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Jaisalmer Fort

The Jaisalmer Fort sometimes also referred to as the ‘Golden Fort’ is an excellent example of architectural brilliance. This fort in the Thar Desert of Rajasthan, built in 1156 AD by Raja Jaiswal, is also the essence of artwork blended in military splendour. This massive structure has been the site for many major battles. Jaisalmer Fort, one of the largest forts in the world, is situated on the Trikuta hill in the heart of Jaisalmer. The sun with its brilliant dazzling rays, give an excellent tawny appearance to the fort during the day that changes to a bright golden in the evening with the rays from the setting sun striking it. At night the fort camouflages with its sandstone walls in the sandy Thar Desert.

The fort was built by Raja Rao Jaiswal, a Bhatti Rajput ruler in order to secure his capital from threats of invasion. The capital was previously located in Lodurva, which was shifted from there with the creation of the ‘Sone ka Quila’ or the Golden Fort. This fort’s structure was massive and mighty that was capable of protecting the new capital of the Bhatti Rajput ruler. After the Chittorgarh fort this is the oldest fort in Rajasthan that still exists even at the present.


This fort has seen many important historical events and transfer of powers from one ruler to the other. When built it was in the 12th century AD it was being ruled by the Bhatti Rajput rulers. At that time, it served as an important trade route between the Indian subcontinent and other parts such as the Egypt, Arabia, Africa and Persia. Seeing the prosperity of the region it was later captured by the Muslim ruler, Ala-ud-din Khilji of the Delhi Sultanates. Due this massive defeat of the Rajput rulers and to avoid insult of being captured by Muslim rulers, the queens and women committed Jauhar or mass suicide. This kingdom remained in the hands of Khilji for around almost a decade. It being the trade route of India with Persia, Egypt, Arabia and other African countries continued to be of great economic importance. This has brought many rulers find interest in it and another battle was fought here in 1541 when the Mughal emperor Humayun captured this fort. Later on during the British period this state was given the status of 15-gun salute but the economic importance started decreasing gradually due to increase in importance of trade route through Bombay port. Later on, after the partition in India its trade route was closed forever. Now presently being a part of the Indian Union it has economic importance of being a good tourist spot.


The Golden Fort or the ‘Sone ka Quila’ is about two hundred and fifty feet high whereas the guarding walls on all the sides of the fort are around thirty feet high. There are around ninety-nine bastions on the fort that helped the soldiers to fight allowing better handling of their weapons, especially archers. Of these bastions around ninety-two were built much later, in between 1633 to 1647. The fort provides protection to around a huge number of men and women. The fortifying walls on all the sides of the fort make it highly shielded from all sorts of enemy attacks.


In front of Chauhata Square is the Mahrawals palace, their marble throne being situated on top of few marble steps. The Tazia towers are also present which the Muslims built having with ornamented Bengali styled top. In order to defend the countrymen a second fortifying wall was built parallel to the first one. The pathway between the two walls has got entrances which is also the entrance to the fort. These entrances are known by the names of Rang Pol, Hawa Pol, Ganesh Pol and Bhoota Pol.


The Jaisalmer Fort housed some of the best systems for advanced amenities like a centrally located market place, facilities for weather forecast, wind direction determination, wells for water, etc. The abode for the royal family was the Jawahar Palace. The centrally located market place was called the Manek Chowk. On top of the ramparts, there were structures which helped in weather forecasting. A flag remained hoisted in the centre, which helped to understand the winds direction. The water source inside the fort was the deep wells. Thus, all facilities were there that allowed to sustain life harmoniously inside the fort. However, when the population growth happened many settlements were established even outside the fort as well to accommodate the increased population pressure.

Reaching Jaisalmer Fort

In order to reach Jaisalmer Fort you first need to reach the Jaisalmer city. Though this has got no airport for direct airways connectivity, the Jodhpur airport 300 kilometres from Jaisalmer is connected with other Indian cities via flights. There are also other means of transportation like railways and well-maintained roadways for reaching Jaisalmer. Inside the city auto-rickshaws are the cheapest and most common method of transportation, hence you can go to the Jaisalmer fort in auto-rickshaws.

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