Amer Fort is one of the most beautiful places in Rajasthan and it should definitely be on your list of things to do in Jaipur!
Imagine a majestical fort in different shades of sand stone standing high and mighty on top of a hill. From the top you’re greeted with a view over the entire city and the Arnavalli mountains. And while standing in front of it all you can think is how the hell where they able to build such masterpieces?
Amer Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a part of the “Hill Forts of Rajasthan” cluster. But even though it is commonly called a fort, in reality, it is a palace since it was a residential unit of the royal family. In total it’s called by many names such as Amber Palace, Amer Ka Kila, Amber Fort, and so on.
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Amer Fort in Jaipur – The Ultimate Visiting Guide
Amer Fort is located about 11km from the city centre and it’s one of the most popular things to do in Jaipur!
Amer Fort was constructed in the 16th century over the remains of the older fort by the then Jaipur ruler, Raja Man Singh I. It is located on the Hill of Eagles in the Arnavalli mountain range.
And if you look behind and above Amer Fort you’ll see a second one called Jaigarh Fort. Both of them are interconnected through a network of underground tunnels and are considered as one giant fort.
How to reach Amer Fort
Amer Fort is located in the city of Amer and a short drive away from the city of Jaipur.
HOW TO REACH JAIPUR
There are plenty of national flights connecting Delhi with Jaipur! Once you get down at Sanganer airport, hire a taxi or take a bus to reach the main city.
Jaipur is linked with the all the major cities of India through the network of National Highways 8, 11 and 12 to only name a few. Another option is to go by bus which only takes 3,5 hours. There’s a really good bus service provided by Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation (RSRTC) with the buses at about every half an hour.
Jaipur is well connected by railroad to a ton of different cities in India including Delhi. There are three main railway junctions including Jaipur, the main station; Gandhinagar and Durgapara. Every train stops at Jaipur junction and a few of the trains stop at Gandhinagar and Durgapara.
HOW TO REACH AMER FORT
Taking the bus in India is always a little bit of an adventure but it sure is the cheapest way to travel around! There are daily busses running every 10 minutes from Hawa Mahal which will take you to Amer Fort for only INR 25.
BY TUK TUK
This was my favourite way of transportation throughout India and to reach Amer Fort from Jaipur it will cost you around INR 200.
TIP – Most drivers have a deal with the owners of local tourist shops and they will always ask you to stop here so you can go shopping. Do know that they work on a commission, that’s the only reason why they want you to shop here ;). I always politely refused and was never hassled or pressured into shopping.
Both Ola and Uber are very common cab companies and they’ll charge around INR 250 for a ride to Amer Fort from Jaipur.
After reaching the fort you still have to go up to the entrance and there are several options to do so:
- On Foot – This was our preferred option cause the climb up is really not that high.
- By Jeep – If you’re traveling with small kids or you’re not that mobile you can go up by Jeep. It costs INR 500 for a round trip by Jeep.
- By Elephant – This is the mode of transportation that you should avoid at all costs! For elephants to behave in such an unnatural way they’ve been mistreated and beaten ever since they were babies. The carriages on their backs are way too heavy, let alone if two more people climb on it. They work non stop in brutal conditions so please don’t support this! If you’re interested in this topic and you wish to learn more about this you can do so here.
When to visit Amer Fort
Jaipur and Amer are located in a semi-desert regio, which has three distinct seasons: a warm dry winter, an unbearably hot spring/summer and a brief but intense monsoon season. I went in May which is part of the unbearably hot summer and I tell you, they’re not exaggerating.
There were times when we started exploring Jaipur in the early morning and by 7am the temperature had climbed up to 40°C. It’s no wonder we had to seek refuge in the AC during the day and that at times discovering all of these beautiful places in Jaipur felt like a struggle.
The winter months (November to Februari) are the best time to visit Jaipur and also the rest of Rajasthan for that matter. The weather is dry, sunny and warm. Due to its desert climate it does get chilly in the evenings so don’t forget to bring a jumper with you!
The opening hours of Amer Fort are as followed: 8am to 5.30pm and 6.30pm to 9.15pm.
Amer Fort is one of the most popular tourist attractions so I would advise you to go as soon as it opens to avoid the big crowds. Most tourist busses start arriving by 9 am and after that it can get very crowded!
Where to stay near Amer Fort
- Fairmont Jaipur – Built in the tradition of the region’s grand Mughal palaces, this majestic hotel offers the best in modern amenities and truly is a royal destination.
- Rambagh Palace – This hotel is known as the ‘Jewel of Jaipur’ and is the former residence of the Maharaja of Jaipur.
- Samode Haveli – An urban oasis in the historic walled city of Jaipur, Samode Haveli is a traditional Indian mansion set in a verdant garden.
- Samode Palace – Located a little outside of Jaipur but one of the most beautiful hotels I have ever seen.
- Umaid Bhawan – Heritage Style Hotel – A stunning 4 star hotel once crowned as one of the best hotels in Jaipur!
- Umaid Mahal – Heritage Style Hotel – A Jaipur heritage style hotel providing true Rajasthani hospitality in Jaipur.
- Jaipur CM-A Luxury Boutique Hotel – Located in Bani park and offering a more modern twist to your stay in Jaipur.
Amer Fort Visiting Guide for 2021
- Opening Hours – 8am to 5.30pm and 6.30pm to 9.15pm
- Entrance fee – INR 500
- It’s possible to buy a combination ticket for INR 1000 here. With this ticket you’ll have access to all of the following attractions in Jaipur: Amer Fort, Albert Hall, Jantar Mantar, Nahargarh Fort, Isar Lat, Sisodia Rani Garden, and Vidhyadar Garden.
- To avoid the crowds try visiting on a week day.
- I highly recommend taking a guide to avoid wandering around. Amer Fort is a huge fort and has lots of history associated with it. The guide will help you understand the history and purpose of the different sections of the palace. The guide can be booked both at the car parking area and ticket counter at Jaleb Chowk courtyard and will cost you INR 300.
- Wear flat shoes and comfortable clothing cause you’ll be doing a lot of walking while exploring the fort.
- Bring a water bottle with you as well as sunglasses and a hat.
- There are restrooms and cafés available within the fort.
- The total duration of your visit will be between 2 or 3 hours.
- The Amber Fort Palaces has four different levels and each one has its own courtyard.
Must see places within Amer Fort
1. GANESH POL
Ganesh Pol is located in the main palace of the Amber Fort and is one of the first main attractions you’ll encounter during your visit. It’s also one of the most popular ones!
It was also strategically important as an entry gate exclusive to the Kings and their families so that they could easily get inside the fort, into their private chambers without being disturbed.
During our visits they were setting up for an event unfortunately so it wasn’t easy to take the best photos here.
If you’re going with a guide definitely ask him to go here first to avoid the big crowds!
2. DIWAN E AAM
Diwan e Aam, also known as the Hall of Public Audiences, is where to king used to meet with important people.
3. ZENANA MAHAL
This is where the women of the palace used to reside and it was one of my favourite places to see! The central pavilion was used by the kind and his ladies to sit around and it’s surrounded by their rooms.
It is said that the king used to have 12 wives and literally one for each zodiac sign. A little weird, but apparently the man was very superstitious.
Plus the king’s rooms was connected to every single room of his wives through a private passage way. This way he could visit one wife without the other ones knowing.
4. SUHAG MANDIR
The beautiful Suhag Mandir is actually located above Ganesh Pol and a must visit on your tour. Make sure to ask your guide to include it in your visit!
5. AMBER FORT WALL
After our tour ended we were still allowed to wander around and at the back of the fort we found this amazing viewpoint over the Aravalli Hills.
6. SURAJ POL
Suraj Pol is the main gate of the Amber Fort Palace and also known as the Sun Gate. It’s through here that you’ll enter or exit the fort and then follow the zigzag road that leads up to the fort and has been the perfect setting for many Bollywood movies.
Top Things to do around Amber Fort Palace
1. The Great Wall of Amer
Climbing the Great Wall of Amer is one of the most fun and free things to do in Jaipur! It gets its name from its impressive length and as a reference to the Great Wall of China. But no one knows exactly how long the wall is.
Unfortunately a big chunk of this masterpiece is crumbling down fast but so far the local government only paid attention to the segments that are visible to the public and tourists. This could lead to loss of more than 50% of the wall in total.
The best place to climb up the Great Wall is right across from the entrance of Amer Fort. There’s a small staircase that will lead you all the way up and I can guarantee you that you’ll have an amazing view over the Aravalli Hills and Amer Fort! It’s a steep way up and in May it was pretty brutal because of the heat but like with everything in India it was worth the struggle!
- Opening hours – 24/7
- Entrance fee – Free
- Duration – 1 to 2 hours
2. Panna Meena ka Kund
Panna Meena ka Kund, also known as the most Instagrammable stepwell is actually also a hidden gem in Jaipur. This peculiar place is located only 10 minutes driving from Amer Fort and that’s why most tourists completely forget about it.
If you’re into photography then this architectural masterpiece has to be on your list of things to do and see in Jaipur. The zigzag structure of the stairs in combination with the water bassin below lends itself to some incredible photo ops.
The stepwell is protected by local guards to keep a close eye if you’re following the rules. As of recent it is not allowed to walk down the stairs anymore, this to preserve the monument en due to the fact that a lot of accidents happened over the past years. I can imagine people running up and down, taking selfies and maybe even falling over into the bassin.
During my visit in 2018 it was “allowed”. We asked the guard if it was possible to go down and he told us that for INR 100 we could have 10 minutes but only when there’s no other people around.
- Opening hours – 7am to 6pm
- Entrance fee – Free
- Duration – 30 minutes
3. Nahargarh Fort
Nahargarh Fort is one of the best forts in Jaipur and stands on the edge of the Aravalli Hills, overlooking the Pink City. Along with Amer Fort and Jaigarh Fort it once formed a strong defence line.
But these days the Nahargarh Fort is mostly known as one of the best places to see the sunset in Jaipur and so we did on our first evening in India! We jumped in one of the Tuk Tuk’s in front of our hotel and after bumpy ride of about 30 minutes we arrived at the entrance of this magnificent fort. We settled on a return time with our driver and he would wait for us outside of the fort.
The view over the Pink City was absolutely mesmerising and at one point I had to pinch myself to believe I was actually sitting there, in the middle of India!
I climbed up the wall to get a better view, me being a midget and all, but always be cautious when doing so. The locals and the guards are not a fan of this so I would actually advise you to go a little more down to have more privacy.
- Opening hours – Every day from 10am until 10pm. I would not attempt to hike down after 10pm cause Nahargarh Fort is located within a nature park that’s full of wild animals. And yes, there are tigers around Jaipur!
- Entrance fee – INR 200
- Duration – 1 to 2 hours
4. Jal Mahal
Jal Mahal is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Jaipur. It’s a water palace located in the heart of the Man Sagar Lake.
As a visitor it’s not allowed to enter the palace but you can admire its beauty either from the shoreline or by boating on the lake!
5. Jaigarh Fort
Jaigarh Fort is one of the most famous and renowned forts in Jaipur and still it is often overlooked by a lot of tourists. Therefore it’s one of the more unique things to do in the Pink City!
Jaigarh Fort, also known as Victory Fort, is 3km long and is connected to Amer Fort by subterranean passages and considered as one complex.
- Opening hours – Every day from 10am until 5pm
- Entrance fee – INR 100
- Duration – 1 to 2 hours
6. Royal Gaitor Cenotaphs
The Royal Cenotaphs are another unique places to visit in Jaipur and are simply stunning to photograph.
Located on the Nahargarh foothills these stone monuments are intricately carved and beautifully displayed. It’s here that the former Maharaja’s of Jaipur found their final resting place.
Royal Gaitor is still one of those hidden gems so make sure to quick before it becomes too famous.
- Opening hours – Every day from 9am until 5pm
- Entrance fee – INR 50
- Duration – 1 hour
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