When you muse about the charm and the magic of India, the image of the once pristine Taj Mahal comes to mind. The emblem of undying love! But that’s not where the story ends. I found that my homeland hosts architectural jewels that can go toe to toe with the Taj and hold their own.
If you want to be transported back to grander times – times when delicate royal ladies peeped out of latticed windows as war-weary but triumphant soldiers laid out the treasures of faraway lands, then a visit to Rajasthan and specifically the Amber Fort of Amer is in order.
I will try not to wax eloquent about the magnificence of this structure. No words can do it justice. But I can guarantee that years will pass, and you will still remember the way the walls and the ceiling of the Sheesh Mahal (Hall of Mirrors) light up when the guide holds up a flickering candle flame. It is one of those moments when the past and the present fuse together – aided by the glue of sheer, breathtaking beauty.
The Sheesh Mahal boasts slender, whimsical flowers and mystical arches that are heavily influenced by Persian architecture. But what sets them apart is the mirror finish of the embellishments that twinkle from blocks of the whitest marble. The effect can be mesmerising.
You will lose track of time and yourself as you see your movements reflected and echoed in a million glistening starbursts that have seen generations flit by.
The merest hint of light transforms the inner rooms into jewel boxes that beckon you to ditch modern conveniences in favour of the memories of magnificence.
There are no skeletons in the closet of this Rajasthani marvel. Guides may try to spin tales of unrequited passion, but you can feel from the ambience and their lack of emphasis that the structure could have been home to wars and intrigue, but it was also the wellspring of prosperity and happiness for the people it supported.
Given a chance, I will return in a heartbeat.
A quick and rushed tour of this majestic complex will leave you unsettled. There is so much to take in. I recommend visiting Amber Fort multiple times to soak in the aura of Rajputana valour and vitality.
Cause that’s what Amber Fort is – vital and alive!
To your wanderlust and dreams!
Yours in Style,
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