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For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni
For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni 

Things to do in India

Experience the magnificence of Amber Fort

Jaipur has so many beautiful monuments, Amber Fort being the most impressive at 1,000 years old…

By Surendra Singh Rajawat
Tour Guide specialising in North India

Jaipur has so many beautiful monuments, Amber Fort being the most impressive at 1,000 years old, located high on a hill, surrounded by the Aravalli mountains. The rampart is around 11km long and in some ways looks like the Great Wall of China.

Founded in the 16th century by the great commander of the Mughal rulers, Raja Man Singh, the whole palace is divided into four levels each with their own courtyard. We enter through the east-facing Sun Gate used by the maharajas and their VIP guests that in turn opens up to the first courtyard where victory parades would take place.

We then go through the Singh Pol or the Lion Gate to the Hall of Public Audience filled with beautiful paintings, carved pillars and latticed marble from where royalty would address petitions from the public. In the 19th century, a billiards hall was added in which the maharaja used to play with his British friends.

In the second courtyard, we visit a beautiful hammam with stunning views of the Maota Lake below and its island garden, Saffron Garden, constructed using the well-known star-shaped geometrical architecture attributed to the Mughals. Ganesh Gate, the entry point to the private palace of the maharajas, is one of the most beautiful gates in the world, decorated with countless fresco paintings and semi-precious stones. Inside the complex, you’ll find the Hall of Mirrors, adorned with a ceiling filled with mirror mosaics and colourful glass which used to glitter under candlelight.

On the opposite side of the courtyard, we enter the Hall of Pleasure used as a summer retreat with ivory and alabaster work, white marble and walls made of sandalwood that would perfume the evening air. You’ll see a room where the maharajas used to keep their carriages used by the royal ladies who were carried from one part of the complex to another. On festivals like Diwali, the wife of the chief king wore gold embroidered dresses weighing around a whopping 9kg so the carriages were quite a necessity. That’s why you’ll see ramps everywhere around these kinds of forts. You can’t miss the oldest part of the Amber Fort where Man Singh’s 12 wives were kept in apartments. Each room has a secret passage to the maharaja’s palace!

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  • History
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Alfred & Surendra Singh Rajawat

With more than 16 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Surendra is a highly motivated tour guide with in-depth knowledge of North India. He specialises in history and architecture but also loves to introduce visitors to the country’s contemporary culture and lifestyle.