Featured prominently on the list of Jaipur’s top attractions, Amer Fort in Jaipur is the most visited fort in India attracting more than 5 thousand tourists every day. The fort was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2013, as part of a group of six hill forts, the “Hill Forts of Rajasthan” cluster. Amber Fort is a grand architectural marvel that it’s hard to leave the city with a mere glimpse. It compels you to be engulfed in its beauty and architecture. Let us know more about Amer Fort of Jaipur, one of the iconic monuments and key attractions.
Is it Amer fort or Amber fort?
Amer fort is popular by both the names Amer as well as Amber fort. It is also famous as Amber Palace and Amer Ka Qila.
Why Amer fort is famous?
Amer fort is famous for its artistic style and splendid Rajput architecture. This fort is probably one of the most beautiful forts in India that still stands tall proudly and has been preserved and revived well. You may have seen the Amer fort of Jaipur in many famous Bollywood movies like Bajirao Mastani, Jodha Akbar and Manikarnika. It has Sheesh Mahal in its premises which was filmed for a song of the film Mughal-e-azam. This song made the Amer fort popular all over.
Amer Fort History
The history of Amer dates back to 967 AD. Once named Dhundhar, Amer was a small town founded by a small tribe named Meenas. The Amer fort was named after Amba, another name of Goddess Durga. The Meenas addressed the Goddess as ‘Gatta Rani’, and ‘Queen of the Pass’. The first settlement of the fort was built in the 11th century.
Who built Amer fort
Around 1037 AD, Amber was conquered by Kachhawa Rajputs and ruled from the 11th century to the 16th century. During this period, Amer Fort was built upon the ruins of the aforementioned settlement. The construction of the palace complex that we see today was built by Raja Man Singh, the Kachwaha King of Amer in the 16th century. It was in the year 1592 AD that Raja Man Singh built the fort with extension and renovation efforts kept going for the next 150 years by his heirs. Raja Man Singh was one of the trusted allies of Emperor Akbar and one among the Navaratnas of his court.
Followed by a shady period when the Amer fort was taken over by Mughals, it was later recaptured by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II. Later in 1727 AD, Sawai Jai Singh II moved the capital from Amber and founded a new town, which stands today as Jaipur. Amer fort was then established as the new residence for the royal family. It is regarded as the oldest palace in the country. The original fort was a part of the Jaigarh Fort and linked to it via a fortified tunnel, though both the forts are regarded as a single structure. This tunnel was used to escape at times of war or enemy attack.
Amer Fort Architecture
Jaipur Amer Fort was built amidst the Aravalli ranges resting atop a hill, Cheel Ka Teela along with the Maota lake. Amer fort that epitomizes the glorious heritage of Jaipur is carved out with white marbles and red sandstones. The fort is also popular as Amber, a name that suits its golden-brown color. Though the outer impression of the Fort appears to be rough and rugged, the interior reflects a soothing and warm feel making you enter the world of glorious Rajput kings and Mughal emperors
The phenomenal interiors of the Amer Fort in Jaipur are a unique blend of the Hindu elements from the Shilpa Shastra and Mughal manner of ornamentation. The amalgamation of both the architectural influences can be glimpsed on the parapets of the fort which include Mughal flower motifs, jharokhas and jalis all inlaid with mirrors along with vibrant and illustrative paintings of famous Rajput rulers and ancient hunting styles along with images of Lord Krishna’s life and the depiction from Ramayana. This blend of both architectural styles represents an example of political alliance.
The brilliant architecture of Jaipur Amer Fort is clearly apparent in the positioning of the fort and its palaces, temples, gardens, etc with the lakes, ponds, rivers, and step-wells. It very well depicts the power, mastery, grandeur and defense technology that the Rajput rulers possessed. The configuration of the Amer Fort is a testimony of their defensive attitude. This defensive technology can be specified through the following examples:
There is a huge fortified wall at the Amer Fort which is the largest after the great wall of China and the wall of the Kumbhalgarh fort. The area inside the fortified wall used to be the refuge for the residents of the fort in times of war. In Amer, the Jaigarh fort was connected to the Amer fort through a secret passage that functioned as a refuge.
There is a wide canal around the lake, dug for protection from direct enemy attack. The Maotha lake not only was the main water source for the residents of the fort but also protected from the enemy restricting their entry to the fort beyond a specific point. The water system of the fort is also a striking example of architecture. To explore the water system you can the heritage water walk at Amer fort. This tour takes you to the hidden secrets of the fort which otherwise can not be accessible by tourists.
The layout of the Amer fort
The fort consists of a series of colossal courtyards, palaces, halls, gardens and intricately designed gateways. The fort divides into four main sections, each with its own entry and a courtyard. The structure of the Jaipur Amer fort is as follows:
You will make your way up through a beautiful garden called Dil-Aaram Bagh with fascinating views of the neighboring Maota Lake on the left-hand side, and the incredible Amer Fort in front.
The main entrance
You would enter the fort through the main entrance which is the Suraj Pole (Sun Gate). It overlooks east towards the rising sun and thus is named Sun Gate. Situated perfectly opposite Suraj Pol, there is another identical doorway known as Chand Pol (Moon Gate). If you reach the ticket counter from the back entrance, you will enter from this gate. No matter which way you take to get up, both of these gates will lead you to the main courtyard called Jaleb Chowk.
Jaleb Chowk is the first and biggest courtyard. This was the place where armies and generals would hold victory parades on their return from battles while the ladies peeked from latticed windows situated inside the main palace. The famous Shila Devi temple also dwells in this first segment of the fort. This section has a fine dine restaurant 1135 AD as well. You won’t be needing any tickets to visit the first section whether you are coming to dine at 1135 AD or to just pray at the Shila Devi temple.
Situated on the right-hand side of Jaleb Chowk is an impressive stairway leading visitors to the second courtyard. The second courtyard houses the Diwan-i-Am in the front and the Ganesh pole on the right side. From here you will also get a panoramic view of the beautiful Maota Lake, Dilaram garden, Kesar Kyari and the winding pathway to the top of Amer fort. Above the Ganesh pole gateway is an area called Suhag Mandir where only the royal women were allowed to witness the displays in Jaleb Chowk and Diwan-i-Aam without going outside themselves. However, this area can be visited through the third courtyard.
Entering from the Ganesh Pol is the third courtyard embellished with mosaics and sculptures. The courtyard has two buildings, one opposite the other, Sheesh Mahal or Diwan-e-Khas and Sukh Niwas or Sukh Mahal, separated by a garden called Char Bagh laid in the fashion of the Mughal Gardens. There are also other parts such as Jas Mandir, Hammam, or the magic flower that are a delight to come across. To understand these, hiring a guide is the best.
As you enter from the Tripolia gate, the fourth courtyard is Zenana Dyodhi where the royal women lived. South of this courtyard lies the Man Singh Mahal which is the oldest part of the fort. Here, the private quarters of the Maharaja, his family and attendants were located.
Just after this section is the secret tunnel to Jaigarh Fort along with Café Coffee Day. You will need to walk past these to get back into Jaleb Chowk.
Amer Fort Near Visiting Places
The magnificent Amber fort features many wonderful buildings and awe-inspiring structures of artistic pleasure that draw a lot of observing eyes. Since there are a lot of sights to see and admire when visiting the Amer Fort in Jaipur, it can sometimes get difficult to ensure you do not miss any. So here is a section-by-section layout of the fort explaining major attractions and what to see in each one of them.
Dil Aram Bagh houses spectacular pavilions and a garden inspired by the design of Char Bagh. At this garden you will find many Mughal architectural influences. The pavilions make for a beautiful backdrop for taking perfect pictures. Visiting this garden should be on your list while climbing up or on your way back.
Jaleb chowk the main and biggest courtyard of Amer Fort where returning armies and generals used to gather and hold victory parades. There is a part in this yard which was earlier a residential area for horse stables and for the riders. Nowadays they have turned it into tourist shops and other such facilities.
Sheela Mata Mandir
Shila Devi temple is dedicated to Shila Mata who is an incarnation of Goddess Durga. The temple is made from white marble with its entrance having a double door covered with silver. The idol inside the temple was a gift to Raja Man Singh by the King of Jessore, Bengal after their defeat. It is one of the few places in Amer Fort that is still under the regulation of the royal family of Jaipur.
Diwan-E-Aam or the hall for a public audience is a massive hall where the general public assembled to meet the King and address their grievances. It is nowadays an art gallery. It is open on three sides with extensive mosaic glassworks, beautifully painted ceilings and the ancient handwritten original manuscripts of several Hindu scriptures. In the Diwan-e-Am, there is a raised platform with 27 evenly distributed rows having an elephant-shaped motif at the top of each pillar.
Named after the Hindu Lord Ganesha, Ganesh Pol is one of the most Instagrammable places in Jaipur. A painting of Ganesha can be found above the door with intricate details of the beautiful frescos. This archway is one of the stunning spots to take photos in as its walls are covered with mosaic and engraved sculpture making an amazing backdrop.
Suhag Mandir is an area above the Ganesh pole with latticed windows from where the royal ladies used to witness the displays in Jaleb Chowk and Diwan-i-Aam without going outside themselves.
Hammam or bath is an underrated area of Amer fort having enormous marble bathtubs that were used by the kings. It is surprising to learn how techniques were during those time.There was system for not only hot but cold bath experiences even in the days when technology was not available. The artisans of the bygone times were having the enough skill to recreate the technique like today when there is a use of piped water systems and electricity to direct the water and airflow.
Diwan E Khas
Diwan-e-Khas or the Hall of Private Audience was restricted only to officials and special guests. Here, the matters regarding taxes, revenue, security and state policy were discussed with a very select audience or the administrators of the concerned subjects. It has outstanding mosaic work on the crystals of the walls. Atop Diwan-e-Khas was the Jai Mandir or the hall of victory houses the collections of different sculptures.
Sheesh Mahal or the Mirror Palace is one of the primary attractions of Amer Fort. The ceiling and the walls of Sheesh Mahal has engraving of innumerable pieces of concave mirrors with stunning floral paintings on them. When candles are lit in the room at night, the entire palace illuminates, appearing like a sky full of thousand glittering stars due to the reflection of the mirrors.
It is a fresco carved out of marble on a Diwan-i-Khas pillar. This carved marble masterpiece just looks like a flower at first glance, but actually contains seven unique designs including a scorpion, fishtail, lotus, elephant trunk, hooded cobra, cob of corn and a lion’s tail. One can see each of these individually by hiding a particular part to uncover another.
Opposite Sheesh Mahal nestles the majestic Sukh Niwas or the hall of pleasures. It has amazing huge doors of ivory and sandalwood. Sukh Niwas or Sukh Mahal was the place where the Kings used to relax and spend time with their queens. The building was largely air-conditioned due to the water channels running through the hall. These pipes were regularly supplied with water from the Maota Lake.
Zanana Deori was the residence of the queens, their mistresses, and their attendants. It had a long corridor with smaller corridors leading to the different living rooms where the queens used to reside. It was an area intentionally secluded from the rest of the fort. The structure was constructed uniquely so that no one could see the king enter the Zanana Deori and if he stayed with one of his queens, the others would not be aware of it.
Naqqar Khana is in Chandpole. The word Nakkar means drums also called Nagada. During historical times, the musician used to play a variety of music at Nakkarkhana. Drums and Karna were the two most prominent musical instruments. Every morning, live music is played during the elephant ride using the old instruments to recreate an experience of a bygone era.
Man Singh Mahal
The Man Singh Palace has a construction that dates back to the time during the visit of the Mughal emperor to Amer. It is the oldest part of the area that took around 25 years to complete. One of the walls of this Palace has a stone slab with a message written by Akbar in Persian. There is also a pavilion in the center of the Mahal which was a meeting place for the queens.
The recently discovered Amer tunnel is also among the prime attractions of Amer fort. It was a getaway for royals to escape during emergencies, especially at times of a siege. You can walk through the tunnel to Jaigarh Fort. It adjoins Diwan e Aam, Man Singh Mahal, and Janana Deori. The Amer tunnel has a roof cover only to a certain point, afterward, it is roofless.
In conclusion, the Amber fort and palace is an epitome of brilliant architecture that gives you a clear glimpse of bygone time. Its every corner is worth admiring.
Restaurants near Amer fort
If you are looking to eat in Amer fort itself, then there are two restaurants near Amer fort to eat. The first is Café Coffee Day that nestles after the fourth courtyard of the palace. The second is 1135 AD, a royal fine dining restaurant. These two are the most popular places to eat in Amer fort.
Things to do at Amer Fort
Admire the landscape beauty
One can see a breathtaking view of the fort mirrored simultaneously in the beautiful Maota Lake. The landscape surrounding the fort served as a retreat for the royal family. They could enjoy the scenic views of the landscape from the specific points created for them, such as jharokhas, jalis, chhatri, and terraces. As you ascend the slope you can see the magnificent views like the dips and curves of the surrounding hills and valleys of the Aravali range, overlooking a stunning view of the Maota Lake and the sheer glance of the fort up above.
Amer Fort Elephant Ride
There are elephants to ferry people to and from the palace with a royal feel. The fort’s splendor can be best experienced through the elephant rides. You can find these beautifully clad elephants at the foot of the climb decked up in regal style. These elephants are painted in beautiful colors of pinks, blues, and yellows, their heads are decorated with vibrant designs and heavy silver jewelry and they are richly draped with colorful clothes with comfortable cushions and canopies fastened onto their backs. The female elephant sports anklets with silver bells.
Amer fort light show
The night tour at Amber Fort has a radiance of its own, having a beguiling dazzle that is beyond comparison. The Amer fort night view is at its original grandeur every evening during the Amer fort light show. Attending the light and sound show introduces you to the fort as well as Jaipur’s history. The show revives the state’s rich history, tradition and culture and celebrates local legends, folklore and folk music. For the, you have to sit at a location that is at right distance from the fort. The place is Kesar Kyari, a garden in the middle of Maota lake that give you a complete view of it. The most exciting feature of this show is that the narratives of this show are voiced by famous Indian superstar Amitabh Bachchan.
Rajasthani Puppet Show
Another popular attraction at the fort is the Rajasthani puppet show. Set up in a small tent, this amusing show illustrates the puppet dance in different dance styles directed with the fingers. Besides the tent sits a harmonium and tabla man singing Rajasthani songs. It becomes delightful and attractive for tourists.
You can enjoy ghoomar dance performance in the Jaleb Chowk courtyard as well. During the day you see local people dancing in the Jaleb Chowk yard. Local artists perform ghoomar here in the noon and earn a livelihood. You can also enjoy Rajasthani folk dance in the evening in Sukh Mahal. If you want to watch the folk dance program, you must book tickets in advance at the ticket counter.
1135 AD Restaurant
Have a candlelight dinner in 1135 AD, a traditional restaurant near amer fort that once used to be a dining hall for the Rajput kings. Located in the yard of Jaleb Chowk, it is among the perfect amer fort near visiting places to dine in the royal environment. The restaurant serves delicious Indian cuisine. The “Maharaja’s Bhuri Bhoj” combo thali you get here gives you a feel like eating Maharaja’s food.
If you want to visit amer fort nearby places, Visit the Anokhi museum to explore the history of organic hand block printed fabric Jaipur is famous for. Anokhi is a Jaipur-based brand popular for hand-block printed garments. The showroom perfectly revives the history by showcasing the traditional Rajasthani attires and accessories. Here, you will find many types of hand-blocking printing techniques like Dabu, Ajrakh, and Bagh among others.
Amber fort Entry Fees
- For Indians: Rs.25
- For foreign tourists: Rs. 550
- For Foreign Students: Rs.100 per person
- For Indian Students: Rs.10 per person
Amer Fort Light And Sound Show Booking
- Amer fort light show price: In English Rs. 200 and Hindi Rs. 100
- Elephant Ride for two-person Rs. 1100
- Guide charges Rs 200 to 500 per tour
You can also book amer fort ticket online. Before bookings know the amer fort timings and make sure if amber fort is open or not
What are Amer fort Timings?
- 8:00 am – 5:30 daily
Amer fort Light Show Timing
- In English: 7:30 pm
- In Hindi: 8:00 pm
Amer Fort Elephant Ride Timings
- From 7:30 am – 12:30 pm
How much is Amer fort Visit duration?
It will take 2 to 3 hours to completely explore the magnificent Amber Fort and Palace. The light and sound show takes around an hour. Apart from this, there is a strict no to photography and videography of the show.
Best time to visit
The best time to visit Amer fort is between October and March. If you want to save yourself from scorching heat, plan your trip in these six months as the weather becomes so pleasant. The best time to visit the fort is early in the morning to enjoy the beauty of the fort at its best. Moreover, if you want to enjoy the sound and light show along with a fancy dinner at the restaurant, the best time to visit the Amber fort is around 4, when you will have enough time to explore the fort followed by a night show and dinner.
Tips for travelers
- To get the tickets you can either book them online or you can buy them in person at the ticketing booths available in the first courtyard of the fort near Jaleb Chowk.
- It is advisable to hire a guide as they know every nook and cranny of the palace and have a deeper knowledge of the fort’s past. Check for valid identification of a guide. However, they allow only approved guides for tours in Amer Fort.
- Avoid visiting the fort during Navratri as a large number of devotees visit the Sheela Mata temple. Even tourist entry to Amber Fort is also closed sometimes because of the rush.
- You might also find a few entertainers, singers and snake charmers around the fort.
- If you plan on taking the elephant ride, try to reach there early in the morning as you may find long queues in the later hours.
- Guides and drivers lure the tourists into tourist shops and emporiums and earn hefty commissions. Stay clear of any such deals.
- There are many shops inside the fort premises from where you can buy traditional clothes.
- Tripods are not allowed. There are even security guards patrolling to make sure that you are not using one.
- Do not discard your ticket when you enter and keep it safe until you exit the fort. They check the tickets upon exit as well.
- Remember to carry a water bottle with you when exploring the complete fort as it can be a bit tiresome and may dehydrate you.
Is there a parking facility available?
Yes, the fort has two main parking options, the front parking and the backside parking. The front parking is near the elephant ride boarding point. But you have to climb the fort on your own. Another option is to drive your car for the backside parking through the lanes of Amer town. The backside parking tends to be cheaper there than the one available at the front of the fort. Please note that whichever entrance or parking you choose, you will arrive at the same courtyard.
Amer fort location
For people searching where is Amber located, it is the outskirts of Jaipur city at a distance of 11 kilometers along the NH8.
Amer fort contact number
0141 253 0293
How to reach Amer fort
The railway station of Jaipur connects well with the major cities so it is easy to get a train to Jaipur. If you are wondering how to reach Amer fort from jaipur railway station then it is just 13 km away from the Amber fort. You can board a bus or take a taxi to reach Amer fort from here.
Jaipur International Airport is about 22 km away from Amer Fort. The airport has flights to and fro all major cities of India.
To reach the fort:
Travelling in Jaipur is very convenient as there are various types of transportation available. Amber fort is one prominent tourist attraction that very well connects with the transit facilities. However, it depends on your budget on how to reach Amer fort.
By local bus:
Taking a bus might be an ideal option if you are on a budget. The local bus to Amber fort starts at Ajmeri Gate and MI Road which will take around twenty minutes to reach the Fort. You can also get buses from Hawa Mahal every day at an interval of 10 minutes. A non-AC bus will cost around INR 15 and the price for an AC bus is around INR 30.
Hiring an auto is another great option to get to Amber Fort. You will find auto-rickshaws in almost every area of Jaipur no matter where you are coming from. Depending on the distance the prices may range from INR 200 to 250 from the Pink City. You can also get auto-rickshaws to go back from Amer Fort’s front parking. There is a big parking zone at the front of the fort where many rickshaws are often on standby. So, you won’t be having any trouble finding one.
Taxi or cab:
If you are easy on a budget then booking a taxi or cab is the most convenient option. Book a cab such as Ola or Uber either for one-way rides or you can also book them for an entire day or a few hours. Booking a cab for a longer time will ease your visit to Amber Fort as well as its nearby places. You can request your cab driver to stay with you for your entire booking duration.
Renting a Cycle or a Motorbike:
Renting a motorbike or cycle is though not a popular option, it is the best option for solo or two travelers. You can drive to the Amer Fort yourself for around INR 400 a day. There are also cycles available for rent.
How to reach the top of Amer Fort
Once you take your preferred mode of transport and reach Amber Fort, you’ll find yourself at the foot of the fort. You will find the entrance to its ticket counter at the top of the hill, so you will have to reach the top first. These are the options you may opt for.
Walking up through the imposing ramp is the most straightforward option and the best way to see the fort become grander and enjoy the picturesque points coming along the way. The encircling path consists of cobbled pavements and staircases. Walking up would take around 15-25 minutes.
If you do not feel like walking up, then you can get golf carts to drop you up to the main entrance. They are available throughout the day. You can book one near the elephant boarding point. You can book these electric golf carts at INR 40 for one way.
If you are traveling in a group of 4 or 5, you can also opt to hire a jeep. Jeeps are available at the front parking of the fort. These are a little more expensive than the golf cart and it would cost you INR 500 for a round-trip.
By own car or cab
You can drive on your own or can take your taxi to get to the top from the back entrance to Amber Fort. However, there are road signs present that will guide you properly, you can also put Jagat Shiromani Temple in Google Maps and drive there. A small road adjacent to it is the way up to the fort.
To experience the royal pomp, ride up to the fort on an elephant. The best way to visit is to take the elephant ride that can carry up to 2 passengers. This is the most expensive yet popular option amongst tourists.