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Home :: India Destination :: Rajasthan :: Jaisalmer Fort
Jaisalmer Fort
Introduction
Jaisalmer Fort''Beauty lies in desolation''. You might be confused a bit as you try to get to the essence of this line. But, once you arrive at Jaisalmer and stand before the splendid fort, with its turrets pointing skywards, you would surely agree on this point. The fort seems to rise like a mirage in the midst of the expansive Thar Desert. If you are a history buff, you would be able to soak up the medieval charm that still lingers on here. Visiting the fort by nightfall is a nice option to fill your vacation with moments of romance and suspense.

History
Raja Jaisal, the founder of the city, was in search of a secure capital where he had no fears of foreign invasions. His earlier capital Lodurva was too susceptible to attacks and thus he decided to establish a new capital – Jaisalmer. In 1156, he got erected the doughty structure of the Jaisalmer Fort. The medieval fortress town of Jaisalmer was lying on the caravan routes. And the frequent arrivals of traders from places like Egypt, Arabia and Persia helped prosper the town much.

Architecture
Also referred to as the Sonar Quila, the Jaisalmer Fort stands in five storeys with numerous balconies and windows showcasing some of the finest masonry work. The huge ramparts and the bastions of the fort are a sight to see during sunrise and sunset. The interiors of the fort, which is 250 feet tall, are worth watching as they are beautifully painted and tiled in the typical Rajput style. The bastions house a whole township comprising of many havelis, temples and residential complexes.

The havelis or the grand mansions inside the fort were built by the merchants who wished to live a life of luxury and comforts, that could be anywhere close to the opulent lifestyle of the monarchs. The merchants enjoyed a noble status in the royal courts of the Bhatti Rajputs. They engaged well-versed craftsmen to work on the sandstone mansions to create exquisite sculptural figures, screen windows, delicate pavillions and wonderful balconies.

One of the biggest draws for tourists here is the Jain temples carved between the 12th and 15th centuries. The detailed carvings on the temple walls speak of a glorious past. There are various other attractions inside the fort that has cobbled pathways leading to the royal palaces. Do take a stroll along the alleyways inside and spend time exploring the storehouse of age-old treasures.

Nearby Attractions
Jaislmer FortOne major lure for visitors to Jaisalmer is the camel safari through the Thar Desert. Riding a camel and moving across the vast sands would make you reminisce the days of the past. Visit the Sam sand dunes, enjoy a bonfire night and serve yourself with delicious Rajasthani dinner. You can also choose to make a trip to the town of Lodurva (16 km) which was the former capital before the Bhatti Rajput rulers shifted their capital to Jaisalmer. Though it mus be admitted that Jaisalmer itself would take you quite a few days as you visit such famous attractions as the Ramkunda Temple, Moolsagar Palace, Manak Chowk, Folklore Museum, Garsisar Tank and the havelis of Jaisalmer among others.

Reaching There
The Jodhpur Airport, at 308 km, is the closest airport from Jaisalmer. Those who love to travel by train, can go for the luxurious Palace On Wheels, which lets you experience the traditional charm of the state of Rajasthan. Through road routes, the city has links with Jodhpur, Bikaner, Jaipur, Ajmer, Devikot etc.



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