Amber Fort, Jaipur

With PG in India for only 2 weeks, we had to plan quite a bit to make sure we saw the Taj Mahal (after all, agar Taj nahi dekha to kya dekha?). And then I thought, if we’re going to Agra, we might as well go to Jaipur too, since the latter is a much better city anyway. However, with Kolkata, Darjeeling and the Sunderbans thrown into the itinerary already, we were looking at two very busy weeks. Nevertheless, we bit the bullet and voila, found ourselves at Jaipur! Okay, not quite. We had to brave the awful road trip from Agra to Jaipur with roads so bad, that sometimes driving off of those road was better. But, after all was said and done, we actually got a lot done! In other words, I’m glad we we made that trip.

Rajasthan is a beautiful state and Jaipur offers a glimpse of what the state has to offer in terms of a colourful palette and luxurious royal palaces. Amber Fort, (pronounced as ɑː meɪ r), some few kilometers outside of Jaipur city, was built by  the Hindu Rajput king, Raja Man Singh I in the late 16th century. The fort was later fully expanded by his descendant Raja Jai Singh I, and combines Mughal influence with Rajput architecture. Legend has it that the Mughal Emperor, Jehangir, was so incensed at the magnificence of the Diwan-e-Khas (Hall of private audience), that he ordered the Hall to be demolished in a fit of jealousy.  To save the structure, Jai Singh had the  sandstone column plastered over with stucco to give the impression that all the tales of magnificence were pure invention.  The Diwan-e-Khas still stands, so presumably Emperor Jehangir was suitably placated. 

 Amber Fort