About Jaisalmer Fort
The Jaisalmer Fort, sometimes called Sonar Quila or the ‘Golden City’, was a twelfth century fortified city which sits atop Trikuta Hill in Jaisalmer in India.
History of the Jaisalmer Fort
Built in 1156, the Jaisalmer Fort was the creation of Rawal Jaisal, king of the fearsome Bhatti Rajput warriors, and became a focal point for battles between the Bhattis, the Mughals of Delhi and the Rathores of Jaipur.
Jaisalmer also lay on the Silk Road, so rich merchants brought added prosperity to the city. It was an important trading city for centuries: this changed under British rule, although it remains of strategic importance being close to the border with Pakistan.
Within its impressive 30-foot high sandstone walls, which are defended by almost a hundred bastions, lies a labyrinth of buildings such as palaces, homes and temples. The Palace of the Maharawal remains the jewel in the fort’s crown, and now houses a museum. Many of the structures in the Jaisalmer Fort are adorned with intricate mosaics and carved stone, adding to the beauty of this ghostly site.
Jaisalmer Fort today
Jaisalmer Fort is known as a living fort – it still has around 3000 people living within its walls, and it is something of a mishmash of temples, bazaars, shops, hotels, houses and cafes. The Palace of the Maharawal has remarkable views from its roof of the city below. It’s worth taking the time to get lost in the rich history and present of Jaisalmer Fort.
The fort has ongoing issues with water: the desert location and additional tourists have taken their toll and the fort’s structure has crumbled with the change in humidity. Think about the resources you are consuming whilst in the area.
Getting to Jaisalmer Fort
The fort lies in the centre of the modern day city – it’s impossible to miss and best accessed by foot.