“Hi! I have Amer Fort Heritage Water Walk coming up next week. Do you care to join?” It was Neeraj Doshi from Heritage Water Walks on the other side. I instantly confirmed my presence. I first met Neeraj Doshi in 2015 during Nahargarh Heritage Water Walk before its launch during its preview. He started Jaigarh Fort Water Walk, a few years ago but is currently not being conducted by Jaigarh Fort Management i.e. Jaipur City Palace.
Amer & Nahargarh Heritage Water Walks were launched simultaneously and I have been wanting to do the former but somehow, it didn’t happen for the last three and half years because it is not booked by travelers that frequently. Amer Fort is special being one of the most popular tourist attractions in Jaipur.
A Guide To Amer Fort Heritage Water Walk Experience
It was the last day of January and luckily, the afternoon wasn’t as cold as the last few days with the sun shining brightly. I was waiting in Jaleb Chowk for the rest of the people who had booked the walk. As soon as they arrived, Neeraj introduced himself & started the walk. He led us all through the Udai Pol towards the Balidan Gate.
The briefing & introduction about the walk took on the terrace of the storage tank at level 3. Neeraj explained how the system of carrying water until this point from level 1 to level 3 was different in comparison to level 4 onward.
Apparently, Amer Fort relied on two different sources of water. Maota Lake supplied a large volume of water to the fort through a specially designed water transport system. It consisted of various levels each having intermediary storage tanks.
Transporting the water relied on age-old simple machinery propelled by both the human workforce and domesticated animals. Systems & mechanisms in Amer Fort were influenced by the Mughals. Rulers of Amer were generals in the Mughal army and led many conquests from Afghanistan to Bangladesh. It is natural for the Mughal influence and systems to percolate in the Amer Fort.
While level 1 to 3 is accessible to everyone, entry to level 4 & onward is restricted.
Level 4 has a room that used to house men trusted with supplying water to the residential areas of the Amer Fort.
Level 5 has a mechanism to transport the water through Rehat/Saqiya – a Persian wheel and a heating system. It is astonishing how incredible these mechanisms were and they served well for years. If you want to understand how the water-lifting system of Amer Fort functioned, I will soon share the post explaining the water system of Amer Fort.
A flight of steps took us to the Mansingh Mahal & Zenana area of Amer Fort, the residential quarters of the queens.
In no time, we were led into a well through the flight of steps. This underground well under Mansingh Mahal stored a few thousand liters of freshwater collected through the rainwater harvesting system meant for drinking purposes. Surprisingly, the well had lots of water because the system is still functional.
We were crisscrossing from tourist sections like Zenana Mahal & Sukh Mahal to a different section of Amer Fort – a water distribution system on one of the terraces of the fort.
There was an old water pipe made from clay and a water redistribution center. Water is channeled into different areas of Amer Fort through a redistribution center.
Despite the lack of technology 500-600 years ago, a sophisticated system worked on simple principles of physics. If you have ever been to Amer Fort you must have seen the ingenious system of using water to cool the hot desert air at Sukh Niwas. It replicates the experience of having an air conditioner.
Toward the end of the walk, we entered a water chamber having a water reservoir underneath the Jaleb Chowk of Amer Fort. The large open area was a meeting place used by the royalty during the hot & dry summer months. A fountain provided mist & humidity whereas the lattices cooled the entire hall with the airflow.
This was the first time I visited this section. It is at a stone-throw distance from the most popular attraction points of Amer Fort – Ganesh Pol, Diwan-e-Aam, and Chhatis Kachari. The Amer Fort Water walk culminated at this point and we walked back to the Jaleb Chowk. I looked up and saw the clouds playing hide and seek with the sun.
We all know how most civilizations developed and prospered in and around the water sources. The lack of water led to the downfall of many civilizations; while some fled & migrated others perished. Rajasthan being a water-deficient region pioneered water conservation & harvesting systems. Many regions across the world are headed toward water scarcity. The mindset & outlook of our ancestors towards a scarce resource – water was different. The water system developed during those times made life possible in difficult circumstances.
Here is a short video that explains this water walk. Kindly enable the subtitles since the voice quality is poor.
Information on Amer Fort Heritage Water Walk
What is Amer Fort?
Amer Fort is the most popular tourist attraction in Jaipur. It is a palace and the former capital of the Jaipur kingdom. It was replaced by Jaipur as a capital in 1727 AD by Maharajah Sawai Jai Singh II. Amer Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and clustered under “Hill Forts of Rajasthan”.
Amer Fort Location and Distance?
Amer Fort is part of Jaipur’s municipal limit and is 11 km from the city center.
Amer Fort Timing?
Amer Fort is open from 8 AM to 5.30 PM and 6.30 PM to 9.15 PM under Jaipur by nite, a night-tourism initiative.
What are the Places to visit in Amer Fort?
While the top attractions in Amer Fort are the elephant ride, Sheesh Mahal, and Ganesh Pol, there are many more interesting things to see. You can read more in Amer Fort Guide
How to book the Amer Fort Heritage Water Walk?
Amer Fort Heritage Water Walk can be undertaken by prior booking only. If you have any queries, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is the duration of the Amer Fort Heritage Water Walk?
The walk takes around 2.5 hours. But also consider the time taken to reach Amer Fort. One needs at least 5 hours considering all factors – commute, and the time required to explore the fort. During peak season especially around Christmas, new year, Diwali, etc. it takes at least 1.5 hours to reach Amer Fort one way owing to the rush.
What is the difficulty level of the Amer Fort Heritage Water Walk?
The water walk can be undertaken by a fit person. It might not be suitable for people with disabilities or walking issues. The route is not wheelchair accessible since it involves walking and taking the flight of steps throughout the fort area.
Things to carry with you for the Amer Fort Heritage Water Walk
Good walking shoes, drinking water, a camera, a notepad, and a pen if you like taking notes. Ensure you have your smartphone charged if you like clicking lots of pictures and videos.
Is Amer Fort Heritage Walk Worth Experiencing?
It will be hard to generalize whether Amer Fort Heritage Walk is worth experiencing. For first-time visitors to Jaipur, there are plenty of interesting things to see and do in Jaipur. People interested in water systems or built heritage might enjoy this tour. If you don’t fall into these categories, there are plenty of other options. Read on.
Which heritage walk is a good alternative to Amer Heritage Water Walk?
A better alternative to the heritage water walk is a heritage walking tour in Jaipur providing good insight into the heritage, history, architecture, and culture of the pink city. What weighs in the favor of this walk is there is no extra commute time and the overall experience & the takeaway. One gets to experience and witness more than simply the water storage system; rather one can experience & understand the living culture. You can read more about this in this post – Heritage walking tour in Jaipur
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