The Amber Fort of Jaipur, India

The Amber Fort, for me, took the prize as the most memorable place that I’ve visited in Jaipur, India. This place has it all — a large, often very beautiful complex of historically significant buildings to explore, and amazing views from the fort to the hills, lakes and other fortifications. This fort is a mark of Rajputana history in India. The famous movie – Jodha AKbar was shot here itself. Its a huge fort built to protect the area in ancient times. Its a must if you are travelling to Jaipur to take the short journey out of the city to visit the Amber Fort.

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The historic Amber Fort is approximately 10km from Jaipur. Once arrived the Amber Fort area, you can either take an elephant ride up or you can walk or drive up to the entrance at the main palace courtyard (Jaleb Chowk) from the pretty Maota Lake. Elephant rides are popular though somewhat steep at Rs 700 per head. Luckily it was actually free ride given by our local tour, the Savion Travel. We enjoyed the elephant ride to the top of the Fort. Beware…The keepers aren’t allowed to take tips but ours asked for one when we reached the palace courtyard. And then, he demanded more for the elephant.

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The fort and palace look very impressive as we approach the place and in general we enjoyed the walk around. As with most of the sight-seeing places we visited in India, there is a distinct lack of signs advising where you should go, however, I suggest that you just walk around and explore on your own, in your own time. We spent more than couple of hours roaming around this fort. We go through the maze corridors and every pillar and rooms and open spaces like reliving the experience of previous years glory and wondering how much luxury they lived in specially the number of maharanis. You can walk everywhere, climb stairs, go inside any room, lean your head out ancient windows and peer through ornate screens. One of things that I love here is taking a picture leaning out of the many tiny balconies and get lost in the myriad of rooms and passages. The fort is huge and surreal.

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 The complex had beautiful architecture and carvings on the wall inlaid with jewels. The breathtaking architecture of the fort and many intricate and innovative features of the interiors are a delight to watch, I could say one of the best photographic architecture of in Jaipur. It is well maintained and takes you back to history. However, this interesting sight is can be ruined by the armies of pedlars that pester tourists with cheap imitation goods around the Amber Fort. The elephants only take tourists up – not down, so you must walk down to the parking lot. The hawkers are very, very aggressive on the way down.

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Tips :

  • Entrance fee is 200 rupees for foreigners.
  • There were alot indian tourists and a bit of push and shove so suggest you go early.
  • You will get pestered to death by hawkers and photographers. If do want any of the pictures , barter hard and bear in mind the offer normally quickly changes to dollars if you actually want to buy it !
  • the guard who wants to show you something will demand money – do your own thing.
  • As soon as you are anywhere remotely near the palace, you will be accosted by “guides” touting their services. This constant pestering can be quite intimidating especially for foreigners. Indians know well how to deal with these situations by simply playing deaf and dumb.
  • I have to say that I found it swamped with tourists (too many to get away from) and very hard to navigate.
  • On a sunny day, make sure to wear sunscreen and a hat/umbrella…Rajasthan heat can be daunting

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