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Jaigarh Fort

The Jaigarh Cannon Foundry

The Jaigarh cannon foundry, built by Bhagwan Das in the 16th century, is one of the few surviving medieval foundries in the world. It has a furnace, lathe, tools and a collection of cannons. It was Bhagwan's adopted son, Man Singh I, who brought the secret of gunpowder from Kabul in 1584 where the latter was the commander-in-chief of Akbar's army. Soon cannons began to be made in Jaigarh, much to the displeasure of the Mughals who kept the secret to themselves ever since they used it to fight the Lodis and Rajputs in 1526 (check History of Delhi for more). There's a point called Damdama (meaning 'continuous firing'), where there used to be a battery of ten cannons positioned to check any approaching army. This faces the Delhi Road. This led some to believe that Man Singh was secretly preparing for a showdown with his Mughal allies.

Seven Storeyed- Diya Burj

The highest point in Jaigarh is the seven-storeyed Diya Burj, the turret of lamps from where you get a panoramic view of the city of Jaipur. Also interesting is the water supply and storage system of the fort, a real marvel of planning. Sagar Talav, with octagonal bastions and huge dams, is one of the fort's grand reservoirs. The scarcity of water has always exercised the ingenuity of the Rajasthanis, also accounting for the existence of the several baoris or baolis (stepwells) in the state. There are some temples within the fort. The 10th century Shri Ram Hari Har Temple houses images of three gods - Rama, Vishnu and Shiva. It has an interesting doorway. Nearby is the 12th century Kal Bhairava Temple.


The museum of artefacts tells the story of the Jaigarh Fort and its vast well-protected treasury. There is an interesting collection of paintings, photographs and coins, and other things like a balance for measuring explosives and several containers including a 16th century coin container. Don't miss the royal kitchen and dining hall; after all food and hospitality were also very much a part of Rajput agenda.

The Palace Complex

The palace complex, built by various kings over a period of two centuries, has the usual structure beginning with the Diwan-i-Aam (Hall of Public Audience). But it goes a step ahead of the Amber Fort in terms of defense; it has a Khilbat Niwas (Commanders' Meeting Hall) in place of the Diwan-i-Khas (Hall of Private Audience). There's also the open pillared hall, Subhat Niwas. But these are insignificant structures as compare to the ones in Amber Fort. This part of the fort is full of secret back passages for royal escape in times of emergency. The luxury suites are very much there - the breezy Aram Mandir (Rest House) and the 16th century Vilas Mandir (Pleasure House). The former has a lovely garden attached to it. It was in the charming courtyard of the latter that the royal ladies had their little parties, janani majlis. The pavilions surrounding the courtyard, with a maze of passages, offer excellent views of Amber.

The Lakshmi Vilas Palace

The Lakshmi Vilas Palace is a beautiful experience, with some lovely frescoes in blue and the remains of an old Mughal garden. It also has a little 'theater' hall where the rajas had their share of entertainment - dance, music recitals and puppet shows. Do stop by at this Puppet Theatre which has been revived by some locals who hold charming shows. This old tradition of puppetry continues to be a popular folk entertainment in Rajasthan today, and tourists take a huge delight in watching such shows.

Nine Unknown Men

Nine Unknown Men are a two millennia-old secret society founded by the Indian Emperor Asoka.