Situated at the apex of Khati Kho hills, the Amber Fort is a majestic beauty. Strongly fortified, the fort is an engineering marvel. It is believed to be an enchanted castle.
Its name derives its origin from Ambikashwar, a title for Shiva, or from Ambarisha. An inscription that dates back to 954 A.D. is an evident attraction. There were times when the place was under the domination of Mina tribes, wherefrom it went into the hands of the braveheart Rajpoots, who shredded blood to conquer the land in the 11th century.
The range of hills, just a little less than 400 ft surrounds the fort, making it a super protected area or reign. Also, the forest cover provided defense against invasion. The ascent to the fort takes us to the first gate.
The second gate marks a point for bifurcation in two paths, the first path towards the right leads upward with a slight ascent, while the second one is a direct connection to the castle of Jaigarh. Jaigarh is a fortified castle standing at 500 ft, encased in strong and battle ready walls, providing a guarantee of protection.
A gate after the bifurcation leads to Jaigarh via an ascending path. “Deewa Burj” is a high tower that stands till date and was used as search lighthouse in olden days, indicating the fort’s location. Also, it facilitated the surveillance and monitored the activities of invasion from enemies.
An archway is an entrance to the lower terrace of the palace. Palaces and barracks base, cover both the sides. A double gateway called Singh Pol, takes to the Royal Palace on the extreme left. The Singh Pol, opens into the court of Diwan-i-Am. Situated behind this Pol is the Kali temple. The while marble masterpiece with silver studded doors offers a scenic sight.
As one passes through the Singh Pol, he finds himself at the two upper courts. Both these are beautiful avenues and exemplary pieces of fine architecture. Mirza Raja Sawai Jai singh pioneered the construction of a three side open Diwan-i-Am (The hall of the audience). Covered by a vaulted roof and strongly supported by beautifully carved grey marble and sandstone pillars, the place is believed to have kindled the jealousy of Jahangir. The pillars exhibit marvelous carvings of elephants and frescos. The 48 columns in the hall are the evidence of Indo-Muslim architectural excellence.
Mosaic and temper covered Ganesh Pol, built by Mirza Raja Sawai Jai singh in 1639, is another major attraction in the queue. The interiors with colored glass piece manifest the royal apartment. The Jai Mandir, Sheesh Mahal, and Jas Mandir are home to beautiful motifs, the proofs of skills that the artisans then possessed. The sandalwood doors with ivory touch at Sukh Mandir and the marble screen at Sohag Mandir behold every eye that falls on them. The palace of Raja Man Singh, the museum, Maota lake, and temples are a must watch for every travel enthusiast.
The Arawali ranges encircle the town and blend into the Nahargarh fort at one side and to the city on another. This merger gave time, suffice enough to plan a strategy in case of attack from foes.
The royals who scripted history for Amber were Raja Bharmal, who went into ties with Mughals, Maharaja Man Singh- the General of Mughals, Jai Singh, who attained the title of Mirza Raja.
A famous tale about Mirza Raja goes like, he held two glasses of wine n a hand each terming them as Shivaji and Aurangzeb. Finishing with one, he dashed the glass and said: “here goes one, and second is my firm grip, I can smash it anytime I wish to.”
Mirza Raja Sawai Jai singh then moved to Jaipur and ruled for 44 long years.