Jaisalmer Fort : A Virtual Trip Inside the Golden Fort

Jaisalmer Fort

“An earthy stone carved into a beautiful fort,

adorned with a rich camouflage of sand.

When the sun’s rays fall onto it, its colour changes magically.

Even after witnessing the wars in history, the magnificent beauty stands still, 

this is how the Jaisalmer fort lives on.”

Jaisalmer Fort is popular for its enchanting beauty, exotic location and hidden passageways. It may look like it is made of sand in the Thar desert but it is made of yellow sandstone. 

It was included in World Heritage in 2013 and since then, it is always filled with people. Tourists come here from all over the world, to enjoy the starry night and the uninterrupted golden fort inundated with the morning sun. These features make it more appealing than others like Chittorgarh Fort, Nahargarh Fort, etc.

Jaisalmer Fort Information

Here take a quick glance about Jaisalmer Fort Information from location, to timings, entry fee, architectural style, and many other things.

Other popular name of FortsGolden Fort, Sonar Quila, Sone Ka Quila
Timings for Jaisalmer FortFort Palace Museum: 8 AM to 6 PM from April to October9 AM to 6 PM from November to MarchJain Temples: From 8 AM to 12 PM (Sambhavnath, Chandraprabhu, Rishabhdev)Other temples: From 11 AM to 12 PM
Jaisalmer Fort Entry FeeIndian Citizens: INR 50 per personForeigners: INR 250 per person
Time Required to roam the fortApproximately 3-4 hours
Fee for taking camera inStill Camera: INR 50Video Camera: INR 100
Built byRaja Rawal Jaisal
Architectural StyleArchitectural style – a blend of both Rajput and Mughals
StatusUNESCO World Heritage Site
Area1,500 ft. long and 750 ft. wide
Year of Establishment1156 AD
Best Time to VisitFrom November to March
Material UsedLight yellow sandstone
Contact Number0299225240402992252981

Also Read – Hazarduari Palace History

History Of Jaisalmer Fort Rajasthan

Jaisalmer ka Kila was built by RajaRawal Jaisal in 1156 AD. He was a Bhatti Rajput ruler. He chose the Trikuta hills of the great Thar desert to symbolise the dominance, power and royalty of Rajputs. The Jaisalmer Fort has not only celebrated its impressiveness several times in history but also witnessed several battles with Khiljis, Tughalaqs, Mughals and Rathore Kings. 

In 1276 AD, Rawal Jethsi built a defence system known as Rang Burj. He decided to use this Rang Burj after Alauddin Khilji, tried twice to invade the Jaisalmer Fort.

Sultan Alauddin Khilji’s army surrounded Jaisalmer fort for eight to nine years and after reprised attempts, captured it in 1294 from Rajpur Bhattis. Due to this successful invasion, almost twenty-five thousand women did Jauhar or self-immolation to protect their integrity.

After two years, Khilji’s army left the castle on its own. The surviving Bhattis regained the former glory of the fort. Another act of Jauhar took place in the late 14th century when Sultan of Delhi, Sultan Firoz Shah Tughlaq attacked Jaisalmer. 

Further, another invasion by Mughal emperor Humayun in 1541 broke the defending system of King Rawal Lunakran. Due to this reason, he was forced to marry her daughter to Akbar. 

Till 1762, Mughals ruled over Jaisalmer and was soon taken over by Maharawal Mulraj. He signed a treaty with the British East India Company. Thus, Jaisalmer soon became a princely state in Rajasthan. However, after the independence, Jaisalmer joined the Union of India and became a part of it.

Architectural Design of the Jaisalmer Fort

Jaisalmer Fort is a unique fort that stands out from other gigantic forts of Rajasthan. Jaisalmer Fort is a beauty that can leave you confused and mesmerised at the same time. This is the reason Jaisalmer Fort’s name became Sonar Quila or Golden Fort.

It is 1500 ft. long and 750 ft. wide built on a hill with a height of 250 ft. in the Thar desert. This fascinating marvel of Rajasthani architecture and Mughal essence can take your breath away in a single vista. 

The Jaisalmer Fort is built with gorgeous yellow sandstone and shines like gold when complete sun rays fall on the wall. When the time comes for the sun to set, the sandstone colour changes from tawny lion colour to honey-gold.

There are four magnificent entrances to the fort. The four entrances are named Hawa Pole, Akshay Pole, Suraj Pole and Ganesha Pole. It also includes many other stunning pieces of architecture such as Moti Mahal, Gaj Mahal, Rang Mahal, Sarvotta Vilas, and Akhai Vilas. 

Other bewitching places to visit are The Raja ka Mahal Palace (Maharwal Palace), Rani ka Mahal Palace, Seven Jain Temples, Lakshminath Temple, and others. All these places have designs and patterns that are beautifully carved on each and every wall of Jaisalmer. The Rajasthani style, Mughal patterns, and a little bit of Bengali art touch are just another level of craft.

Out of all the Moti Mahal has extraordinary architecture. It was built in 1815 by two brothers who worked from two sides of the house. They made a roof in peacock shape and several balconies, jharokhas that make it an aww struck view.  This Moti Mahal is also known as Salan Singh Haweli.

Read About:- Laxmi Vilas Palace

What’s inside Jaisalmer Fort?

Inside the Jaisalmer Fort you can see the significant parts that are great tourist attractions. Here are the following:

Raja ka Mahal Palace: Maharwal Palace 

The Raj Mahal is central to Jaisalmer Fort. It is also known as Maharwal Palace as the Maharwals of Jaisalmer used to reside here. It’s complex yet magical. These forts remind you of Mehrangarh Fort and other massive forts. When you enter the palace, you can see the saffron-orange handprints. These handprints were made of women of the fort before they 

commited Jauhar. The Raj Mahal Palace has several storeys. It includes a lot of balconies, small courtyards, jharokhas and chambers.

However, most of the part of Raj Mahal now hosts a museum displaying the royal family, portraits, weapons, dresses, ornaments, and other things used in history. Once you leave the museum you will reach the Diwan-e-Khas. 

Diwan-e-Khas is a place where the guests of the palace were received with honour and nobility. The floral carving on the sandstone in the king’s personal space is quite breathtaking. This part is particularly called Gaj Mahal. Further, there is an open courtyard that further connects to the Queen Palace or Rani Ka Mahal.

Also Read – Qutub Minar Architecture

Rani ka Mahal Palace

Another quarter of Raja ka Mahal Palace is the Rani ka Mahal or the Queen’s palace. This Rani ka Mahal is a bit smaller than Raja ka Mahal. 

This queen’s palace has small detailed carvings, beautiful balconies and jharokhas made of sandstone. The Queen of Jaisalmer used to live there with her female servants. However, a very small portion is open to tourists. There is also a temple of Goddess Gori. The Queen and her servants used to celebrate the Gangaur festival. Once you come out of these sections you will come out from the main door of the Rani Mahal towards Dussehra Chowk.

Jain Temples of Jaisalmer Fort

The small alleyways lead you right in front of the Raj Mahal to three beautiful Jain temples inside the fort. There are few left and right turns before you reach the temple. The Jain temple has beautiful intricate sandstone and is massive as compared to the Jain temple present in Ranakpur. 

There are 7 different Jain temples inside the fort but  these 3 are the major ones. Also, these Jain temples are dedicated to different Jain Teerthaankars. The most popular one is dedicated to Parshwanath Bhagwan. This Jain temple is one of the most magnificent of all Jian temples inside the fort.  

Apart from their exotic carvings and designs, the Jain temples are famous for two more reasons. Firstly, it is believed that these temples have secret passageways leading to the Jaisalmer fort. They are believed to be used for escaping while the fort was under attack. They are also believed to have sacred , historical and rare Jain scripts.

Lakshminath Temple

Lakshminath temple was built by another ruler of Jaisalmer, Rao Lunkaran in the 19th century. The Lakshminath temple is a temple dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Vishnu. This temple is present beside the Jain temple. 

Alleyways Inside the Jaisalmer Fort

The alleyways of Jaisalmer fort are just magical, beautiful streets that have witnessed a lot of wars, festivals, and happiness. You can navigate through these beautiful streets but you would love to get lost. These alleyways are surrounded by gigantic forts, shops on lower forms, and guesthouses on the upper ones. You can compare these lanes with Varanasi lanes or tight lanes of Santorini. All these lanes lead you to the Dussehra Chowk somehow.

Lodging inside the Jaisalmer Fort

There are many hotels inside Jaisalmer Fort with reasonable prices. There are many guesthouses and homestays to cater for your budget. Some of these homestays and guesthouses even offer food as well like breakfast, snacks, and dinner. After all, Jaisalmer is famous for its hospitality and how people believe in “Atithi Devo Bhava.”

Food Facility Inside Jaisalmer Fort

The food available inside Jaisalmer Fort is pleasing to your eyes and appetite. There is plenty of Rajasthani cuisine to eat inside the fort for you to try. There are numerous cafes. restaurants, home-like kitchenettes, and street food carts. You can enjoy either proper Rajasthani cuisine or Italian, Continental, and others. While eating your food you can enjoy the view from little jharokhas day and night time. 

At night the sky fills with stars and Jaisalmer Fort feels like a love story beyond time. 

Shopping in Jaisalmer Fort

You can find a load of shops all over the Jaisalmer Fort. And, you can find several things crafted with hands from clothes to toys made of wood. You can buy anything you want. 

From the entrance, you can see there are several shops and some government emporiums selling linen, hand-made dress materials, furnishings, decor items for homes, jewellery made of silver, antique items, small memorable souvenirs, and many more. You can also buy hand-painted posters, t-shirts, and dresses. You can also find artists sitting right in their shops and paintings.  

Surprising Facts about Jaisalmer Fort

Here are some interesting facts about Jaisalmer Fort that you must know.

  • The Jaisalmer Fort in Rajasthan was constructed with 3 layers of walls to defend it against the invaders. Also, the outermost layer was only made out of stone.
  • Jaisalmer Fort has a total of 99 bastions, out of which 92 were built from 1633 to 1647.
  • Almost 1/4th of the town’s population lives inside the fort.
  • The wells present in Jaisalmer Fort still provide sweet groundwater regularly.
  • During Dussehra, a big festival is hosted and is attended by the king of Jaisalmer Fort as well.
  • There is a 15km long tunnel below the Jaisalmer fort that leads to the old capital Laudrava.
  • The fort fell in 1276 when the King of the Jatsi kingdom invaded it.
  • Alauddin Khilji attacked this fort in the 13th century and captured it for 9 years.
  • The second attack was led by Mughal Emperor Humayun in 1541. To improve the relations the Rawal king married his daughter to Akbar in 1570. The fort was under Mughal reign till 1762. 
  • After 1762, MaharajaMulraj took command of the fort. He further signed a treaty with Britishers to persist in his command of the fort.
  • In 2013, Jaisalmer Fort was included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was the 37th World Heritage Committee held in Colombia. 
  • Jaisalmer fort is at first place in the fortification of the world which is entirely preserved.

Ways to Reach Jaisalmer Fort

There are three ways to reach Jaisalmer Fort. You can reach there via road, flight, or rail.

Reach Jaisalmer by Air:

Jaisalmer has a new airport and is located in the southeast of Jaisalmer in Rajasthan. From the heart of the city, it is only 12.6 km away. Since not many domestic flights go to Jaisalmer airport, you can opt for Jodhpur Airport. 

Jodhpur airport is almost 284.6 km away from Jaisalmer. It is the nearest airport and well connected with all the major Indian cities. After reaching there you can take a cab or private taxi to reach Jaisalmer. 

Reach Jaisalmer by Road:

Jaisalmer has a well-connected network of roads. Anyone can take a deluxe or ordinary bus on Rajasthan roadways and easily reach Jaisalmer. Also, Jaisalmer is well-connected with Jaipur, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Barmer, Mount Abu, Ahmedabad, and many others. 

There is a Golden Bus Terminal and Roadways main bus stand where buses will drop you, as these are the two main bus stands of Jaisalmer. You can step out there and take a can or local autos.

Reach Jaisalmer by Rail:

Jaisalmer offers both broad gauge and metre gauge railway tracks. Anyone can board direct trains from Delhi, Jaipur, and Jodhpur to reach Jaisalmer. 

You can even board a train ‘Palace on Wheels’ to reach Jaisalmer. Once you reach the station, you can take the auto-rickshaws or private cabs to reach your travelling destination at nominal charges. 

What Are the Best Times to Visit Jaisalmer Fort?

The best time to visit Jaisalmer is from October to March. This is when the temperature stays between 10°C to 27°C. Since Jaisalmer is a desert city, winter is the best season to visit. The beautiful sunset becomes breathtaking when seen from the tall walls of the Jaisalmer fort. A perfect view.

Attractions near Jaisalmer Fort 

Here is the list of tourist attractions you can enjoy near Jaisalmer Fort.

Name of Tourist PlacesDistance
Raja Ka Mahal550 m
Rani Ka Mahal550 m
Salam Singh Ki Haveli650 m
Nathmal Ki Haveli800 m
Patwon Ki Haveli1 km
Tazia Tower1 km
Government Museum1 km
Gadisar Lake2 km
The Thar Heritage Museum2 km
Vyas Chhatri2 km
Amar Sagar Jain Temple6 km
Bada Bagh Temple7 km
Jaisalmer War Museum13 km

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Which fort is famous in Jaisalmer?

The most famous palace out of all Jaisalmer Palaces is Sonar Quila or Golden fort, or the Jaisalmer Fort. It is the crown of Jaisalmer.

Who is the king of Jaisalmer Fort?

The Jaisalmer Kila was built by King Rawal Jaisal in 1156 AD. He named the city after his name. The Jaisalmer Fort overlooks the countryside in the far northwestern corner of Rajasthan. It is near the border of India and Pakistan.

What is the importance of Jaisalmer?

Jaisalmer is an ancient city and a big trading centre. The reason is its strategic location and camel trade routes. It is also known as the golden city. Further, the intricating Havelis near Jaisalmer fort are directly carved out of golden-yellow sandstone making them all special in one way or the other.

Why is Jaisalmer fort called Sonar Quila or Golden Fort?

The Jaisalmer Kila is a massive fort made of yellow sandstone walls. The yellow sandstone looks like the colour of a tawny lion during the daytime and turns into honey-gold after the sunsets. At the time of sunset, the Jaisalmer fort becomes camouflage in the yellow desert. For this reason, it is also known as Sonar Quila or Golden Fort.

What is the revenue generated by Jaisalmer Fort?

The revenue generated by Jaisalmer fort for different years is as follows:

From 2011 to 2012: ₹ 31,53,521

From 2012 to 2013: ₹ 79,51,166

From 2013 to 2014: ₹ 57,53,020

Why is Jaisalmer Fort known as a living fort?

Jaisalmer Fort in Rajasthan is known as a living fort because unlike other forts it was neither converted completely into a hotel nor abandoned. Also, it is still standing for the last 850 years.

Who is the current king of Jaisalmer Fort?

The current king of Jaisalmer Fort is Maharajadhiraj Maharawal CHAITANYA RAJ SINGH. He is the 44th Maharawal of Jaisalmer after he succeeded to gaddi. He succeeded to the gaddi after the demise of his father in December 2020 due to a long illness.

Why is Jaisalmer Fort famous?

The Jaisalmer Fort is famous for its colour changing yellow sandstone, intricating carvings, architecture, lakes, nearby temples, traditional Rajasthani market and food, and many other things.

Arushi Jain Fiercely creative and insanely productive, Arushi Jain is a content writer at Square Yards. Writing since she was fourteen, she aims to publish a novel someday. When not writing, she’s scrolling her Instagram feed or crossing items off her food bucket list.
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