A city doesn’t scream rich heritage and beautiful architecture more than Jaipur. Colourful bazaars, ancient pink buildings, and a labyrinth of streets add to the charm, attracting several thousands of Indian as well as non-Indian tourists to admire the city’s magnificence. Amer Fort, also known as Amber Fort, is one such majestic citadel perched atop a hill. It served as a royal seat once, and is now a popular tourist spot for its impressive architecture, intricate mirror work, exquisite frescoes, and vibrant mosaics that adorn the fort’s many parts. It is easily one of the finest examples of hill forts in Rajasthan and well worth a trip. Here’s a guide to Amer Fort, Jaipur that you can use.
Things to do / highlights
Admire the fort's architecture
The fort is an artistic example of Hindu-Mughal styles of architecture, built out of marble and red sandstone. There are several parts of the fort where the architecture is worth checking out. The Jaleb Chowk, Shila Devi Temple, Diwan-i-Aam (Hall of audience), Jas Mandir (Hall of private audience), Sheesh Mahal (Hall of mirrors), Ganesh Pol (Observatory tower), and Sattais Katcheri (courtyard with 27 pillars) are some of the areas that exhibit some glorious aspects of architecture. Additionally, the fort’s central garden with a pool, Aram Bagh, is a visual delight too.
Spend extra time at Sukh Niwas
Amer Fort’s Sukh Niwas section has been designed such that the natural breeze conditions the place, serving as a respite for tired tourists. Plus, the mirror work at Sheesh Mahal is a real sight to behold. Do remember to admire the ‘magic flower’ carving, in particular. You’ll find it on a marble panel on a pillar. Cover parts of the design and you’ll find hidden a lotus, fishtail, lion’s tail, hooded cobra, scorpion, and even an elephant’s trunk! The design is quite the marvel!
Relish gorgeous views
Suraj Pol (Sun Gate) and Chand Pol (Moon Gate) are the fort’s ultimate viewing spots. They are called so because of their direction, facing towards the rising sun and moon respectively. Both these gates offer some scintillating views of the Jaipur city far ahead and even the Maota Lake down below. You can click hundreds of postcard-perfect pictures from here.
Visit the neighbouring fort
Amer Fort, Jaigarh Fort, and Nahargarh Fort served as Jaipur’s defence triumvirate. Out of the three, Amer and Jaigarh forts are connected by an underground tunnel, which the tourists can also use to shuttle between the two. Trips to both the forts can be planned in a single day. Golf carts are used to ferry visitors to and fro.
Catch one of the amazing shows
Amer Fort hosts pretty good light-and-sound shows that throw light on the fort and area’s history along with some captivating visuals. This show is an excellent means of gaining insight and is a hit amongst history buffs. They are available in Hindi as well as English and take place from 6:30pm onwards daily. Timings for Hindi and English shows vary, so it’s best you check before heading. The charges range from 1.5 - 3 USD per person. Live Indian Classical Dance performances are also hosted here periodically. You can check if one is being planned around the time of your visit and make arrangements accordingly.
For those of you having trouble navigating through all parts of the fort on foot, hitch a Segway scooter and enjoy your way around! These are available from 11am - 1pm, every Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Awesome, right?
What to eat
Offering a royal ambience, typical Rajasthani atmosphere, and delicious Indian snacks, Maota does its diners good justice. You can stop by for a quick bite here. Kachori, khasta, samosa, and tea fare the highest on diners’ list of faves.
Just around the corner from the Shila Devi Temple is 1135 AD, which offers a perfect blend of regal setup, fine hospitality, and first-class food. While their Rajasthani specialities are spectacular, so are other cuisines too. Go in for the Royal and Silver thalis (platters) for a sneak-peek into the best of Rajasthani dishes. Remember that dining here may be a slightly expensive affair.
Apart from these restaurants, you’ll even find small snack and coffee bars of Nescafe and Cafe Coffee Day in the fort’s premises.
Beat the crowds
Amer Fort is a huge tourist attraction, so you’re likely to find it quite crowded. While weekends are understandably packed, weekdays are a little respite. You can plan your visit accordingly.
Dress appropriately and carry essentials
For the most part, the fort can only be explored on foot. It is recommended that you wear weather-appropriate clothes and comfortable footwear. Carrying an umbrella along in summers might help. Additionally, ample of water, shades, sun hat/cap, and other such basic things.
You’ll find plenty of English as well as Hindi-speaking professional guides near the fort’s entrance. You can either hitch their services or even go in for one of the audio tours. The latter can be purchased from the Visitors’ Office at the fort. Remember that professional guides may choose to quote any price of their choice. Seek input from one of the other visitors if you feel you’re being ripped off.
How to get there
The trip to the fort’s entrance can be made on foot or even by a four-wheeler. For a truly fun experience, you can even hitch a ride on an elephant’s back. You’ll find them at the foothill, but remember that the services aren’t all that easily available during peak tourist seasons. They cost about 15 USD per person and run only between 7am and 11:30am.
You can hitch one of the several buses from Hawa Mahal, MI Road, or Ajmeri Gate that ply to Amer Fort. The tickets for most of these buses are about 0.2 - 1 USD per person.
You can enjoy an auto-rickshaw ride to the fort as well. However, this may be a slightly pricey affair, about 12 USD onwards.
You can make your way to Amer Fort in a private vehicle or even a cab would suffice. Local taxis and Uber, both, run till Amer Fort.
How to book tickets
Tickets for Amer Fort’s admission as well as the many shows that are held there are available on on-site, at the ticket counter near the entrance. Otherwise, you can purchase the admission tickets online as well. They’re available, here.
If you prefer buying tickets online, you can even consider purchasing a composite pass. This will allow you admission into some of Jaipur’s other tourist spots as well (Nahargarh Fort, Hawa Mahal, Albert Hall, etc.). These have a one-day validity and cost about 5 to 15 USD.
Amer Fort information
Address: Devisinghpura, Amer, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302001
Opening hours: 10am - 5pm (daily)
Price: 0.3 - 7 USD
Department of tourism: Visit Rajasthan
Amber Fort Light, Sound Show with Dinner, Transfer from Jaipur
Duration: 4 hours
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