About Amer Fort
Amer Fort, just outside Jaipur, is one of India’s most magnificent palaces and today, it’s one of the most visited sites on the Rajasthan tourist trail.
History of Amer Fort
The settlement at Amer was founded in the 10th century by Raja Alan Singh, and the fortress was originally begun in the 11th century by the Rajputs. Most of what is visible today, however, dates to the 16th and 17th centuries, when major works were completed by Raja Man Singh I. Whilst technically a fort, much of the interior resembles far more of a palace.
Amer – formerly known as Dhundar – was the capital of the region until 1727, when it was moved to the city of Jaipur. Parts of the palace fell into disrepair and have been since restored.
Amer Fort today
The fort gets busy, unsurprisingly. It’s a steep climb up to the fort itself – avoid the elephants if possible: they’re kept solely for tourist purposes in the modern world, and often in poor conditions.
The interior of the fort is spectacular: there’s a lot to see, and the winding passageways and dead ends make it hard to know if you’ve seen everything there is. Particular highlights include the Diwan-i-Khas (Hall of Public Audience) and the Sheesh Mahal (Hall of Mirrors) within. Sheesh Mahal is completely covered in beautiful patterns of tiny mosaic shards of mirror and coloured glass: it glistens and sparkles in the sunlight. Supposedly it was created for the Maharani (queen) so that she could see the stars at night.
The Jai Mandir (Hall of Victory) is also glorious, with its intricate inlaid panels and mirrored ceiling. Opposite you’ll find the Sukh Niwas (Hall of Pleasure), which was cooled from the fierce Rajasthani desert heat by channels of water running through the room.
Views over the Maota Lake are lovely, and look out for hidden staircases as you near the end of the palace, which offer views over the Jaigarh Fort behind. Allow at least half a day here, if not a full day if you plan on visiting the Jaigarh Fort too.
It’s worth remembering entrance is cheaper in the evening for foreigners. There’s a sound and light show in the evenings too which is extremely popular.
Getting to Amer Fort
Bus AC-5 runs along Johari Bazaar Road / Hawa Mahal Road directly to Amer – hop on at any point along the route. The journey takes about 40 minutes depending on the speed of your driver and how lenient he is with stops. Otherwise, you can easily hire a taxi or tuktuk to take you the 12km from Jaipur to Amer: the drive should only take about 25 minutes, traffic dependent. There are plenty of drivers lurking outside Amer Fort ready to whisk you back into town when you finish.