After having had a wonderful time in the elefantstic we bid our farewell to the entire team working there and made our way to Amer fort on elephants. It was a royal ride of about half an hour to the top of the hill where the fort is located. We enjoyed a magnificent view of the surroundings without wearing out our shoes. With its large ramparts, series of gates and cobbled paths the fort is located high on the hill overlooking a lake. We could see so many local as well as foreign tourists there. The place was buzzing with excitement. Till now I have seen many forts in India, all of them have some unique factor of its own. Amer fort is made up of red sandstone and marble. There is a four level layout plan in this huge palace and each level has its own entry gate and courtyard. One enters the palace through the sun gate and here in the first courtyard armies used to hold their victory parades while returning from the battle field and the females of the royal family used to witness it through their windows. The second courtyard had Diwane-e-Aam or “The hall of public audience” where the king used to listen to the grievances of the general public. There was also a place called Diwane-e-khass or “hall of the private audience”. The private quarters of the Maharaja were in the third courtyard where he lived with his attendants and his family. One could see two beautiful buildings here across the courtyard. One is the mirror palace and the other one is the hall of pleasure. With glass inlaid panels and multi- mirrored ceilings and mirror mosaics the palace looked beautiful. Something very interesting is what we noticed around the mirror palace. At the base of one of the pillars there is a magic flower which has seven unique designs of fish tail, a lotus, a hooded cobra, an elephant trunk, a lion’s tail and a scorpion. Though over the period of time it has worn down but one can still feel the magic. The hall of pleasure or ‘sukh mahal’, is a masterpiece in itself as a cool climate is artificially created there by winds that blow over the water cascade within the palace. The innermost courtyard and the palace used to be for the royal ladies with many living rooms. Some part of it was roped off and we couldn’t see the inside, only had a glance from the outside.
All in all it was a good experience the only disappointing part was that the hawkers there were trying to sell all kinds of things to the tourists. Even if you were not interested they would just encircle you and insist about having their stuff.
We could not see the light and sound program as we were in a hurry to get back to the hotel after a hectic day. Our guide told us many interesting stories related to the fort. One of them being the king’s visit to one of his queens who were living in the same quarters but different chambers. He said that no one could make out as to which queen the king made the visit to, now as all the doors were connected to the common corridor and courtyard I just wondered how it could remain a secret??