Nothing can be as refreshing as the rich culture of the “Land of the Kings” or Rajasthan. Taking you on a journey away from your monotonous and stressful life, Rajasthan’s colourful quality is bound to impress you. Located on the shimmering Thar Desert or the Great Indian Desert, Rajasthan is the perfect destination to make you feel refreshed and rejuvenated from the stressful life you have been living. Read on to know about the complete history of Jaisalmer Fort.
With numerous forts and palaces attracting about 50 million tourists every year, Rajasthan is also the home to beautiful lakes, sand dunes, wildlife reserves, Indus Valley Civilization, rich heritage, and culture.
Build over 800 years ago; the Jaisalmer Fort is one of the world’s very few “Living Forts”. The fort is made entirely from sandstones which are bright yellow and resembles gold during the time of sunrise and sunset when the sun rays fall on the walls and is thus sometimes referred to as “Sonar Kella” or the Fort of Gold.
History of Jaisalmer Fort
The city of Jaisalmer was founded by the Bhati Rajput ruler, Rawal Jaisal in 1156 CE. Rawal Jaisal, as the legends say, was then building a fort at Lodhruva as its capital state but soon enough became dissatisfied with the construction and then he established his capital at Jaisalmer and built the Jaisalmer Fort.
During the period of 1293-1294 CE, the fort remained abandoned when Sultan Alauddin Khilji attacked the fort and the Bhati ruler, Rawal Jethsi lost. Later the fort was occupied by the remaining Bhatis. The fort was again attacked during 1530-1551 CE, by Amir Ali when Rawal Lunakaran was ruling Jaisalmer. He won the battle and continued his reign.
The fort was also attacked by Mughal emperor Humayun, who captured the fort and it was under the control of the Mughals till 1762, when Maharawal Mulraj captured it. During British rule, the role of Jaisalmer in the international economy was completely ruined.
The architecture of Jaisalmer Fort
Built on a hill with an elevation of about 250 feet, the Jaisalmer Fort is 1500 feet in height and 750 feet in its width. The fort is surrounded by a wall around which is about 15 feet tall.
The fort has four massive gateways through which tourists enter. It also has the Rajmahal Palace, where the king resided, and there are 7 Jain temples, numerous idols, temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu and large houses built by wealthy merchants. All of these establishments are mostly built of yellow sandstone.
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Jaisalmer Fort Entry Fee
Jaisalmer Fort has been established as an important and popular tourist destination spot resulting in millions of tourists flooding the fort. The entrance fee has been kept at a minimum rate of Rs 50 if you are an Indian and Rs 250 if you are travelling internationally.
Jaisalmer Fort Timings
Jaisalmer Fort remains open for the visiting of tourists every day, from 7 AM to 6 PM.
Places to Visit Near Jaisalmer Fort
Located at a distance of about 7.9 km from the Jaisalmer Fort, the Bada Bagh is a complex of gardens situated on a hill. It was built when Jai Singh II ordered the construction of a dam in this area, and after his death, his son built a garden near this dam with a cenotaph or chhatri. Later on, many chhatris were built in this place.
Bada Bagh serves as a popular tourist attraction spot as it is marvellously built using the yellow sandstones and has numerous cenotaphs of kings, queens and princes.
Patwon Ki Haveli
The Patwon Ki Haveli is located at a walking distance from the Jaisalmer Fort, in a narrow lane. It is a perfect example of the Rajput architecture and was the first Haveli to be built in Jaisalmer. As legends say, Patwa, a rich merchant, ordered the erection of a cluster of Havelis, each dedicated to his five sons and it took 50 years to complete the whole construction.
The Haveli has intrinsic carvings and miniature balconies that make it attractive among travellers and is completely made from yellow sandstone, except the main entrance which is brown in colour.
Located within 1.6 km from the Jaisalmer Fort, Gadisar Lake is one of the most important landmarks of Rajasthan. It is a man-made lake, originally built to store water and was used by the whole town as their only water body. There are numerous small islands like constructions on the lake, containing shrines. The whole lake is bordered by shrines and watchtowers that offer mesmerizing views of the lake.
Boating is a must-try in Gadisar Lake. The experience is serene, and the sunset offers a beautiful view.
Recommended read Gadisar Lake timings, entry fee, boating and nearby attractions
The Mandir Palace is situated at a distance of about 650 meters and is just 4 minutes ride on a cab from the Jaisalmer Fort. The building served as the residence of ancient Rajput Maharajas for two centuries. Today, it is restored and acts as a hotel and offers accommodation to travellers who want to enjoy a royal stay.
Built around multiple courtyards, the Mandir Palace also houses an interesting museum. You can also enjoy authentic Rajasthani food and local dance and music here.
How to Reach Jaisalmer Fort
House to numerous forts and palaces, Jaisalmer is one of the most popular tourist destinations across India and is well connected by air, rail, and road.
Jaisalmer Airport is located 17 kilometres southeast of Jaisalmer in Rajasthan, India. The airport operates as a civil enclave on an Indian Air Force base. You can take a cab from the airport and reach Jaisalmer Fort.
Jaisalmer can be easily reached by train, and it is the most popular way of visiting. There are many direct and indirect trains, travelling from Kolkata, Delhi, Jodhpur, etc. to Jaisalmer. The grand train, “Palace On Wheels” is specially designed to offer the tourists a journey as royals did.
Many local and deluxe buses connect Jaisalmer with other parts of the country like Bikaner, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Mount Abu, etc. you can take a cab, rickshaw or auto after you reach the bus terminal.
Time Required to Explore the Jaisalmer Fort
You can explore the magnificent Jaisalmer Fort within 2-4hours. The grand fort along with the numerous temples and sculptures take a little more than 2 hours for thorough exploration.
Jaisalmer Fort is a spectacular piece of architecture built by the mighty Rajputs and is of immense historical importance. Every year, millions of tourists reach the fort just to be mesmerized with its awe. You must experience the beauty of the yellow, rough Thar Desert along with the enchanting “Sonar Kella” and go on the journey of your lifetime.