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About Jaigarh Fort

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 worth seeing.

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.

The 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.

Main Attractions of The Fort

The Huge Cannon

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."

Vijay Garh

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.

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 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.

Excursion 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.

 
 
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