Amber Fort is not an ordinary fortress, but a whole city built in ancient times on a rocky peak. Thick high walls of white and red sandstone hide the magnificent and sophisticated architecture of the Rajput-style interior buildings. The main features of the style are the external severity of architectural lines and massiveness, combined with stunning luxurious interior decoration.
The grand building has 4 levels with courtyards. Foreign tourists are transported to Amber Fort on elephants. The Sun Gate leads to Jaleb Chowk Square. Only rajahs and their entourage could pass through them. There were frequent celebrations in honor of military victories won. Women could not participate in them, but they could watch the events on the square from the galleries located in the buildings along the perimeter of the square.
The main sights of the Amber Fort
The Shish Mahal Mirror Palace is located in the 3rd courtyard. They say it only takes one lit candle to light up the palace. The flames reflected by the golden plates and the thousands of mirrors decorating the walls and ceilings create the illusion of the light of thousands of celestial stars. To decorate the palace, mirrors were brought from Europe, while mirror decorations in India were very expensive.
In the palace of public receptions - Divan-i-Am - 40 magnificent columns stand majestically in two rows. They are crowned with finely carved marble heads of elephants, as if supporting the vault with their trunks. The nearby terrace offers great views of the city, the Maota artificial lake and the garden island.
The beautiful Sukh Niwas Palace - The House of Joy, opposite Shish Mahal, welcomes you with coolness. A canal filled with water runs through the entire palace. Water from the canal, like a waterfall, flows down in a noisy stream in the courtyard - an ingenious ancient system of cooling and salvation from eternal heat. The palace served as a meeting place for the Raja with his harem. The layout is thought out so that the other women could not see the raja when he came to one of them.
The gates of Ganesha lead to the courtyard of the Rajas. The statue of the deity is carved from a huge coral. The gate is delicately inlaid with mosaics and decorated with lacy stone carvings.
Constructed of white marble, inlaid with precious stones, the Jai Niwas Palace - the Palace of Victory - is the main building of the chambers of the Maharajas. Here is Yash Mandir - the room of Glory, the walls of which are decorated with artistic paintings. The carved marble panels are delicately carved with graceful patterns of insects and flowers.
There are rooms intended for women nearby: bedrooms, kitchens, pantries, covered verandas. The female part is called Zenana.
A bit of history
The construction of the Amber fortress began in 1592, one of the commanders of Emperor Akbar, Man Singh. Previously, there was a fort built in the 11th century. The city-fort Amber got its name in honor of the goddess Amba. The construction was finally completed in 1667 by Jai Singh. Amber Fort has turned into a magnificent huge palace ensemble, including 4 courtyards, palaces, temples, gardens and an artificially created lake.
Amber Fortress is surrounded by mountains, and powerful fortified walls 20 km long are built between them, reminiscent of the Great Wall of China. From the watchtowers located along the entire perimeter of the fortress walls, the area was clearly visible.
Walls made of local sandstone used for construction helped the fort to be inconspicuous and blend into the landscape. For a long time, Amber Fort was considered the most fortified in India and served as the residence of the Rajas until 1727, when Jaipur became the capital.
In 2013, Amber Fort was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.