The pathway, slightly shorter than a kilometre, had to be covered on foot till now
Soon there will be many ways to reach the hitherto difficult hillock, nestled in the Jaigarh Fort, from the Amber Fort complex below. A tunnel or a corridor-like pathway, which had been in use during the time of the erstwhile rulers of Jaipur and has been in disuse for many years since then, is being dug up. The pathway which connects the two monuments will be open for the public in September.
Currently, there are battery-operated golf carts that will soon move passengers between the Amber Fort and the Jaigarh Fort on the traditional cobbled pathway. Until now the pathway, slightly shorter than a kilometre, had to be covered on foot — which was a difficult proposition for most visitors, especially the elderly.
Unlike the Amber Fort, where elephants carry the passengers who opt for a ride to the main gate from the foothills below, Jaigarh has been a difficult climb for a weary visitor. Bina Kak, Rajasthan Minister for Tourism, Environment and Forests, and Diya Kumari, Trustee cum Secretary of the Jaigarh Public Charitable Trust (JPCT), took a test ride on the battery operated cart on Thursday to Jaigarh Fort. “It took us less than 10 minutes to reach the top. I think this facility will be of great help to those who cannot walk up to the hill fort,” Ms. Kak told The Hindu later.
“We are planning to start with four carts initially. I have asked officers here to ensure that all safety measures are in place prior to the commencement of their operation,” Ms. Kak said. The Minister said there was no plan to allow the Amber Fort elephants to take visitors for joy rides up to the Jaigarh Fort as this would be too taxing on the animals. However, the department would consider the scope of allowing ponies and mules to carry passengers to the fort, she said.
As for the tunnel track, the excavation work is half-way through. As per an agreement last year, the work relating to the tunnel portion falling under the Amber Fort had to be done by the Amber Development & Management Authority (ADMA) and the rest by the JPCT. Now ADMA has completed its portion which is up to the Madho Singh ki Dhani, a distance of about 415 metres from the Amber Fort.
Hridesh Kumar, Director, Archaeology & Museums, said tourists were free to use the portion of the tunnel which was fully ready. Once they reached Madho Singh ki Dhani they could also use the battery-operated carts to cover the next 457 metres to the Jaigarh Fort, he added. The work on the portion of the tunnel under the Jaigarh Fort will be carried out by the JPCT soon.