Saturday, December 13, 2008

Magical Amber City and Fort, Rajasthan, India

A thriving trade centre by the C10 AD, Amber City and its fort are one of those magical places you tend only to come across by accident - it's very out-of-the-way and with no direct train line.

I only heard about it through the driver of our all-India taxi - one of those amazing Indian ideas that has for some reason or other has not caught on in the rest of the world. You hire the car and driver for a period - a day/week/month/? - and go wherever on the sub-continent.

And so, as we headed off towards Jaisalmer in far western Rajasthan (via Pushkar, Jaipur, Udaipur, Fatapur Sikri), we made a detour to Amber City. And on arrival there, headed for the 'Elephant Stand' - as you do!

After rejecting a diminutive broken tusked animal (the RSPCA would not approve!), we each mounted our A1 specimens ...

... and were on our way up to the fort:

While the interior is interesting enough ...

... what is really the thing at the fort is the roof ...

... and its extraordinary view over the countryside ...

Mind-blowingly beautiful and breath-taking.

So next time you're in India, it'd be a capital offense to miss this - don't you think?

NB: The first two photos are from the net, the rest are mine.


  1. all i see are hills and hills.

    Hows the elephant ride. kinda smooth sailing or bumpy.

  2. hi jenny

    if you look at the second and third major outlook pics you see a formal mogul garden - like a rigid bunch of stone squares

    the ride was slow and steady - neither bumpy or smooth - kinda in the middle - unlike camels i've ridden in egypt that we like being at sea



  3. Nick -

    Thx for sharing your photos of a beautiful place which otherwise I would never have been aware of much less visited. You're a lucky dude.

    Alan down in Florida

  4. hey alan

    it was just luck finding out about the place, really

    and the pics compelled me to post them - i had no choice!

  5. Very interesting pics of yet another place I will never be able to visit. Thanks a lot, Nick! (lol)

    Couldn't help but notice the monkeys roaming around the cities there.

  6. hey greg

    there're lots of places on my 'will never visit' list - remember being in paris as a kid and looking at the map showing all the cities of france and realizing (sadly) that it'd impossible to see them all

  7. Great to see your travels.... last year this time, a friend and I also visited the Amber Fort, and went to Udaipur and Jaisalmer (mostly by train rather than the all-India taxi). In Udaipur, we made friends with the young guys at the hotel, and ended up tearing around the town in a tuk-tuk taxi (auto-ricksha)visiting a boys-only dance-club and watching the sun set overlooking the Lake Palace. The most interesting fort we visited was at Jodphur - Meherangarh - where the remnants of the Maharajah's family had made sure that the place was beautifully restored and well-presented for visitors. I'd be interestd in your impressions of Jaisalmer - I thought it was a remarkable place.... had an interesting evening at Desert Boys Guest House, when the owner lit a huge oil candelabra with dozens of wicks.... in a darkened room.

  8. hey trevor

    though we were heading for Jaisalmer, we got 'stuck' in Udaipur - we'd been traveling for some months and realized we needed to just hang for a bit.

    and had a great hotel with a 'bay' (?) window hanging right out over the ghats

    and a wonderful roof-top restaurant with views across the lake

    so i'd be interested to hear your reactions to that place we never reached! it's fabled and i'd seen lots of photos but i've become wary of some places not living up to their myths - some do tho - like Amber Fort!

    never seemed to gaydar any kind of scene in india - which would have been nice - so glad to hear someone has made contact!