About Jaisalmer Fort
Also known as Sonar Quilla or Sone ka Quilla (golden fort) Jaisalmer fort stands high showcasing its beauty and elegance as it is one of the world’s largest forts located in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan. Sonar Quila is the second oldest fort in Rajasthan. Its extensive yellow sandstone walls are bright yellow during the day and fade to honey-gold as the sun sets and due to this, it is also called the Golden fort. This dessert beauty has seen many battles while standing amidst the sandy stretches of the great Thar Desert on Trikuta hill. Jaisalmer itself is known as the golden city and offers the cultural fusion of nomadic desert and royalty which will let you experience something different.
If one wants to see the replica of the fort, which was shown in the television cartoon “Arabian nights”, then Jaisalmer fort is the place to be. Counted amongst the largest forts in the world, Jaisalmer fort is the most popular landmark of Jaisalmer city. Unlike other forts of Rajasthan, Jaisalmer fort houses museum, shops, restaurants, residential accommodations, hotels, etc.
The fort was built in 1156, and is a proud chattel of the Bhati clan. Rawal Jaiswal was the founder of Jaisalmer city, and Jaisalmer fort was built in his reign. It is a 250 foot tall fort, which is protected by 30 feet long walls. The fort constitutes 99 bastions, amongst these 92 were built between 1633 and 1647. One can see the fusion of Islamic and Rajput architecture. There are 4 gateways to reach this fort i.e. Ganesh Pol, Akshya Pol, Suraj Pol and Hawa Pol. Jaisalmer Fort is situated on Trikuta Hill and had been the scene of many battles.
The main attractions inside the fort are: Raj Mahal (Royal palace), Jain temples and the Laxminath temple. The fort is made as per the actual Rajasthan standards and feature a city against a red-and-yellow background. The Jaisalmer Fort is one of the few living monuments in the world and home to a fourth of the city’s population. The view of the sunset from this fort is a treat to the eyes for all the travellers, and especially photographers. Jaisalmer fort is popularly known as the “Sonar Kila” because it is made of yellow sandstone. The fort looks golden in the early morning when the first rays of the sun reach the ground. The Jaisalmer fort seems like a palace in the fairy tales and dominates the tinted small town of Jaisalmer.
The Architecture of Jaisalmer Fort
The Jaisalmer Fort is also famous for its architectural beauty. With the amazing measurement of 1,500 ft (460 m) long and 750 ft (230 m) wide it is built on a hill that rises above a height of 250 ft (76 m). You will be delighted to witness the essence of Rajasthani architectural touch with beautiful designs and patterns. Built with the gorgeous yellow sandstone the entire fort has an amazing look and shines like gold when the sun-rays fall on the walls.
With the glorious sunrise and majestic sunset, this structure changes color from tawny lion yellow to honey- gold. You will be amused to see the four entrances to the fort which are named Hawa Pole, Akshay Pole, Suraj Pole, and Ganesha Pole. There are many other places that add their importance to histories such as Akhai Vilas, the Rang Mahal, Sarvottam Vilas, Gaj Mahal, and the Moti Mahal.
The Moti Mahal is also known as Salam Singh Ki Haweli and is extremely beautiful with the amazing architecture, built-in 1815 with a peacock-shaped roof & numerous balconies this place will give a jaw-dropping view. These places too have been formed by keeping the designs, patterns, and texture at the priority and has been taken utmost care that they stand to showcase the royalty and energy of Rajput’s and taking Rajasthani style on another level.
About Jaisalmer Fort
Also known as Sonar Quilla or Sone ka Quilla (golden fort) Jaisalmer fort stands high showcasing its beauty and elegance as it is one of the world’s largest forts located in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan. Sonar Quila is the second oldest fort in Rajasthan.
Its extensive yellow sandstone walls are bright yellow during the day and fade to honey-gold as the sun sets and due to this, it is also called the Golden fort. This dessert beauty has seen many battles while standing amidst the sandy stretches of the great Thar Desert on Trikuta hill. Jaisalmer itself is known as the golden city and offers the cultural fusion of nomadic desert and royalty which will let you experience something different.
Jaisalmer Fort History
Jaisalmer Fort locally known as Sonar Quila is one of the largest forts in the world located in Jaisalmer City in Rajasthan, India. It was constructed in 1156 AD by the Bhati Rajput leader Rao Jaisal, where it originates its name. This fort is popularly known as the ‘Sone Ka Quila (Golden Fort)’ by the neighborhood people and is one of one of the most stunning monoliths in the city of Jaisalmer. The fort is standing proudly in the middle of the endless golden sands of Thar Desert; Jaisalmer fort is one of one of the most popular visitor destinations of Jaisalmer.
Jaisalmer under Bhati Rajputs
Bhati Rajput belonged to Sialkot area in Punjab who established themselves in a town called Annot, 120km away from Jaisalmer. One of the descendants named Devaraj defeated Nirpabharu who belonged to Lodra Rajput and made Lodruva his capital and called himself Maharawal.
Maharawal Jaisal was the descendant of Devaraj and also he built the Jaisalmer Fort in 1156AD which is a massive fort. In that year, he dethroned his nephew Bhojdev with the help of Sultan of Gaur. King Jetsi also strengthened the fort in 1276 to protect the fort from Sultan of Delhi. But still the sultan was able to gain the fort by eight years of siege. Bhatis took over the fort again but were not able to repair it. Dodoo strengthened the fort in 1306.
Jaisalmer Fort under Alauddin Khilji and Mughals
Alauddin Khilji ruled Jaisalmer for 9 years after capturing the fort in 13th century. During the siege, women committed Jauhar. Mughal emperor Humayun attacked the fort in 1541. As a result of constant attacks, the king of Jaisalmer signed treaty with Akbar in 1570. He also offered his daughter in marriage to Akbar. Mughals controlled the fort till 1762.
Jaisalmer Fort under Rajputs and British
Inside of Jaisalmer Fort
Maharawal Mulraj took over the fort from Mughals in 1762. He also signed a treaty with East India Company in 1818. Mulraj passed away in 1820 and was prospered by his grandson Gaj Singh. During the British period, the profession path was altered. They started trading from port of Bombay that led to declination of trade from Silk Road and was closed after independence.
How to Reach To Jaisalmer Fort
Jaisalmer is well connected with major cities of India with Rail, Road, and Air. Local transportation in Jaisalmer quite good. Auto rickshaw is an economical mode of transport in Jaisalmer City.
It’s walking range from the primary Jaisalmer City. Best to hire a rickshaw from your hotel.
Best Time to Visit Jaisalmer Fort
Tourist at Jaisalmer Fort
The best time to visit Jaisalmer is from the month of November to March. These months have pleasant climate but December as well as January are really cool. The period from April to August is really hot and September hand October have humid climate. Though there is very little rains in Jaisalmer but this causes humidity.
Interesting Facts and Trivia about the Jaisalmer Fort
- It is the 2nd largest fort in Rajasthan and also is located at an altitude of around 250 meters on top of a hill.
- It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its popular architecture and also the significance it had during the course of history.
- The structure is a fortification consisting of three layers, with the outermost being made entirely out of stone as it was the very first layer of protection against enemies..
- It has a total amount of 99 bastions with virtually 93 of them being created at a later factor in background at around 1638 AD.
- A noval, Sonar Kella, and a successive flick was made with this location as the prime place by the renowned author Satyajit Ray. This caused the spread of the popularity of this site.
- Alauddin Khilji attacked the Fort as well as obtained control over it for a period of almost 9 years.
- Kuldhara Village
- Bada Bagh
- Patwon Ki Haveli
- Government Museum
What Not to Miss at Jaisalmer Fort
Things to do at Jaisalmer Fort
Photo Credits: Garrett Ziegler
While you visit the Golden fort you can do various things which will help to explore the place better and you will be able to witness each and every part of it without missing anything.
1. You should visit Laxminath and Jain temples as they are elegant and calm and you will get to experience some tranquility and positivity.
2. You can simply stay there and notice the beautiful look of the fort while it changes its color at different times of the day and after you notice the change you will feel that the wait was worthy.
3. You can hike and reach at the top of the hill and witness the enchanting views of the surrounding locality.
4. You will be able to see the amazing golden city and much more. You can also wander through the historical lanes and explore every corner and pillar inside the Fort so that you don’t leave any interesting stories or facts related to them.
5. If you are tired and need to charge up and refill yourself with energy, you can visit the local eateries which serve delicious ethnic dishes at the Dusshera Chowk.
Places to Visit Near Jaisalmer Fort
There are several places located near the majestic Jaisalmer Fort which are worthy of your time. You can visit all those places and can enjoy your time as you will get to witness their beauty and will get to know their significance too. Some of the places are:
1. Kuldhara Village: At a distance of 21 km from the Golden City this is an abandoned village that was established in the 13th century and was a prosperous place filled with happy families but during the early 19th century it was abandoned for unknown reasons, many stories are made some say it is cursed and haunted, some say that it happened because of an earthquake and water problems.
2. Bada Bagh: Situated on a small hill it is a garden complex about 6 km north of Jaisalmer. It is a beautiful garden and has cenotaphs for rulers, queens, princes and other royal family members and also holds a description block for them respectively. You should also witness the Jaitsar Tank and the Jait Bandh, which is the dam.
3. Patwon Ki Haveli: It is an interesting piece of Architecture and is the most important among the Havelis in Jaisalmer. It is famous because it is a cluster of 5 small Havelis. it is believed that Patwa was a rich man and was a famous trader of his time. He commanded the construction of separate stories for each of his 5 sons. All the construction work was completed in a span of the first 60 years of the 19th century.
Places to Eat in and Near Jaisalmer Fort
You will get lots of delicious opportunities and places which will offer you mouth-watering cuisines along with friendly and fast service, hygienic environment and much more. Some of the renowned places which are worth visiting are:
1. Lake View Restaurant: This place offers an amazing view of the Gadi Sagar Lake and you can also witness the beauty of the golden city while you enjoy the lip-smacking food served to you by their co-operative staff. When you visit this place after or during the sunset you will be amused the view of Jaisalmer city which is dipped in lights and will give you a charming image of the place.
2. Desert Boy’s Dhani: Another good option to opt for, this place is large and spacious and offers authentic Rajasthani cuisine. You will be touched by their hospitality and can taste the real taste of Rajasthan. They won’t fail to make you part of Indian traditions as they also have enclosed sitting area which has comfortable mattresses laid down on the floor with the low rise tables to give you Indian dining feel.
3. Jaisal Italy Restaurant: This place is an authentic Italian restaurant that serves both Indian and Italian cuisines. It is an amazing place with a sandy-colored stone facade. You can relax here while you are tired of exploring the fort as this place is located just inside the first fort gate.
4. Natraj Restaurant: A restaurant that gives the option of both inside seating arrangement and a rooftop experience and services various delicious cuisines. It is located near Salam Singh Haveli and will welcome you with full enthusiasm and make you feel comfortable by their service.
Highlights of Jaisalmer Fort
|Address:||Fort Road, Near Gopa Chowk, Amar Sagar Pol, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan 345001|
|Built by:||Rawal Jaisal|
|Jaisalmer Fort Entry Fees:||No Entry Fee to the Fort.|
|Visiting Hours:||9:00 AM to 5:00 PM|
|Distances of Important Cities from Jaisalmer:||New Delhi (921 km), Jaipur (620 km), Mumbai (1177 km), Ahmadabad (626 km).|
|Video Camera :||Rs. 100/- is charged for privately owned Palace Museum.|
How to Reach Jaisalmer Fort
Photo Credits: Tim Proffitt-White
By Air: As Jaisalmer does not have any airport within the city so, the nearest airport to this place is Jodhpur airport which is connected with domestic and international flights to and from major places and is around 275 kilometers from Jaisalmer.
By Train: You can also choose to visit with the help of the train as Jaisalmer has good connectivity from the trains to major cities like Delhi, Jaipur, Mumbai, etc.
By Road: Jaisalmer is well connected to the major cities via roadways also so you can choose any public transport like buses or private transport like cars etc. to reach the Jaisalmer fort.
Once you reach the Jaisalmer it is very easy to reach the Jaisalmer fort as it is at a walkable distance from the city and if you don’t want to walk you also have options to take an auto-rickshaw which are easily available.