Amber, or Amer, was formerly the capital of the Rajput Kachhwaha dynasty before it was moved to the city of Jaipur. The Kachhwaha dynasty ruled this area from the 12th to the 18th centuries. It is situated 11km northeast of the city on Amber Rd, the road that goes to Delhi.
A highlight of coming to the fort is the elephant ride, to the top of the hill, where the fort is located. At the bottom of the hill is the Yajnastambha, a stone column commemorating an Asvamedha-yajna (sacrifice) performed by Sawai Jai Singh. Maharaja Man Singh (1589–1614), who was a general in Emperor Akbar’s army, began construction of this fort in 1592. Mirza Raja Jai Singh (1621–67) and Sawai Jai Singh (1666–1743) added to the palace. The fort is built in the Rajput style with influences from the Mughal architectural style.
It is interesting to walk around the fort, up and down the stairs, down the corridors, and through the courtyards. You enter the fort through Suraj Pol (Sun Gate) from the east, and then you enter the main courtyard, Jaleb Chowk. To your left in the southwest corner of the courtyard is the beautiful marble Sri Sila Devi Kali Temple.
Next to the temple are steps leading to the entrance to the Maharaja’s residence. When you go up the stairs, you pass through Singh Pol (Lion Gate) into another courtyard. In front of you is the Diwan-i-am (Hall of Public Audience), which is open on three sides.To your right, on the south side, is the impressive mosaic-tiled Ganesh Pol Gate, which serves as the entrance to the maharaja’s quarters. After entering the Ganesh Pol Gate, to your left toward the main road, is the Jai Mandir (Sheesh Mahal).
Built by Mirza Raja Jai Singh, it has mosaic panels inlaid with glass, mirrors, and marble carvings. The Jas Mandir, Hall of Glory, is above the Jai Mandir. Across from the Jai Mandir, on the side away from the road, is the Sukh Niwas, or Hall of Pleasure.
It has a narrow channel in which water flowed from a tank on the roof to cool the room in the summer’s burning desert heat. It has a sandalwood door inlaid with ivory.