Built in 1592, Jaipur's magnificent Amber Fort features a royal palace constructed from white marble and sandstone of red and yellow. Overlooking Maota Lake, the structure's architectural style blends both Hindu and Mughal elements, with large ramparts, a series of gates, and narrow, cobbled pathways.
The opulent palace is spread out across four levels, each with its own courtyard. The Mirror Palace (Sheesh Mahal) is the most popular section to visit, with intricately patterned glass mosaics carved on the walls and ceilings for a truly stunning effect, while the Hall of Public Audience (Diwan-e-Aam) stands on two rows of pillars and opens on three sides. The Hall of Pleasure (Sukh Niwaas) is another highlight, featuring an ivory-clad sandalwood door and a channel that was once used as an ancient air-conditioning system, carrying cool water through the hall with the aid of the breeze.
A visit to the UNESCO-listed Amber Fort is included in most Jaipur sightseeing tours, as well as classic tours of India's Golden Triangle, which includes key attractions in Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur. For something a bit different, your trip to Amber Fort can be combined with a safari through Ranthambore National Park.
Insider's Tip: Plan to spend at least a half-day at Amber Fort to really experience all of the well preserved architecture and craftsmanship.