Pink City Surprises!
2014, Winter, I got a chance to visit the historic hill forts in Jaipur. I was the happiest to see Amber Palace for it lights up at night. It has an artistic style of Hindu elements. It is an opulent palace complex built with red sandstone and marble. It has the usual palace architectural elements of Diwan-e-Khas and Diwan-e-Aam, the Sheesh Mahal and the Sukh Niwas are an addition. Each space has its own role to play.
The palace has four main sections. Main entry is through the Suraj Pole which leads to Jaleb Chowk, which is the first main courtyard. A stairway from the Jaleb chowk leads into the main palace grounds. The Ganesh Gate is the entry into the private palaces of the Maharajas. Above this gate is the Suhag Mandir where ladies of the royal family sat through the proceedings. On the right side of Jaleb Chowk there is a small temple of Sila Devi. The king was a devotee of the Goddess.
The second courtyard has Diwan-e-Aam. The third has the private quarters for the royal family. The building left to the Ganesh Gate has multi-mirrored ceilings and glass inlaid work, is called Jai Mandir. The building to the right is the Sukh Niwas. It had an air-conditioned environment built artificially using water supply. There is a garden between Sukh Niwas and Jai Mandir built on the lines of the Mughal Gardens. The fourth courtyard, Zenama, housed all the female folk of the family. Unfortunately, the palace has been listed by the World Monument Fund as one of the hundred endangered sites in the world. It still manages to attract tourists from all over the world.