Jaisalmer is a very popular tourism location of Rajasthan has always attracted people from different parts of the world towards its raw desert beauty. While on a visit to Jaisalmer, one can get mesmerized by huge Jaisalmer Fort which stands within the golden sea of Thar Desert. The Jaisalmer Fort is considered to be the largest fortification in the whole world. This fort falls under the UNESCO World Heritage Site and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) along with the local municipality looks after the restoration work of the entire fort.
The beautiful yellow sandstone fort was built by the Bhati Rajput ruler Rawal Jaisal in the year 1156AD on the Trikuta Hills amidst Thar Desert. The yellow colour of the sandstone make it look like a Golden Fort or Sonar Quila and gives a camouflaging effect on the desert background. The fortification has been made stronger with three layers of wall. A solid stone block makes the outer layer which prevents the structure from loosened debris falling off the Trikuta Hill. The middle wall is what encompasses the entire fort area. The third and the innermost wall was build to protect the fort from any enemy attack. The wall has narrow passages through which hot oil and water used to be impelled on the enemies. There are passages for launching of massive rock blocks during attack. Moreover, the top of the fortified wall has ninety nine bastions to allow defensive fire.
History of the FortJaisalmer city was the hub of international trade with Persia, Arabia, Egypt and Africa during the medieval times. This led to the formation of the Jaisalmer Fort. Entire population of Jaisalmer used to reside inside this fort. Due to its strong fortification, the fort was untouched by most of the conquerors. In the 13th century, the Rajputs rulers lost the fort to Ala-ud-din Khilji for a span of 9 years. The fort witnessed its next battle during 1541, when Mughal emperor Humayun attacked Jaisalmer.
The economy Jaisalmer lost its importance with the passage of time and at present the place is dependent on tourism industry for its survival.
If you are on a visit to Jaisalmer Fort then Raj Mahal, Laxminath Temple, architecturally rich gateways, doors, windows, balconies and Merchant Havelis are some of the things not to be missed. The fort has its own state of the art drainage system also known as the Ghut Nali which still helps in rainwater drainage. Within the fort walls, the Vyas Haveli is still resided by the descendants of the original builder of this fort.
To cater to the enormous tourist population, the state government has allowed eateries of different cuisines within the fort complex. This fort had gained more popularity after the great Indian cinema director Satyajit Ray wrote and filmed a detective novel inside the fort. The movie was shot in the Bengali language and was named “Sonar Kella” which means “the Golden Fort”. Satyajit Ray hence is credited with coining the name Sonar Kella.
Know more about Satyajit Ray's Golden Fortress
For every tourist, a visit to the Jaisalmer Fort is a must once he or she is in Rajasthan. The best part of this visit is the amazing train ride within the golden sands of the Thar Desert.