This desert fortress close to Rajasthan's border with Pakistan is straight out of an Arabian fairy tale. Founded in the 12th century as a staging post for camel trains travelling between India and Central Asia, Jaisalmer is a golden sandstone city with crenellated city walls, a magnificent fortress and a number of exquisitely carved stone and wooden havelis. Seen at sunset from afar, it glows with the lumine scence of a mirage.
Jaisalmer's impressive fort crowns an 80m (260ft) high hill, and about a quarter of the city's 40,000 in habitants reside within its walls. Little has changed here for centuries, and if ever a record-breaking effort were made to pack as many houses, temples and palaces into a confined space, this would be the result.Rajasthan Tour
Jaisalmer fort was built in 1156 and is the second oldest in Rajasthan. Known as SONAR QUILA or the Golden fort, rising from the sand , the mega structure merges with the golden hues of the desert ambience and the setting suns in its most colourful shades gives it a fairy tale look.
The architecture of the Jaisalmer fort is exquisite. The ramparts, bastions and the long stretching walls of the fort dazzle gloriously during early morning and at the sunset. The fort is two hundred and fifty feet tall and reinforced by an imposing crenellated sandstone wall which is 30 feet high. The fort has 99 bastion, out of which 92 bastions were built between 1633 and 1647. The fort stands almost 30 metres over the city and unbelievably houses an entire living area within huge ramparts. It is approached through Ganesh Pol, Suraj Pol, Bhoot Pol and Hawa Pol. Rajasthan tour packages
The five storey fort adorns itself with balconies and windows that displays some of the finest masonry work, while the interior is painted and tiled in typical Rajput style. The bastions envelops a whole township that consist of palace complex, the havelis of rich merchants, several temples and the residential complexes of the armies and merchants. These merchants served and acquire a great deal of power and noble status in the royal courts of Bhatti Rajputs who founded the state in the 12th century and proceeded further.
But the rich merchants inspired by the classic style of the royals, constructed huge mansions or havelis. These merchants engaged stone - craftsmen who worked delicately on the sandstone mansions. They filled up facades with sculptural figures, screen windows, delicate pavilions and beautiful balconies. The main attractions within the fort are a group of beautifully carved Jain temples built between the 12th and 15th century.