Located in the middle of the desert sand stretches of Thar in
Rajasthan, India, the fort of Jaisalmer is highly spectacular. It has a
significant historical background behind it. Yellow sandstone has been used
extensively to build the fort. The fort is situated at the Trikuta hill that
camouflages well with the landscape of the desert. The fort is usually called
as “Sonar Kella” or the “Golden Fort” because it resembles
the look of gold during the sunset.
History of Jaisalmer Fort
The Jaisalmer Fort was built by Rawal Jaisal, a Hindu ruler
of Rajput, in 1156 CE. The fort
witnessed a great deal of battles and invasions during its early years when the
kings of Rajput tried to save the fort against the annexation of the Muslim
rulers of the Sultanate of Delhi.
The year 1570 witnessed the Hindu rulers losing control over
the fort as the then prevalent circumstances compelled them to surrender to
Akbar, the then Mughal ruler. During the times when the glory of the fort was at
the summit, it was an important trading centre between India and the Arab
world. During the British government, the importance of strength as a trading
point declined and maritime commerce became more popular.
Thus, the good glorious days of the fort began to wean away. However,
today, the lost splendor of the fort has been revived once again, and now
serves as an important tourist destination in India.
Why to visit Jaisalmer Fort
Thousands of tourists visiting Rajasthan visit Jaisalmer Fort
every year. The spectacular appearance of the fort, its beautiful Hindu and
well embellished Jain temples, with a beautiful architecture are a treat for the eyes. Besides, there are quite a number
of attractions quite nearby including Patwon-Ki-Haveli, Bada Bagh, Lake Gadisar, the
Thar Heritage Museum and other attractions. Camel in the desert is also a
popular tourist activity in the region.
The Jaisalmer fort seems to be a mirage and interestingly, is
known to house a well thriving city within its walls made of yellow sand
stones. A canyon protects one of the four entrances to the city. The
architectural wonders of the fort like the royal palace, and the Laxminath
temple, apart from the Jain temples allow you to glimpse the greatness of
ancient India. Today, the fort also houses numerous restaurants serving Indian,
French and Italian cuisine, and souvenir shops that sell beautiful jewelry,
handbags, garments and handmade and vibrant souvenir items.
2. Nature, sights and sounds
Jaisalmer Fort houses almost 4,000 people, usually Brahmins
and belonging to the Daroga community. These people are the descendants of the
labor force that served the rulers of the fort in the old days. Almost the
entire population of Jaisalmer previously resided within the boundaries of the
fort. However, with the growing numbers of the population, the inhabitants have
been dwelling on the Trikuta Hill slopes expanding to the Jaisalmer city
The summers are scorchingly hot and the temperature rises
even up to 49 ° Celsius in the regions within and around the fort. Water is
scarce here, and wells must be dug as deep as 250 feet to extract water.
Extensive expanses of sand dunes surround the fort and the city of Jaisalmer,
1. Threats and Conservation
Currently, Jaisalmer Fort faces immense threats due to the
growth of demographic pressures and a weak structural base. The fort is located
in a bed of relatively soft sedimentary rocks that weakens the base of the fort.
Also, the constructions by the inhabitants, are quite often unplanned and and severe threat to the building walls of
Already parts of the fort like the Queen’s Palace have
collapsed. To save the valuable fortress, World Monuments Fund has supported
the Indian government with the necessary funds to initiate and implement
restoration work on the site. The Archaeological Survey of India is carrying
out these repair work at Jaisalmer Fort.
Best Time to Visit Jaisalmer Fort
The best time to visit the Jaisalmer Fort is the months of
November and December when the weather is cool in Rajasthan during daytime and
quite chilly at night.
How to Reach Jaisalmer Fort
To reach Jaisalmer Fort one can hire Auto Rickshaw which is
the cheapest way of transportation in Rajasthan. If you want to hire Auto
Rickshaw then take option of Cabs and Taxis