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Amer Fort Jaipur
The Kachchawahas ruled from Amber, 11 km from Jaipur, for seven centuries.
With a history so old, it is not unexpected that there is a lot of
the past that can be traced in its archaeological history. While many
of the early structures have either disappeared or ruined, those dating
from the16th century on are in a remarkable state of preservation.
Amber as it exists now is the handiwork of three of the kingdom's
rulers that include Man Singh, and Jai Singh I and II. Approached
from a steep ramp, visitors ride up on elephant back, entering through
the grand Singh Pol gateway and continuing to Jaleb Chowk, the courtyard
where they disembark from the pachyderm. From here, they are faced
wit two flights of steps, one leading to Shila Mata complex with its
enshrined image of the goddess, and the other to the main palace complex.
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Within the complex, Ganesh Pol, an imposing gateway painted with images
of the elephant-headed god, Ganesh, takes pride of the place. Also
a part of the complex is the Diwan-i-Am or hall of the public audience
with its spectacular display of pillars. The typical merging of Rajput
and Mughal architectural styles is captured in the Sukh Nivas and
Jas Mandir apartments, and the Charbagh garden with its perfectly
proportioned landscaping. A highlight is the pierced screen windows
which offer views form points of vantage, as well as the shimmering
mirrors encrusting the walls of the Sheesh Mahal. Several other gardens
and pavilions within the sprawling spread of ramparts offer enough
scope for investigating medieval lifestyles at leisure.
Beyond the ramparts, the old city, once the abode of the aristocracy,
has a wonderfully medieval flavor, though it has few buildings of
majestic proportion that are still extant. However, a walk through
the rambling lanes will reap rich rewards for the curious besides
a large number of temples there are also step-wells, memorials and