Forts of Jaipur – Rajasthan is famous for its beautiful palaces built with great architecture and stunning landscapes. Rajasthan is home to many royal families and boasts of unique cuisine and culture. Jaipur is the capital city of Rajasthan and was one of the first planned cities in India. It is also not far from Delhi and Agra and can be easily accessible by road or rail.
It is infect one of the three cities which is part of the Golden triangle and is a gateway to many tourist destinations. It is often also called as the Pink city because of the distinct pink shade being present in most buildings. The story behind this goes back to 1876 when Prince of Wales was visiting India on a tour. Maharaja Ram Singh painted the entire city pink as a mark of hospitality for the Prince.
It was founded by Raja Jai Singh II who was the ruler of Amer and was planned by the popular architect Vidyadhar Bhattacharya. Jaipur is also a hub of jeweler making, gemstone trade and handicrafts. Being historically so rich, there are many forts in Jaipur.
Jaipur is great example of the ancient buildings and old world charm co-existing with the modern city life. The 3 famous forts of Jaipur or Golden triangle include Amer Fort, Nahargarh fort & Jaigarh Fort. Let us discuss all of them in detail.
Forts of Jaipur –
#1 Amer Fort
Amer Fort is one of the UNESCO world heritage sites and is situated at Amer which is around 11 kilometers away from Jaipur. It is situated on a hilltop and is known for its unique architecture. It has a series of gates and cobbled paths and overlooks the Maota Lake which is the primary source of water for the palace.
It is built with red sandstone and marble and has four levels along with a courtyard. It was the official residence of the Rajput royal families and is located in the same complex as the Jaigarh fort with the two being connected by a subterranean passage. The city of Amer was founded by Raja Alan Singh who was a rule from the Chanda clan of Meena dynasty.
The construction of the fort was started during the reign of Raja Kakil Dev and the legacy was continued by Raja Man Singh who expanded and built many more structures inside the fort.
There are six sections inside the fort each having a separate entry gate and courtyard. The Sun gate was main entry gate to the Fort and was heavily guarded almost on all times. The Sila Devi temple is located at the entrance where the royal family would conduct animal sacrifices and pumas.
The Ganesh Pol gate has beautiful art fresco and latticed windows. The Diwan-i-Aam is majestic and has great decor. It was the place where the king would hold sessions with the general public and listen to their grievances. There are also gardens with water channels and fountains.
The Sheesh Mahal here has colored mosaics and convex mirrors which would glitter when candlelight was used. There are intricate carvings, floral inlays and artwork to marvel at inside the fort complex. It is a great specimen of Rajput architecture. Amer fort timings for visiting are from 8am to 6pm everyday and there is a light and sound show at 7pm as well.
#2 Jaigarh Fort
The Jaigarh Fort is perched on a cliff on the Aravalli range overlooking the Amer fort with which it shares the same complex. It was built by Jai Singh II and is named after him as well. It is almost of the same architecture as the Amer fort and houses an armory and a museum as well.
Jaigarh Fort provides stunning panoramic views of the Aravalli Hills and the Maota Lake. There is the Jaivana cannon which was one of the world’s largest cannons built around that time. This was also the place where most of the artillery was produced. The museum here has a collection of photographs of the royal family and many other artifacts.
It was basically built as a defensive fort to protect the Amer Fort and has thick fortified walls made with red sandstone. There are also two ancient temples within the complex.
A central watchtower was strategically built to provide views of the entire landscape and see movements of any enemies. There were water harvesting mechanisms to store water and then transferring these to storage tanks underground. Jaigarh Fort can be reached by just climbing up a few steps from the Amer Fort.
#3 Nahargarh Fort
Nahargarh Fort is situated at the edge of a cliff on the Aravalli hills and overlooks the entire city of Jaipur. This fort along with the Amer and Jaigarh forts formed the network of defensive structure around the city. It is said that the spirit of Nahar Singh Bhomia had caused obstructions to the construction of the fort and this place was considered haunted.
But a temple was built to pacify this spirit and it was named after the same person. Maharaja Jai Singh had built this fort and it was later extended. Nahargarh means the Abode of tigers which implied its strength and important from defending the fort from enemies.
Madhavendra Bhawan which was the summer retreat of the Rajput royal families is situated within this fort. The corridors are decorated with beautiful artworks. The fort provides stunning panoramic views of the entire city of Jaipur.
Jaipur does have some great forts boasting of rich history and great architecture. These forts in Jaipur should definitely figure in your list of places to visit if you are visiting Jaipur.
These forts are great places to know more about the rich history and culture associated with these places. Being close to Delhi and Agra, they are ideal weekend getaways for people where they can have fun as well as gain really interesting trivia about these places.