The picturesque situation of Amer at the mouth of a rocky mountain gorge, in which nestles a lovely lake, has attracted the admiration of travellers, including Victor Jacquemont and Reginald Heber. It is seen to be a remarkable example for its combined Rajput-Mughal architecture.The Amer Fort, a UNESCOWorld Heritage Site, is the top tourist attraction in the Jaipur area.
The first Rajput structure was started by Raja Kakil Dev when Amer became his capital in 1036, on the site of present-day Jaigarh Fort. Around 1037 AD, Amer was conquered by the Kachwaha clan of Rajputs. Much of the present structure known as Amer Fort is actually the palace built by the great conqueror Raja Man Singh who ruled from 1590 to 1614 AD. The palace contains several spectacular buildings, such as the Diwan-i-Khas, and the elaborately painted Ganesh Pole built by the renowned warlord Mirza Raja Jai Singh I (Man Singh I's grandson). The old and original fort of Amer, dating from earlier Rajas or the Meena period, is what is known in the present day as Jaigarh Fort, which was actually the main defensive structure rather than the palace itself. The two structures are interconnected by a series of encompassing fortifications.
Amer was capital of the Kachwaha] until 1727 when the ruler of Amer, Sawai Jai Singh II founded a capital Jainagara (Jaipur), named after him, about nine kilometers south of Amer. After the founding of this new town, the royal palace and houses of prominent persons were shifted to Jaipur. The priests of Shila Devi temple, who were BengaliBrahmins, continued to live in the fort (to this date), while the Jaigarh fort above the palace also remained heavily garrisoned. The capital of Kachwaha was supplanted by the modern city of Jaipur, which is the capital of the Rajasthan state in India.
Poor site management and development pressures have dramatically altered the historical integrity of Amer. The building that rings around the Jaleb Chwok courtyard "has been converted to a market place with shops selling showpieces and dresses. They have cafeterias, cyber cafés, etc," according to the Times of India. In the summer of 2009, the Rajasthan High Court launched a three-member panel charged with investigating the controversial renovations and determining to what extent the cultural heritage of the site was compromised.