Jaigarh (The Victory Fort of Rajasthan)
Legendary Jaigarh, the “victory fort”, watches over the old capital of Amber, its great, crenellated outer walls delineating the edge of a sharp ridge for 3 km (2 miles) from north to south. Located within the fort is one of the world’s few surviving cannon foundries. Its most prized possession is the monumental Jai Van, cast in 1726 and believed to be the world’s largest cannon on wheels. Its 6-m (20-ft) long barrel has fine carvings of elephants, birds and flowers. Ironically, despite its impressive size, the cannon remained a work of art and was never fired. An interesting sight is the massive Diva Bur, a tower on whose uppermost seventh storey a huge oil lamp would be lit on the king’s birthday and during Diwali, until the top two storeys were struck down by lightning.
The fort has two temples and a large palace complex built over 200 years by different rulers. Located here are the Suhhat Niwas (audience hall), the profusely painted Aram Mandir (an airy pleasure pavilion), the residential Laxmi Niwas with baths, and a small theatre for music, dance and puppet shows. The fort’s intricate system of collecting , and storing rainwater in huge tanks located in the courtyard is unique. Legend has it that Man Singh I’s vast treasure, amassed during his military campaigns, was hidden within these tanks. In 1976, the government carried out a massive but unsuccessful hunt, even to the extent of draining the water tanks to locate this legendary trove.
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