Amer Fort is one of the most popular palaces in India along with the City Palace in Udaipur. People find Amer Fort as one of the most majestic buildings in this part of the world. The hills surrounding Amer Fort have a security wall, commonly called the great wall of Amer on the lines of the Great Wall of China. Of course, there can be no comparison between the two, as the one in China runs into thousands of kilometers. It is being claimed that ramparts/ walls of Kumbhalgarh Fort are the biggest in India. Some even call it a great wall of India!
Amer fort wall was meant to keep the intruders out and soldiers would keep a strong vigil on the surrounding areas from the watchtowers. In a way, this wall served as the first line of defense for Amer Fort and town.
How long is the Great Wall Of Amer? The length of the Great Wall of Amer Fort ran into many kilometers – presumably in three-digit figures. No one knows for sure the exact length of this wall because it has vanished in many places. The wall had different levels and it covered a few villages and also the forest.
Currently, less than one-fourth of this wall has been restored & maintained, while the rest is fast crumbling and needs urgent attention. It is unfortunate that the authorities have only restored the sections which are visible to the tourists creating an illusion that all is well and that they are doing a phenomenal job. The reality is far from true.
In many places, the wall has completely crumbled because it was not taken care of. Years of neglect led to this situation. It is a pity that the authorities allowed this wall to fall and die. The government derives millions of Rupees from the tourists visiting Amer Fort and it is an irony that a part of Amer Fort is not taken care of. The approach of authorities is selective; rebuild only what is visible to travelers and common people. I had the opportunity to explore many sections of this wall and here are a few pictures that speak for themselves.
Amer is a UNESCO World Heritage site under the category of “Hill Forts of Rajasthan”. Although Amer palace is believed to be built during the 16th century, we don’t know for sure when these protective ramparts were built. It is possible that these were built over a period of time.
It doesn’t seem that the government is going to do anything to restore or rebuild the great wall of Amer. Probably, in a few years, we will lose at least 50% of this wall. It will be a great loss of our heritage and shows the apathy and lack of vision of the authorities. There is a lot more that can be done to restore this precious heritage of Jaipur. If you enjoyed this write-up, don’t forget to read Why our attitude towards heritage needs a big change?
(This post appears as a part of WPC- Boundaries)