Place : Amber,
11km from Jaipur, Rajasthan
Highlight : Exquisite Seesh Mahal (Hall of Mirrors)
Best time to visit : October to February
Timings : Open 9 a.m - 16.30 pm
palace is situated in Amber, the former capital of the Kachhwaha Rajputs
on a hillside overlooking Maotha lake, 11 km from Jaipur on the Delhi -
Jaipur road. Its construction was started by Raja Man Singh I, army
commander of Mughal Emperor Akbar in 1592 and was completed by Mirza
Raja Jai Singh and Sawai Jai Singh, over a period of about two
centuries. It is a classic fusion of Mughal and Hindu architecture,
built in red sandstone and white marble.
The palace or the royal
apartments lies inside the massive Amber fort complex with gateways,
gardens, halls, stairways, pillared pavilions, temples and palaces. Some
of the noteworthy architectural marvels in the complex are the 'Diwan-E-Khas',
the 'Sheesh Mahal' and the 'Jai Mandir' with exquisite mirror work, the
'Diwan-E-Aam', the 'Sukh Niwas', the Shila Mata Temple and Kali temple
and the well laid out garden the 'Kesar Kyari'.
The fort is entered through the 'Dil-e-Aaram' Garden, laid out in the
traditional Mughal style. An imposing flight of stairs leads to the 'Diwan-E-Am'
(hall of public audience) which has latticed galleries and double row of
columns each having a capital in the shape of elephants on the top. To
the right are steps that lead to the small Kali Temple. Maharaja Man
Singh was a great devotee of Goddess Kali and prayed to the goddess for
victory during battles. The temple has huge doors made of silver. The
larger white marble Shila Mata temple, has the image of Goddess Kali,
brought by Raja Man Singh from Jessore in East Bengal (now Bangladesh).
The emperors apartments
lies on a higher terrace beyond a two tiered decorative gateway, 'Ganesh Pol, covered with elegant frescoes and pavilions having
fascinating jali (Lattice worked) screens. The 'Jai Mandir' (hall of
victory) has a glittering ceiling with mirror pieces on stucco and
elegant inlaid panels. The 'Diwan- E- Khas', hall of private audience is
similar in ornamentation to Jai Mandir and the 'Seesh Mahal', hall of
Mirrors known for its craftsmanship in mirrors, is the most spectacular
of the lot. Thousands of mirror pieces adorn the walls and the ceiling
that, any streak of light makes them sparkle and illuminates the entire
room. In front of the Jai Mandir is the 'Sukh Niwas' (hall of pleasure)
with a door made of sandalwood, inlaid with ivory with a channel running
through, which formerly carried cool water acting as an air cooler.
The zenana or the
women's apartments and frescoes depicting Krishna Leela scenes surround
a spectacular courtyard. There are private chambers from where the royal
women could watch the proceedings of the royal court in privacy. The
well-proportioned garden, Kesar Kyari in the center of Maotha lake and
the Dilaram Bagh at its north end provide a spectacular view of the
How to get there
Amber fort and palace
is a 10 minute steep climb through Jai pol (Gate of Victory) from Amber/
Ambar / Amer, 11 km from Jaipur on the Delhi- Jaipur road. Facilities
available for elephant back ride up to Amber fort.
Air: Jaipur is
connected to Delhi (300Km), Mumbai, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Aurangabad,
Calcutta and Varanasi by domestic flights.
Rail: The train service to Jaipur is available from all the major parts
of the country.
Road: Jaipur can be accessed from all the major places in Rajasthan,
Gujarat, Delhi and Mumbai by bus.