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. Since then the fort stands testimony to the royal history of Rajasthan. In the earlier times, all residents of Jaisalmer lived within the ramparts of the fort itself. With time, the town has grown beyond the fort but the fort is still the main attraction of Jaisalmer. The Jaisalmer Fort is battle-scarred. It was attacked by Ala-ud-din Khilji and captured in the 13th century. He held the fort and its people captive for nine years. It was during this siege of the fort that Rajput women committed Jauhar. The second battle at was in 1541, when the Mughal Emperor Humayun attacked the fort city.
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.
The fort houses four massive gateways which lead the visitors to the citadel. Here you will also see Raj Mahal Palace which is the former residence of the Maharawal of Jaisalmer.
Jaisalmer Fort has 7 Jain temples constructed using yellow sandstone during 12-16th century. A temple dedicated to Sambhavanatha here houses more than 600 idols. The fort complex is also adorned with splendid looking Merchant Havelis which were built by rich merchants in Rajasthani towns. Some of these havelis are now museums.
Inside the fort visitors can relax at various eateries serving Italian, French and native cuisines.
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