The Amer Fort also called as Amber Fort is perched upon a hill and offers a breathtaking view of the Aravalli mountains. It was built by the Kings belonging to the Meena dynasty. Over a period of time the Meenas were overthrown by the Kachwaha Rajputs. Today Amer is just a shadow of its glorious past but beautiful nevertheless.
The main gate at the entrance is the Suraj Pol (Sun Gate). This leads into a courtyard which was used for victory parades by the army when they returned victoriously from battles. A stairway from this courtyard leads you into the palace complex. Next to this stairway is a temple of Sila devi where the Kings used to worship the Goddess by offering animal sacrifices in the past.
The Ganesh Pol is a beautiful gate that leads into the chambers of the royal family. It has beautiful frescoes and paintings. Atop this gate is the Suhag Mandir (Balcony) where the ladies belonging to royal family could sit and observe the proceedings in the Diwan I Aam below through the Jharokhas (Windows with intricate latticework).
The next courtyard has some Mughal Gardens with colourful flowers. It also houses the Sheesh Mahal which is a beautiful chamber whose walls and ceiling are adorned with glass pieces.
Another beautiful sight here are the corridors featured in the cover of the Rough Guide to Rajasthan, Delhi and Agra.
The Baradari pavilion offers some shade for the weary traveller. That’s a weary me sitting down for a breather in the pic below.
There is an underground tunnel which connects the Amer Fort with the Jaigarh Fort. This tunnel was used for evacuating the royal family when the fort was under attack. Today the tunnel is closed but the initial part is open for public. It was an eerie experience to walk here!
Jagat Siromaniji Temple
An old temple in the heart of Amer town below the fort. This temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna and was built by Raja Man Singh I in memory of his son. It is said that the idol of Lord Krishna here is the same that Meerabai used to worship.
We visited a shopping complex in Amer suggested by our guide. There were couple of artists there demonstrating how the Sanganeri hand block prints are made on cloth. We bought silver earrings, lac bangles, Meenakari camel and elephant figurines, Rajais, Bedspreads and dress materials. We had a look at the exquisite Kundan jewellery which is the specialty of this region. Also took a look at furniture made of Makrana Marble.