January 02, 2012

Two nodes of the Golden Triangle (Part-IV) (Jaipur Day 2)

Second day we planned for a visit to forts of Jaipur. There are three forts around Jaipur city - Amer, Jaigarh and Nahargarh. Initially we planned to see them all, but due to loss of 1 day, we finally decided to see Amer and Jaigarh fort only. The rest of the day was planned for random walks in the city markets. You need a taxi to visit these forts, so we booked an Indica taxi for visiting the two forts, and it was arranged by the Aryaniwas.
Amer Fort:
This is also known as Amber Fort. This is situated at a distance of 11 km from Jaipur city. It is one of the main tourist attractions in Jaipur area. The for located on a small hill, was made by Meenas King Raja Alan Singh Chanda and later occupied by Kachhwa rajputs. Most of the present fort and palace buildings are built by Raja Maan Singh who ruled from 1590-1614 CE.
As you reach the Amer you get some magnificent views of the fort from the road. 

From pedestrian path to the fort you reach inside Jaleb Chowk from Singh Pol (Lion Gate). Jaleb Chowk is an Arabic language word, which means a central place for soldiers to assemble. This is one of the four courtyards of the Amer Palace, built during reign of Sawai Jai Singh (1693-1743 CE).
On the right side of Jaleb Chowk you see a passage adjacent to the staircase leading to Sila Mata temple. Different view inside the first courtyard are shown below.

Elephants in Jaleb Chowk

After entrance from Singh Pol 

A view of Jaleb Chowk
Staircase from the Jaleb Chowk takes you to second courtyard. Here you see Deewan-i-Aam (Hall of Public Audience, Another gateway called Ganesh Pol leading to thirt courtyard is visible here. Various points inside second courtyard are shown here.

Deewan-e-Aam in left and Ganesh Pol in front

Ganesh Pol

Art work on Ganesh Pol

Ceiling painting displaying Golden colour from one side
Same ceiling painting from other side (No Golden colour visible from this side)

From Ganesh Pol you enter the third courtyard where the private quarters of the Maharaja, his family and attendants were built. The courtyard has two buildings, one opposite to the other, separated by a garden laid in the fashion of the Mughal Gardens. The building to the left of the entrance gate is called the Jai Mandir, which is beautified with glass inlaid panels and multi-mirrored ceilings. The mirrors are of convex shape and designed with coloured foil and paint which would glitter bright under candle nights at the time it was in use. This is known as Sheesh Mahal (mirror palace) and Deewan-i-khas (Hall of Private audience). The other building seen in the court yard is opposite to the Jai Mandir and is known as the Sukh Niwas or Sukh Mahal (Hall of Pleasure).

The fourth courtyard leads to Ladies Apartments. This courtyard has many living rooms where the queens resided and who were visited by the king at his choice without being found out as to which queen he was visiting, as all the rooms open into a common corridor.

Exit from fort
At the exit route you can see a Tunnel which goes up to the Jaigarh fort.
The fort is very big inside and you need to devote 2-4 hours according to your interest in the details of the fort. An experienced guide would enhance the viewing pleasure. Our trip to Amer ended here and we were on our way to next fort called Jaigarh.

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