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"Amber Fort"

Amber Fort in Jaipur is a beautiful complex of palaces, halls, pavilions, gardens and temples built over a period of two centuries. From the base one can either walk up or ride a caparisoned elephant. Ready to be completely overawed by the magnificence of the grand fort. Amber is the classic romantic Rajasthan fort-palace.

Built in 1592 by Man Singh its walls depict painted scenes of hunting with precious stones and mirrors set into the plaster. In the foreground is the Maota Lake with breathtaking reflections of the magnificent Amber Fort-Palace. The Kachhwajas built the Amber palace when they rose in eminence and power under the Mughals. Man Singh I built it in a style to rival Mughal grandeur and opulence. Diwan-I-Aam has a double row of columns with elephant-head brackets, which had to be covered with stucco to escape the jealous eye of Jehangir. Ganesh Pol, entrance portal to inner palaces, is the most magnificent portal in Rajasthan, covered with elegant frescoes and crowned with pavilions carrying fascinating jail screens. Jai Mandir has millions of glass pieces on stucco.

The same scheme of ornamentation is repeated at Diwan-I-Khas, also built by Mirza Raja Singh. Sheesh Mahal, core of this structure, is the pinnacle of the art of ornamentation with glass. Rampas built within walls take you to the zenana palace built by the Man Singh I. A baradari stands at the centre of the spectacular courtyard surrounded by ladies apartments and frescoes depicting Krishna-lila scenes. Amber is undoubtedly the grandest achievement of Rajput architecture.

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