India is so much more than the Taj Mahal. A visit to Amber Fort in Amer, Rajasthan left me captivated. Don’t let the yellow and pink crumbling sandstone fool you. The insides of Amber Fort are to die for even centuries after the masters who crafted this legend have passed.
Amber has four courtyards. The two gates Suraj Pol and Chand Pol are dedicated to the celestial luminaries – the Sun and Moon respectively. Nowadays if you enter the Fort on foot, it is likely that you will make the ingress through the Suraj Pol and those who opt to go by car are ushered in through the Chand Pol. But the guide said with pride that the manly Maharajas always used the Suraj Pol, and my ever romantic mind believes that they reserved the Chand Pol for their comely wives (jananas) in respect of the yin-yang balance.
You will see tourists moving in droves towards the Diwan – I – Am or the Hall of Public Appearance. Well, I did give the second courtyard a cursory glance. But the sliver of magic that held me enraptured was born of silver. The doors of the Sila Devi Temple are gorgeous, featuring intricate repoussé (raised relief) work that still shines and mirrors the awe-filled eyes of those who take the detour it demands. The third courtyard was where I whiled away the hours because the Sheesh Mahal and the Sukh Niwas are a woman’s dream!
The Sukh Niwas had an ancient system of waterworks mimicking the effect of today’s HVAC set-ups. But you won’t see ugly coils or wires anywhere. What you will stumble upon is a small cascade of marble steps kissed by a generous tumbling sheet of water adorned with flecks of the sunlight’s gold. Who said functionality couldn’t be aesthetically appealing? I learnt whole new lessons to implement in my craft thanks to my visit to the Amber Fort.
It’s difficult to resist the pull of your heritage and the allure of forgotten beauty.
The Amber Fort is a perfect combination of both.
To your wanderlust and dreams!
Yours in Style,
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