Amer Fort is located 11 kms away from Jaipur city in Rajasthan. Located on a hill overlooking Maota Lake, Amer is one of the most sought-after destination for tourists in Rajasthan. The town of Amer also known as Amber was established by the Meena community but it was Raja Man Singh I and his descendants like Mirza Raja Jai Singh II and Sawai Jai Singh II who built the Amber Fort.
People come to Amer to see the architectural marvels of the Rajputana but very few know about its technologically advanced water storage system. Water harvesting system at Amber Fort sheds light on sophisticated water conservation mechanism and architectural practices which was way ahead of its times. It was only because of Heritage Water Walks that I got to know so much about the water management system of the Rajputana.
Review of the Heritage Water Walks
Teleportation might seem like a far fetched idea from Sci-Fi movies. But, as Neeraj Doshi [our walk leader at Heritage Water walks] started with his tales, I was teleported to the majestic world of 16th century Rajputana kingdom. More than a teller of tales, Neeraj has the striking ability to become his characters. A girl lost inside the corridors of Amber Fort, a ghost narrating tales of wonders of the forgotten era, a friend pained by the separation of his childhood companion – Neeraj showed us all these peoples lives through history. It is an art to communicate complex topics by creating experiential stories around them. Engaging people’s interest and bridging the gap between reality and fiction is definitely a challenging task but with Neeraj`s skills, you are in safe hands.
A seventh generation Registani [a person from Desert], Neeraj has a decade and a half of experience working in the field of sustainability and water conservation. Neeraj has merged his passion for water and love for storytelling to create enriching and entertaining water walks. A graduate from the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy at Tufts University, Boston, he runs a small water management firm called RAIN Water [Research, Advocacy & Innovation in Water].
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Rainwater collection in underground reservoir
There are two sources of water at Amber Fort – Maota Lake which brings water on the eastern edge of the palace and rainwater harvesting within the palace to store it in underground tanks. A series of six structures (buildings) lift water from Maota Lake all the way up to the fort through a complex relay-rehant system.
Mansingh Mahal ka Tanka
The tank collects all the rainwater falling on the roofs of the Mahal and has the capacity to hold approx. 3 lac litres of fresh water. Steps going all the way to the bottom of the tank allow access to the water as water level recedes.
Deewan-i-aam Ka tanka
Rainwater that falls on Diwan-I-Aam is collected and stored in this tank. It can store almost 1 lac litres of fresh water. It is part of a two-floor summer complex below Diwan-i- Aam hall. This structure has a fountain and huge space for resting during summers.
Water Lifting System
Water is lifted from Maota Lake all the way up to the palace in six stages. At every stage water is lifted and transferred into the tanks for temporary storage. Tanks built for the purpose at stage 2 through 5 have a capacity to store 45000 litre of water. A Persian wheel is attached at every level to lift the water up against the gravity. This type of water lifting mechanism is clearly a Mughal influence as similar structures are found in Fatehpur Sikri in Agra. Stage 6 is the final level where 1 lac litre of water is stored for use. From this point water is finally lifted and transferred into two drains, which distribute water in the palace through a network of drains and pipes made up of clay and copper.
Water for the garden comes from the Tank on the roof of the sukh niwas. The tank is connected to the sxith stage of the water lifting system via a drain. Water for the garden flows in cascades through these channels.
Jaleb chowk Tank
It is the smallest of the off underground tanks. It can hold up to 50,000 liters of water.
Kesar kyari and dil-i-araam garden
Water distribution system of Amer Fort also include Kesar kyari and dil-i-araam garden at the northern end of the lake.
What else You can do at Amer?
- Watch the Light and Sound Show – The show is scripted by Gulzar, narrated by Amitabh Bachchan and beautifully sung by Shubha Mudgal. The venue for Light and Sound Show is Kesar Kiyari complex admist water bodies on three sides and the view of the royal palace in front.
- Enjoy a royal meal at 1135 AD – The restaurant is situated inside Amber Fort and one could feast like a royal in this palatial set-up.
- Ride a Segaway Scooter – Very recently, the Rajasthan Tourism Department joined hands with a private company to provide Segaway Scooters at Amer Fort. Tourists can enjoy a thrilling experience riding Segaways.
- Visit Turban Museum – Learn the art of turban tying along with its history. Inside the premises, you will also find on display various kinds of turbans like Safa, Paag, phalguniya etc.
- Explore Meena Panna Kund – It is located near Anokhi Museum near Kheri gate. This eight storey step-well was built during the reign of Maharaja Jai Singh.
Connect with Heritage Water Walks
Phone no. : +91 9910350600
Website : www.heritagewaterwalks.com
Email : email@example.com
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My Two Cents
I never thought History would be so interesting. I have attended many heritage walks before but never met anyone so knowledgable. Neeraj has an ability to share his vast knowledge with such effectiveness and finesse. He is mindful and you could feel that in the way he narrates his stories, not even for a minute throughout the two-hour walk I felt bored. I am so glad to have come across Heritage Water Walks. I am now looking forward to go back to attend his Narahgarh walk.
*I was not financially compensated for writing this post but hosted for the walk by Neeraj Doshi of Heritage Water Walks. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.*
*Information related to the water harvesting system was provided by Mr. Neeraj Doshi.*