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All You Need To Know About Visiting The Amer Fort In Jaipur, India
Amer Fort is an iconic tourist attraction in Jaipur, the beauty of which cannot be described in words. Built atop a forested hill of the mesmerising Aravalli mountain range, it is one of those extraordinary places in India that has to be seen to be believed. A renowned UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2013, Amer Fort truly is, Jaipur’s very own jewel if you ask me.
Made of pink and pale-yellow sandstones with hints of white marble, it should come as no surprise that Amer Fort is one of the . Also known as Amber Palace, Amber Fort, Amer Palace, and Amer Ka Qila; this grand architectural marvel, really is, that one sight that you cannot leave the pink city without seeing.
So if you are coming to Jaipur soon and are feeling a little overwhelmed with all the planning that there is to do, then worry not. As a local who has been to the fort numerous times, I am happy to share my tips with you. From when to visit, to what to see and wear; here is all the information that I think you will ever need before visiting the Amer Fort in Jaipur.
History Of Amer Fort
Amer Fort, as we know it today, was built in the late 16th century. However, its antiquity actually dates back to a much earlier era. It is believed that when the Meenas founded the town of Amer in 967 CE, it was Raja Alan Singh of the Chanda clan who first built a settlement there in the 11th century.
Later on, the Kachwaha Rajputs took over and started governing the town of Amer. During this period, Raja Man Singh, the Kachwaha King of Amer, built Amer Fort upon the ruins of the aforementioned settlement. This construction itself took a few years to complete; but various Rajputana successors after him continued to add beautiful architectural elements to it for the next 150 years.
The addition that stands out the most to me, and is also largely loved by visitors as well, is that of the Ganesh Pol. When Raja Jai Singh I expanded the Amer Fort, he added this remarkable painting to one of the many entrances, marrying Mughal and Rajputana style elements.
Soon after, the city of Jaipur started developing and the capital of Rajasthan was shifted from Amer to Jaipur in 1727. The fort has been abandoned since then, but it is incredible to see how it is still standing robust centuries later.
Where Exactly Is Amer Fort Located?
Amer fort is situated in a small town called Amer near Jaipur. Being the former capital of the princely state of Rajasthan, Amer is where many ancient edifices can be found today. It is approximately 11 kilometres (6.8 miles) from the city of Jaipur and 22 kilometres (13.7 miles) from the Jaipur International Airport.
If you are visiting Jaipur for only a couple of days, I would recommend combining all the spots situated in the town of Amer together and dedicating a day to exploring them. But if you don’t mind the drive or are staying close by, then Amer has beautiful sunrise and sunset points that can be admired on separate occasions.
How To Best Reach There?
Even though Amer Fort is located only a 20-minute drive eastwards of Jaipur, getting there can still become more expensive or time consuming than you would like. Here are the most common transport options to help you decide the best way to get there:
- Bus: If you are travelling on a budget, then taking a bus might be an ideal option for you. Buses in Jaipur run every day between Hawa Mahal (in the old city) and Amer Fort at an interval of 10 minutes. Depending on whether you would like a non-AC or an AC bus, the prices are INR 15 and INR 30 respectively.
- Auto-rickshaw: Auto-rickshaws can be found almost everywhere in India, so this is another great option to get to Amer Fort from Jaipur. Regardless of which area you are coming from or going back to, there shouldn’t be any trouble hailing a rickshaw in the pink city. The prices for these vary depending on the distance, but is usually around INR 200-250 from/to the old city.
There is a big parking zone at the front of the fort where many rickshaws are often on standby. If you prefer this option, then you can easily get a rickshaw from Amer Fort’s front parking on your way back to Jaipur.
- Taxi: Taking a taxi, without a doubt, is the most convenient option. If you would rather choose comfort over price, then I would recommend booking a cab to visit the Amer Fort and its nearby places. Similar to other big cities in India, there are two taxi aggregator companies in Jaipur that you can use:
* Uber is the global one and works pretty much in the same manner as it does everywhere else in the world (in India, they also accept cash). It is often cheaper than its Indian counterpart, Ola, for one way rides; and might even cost you a comparable price to an auto rickshaw.
* However, if you are going to be visiting a lot of places in a day, then hiring a taxi for an entire day or a few hours might be the best. This is where I would choose Ola over Uber, as the former has additional booking options according to your required time and distance.
* You can request your cab like you would with Uber, but in Ola, the car and the driver stay with you for your entire booking duration if you want. This is what I recommend all my Jaipur Photo Tour clients and friends to use as it typically ends up being cheaper in the long run.
How To Get To The Top Of Amer Fort?
Once you take your preferred mode of transport and reach Amer Fort, you’ll find yourself on the main road of the town that is at the foot of the fort. The entrance to this otherworldly landmark and its ticket office is actually situated at the top of the hill, so you will now have to use one of these methods to then get to it:
Walking is the most straightforward option. The encircling path consisting of cobbled pavements and staircases should take around 15-25 minutes for most physically fit people. There are also many picturesque points along the way that have a compelling view of Amer Fort’s exterior which is why I personally love this option for first timers and photographers.
However, it can be a bit tiresome if you are visiting when the sun is really strong in the afternoon, so definitely keep the weather in mind when making your decision.
If you do not wish to hike and prefer a transport, then you would be happy to know that golf carts are available throughout the day. You can easily get one near the elephant boarding point for a price of INR 40 one way. These electric golf carts would directly drop you at the ticketing level of the fort, where the main entrance is.
You can also hire a jeep from the front parking of the fort if you like. These are more expensive than the golf cart, but might be worth it if you are in a big group (maximum capacity is 5 passengers). A round-trip on a jeep would cost you INR 500.
Taking Your Own Car Or Taxi
This is the option that I personally use. Known to locals and most frequent visitors, there is a back entrance to Amer Fort where cars are actually allowed. You can ask your driver to take you from there or drive yourself and use the parking available at the top.
The parking tends to be cheaper there than the one available at the front of the fort and the best part is that a car can actually drop you near the ticket booths and the main entrance. However, please know that regardless of whether you choose to park there or not, you will still need to pay the parking fee when you access this path.
Architecture Of Amer Fort
Consisting of colossal courtyards, exquisite entrances, royal rooms and all the magnificence in the world; it is no surprise that every nook of the Amer Fort is a sight to behold. Made of sandstones and ivory marbles that appear to be beautified by time, this architectural wonder is a perfect amalgamation of Rajput and Mughal designs.
From the moment that you first get a detailed glance at the fort and its surroundings from the bottom of the hill; to the time that you come across an entire room full of mirrors, a beautiful garden in the middle of the lake, and the wonderfully carved magic flower; there are just so many features and elements that captivate a visitor throughout the tour.
The main building of the fort is separated into four sections, each having its own courtyard. You will enter the fort through one of the gates leading to the first courtyard and then ascend to others, one after the former. Each of these four sections have undergone two centuries of changes under many Rajput kings and have their own charisma.
The manner in which the fourth section, in particular, is designed is truly praiseworthy. It might look a bit simple when you first see it, but the fact that it allowed the kings to ensure that no other queens or mistresses would find out when they would be visiting one instead the other while all the rooms remained connected through a common corridor is astonishing.
Best Time To Visit Amer Fort
Being located in a desert state in India, Jaipur is known for having intense summers. The temperatures between April to June go as high as 47 degrees Celsius during the day, so it is advisable to avoid travelling here during those months. July and August come with regular rainfalls whereas September experiences only a few returning showers.
The best time to visit Amer Fort (and Jaipur in general) is between October to February. October is when the tourists start coming into the city, so if you want to experience decent weather with minimal crowds then it would be the ideal time to visit here before the peak season.
Although mid to late March is considered the end of the tourist season in Jaipur, I personally feel that it starts to become really hot in the afternoon in March to comfortably explore the city.
Amer Fort opens its doors to tourists twice a day. You can choose the most common option and visit it anytime from 8 am to 6 pm every day. Or, go later in the evening for a unique experience.
As part of the Jaipur night tourism program, this beautiful place now reopens again every day from 6:30 pm to 9:15 pm during the winter months (1st October-31st March) and 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm during summer (1st April-30th September).
There is also a light and sound show that happens in the evening, but it is outside the main building. It does not include the tour of the fort, but you can read more about it below. If you are coming here for the first time, I would suggest visiting the fort during the day and admire all its splendour and intricate details in daylight.