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.
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.
How we travelled – by jeep!
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
At the top is the Lion Gate or Singh Pole.
Passing through the Lion Gate one comes to the first courtyard, in which the Hall of Public Audience is situated
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.
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)
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.
Inside the Sheesh Mahal
The central courtyard is occupied by the Aram Bagh, the pleasure garden.
From here a series of hidden passages lead through into the oldest part of the place built 50 years earlier by Man Singh.
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
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
The view from the magic casement . . .
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