Amber Fort

Amber Fort – the predecessor to Jaipur

 

Jaipur was a new town founded down in the plain. Its predecessor was the hillfort town of Amber Fort. 8 miles to the north.   Amber remained a major palace of the Rajput kings, and is perhaps the most spectacular of the sites in Jaipur.

 

A fort was originally established in the 11th century, but the main fort was established in 1592 by Man Singh, which still forms the innermost, rather austere,  part of the Palace. But it is the buildings added by Jai Singh during his long reign from 1621 to 1667 that form the most spectacular parts of the Palace.

Amber Elephant empty 230

The Elephants

Tourists are brought to the lower part of the town from whence there are two possible ways to the main palace: either by jeep or by elephant. Over 80 elephants are kept at the Fort and this is one of the best places for those who wish to take an elephant ride in India. We preferred to take the jeep.

Amber elephants unloading 199

Jaipur jeeps 289Here are some of the rash tourists, having enjoyed their ride, disembarking from the backs of the elephants

How we travelled – by jeep!

 

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Approach to Palace

The outer courtyard was the last to be built, on the lower ground approaching the palace.

The long staricase leads up to the main palace

 

Amber Floral gateway 243

At the top is the Lion Gate or Singh Pole.

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Passing through the Lion Gate one comes to the first courtyard, in which the Hall of Public Audience is situated

Amber Ganesh Pol 250

Opposite is the  Ganesh Pol

This is the most spectacular part of the Palace, the highly ornamented entrance from the outer to the middle courtyard.

Above the gateway are the special rooms from which the ladies of the Palace could observe what was going on in the Hall of Public Audience while remaining in purdah.

Amber Garnesh Pol 205

 

Alternate version – different camera,  I think the sun had come out – I’ve tweaked them both in Photoshop – and  the colours have come out very differently Take your choice (little sony)

 

Amber apse 999And here’s a photo of one of the apses! (Panasonic Travel zoom)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amber Sheesh Mahal ceiling 001

The Sheesh Mahal

The most spectacular part of the Palace is the Sheesh Mahal , where the rooms are highly decorated with inlaid tiles  and mirrors reflecting the light everywhere. This is the highlight of the palace built by Jai Singh between 1621 and 1667.
Amber Sheesh Mahal rooms 013

Inside the Sheesh Mahal

A view into the interior rooms of the Sheesh Mahal.
Amber Central Gardens 031

The gardens

The central courtyard is occupied by the Aram Bagh, the pleasure garden.

Amber by the garden 0258

 

 

 

 

From here a series of hidden passages lead  through into the oldest part of the place built 50 years earlier by Man Singh.

 

 

 

Amber Baraderi courtyard 041

This is the inner courtyard of the palace, the part originally built by Man Singh in around 1592.
Amber central pavilion 281

At the centre is this Baradari pavilion which was once the meeting area of the maharanis, shrouded from men’s eyes by flowing curtains.

There is no grand entrance to this innermost part of the Palace:  instead it is through a range of twisted palaces and up and down stairs deliberately designed to make access difficult for any potential hostile intruder

 

Amber elephant run 022

The elephant run

From the windows of Man Singh’s Palace it is possible to get a good view down over the township at the foot of the hill

Note too the elephant track with elephants coming up and returning. Note that the elephants walk on the left

 

Amber magic casement 020

The view from the magic casement . . .

Amber Jaipur Kesar Kyari Bagh 0018-9The lower gardens

 

 

 

 

 

 

And here is a stitched-together panorama showing the lake built at the foot of the palace to provide it with water, and in the middle of the lake the exquisite Kesar Kyari Bagh garden which has star shaped flower beds planted with saffron flowers

The photo that forms the header was taken from the car park at the far end of the lake. Double click on this and any other photos to see the details

 


 

29th of April 2013

On to  Udaipur

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