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Jaipur, Rajasthan, India
Jaigarh Fort is situated on the promontory called the Cheel ka Teela (Hill of Eagles) of the Aravalli range; it overlooks the Amber Fort and the Maota Lake, near Amber in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India. The fort was built by Jai Singh II in 1726 to protect the Amber Fort and its palace complex and was named after him.
The fort, rugged and similar in structural design to the Amber Fort, is also known as Victory Fort. It has a length of 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) along the north-south direction and a width of 1 kilometre (0.62 mi). The fort features a cannon named “Jaivana”, which was manufactured in the fort precincts and was then the World's largest cannon on wheels.
The palace complex (Laxmi Vilas, Lalit Mandir, Vilas Mandir and Aram Mandir) located within the fort has a well-tended garden where the royal family resided, the Shubhat Niwas (an assembly hall of the warriors), an armoury and a museum. Jaigarh Fort and Amber Fort are connected by subterranean passages and considered as one complex.
The fort is highly fortified with thick walls of red sandstone and is spread over a layout plan with a length of 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) and a width of 1 kilometre (0.62 mi); it has an impressive square garden (50 metres (160 ft) square) within it. Ramparts in each corner are sloping and provide access to the upper level structures. The palaces have court rooms and halls with screened windows.
A central watch tower on a raised ground provides excellent vistas of the surrounding landscape. The Aram Mandir and the garden within its courtyard, on the northern side of the fort complex, has a triple arched entrance "The Awani Darwaza" which was refurbished in recent times to get fine views of the Sagar Lake (an artificial lake); water from this lake used to be transported to the fort in pouches loaded on elephant backs and also by humans carrying water pots.
The museum is located to the left of the Awami Gate; it has exhibits of photographs of the Royalty of Jaipur, stamps and many artefacts, which include a circular pack of cards. A spittoon of 15th century vintage and also hand drawn plan of the palaces are seen in the museum.
Jaigarh Fort was a centre of artillery production for the Rajputs. It is now home to the Jaivana – at the time of its manufacture in 1720, it was the world's largest cannon on wheels of the Early Modern Era. The foundry where it was manufactured is also located here. A plaque at the entrance to the enclosure where the Jaivan Cannon is displayed gives relevant information on the history of the Cannon, its size and use.
This cannon was never used in any battle as the Rajput rulers of Amber had friendly relations with the Mughals. This testifies to well-preserved features of fort. The cannon was fired only once with a charge of 100 kilograms (220 lb) of gunpowder and when fired covered a distance of about 35 kilometres (22 mi).