Amber Fort (also known as Amer Fort) is a sandstone and marble palace complex in the town of Amer in Rajasthan, India – 11km North-East of Jaipur.
Construction of the Fort began in 1592 by Raja Man Singh I, to serve the purpose of being the main residence of the Rajput Maharajas (Kings of Rajasthan).
The Fort was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2013.
The Fort sits upon Cheel Ka Teela hill and it is possible to reach it by walking, by jeep or on the back of an elephant. The welfare of these elephants continues to be questioned by animal rights activists and so I would recommend that you do not ascend the hill by elephant.
The Palace is made up of four sections, each of which is known as a ‘courtyard’. The first courtyard, Jalebi (or Jaleb) Chowk, is where the armies used to hold victory parades before the Royal family and the area is accessible by entering via Suraj Pol (Sun Gate). This courtyard also used to have rooms for the army’s soldiers and stables for the horses.
The second courtyard used to be a public hall (Diwan-e-Aam) and a meeting place for the Kings to greet royal guests and people of the court (Diwan-e-Khas).
The third courtyard used to be home to the royal families and their attendants. A highlight of this area is the beautiful garden, featuring a number of hexagonal bushes, as pictured in the covering photo to this blog article.
The Sheesh Mahal, Palace of Mirrors, forms part of the third courtyard. This is a striking room comprising of thousands of small mirror tiles across the ceiling and walls. It is worth visiting the Amber Fort with a guide, who can show you the many mirror tricks throughout the room.
The fourth courtyard was home to the ladies of the royal court – including wives, mothers and mistresses. This section was designed in such a fashion to enable the King to move freely between his wives and mistresses, without being caught.
The Amber Fort complex now has its own restaurant, 1135 AD, serving traditional Rajasthani cuisine.