The main reason for the construction of the Jaigarh fort is to give the protection to the Amber fort premises and the royals of Amer. The subterranean passage which connects both of these forts portrays the clever architectural mindsets of Rajputs. Under the artistic supervision of Maharaja Jai Singh 2, the Jaigarh fort got constructed with many open courtyards, viewpoints, fortified walls and especially the confusing corridors.
If you visit the Jaigarh fort, you must be aware of the corridors and you must surely be on alert on your paths because you may go wrong with the way you follow. And most importantly, no signs are mentioned to direct you towards places except the milestones which say the name of the premises or place or courtyard.
There are many inner courtyards and complexes situated in Jaigarh forts such as Subhat Niwas, Khilbati Niwas, Laxmi Vilas, Lalit Mandir, Sagar Chatri, Dining complex, Puppet theater, and many open courtyards. I have visited and I literally got confused too many times and always used to end up in these open courtyards which resemble the same.
This Sandstone constructed fort walls are painted in either Red or Yellow. As most of the wall paints got washed off due to the low maintenance or because of the weather and atmosphere, all walls look alike. Hence, this may confuse you. Till, Lalit Mandir, you will be okay to get along with the inside routes and corridors.
Before reaching Sagar Chatri premises and after leaving it to exit the fort gates, you will be surely confused. Even the security guards warn you by saying "Bhool Bhulaiya" routes which mean the mysterious puzzling corridors which makes you feel confused about the paths and you may lose your way. Hence, if you go alone, it's always recommended to take the help of any of the guards inside.
The fort guards are quite welcoming and they approach you before you ask for the help. If you want, please take a guard with you along and he also tells you the history and tales of the palace too. But they expect some money in the form of tips. Just tip them as a token of gratitude after they completely show you everything.
They act like inside tour guides of Jaigarh fort. One must need help to explore the whole inner premises of this fort especially when they shift from one courtyard to another and one complex to another.
The corridors are constructed in a narrow manner and with ceilings high and the entrances lower than the ideal height of a person. These are purposefully planned in such a way to get rid of risks who could attack the palace by breaking in. Hence, if an outsider breaks into the palace, he gets confused with the routes and especially corridors, because everything looks the same.
This might have worked well because this fort has never got attacked by anyone successfully. This fort has marked its place as the undefeated fort in the history of Rajasthan. The brilliance behind the construction of corridors is amazing.
I walked through some of the corridors and couldn't see the end till I reached it because all the ends seem dark because of the closed construction and the paths are very narrow that only one person could fit to walk and for every five steps, I found a square hole from which I could see other courtyards and walls. The interesting fact was I couldn't be able to recognize which courtyard I was seeing from the square holed ventilated spaces.
There are many stories regarding this fort and indeed rumors I guess, that people may wander off if they don't pay attention to the paths. Some of the entrances and exit paths were closed too. The iron gates were locked and when I asked the security guard he told me that those routes lead to the secret paths of town where one can end up totally at a new place out of the Palace or fort.
Maybe this is how the soldiers used to shift the royal family people during the attacks and wars. Some of them are the escape routes of the Jaigarh fort. Now that, no one has to escape, hence the routes got closed by iron gates and iron locks. This place looks adventurous and magical, but at the same time, it also looks a bit scary and more defensive too.
No wonder, this fort has considered as one of the best defense forts in the history. Due to its vast spaces and long corridors and open courtyards, this place makes a person go wrong with the paths. All the pavilions inside have also constructed similarly and when it comes to queen's quarters, the Zenana rooms also resemble the same to one another.
The best part of these rooms is, a person can have the bird's eye view of the Amber Palace from any of the open spaces on walls of the corridors and rooms. Altogether, this fort got some interesting paths to explore. You wouldn't know what is an exit and what is an entrance till you reach the place. And the fun part is, the entrances and exits are constructed as wall openings, not as particular gates and doors. This makes this place even more confusing.
If someone captures the bird's eye view of the Jaigarh Fort, surely it looks like a maze with its open courtyards, closed pavilions, wall openings, fort ventilation, air holes, long staircases, narrow corridors, vast garden space, umbrella-shaped viewpoints and most importantly the lengthy and wider fortified walls.
That's the whole concept behind the construction, to make attackers confuse and finish them off and I wonder how soldiers used to manage this whole complex construction of the fort. And yes, there were stories that soldiers used to get trained with the geography of the fort at the time of joining the military and sometimes, they also used to get confused with these mysterious paths of Jaigarh fort!