About Jaisalmer Fort
Amidst the golden stretches of desert sand, the Jaisalmer Fort towers to a
conspicuous height atop the Trikuta Hills. The yellow sandstone that has been
extensively used in its construction makes it appear a part of the sandy region.
Infact, it sometimes gives a fleeting impression that the fort itself has
emerged out of the surrounding sand.
The history of the fort tells us that it was built by Rai Jaisala in the
year 1156 when he felt that his capital at Lodurva (15 km north west) was
susceptible to foreign aggression. The ensuing period saw many postive and
negative happenings like the emergence and decline of kings, onslaught by
invading army (especially by Ala-ud-din Khilji), mass suicide by women and
children and blossoming of art and architecture. The fort at all these time
stood erect without perishing into the mound of sand.
At one point of time in history, the Fort housed the entire population
of Jaisalmer. Though with an increase in population, people were forced
to move out of the fortified city and find shelter in the surrounding area.
Today, the city of Jaisalmer is divided into two parts - the one that is
within the fort and the other, that is at the foot of the Trikuta Hill outside
The stately look of the fort narrates the tale of war, romance, sacrifice
and chivalry for which the Rajput clan is so well noted. Visitors come to
view its impressive grandeur from outside and also wander in its narrow
winding lanes inside. The shops, havelis, art and craft bazaar have an unmistakable
attraction that is hard to ignore. The fort is worth visiting again and
Inside the Jaisalmer Fort
The 250 feet tall mega structure of the Jaisalmer Fort has 30 feet high crenallated
walls to boost its protective coverage. There are 99 bastions too that enhance
the defensive mechanism of the fort. 92 of these bastions were built between
the period of 1633-47. Within the fortified city are enclosed numerous palace
complexes, temples and havelis that leave a lasting impression on the vistors.
There are four massive gateways that lead to the gate including Akshaya
Pole, Suraj Pole, Hawa Pole and Ganesh Pole. The Suraj and the Ganesh Pole
have an image of Sun and Lord Ganesh respectively at the top. The Dussehra
Chowk is reached after passing below the last gate, Hawa pole. Here, a beautiful
palace Raj Mahal stands as if greeting the visitors. This palace was once
the residence of the royal family but today it has been converted into a
museum and heritage centre.
The seven Jain Temples hold a commanding presence in the Jaisalmer Fort
and are dedicated to the revered Jain Tirthankaras like Sambhavanath, Rikhabdev,
Chandrprabhu and Parasnath. The temples are interconnected by a series of
courtyards and walkways. They have walls, pillars, columns adorned with
fine sculptures in sandstone and marble. Some of the worth noticing images
in these temples include a dancing image of a woman balancing sets of balls
on her raised forearms and dancing figures of musician welcoming God.
Jaisalmer was inhabited by wealthy merchants who were mighty impressed
by the royal lifestyle of the Rajput kings. In order to bring themselves
at par with this luxurious lifestyle, the merchants built mammoth havelis
with a touch of royal elegance. There are many havelis within the fort area
that have presently been converted into shops, with the exception of one
that serves as a museum.
The wells of the Jaisalmer Fort that were once used to draw out water for
the use by people are still functional and attracts a whole lot of people.
Jaisalmer Fort Reservation Form
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