Jaigarh Fort is located on the top of the
hill, by the name of Cheel ka Teela (Hill
of Eagles). Jaigarh Fort is also known as
the 'Victory Fort', located
at a comfortable distance of 15kms from
Jaipur. Jaigarh Fort is considered as one
of the spectacular forts in India. This
Fort is on top of the hill, while Amber
Fort is at the bottom. Many people regard
the two as one complex however both of them
are well connected with well guarded passages.
Jaigarh Fort positioned centrally in the
thorn-scrub hill, leaves a stern impact
on the spectator at once.
Jaigarh Fort was made to tighten the security
of Jaipur and Amber. Due to this fact, one
may not find this fort as artistic as other
forts and palaces, but it certainly has
its own charm. The Fort has many structures
of medieval India, which are worth exploring.
It has several palaces, granary, well-planned
cannon foundry, several temples and a tall
tower. Jaigarh Fort used to serve as the
center of artillery production for the Rajputs.
The highlight of this Fort is the massive
cannon by the name of Jaivan, which was
made in the same production house. Jaivan,
the cannon, is believed to be the largest
cannon in the World and the main attraction
of the Jaigarh Fort. The Fort discloses
the mastery over architecture of the former
age. Jaigarh Fort has many wide water channels,
which were a part of a rainwater harvesting
system. The Fort also has 3 underground
tanks, the largest one of which can store
60, 00,000 gallons of water. One can plan
to visit the armory and museum, which are
The museum has a remarkable collection of
coins, puppets, photographs of the royal
kings, buildings, processions and even a
circular pack of cards besides many other
remnants of the past. The armory has numerous
swords, shields, guns, muskets and even
a 50 kg cannon ball, which would take you
back to the gallantry days of the Kings.
One can also see a few weather beaten sedan
chairs and drums at the Shubhat Niwas or
the Meeting Hall of Warriors. Above all,
the Fort offers a wonderful view of the
city below. Jaigarh Fort is a perfect destination
for a traveler, interested in the majestic
past of India.
Location of The Fort
Jaigarh or the 'Fort of Victory' is perched
on Chilh ka Tola (Hill of Eagles), 400 feet
above the Amber Fort. The walls of the fort
are spread over three kilometers. Once you
enter through the massive south facing Doongar
Darwaza, you'll instantly get a tangible
feel of Rajput romanticism. and if you're
lucky, Thakur Pratap Singh, a handsome Rajput
with a fine moustache will be around to
tell you stories of Jaigarh's illustrious
past. The other entrance to the fort is
through the Awani Darwaza in the east.
Attractions of The Fort
Jaigarh Fort is a remarkable feat of military
architecture. After you enter, head straight
for the gigantic cannon Jaivan perched on
top of a tower. Weighing 50 tons with an
8m barrel and a trajectory of about 20km,
it is said to be the world's largest cannon
on wheels. Such was its might that it took
four elephants to swivel it around on its
axis. But surprisingly (and thankfully!)
it was never used. Despite its awesome firepower,
it has a delicate scrollwork of birds, foliage
and a roaring elephant at its mouth. Jaivan
was test-fired once by Jai Singh in 1720
when the cannon ball landed at Chaksu about
38km away! and the impact of it was so enormous
that a lake formed at the spot and many
houses collapsed in Jaipur. The cannoneer
died immediately after the firing, before
he could even jump into water. (It is mandatory
for the cannoneer to jump into water to
avoid the massive impact, and so there's
always a water tank beside the cannon.)
No wonder enemies didn't ever set their
eyes on Jaigarh. There's even a notice here
which proudly says, "because of the
strong defence system, management and the
foresightedness of the rulers, the enemy
never dared to enter the fort."
Walk through a great arch into the courtyard,
Jaleb Chowk. But the most important part
of the fort is perhaps Vijay Garh, the fort's
armoury. Apart from the huge collection
of swords and small arms including time
bombs, there's an interesting treasury lock
with five keys and big wine and oil jars.
The 1681 map of Amber kept here is worth
a look. If the show of so much armoury awakens
the fighter in you, try your hands at the
mini cannon which makes a pretty big bang.
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.
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
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.
To Amber Fort
For an excursion to Amber,
take a bus from the Hawa Mahal in Jaipur.
There's one leaving every half an hour (Rs
3). Auto-rickshaws charge Rs 50. There are
buses from the Jaipur Railway Station too.