It is not easy to describe every single courtyard and every single gate of the Amber Palace, in one shot. Because it would be clumsy and confusing too. Hence, I have decided to segregate them in parts and let you understand the intricate details of the art and architecture of this 16th-century fort. As I have already published the blogs about the Sheesh Mahal or Jai Mandir & Jas Mandir where one can reach through the Jalebi Chowk and Ganesh Pol gate, Man Singh's Palace and the connecting Zenana, the another courtyard of this very fort is as important as others and can be considered as the second courtyard of this Palace.
Soon, after you enter through the main gate of the Amber Fort, you can see the vast vista of place where it leads to other courtyards and also this huge place used to be for the gatherings of festivals and the celebrations of victories and regularly used as the military practice by the soldiers. Called as 'Aangan' in Hindi, all the Palaces had these huge spaces after the entrance to commence activities and also, technically, it takes time to reach the attackers to attack the main palaces and royal blood. There is a hidden meaning and stories behind every construction of Rajputs, as they are always considered as the clever and also the most manipulative (in a good way) rulers of India.
This Red sandstone fort consists of various staircases to connect from one courtyard to another courtyard. You can enter the fort through the Sun gate, specially constructed to give a daily tribute to the Lord Surya or the sun god, which is situated on the east. As the sun rises, this tallest gate of the Palace, used to shine with the early rays of the sun and it is to be believed that coming and going through that particular gate, make a day, an auspicious one. You can find the broad staircase which is constructed with the signature Red sandstone in Rajput style, which takes you to the Hall of Public Audience.
You can find the halls of the public audience and the halls of the private audience in most of the palaces. To segregate the professional and personal life, also to separate the people's involvement through their castes and creed, the Kings used to have these courtyards, which are known as Diwan-i-Aam and Diwan-i-Khas.
The Diwan-i-Aam of the Amber Fort, which used to host, thousands of public audience, is the coolest one. Not because of its intricate designs, but because of the technology applied behind the construction of this hall. This courtyard also resembles the fusion of Mughal and Rajput culture, constructed with Red sandstone and Marble. Generally, the marble flooring keeps any place cool. You can find this courtyard on a raised platform, which makes you feel as escalating to the top floor of the palace. Because, of the elevation of this hall, a person can have a whole panoramic view of the courtyard, the fort, the front side of the palace, Maota lake and also the Jaigarh fort which is connected to the Amber fort through a subterranean passage.
This particular platform looks similar from any corner of the courtyard because of its 27 colonnades constructed similarly with marble. Yes, the marble pillars with the elephant carvings are one of the engaging things, you can view if you get into the platform. As the hall doesn't have any doors, or entrances or exits, this makes the whole hall remains cool and exposed to the atmosphere and the cool breeze.
There is also another reason, why all the halls and palaces of this fort remain cool at any time, because, the architect constructed these with hidden pipelines running through the pillars and walls of the halls, through which the channel of water flows always from the Maotha Lake which comes naturally attached to the Palace. Because of it, the halls remain cool all the time, regardless of the high and dry temperatures in Rajasthan!
Which means, because of its kind of construction and the technicality behind the architecture and the usage of marble flooring, make this Diwan-i-aam, the coolest courtyard of the palace. This used to make people feel comfortable while they used to attend the gatherings by the King.
Kings are meant to discuss the political issues, judgments, to share any information regarding the welfare of the Kingdom or to listen to the people's issues in and around the kingdom, in this Hall of Public Audience. This courtyard also used to conduct many public events and celebrations in which the King had to participate with his people during victories and other events too.
Keep exploring every pillar or colonnade of this courtyard, you will find the similarity, but the view gets better and better if you keep shifting from one pillar to another. At last, you should stop at one point, the point from where you can have the bird's eye view of the whole palace frontal side. This, you will witness at the first pillar of the hall, where the King used to sit and deliver his comments to his public.
Just spend a few minutes to breathe and feel the Palace. You will surely fall in love with the royal constructions. The detailing of the carvings on every pillar looks so gorgeous and feel by placing your hand on the pillars to feel the temperature. I have visited in the hot sun and I felt chilling soon after I stepped into this hall of the public audience. It was cold, breezy, and indeed happy.
Isn't it amazing to learn these stories from the ancient rule of the rulers of India and how they used to get involved with the construction of palaces, courtyards, temples and used to take care of the people belonged to their kingdoms? The Amber fort is very huge and there are too many stories to know too. Fortunately, I heard most of them, but there are many other to0, which I may explore in my next visit. Yes, these palaces deserve several visits. Trust me, in every single visit, you will come to know something new about these ancient monuments, which are constructed with utmost brilliance.