Amer FortThis magnificent fort was built not by one but three rulers - Raja ManSingh initiated the project. Mirza Raja Jai Singh took over the cudgels from Raja Man Singh and the finishing touches were given by Sawai Jai Singh. This colossal fort took as long as two centuries to build, the major portion of the work was carried out in the 1500's.
The Amer Fort stands like a sentinel above the stillwaters of the Maotha Lake. The fort is a living testimony where the Hindu and Mughal architectural styles have merged in complete harmony to create a masterpiece of fusion architecture. In the days of yore, the Amer Fort used to be a palace, an administrative headquarter as well as a strategic military bastion.
One of the best ways to reach this imposing fort is by an enchanting elephant ride. Once inside, the fort reveals its majestic grandeur like a veil slipping from the face of a beautiful woman replete with medieval courtyards, exquisite temples, enchanting pavilions and gardens that seems to be a replica of Eden on earth.
The interiors of the fort has an amazing array of painted engravings and its parapets are adorned with intricate mirror and stone works. The initial courtyard of the fort is flanked by two stupendous edifices - Diwan-E-Aam built of red sandstone and the marvelous Ganesh Pol Gate. Further ahead, an array of walkways beautifully surround an archetypal Mughal garden around which there is the Sukh Niwas and on the other side is the Jas Mandir. However, the centerpiece of attraction is the magnificent Sheesh Mahal which is replete with ornate mosaics, tinted mirror and glass embellishments all of which makes it a place of stunning beauty.
The Fort's in-house Kali temple popularly referred to as the Shila Devi Temple is shrouded in mystery. The temple is conspicuous by its awesome silver doors and silver lions.
There is also the Zenana or the Women's Palace which has exclusive enclosures or chambers that are linked by a general walkway. The zenana is shrewdly designed to provide utmost seclusion and solitude to the Maharaja's queens.
The Fort also has remnants of its rich past and the oldest of ruins dates back to the 16th century. The fort can be divided into four segments and there are two ways of reaching - one is by climbing the daunting flight of steps and the other is by riding on elephant back through the expansive passageway. The intriguing Jaleb Chowk is the central courtyard and in the days of yore the victorious royal armed forces were received and greeted here and presented their war booty to the general public.