Jaisalmer Fort is believed to be the worlds first living fort. It is also one of the largest forts on the planet. This fort is also known as the Golden Fort (Sonar Qila) because of its huge walls made of yellow sandstones.
Jaisalmer Fort is the largest and second oldest fort in Rajasthan, which was built in 1156 AD by Rajput Rawal Jaisal who was the rules that time from whom the name of fort derived. It also stood at the crossroads of important trade routes including the ancient silk route.
The story behind Jaisalmer Fort
There is a story behind the construction of the Jaisalmer Fort that is the King Raja Jaisal chose to build the fort on the advice of a wise local hermit. The saint tells Jaisal that, in Mahabharat, Lord Krishna had praised the spot – and therefore, a fort built there would be invisible to the King’s enemies.
The fort’s massive yellow sandstone walls are tawny lion colour during the day, fading to honey-gold as the sun sets, and thereby camouflaging the fort in the yellow desert. Indeed, from 30 miles away, visitors see only a sheer golden cliff, rising nearly 25 stories from the desert floor.
Jaisalmer fort is only fort where people still live in the fort. In other forts of Rajasthan, no living is allowed and only visitors can visit the fort by paying is the only place where nearly one-fourth of the city’s population still resides within the fort.
History of Jaisalmer Fort
If we talk about the history of the Jaisalmer Fort, the fort was the city of Jaisalmer. The first residency settlements, outside the fort’s wall, are said to have come up after the 17th century due to the growing population of Jaisalmer.
Built in the 12th century, when the Jaisalmer Fort was under the rule Rajputs, caught the eyes of many rulers including Ala-ud-din Khilji, who in a battle to win the fort and the city, captured it in the 13th century. 2 centuries later, Mughal emperor Humayun decided to start his quest to win the fort.
He got success in his efforts, the fort remained the property of the Mughals till 1762. Later on, it got transferred to ruler Maharwal Mulraj.
The Jaisalmer Fort is constructed in the classic style of the royal by a local craftsman. This fort is built on a hill platform that raises its height up to 250ft. With a dimension of 460m length and breadth of 230m, the fort within its boundaries seems to overshadow the whole of the city.
From the inside, Jaisalmer Fort flaunts numerous structures that were built over a period of time. These structures are stated as Laxminath Temple, the
Amongst all these structures, the most famous are the Havelis or large residency that were built by rich merchants of Rajasthan. Some of these Havelis have been turned into modern, while some are still the residents of their builders.
Useful Information for the Visitors
- Jaisalmer Fort is located in the south-western part of Rajasthan and resides in the heart of Thar Desert.
- This place is well connected by all means of communication by India and the rest of the world.
- If you want to reach by air, the nearest airport is Jodhpur airport as there is no commercial airport in the Jaisalmer, only a military airport which allows only chartered flights.
- Visitors coming from outside India need to use Jaipur International airport and hire a taxi or take a bus for Jaisalmer Fort. It is about 400km away from Jaipur International airport.
- Jaisalmer is well connected by the Indian Railway network ad Jaisalmer railway station is also one id the biggest railway station in Rajasthan. One can reach there from any major city of India.
- There is no direct bus service from Delhi to Jaisalmer, so you can board a bus from Jaipur and reach Jaipur by train or flight.
- Jaisalmer Fort is considered as UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Just because of the excess temperature of up to 50 in summer, the best time to visit the Jaisalmer Fort is from October to March.
- Jaisalmer Fort opens at 6 am and closes at 5 pm and the visiting duration is 2-3hrs.
- The fort is constructed on the Trikuta Hill.