, and connected to it by a series of passages. The Jaigarh fort is also considered among the notable forts of Rajasthan and one of the important tourist attractions in Jaipur. 

The Maota Lake provides a splendid backdrop for the fort, and the reflection of the fort in its waters is a memorable sight around the fort. As one approaches the palace through the imposing main gateway, the Suraj Pol, the inner areas of the fort come into view. The main gateway leads to the Jaleb Chowk, the main courtyard from where an imposing stairway leads up to the palace. The Jaleb chowk was used as a platform for elaborate ceremonies arranged greeting victorious soldiers in those days. The palace and other buildings in the interior of the complex are chiefly made up of white marble and red sandstone. The architecture of the main buildings is a fine blend of traditional Rajasthani and Mughul architectural traditions, as found in many other Rajput buildings in Rajasthan. 

The rough and rugged exteriors turn into a much more pleasant view as one arrives at the interior of the palace complex. The magnificent halls, pillared courtyards, beautifully adorned doorways, and vast courtyards takes one back to the bygone era. The interiors of the palace are still adorned by paintings, elaborate mirrors and precious stones. The paintings inside the palace depict scenes from the lives of the royalty, wars, ceremonies, and other traditional themes apart from the portraits. 

The best way to explore this magnificent historic building is an elephant ride which gives the tourists an opportunity to relive the past and view the fort as the royalty of those days would have viewed. The fort is located about 11 kilometers from the city, amidst a picturesque location comprising rugged hills and barren land. One of the major forts of Rajasthan, the Amber fort is a must visit site for tourists visiting the city. 

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