- Location: In western Rajasthan
- Attraction Type: Historic fort
- Significance: Fort made of yellow sandstone in the middle of the Thar Desert
- Best Time to visit: October to March
- How to reach: By rail from Jodhpur or Delhi; alternatively by road transport from all major cities and towns of Rajasthan
- Nearest Airport: Jodhpur
Jaisalmer Fort, a marvel in yellow sandstone, has got the appearance of a golden fort in the daytime. Under a full moon, in the nighttime, it appears like a mammoth sentinel guarding the vast desert tracts of Jaisalmer. You could visualize large armies marching up to the castle to invade while simultaneously being warded off by soldiers from within. Jaisalmer Fort in Rajasthan, though built in the middle of Thar Desert, is a fascinating piece of architecture in sandstone. This sandstone fort is an unavoidable attraction to all visitors to Rajasthan.
History of Jaisalmer Fort
The Fort of Jaisalmer was founded by Bhatti Rajput ruler Raja Rawal Jaisal in 1156 on the insistence of Eesaal, a hermit. The site on Trikut Hill was chosen as a less vulnerable site compared to Luderwa, the earlier abode of the ruler. This structure, with a height of 250 feet, has 99 bastions and a battlement wall of 30 feet. Within the walled city, wells were constructed for providing water, some of which are still functional. The second oldest of all Rajasthan forts is still inhabited by one-fourth of Jaisalmer’s population.
The intermingling of Islamic and Rajput cultures in Jaisalmer has given rise to a unique architectural style typical of Jaisalmer. Suraj Pol, Ganesh Pol, Hawa Pol, and Akshaya Pol are grand representations of this architectural form. The Jain temples are a marvelous sight in this desert fort city of Jaisalmer.
Activities in Jaisalmer Fort
At the Jaisalmer Fort, visit the Maharwal Palace opposite Chauhata Square. A flight of marble steps leads to the marble throne of the Maharwal’s. The five-story metal tower or ‘Tazia’ with ornate architectural pattern stands out. Walkthrough the alleys of this old fort town and discover the life patterns of people who have inhabited them for generations.
In the afternoon set out for a camel safari to the Khuri and Sam sand dunes of Thar Desert around Jaisalmer. Watching sunset across the dunes is an avid attraction among all tourists traveling to Rajasthan Jaisalmer Fort. After sundown listen to folk singers and watch ‘ghagra’ clad damsels dancing to the accompaniment of soulful tunes.
Staying and Eating in Jaisalmer
You could choose your place of staying in Jaisalmer as per your preference. For budget accommodation, you could choose from Hotel Jaisal Castle, Hotel Dhola Maru, Hotel Neeraj, Hotep Panihari, and Hotel Neeraj. In case you are on the lookout for a comfortable place to put up, then Fort Rajwada, Hotel Rawal Kot, Hotel Gorbandh Palace, Hotel Rang Mahal, and Hotel Heritage Inn are the options. Among the heritage hotels you might make your selection among Hotel Narayan Niwas Palace, Hotel Nachana Haveli, Hotel Mandir Palace, Hotel Jawahar Niwas Palace, and Rajwansh Resorts.
The Trio is the perfect place to try out authentic Indian cuisine. Vegetarians could enjoy mouth-watering dishes at Desert Boy’s Dhani.