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Golden Fort

Jaisalmer Tourism


The Jaisalmer city stands on a yellowish sandstone ridge. Its crowning glory is its fort, also called the Golden Fort or Sonar Killa, which contains a palace and a number of ornate Jain temples. Jaisalmer is also called the Golden City as it lies in the heart of the Great Indian Desert Thar and has golden sands all around. Even most of the houses and temples here are made of the yellow stone, giving the entire town a yellow hue. The origin of Jaisalmer in its present form goes back to 1156 AD when Rawal Jassal Bhatti founded it. The Bhatti Rajputs claim to be direct descendants of Lord Krishna. In the medieval times, Jaisalmer was an important trading town and its wealthy merchants have also contributed richly to its art and architecture.

Tourist attractions in Bikaner

Jaisalmer Fort

Jaisalmer Fort is the second oldest fort in Rajasthan after the Chittorgarh Fort. It rises spectacularly among the golden sands of Jaisalmer. Situated atop the Trikuta Hill in the midst of the Thar Desert, it is a spectacular sight. Jaisalmer Fort was constructed by Raja Jaisal in 1156 AD when he was searching for a site for his new capital. The Fort is made of yellow stone and its name Sonar Kila or Golden Fort from the same. Standing at a height of 250 feet, it is reinforced by a sandstone wall thirty feet high. It has 99 bastions; a majority of these were used as gun platforms. The view from these bastions is spectacular to say the least. The fort has three layers of walls that were a part of an elaborate defense system.

Salim Singh Ki Haveli

This is a 300 years old mansion. Part of it is still being used as a residence. Originally owned by Salim Singh, a former Prime Minister of the state of Jaisalmer, Salim Singh ki Haveli as it is now called, has an arched roof with beautiful brackets carved in the design of peacocks. This is Jaisalmer architecture at its best. This haveli is an eight-storey building. It was built by Salim Singh as a pleasure palace to live with his seven wives and two concubines.


This mansion is actually a complex of five houses, built for five sons of Guman Chand, a trader of jewelry and fine brocades. These are also the first such mansions to be built in Jaisalmer. Standing resplendent in its opulence, Patwon ki Haveli is a landmark in Jaisalmer. The five houses are spread over five storeys and took 50 years to complete. Even though the haveli is made of stone, it remains cool even at the height of summer, due to the fine carvings that were designed for good ventilation.

Desert National Park

The Desert National Park is among India’s largest sanctuaries and a home to a number of endangered species. Situated close to Jaisalmer, it occupies a large part of the Thar Desert and sand dunes form nearly 20% of its topography. Craggy rocks, compact salt lake bottoms, intermedial areas and fixed dunes are common here and the fauna and flora is according to these landforms. Chinkara, Black Buck, Fox, Bengal fox, wolf and desert cat are found in good numbers. Reptiles like the deadly viper and kraits besides spiny tail lizards and desert monitors are also found here.

Desert Festival

Jaisalmer is known not just for its Golden Fort and monuments but also for the Desert Festival held annually for three days during spring. The town comes alive with the colors of spring and the participants in the fair. The yellow sand dunes become the venue for folk music and dancing, puppet shows, kite flying and contests like best turban tying and biggest mustache. Experience the melodious rhythms of Rajasthan under starlight and be transported to the world of fantasy. Crafts bazaars and sound & light spectacles also are organized for the benefit of the numerous tourists. Mr. Desert Contest, Camel polo and Camel races are the highlight of the festival.


Other popular attractions of Jaisalmer are:

How to Reach

  • By Air: Jaisalmer Airport is a military airport and serves only chartered flights. Jodhpur Airport is the closest domestic airport connected with Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Udaipur.
  • By Rail: Jaisalmer is well connected with a wide network of trains with Delhi, Jodhpur, Jaipur and other cities.
  • By Road: Roads of Jaisalmer are well linked with all nearby cities. One can book state-run sleeper coaches which operate regularly.

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