Jaisalmer Fort, Location, History, Timings, Ticket, Architecture, Guide, How to Reach, Things to do, Interesting Facts and Trivia about the Jaisalmer Fort, Things to see inside Jaisalmer Fort, Nearby Attractions, Best time to visit Jaisalmer Fort complete detail updated.
About Jaisalmer Fort
Jaisalmer Fort, nestled amid the golden sands of Thar Desert and steeped with rich past and heritage, is not just a fort but a mini-town with houses, temples, shops, and restaurants. Showcasing brilliant craftsmanship, it is one of the most renowned forts in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Built in 1156, Jaisalmer Fort gets its name from the former Bhati Rajput ruler Rao Jaisal. More than three thousand people live within the fort walls with multiple entrance gates on the path up top, the last of which directs you to the popular public square named Dashera Chowk. Standing tall with an impressive height of 450 meters, the Fort offers a stunning panoramic view of Jaisalmer city dripped in yellow where most of the houses and complexes are built of yellow sandstone.
One of the largest forts in the world, Jaisalmer Fort is located on the southern edge of the city. Popularly known as ‘Sonar Qila’ or ‘Golden Fort’, it is a massive structure exhibiting its aesthetic beauty. The Golden fort crowns the Trikuta Hill standing at an altitude of 30 meters over the Jaisalmer city. It is bounded by massive battlements with several entrances. The walk through the intricate labyrinth of lanes is an experience worth having. Jaisalmer Fort presents a breathtaking sight during sunset with sand reflecting a golden hue to this mysterious age-old architectural grandeur. A detective novel was written based on Jaisalmer Fort by a famous Indian director Satyajit Ray, which was later on converted into a movie called Sonar Kella.
It was initially named ‘Trikut Garh’ since it was triangular in shape and also built over the Trikuta Hills. ‘Sonar Kela'(Golden Fort) as it is locally referred houses almost quarter of Jaisalmer’s population inside the complex. The roadside shops sell all kind of things, a volcano stone which can change the milk to solid curd being the most curious one.
Location: Jaisalmer, Rajasthan
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).
Jaisalmer Fort is a World Heritage Site declared UNESCO under the group Hill Forts of Rajasthan situated in the city of Jaisalmer in Rajasthan, India. Fort was built by the Rajput ruler Rawal Jaisal in 1156 AD, from whom it derives its name. (Rawal Jaisal’s son was Shalivahan II; Manj and Bhati Rajputs are descended from him.) Jaisalmer fort stands amidst the sandy expanse of the great Thar Desert, on Trikuta Hill, and has been the scene of many battles. Its massive yellow sandstone walls are a tawny lion color during the day, fading to honey-gold as the sun sets, thereby camouflaging the fort in the yellow desert. For this reason, it is also known as the Sonar Quila or Golden Fort.
Timings – 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Indian: INR 30,
Foreigner: INR 70
Still Camera: INR 50,
Video Camera: INR 150
Jaisalmer Fort is an amazing rustic fusion of Islamic and Rajputana style of architecture. Standing haughtily, this gigantic structure presents a stunning sight at night under the shadows of the moon. The Golden Fort complex comprises of several buildings such as palaces, temples, houses, wells, Havelis; all of them crafted out with light yellow sandstone which reflects a soft lion colour at day time and honey-gold as the sun sets. One would notice the intricate carvings and designs decorating the balconies, windows, and arches of havelis. The fort has several entrances namely Hawa Pol, Ganesh Pol, Rang Pol and Jawahar Pol, each uniquely and exquisitely crafted. The final gate across the zigzag pathway leads to Dashera Chowk.
The main attraction of the ‘Sonar Kila’ fort is Maharawal Palace popular for its marble throne. A five-storied tower named Tazia Tower stands right opposite the Maharawal Palace. Another major attraction of the fort is Jawahar Palace with an impressive laid out design and architecture. Jawahar Palace was used as the royal residence back in time. Jain Temple and Lakshmi Temple are other famous destinations inside the complex among the visitors. The entire complex is a maze of winding lanes with houses and temples lined along with several handicraft shops, guesthouses, and restaurants.
Things to do
- Visit the intricate and calm Laxminath and Jain temples for some serenity.
- Walk to the top of the hill and look down at the mesmerizing view of the surrounding locality.
- Roam through the zigzagging alleys and explore every nook and corner inside the Fort.
- Lay back and look at the changing hue of the fort at different times of the day.
- Try out the ethnic, local cuisines from the plethora of eateries at Dussehra Chowk.
Interesting Facts and Trivia about the Jaisalmer Fort
- It is the second largest fort in Rajasthan and is located at an altitude of about 250 meters on top of a hill.
- It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its prominent architecture and the importance it had during the course of history.
- The structure is a fortification consisting of three layers, with the outermost being made totally out of stone as it was the first layer of protection against enemies.
- It has a total of 99 bastions with almost 93 of them being constructed at a later point in history at around 1638 AD.
- A novel, Sonar Kella, and a consecutive movie was made with this location as the prime spot by the renowned novelist Satyajit Ray. This led to the spread of the fame of this site.
- Alauddin Khilji attacked the Fort and gained control over it for a period of almost 9 years.
- It has a blend of both the Rajput and Mughal style of architecture.
- This fort can be accessed by the four entrances with one of them having cannons in front of them.
- An intricate drainage system called the ‘Ghut Nali’ was designed for allowing proper disposal of drainage from the Fort area.
Things to see inside Jaisalmer Fort
The Jaisalmer Fort offers stunning views of the Golden City. As most of the houses & buildings are made of yellow sandstone, this monocolour effect creates magic and charisma.
Some of the most interesting things to see in Jaisalmer Fort include Maharawal in Chauhata Square, Tazia tower, Raj Mahal, Jain Temple, Laxmikanth Temple, and Jawahar Palace – the former residence of the royal family.
The museum showcasing arms, dresses, utensils, & ornaments of the Rajput kingdom is absolutely fascinating. One should also see the splendid carvings and the beautiful design of the four entrance gates of the Jaisalmer Fort – Ganesh Pol, Rang Pol, Bhoota Pol, and Hava Pol. The narrow bustling lanes lined with classic looking houses, archways, balconies, and ornate windows are outstanding.
- Kuldhara Village
- Bada Bagh
- Patwon Ki Haveli
- Government Museum
Availability of Guides
Guides are available in both Hindi and English for a fee. Rs.400 would be the ideal amount to hire these guides for.
Best time to visit
The best time to visit the fort is during the months of winters when the weather is pleasant during daytime and quite chilly at night.
This majestic structure is situated right in the middle of the desert and so, the best time to visit would be during the colder months of October to March in order to avoid the scorching heat. The evenings are relatively cooler and are good to sightsee.
How to Reach
Jaisalmer is located in the heart of Rajasthan while the Fort is on the southern edge of the city. Auto Rickshaw is the cheapest mode of transportation and you’ll get them from all parts of the city. Cabs and Taxis are also available.
As it is a prime tourist spot, there are many autos and cabs available from all the main locations like the Railway Station. It is located in the Manak Chowk on the Fort Road. A walk on the hillside is how the fort is reached.