Jaisalmer Fort, Jaisalmer

Location: In the very heart of Jaisalmer
How to reach: Better to take an auto-rickshaw or a rickshaw
Attraction: Architecture, miniatures and Bazaars
Timings: Early morning till 5 P.M.

Jaisalmer Fort is one of the largest forts in the world. It is situated in Jaisalmer city in the Indian state of Rajasthan. It was built in 1156 AD by the Bhati Rajput ruler Rawal Jaisal, from where it derives its name. The fort stands proudly amidst the golden stretches 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 “Golden Fort”.

Jaisalmer Fort is a monument worth visiting and worth retaining in your conscious mind. Like various other cities of Rajasthan, in Jaisalmer too you will find different facets of its own glorious heritage. Though you can find historical monuments scattered all over the city, the Jaisalmer Fort will immediately command your attention. Made of sand stones and locally known as Sonar Quila, the Jaisalmer Fort is a dominating structure amidst sands.

The city is said to be founded by one Raja Rawal Jaisal, a Bhatti Rajput ruler, in approximately 1156 A D. Legends go by that he did it on the behest of a local hermit named Eesaal. The raja choose Trikuta hill as the new site for his fort as his earlier adobe at Luderwa(16 k.m from present Jaisalmer) was too vulnerable to his comfort. But it should always be kept in mind that these legends are most of the time product of conscious minds that are very vulnerable to the oriental exaggeration.

Jaisalmer fort is the second oldest in Rajasthan. Two hundred and fifty feet tall and reinforced by imposing crenellated sandstone wall 30 feet high; it has 99 bastions, 92 of which were built between 1633 and 1647. Wells within the fort still provide a regular source of water. Even today, you will find that nearly one fourth of the old city’s population resides within the fort. If you are a student of cross-cultural merging, the subtle fusion of Rajput and Islamic architectural styles, visible in this fort, will catch your fancy. Ganesh Pol, Akshya Pol, Suraj Pol and Hawa Pol are a must see. Fort have 4 gate first is Akshya pol, second Surya pol, third is ganesh pol and last is hava pol. (pol means gate ) you can not see a gate from another is locate in turn because kings time they use elephant to break the gate so when elephant turn he lose his power and unable to break.

The fort has five palaces called Sarvottam Vilas, Akhai Vilas, Gaj Mahal, Rang Mahal and Moti Mahal, all interconnected behind the seven-storied façade. The Rang Mahal, built by Mool Raj II, has some exquisite murals painted on arches and spandrels. From the balconies one can get a terrific view of the mammoth ramparts guarding the small city. Balconies at the Gaj Mahal are also breathtakingly beautiful.

 Maharaja’s Palace

Fort has seperate residential area for Maharaja (the King) & Maharani (the Queen). Maharaja palace has bed room, a room with throne, a open area where king sits with his cabinet, a museum having dresses, beds, swords etc. You can see a dreess worn by one of the king who was 7.5 feet height & 4 feet width.

 Jain Temples

Location: In the Jaisalmer Fort

How to reach: Take a rickshaw or share an auto rickshaw

Attraction: Dilwara style paintings, Architecture
Timings: Early morning till 12 noon

The antiquity of these temples is reflected from the architecture of the temples. Jain Temples situated in the Jaisalmer Fort are a must visit site in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan. You will find these temples to be very old and high pilgrimage as well as archeological value attached to them. These are a group of Jain temples dating back 12th and 15th centuries and are dedicated to various Jain Tirthankars (Hermits). On the walls of the temples, you can find animal & human figures, carved in famous Dilwara style.

The Jain temples in the Jaisalmer Fort are dedicated to Rikhabdevji and Shambhavdev Ji, the famous Jain hermits known as ‘Tirthankars’. Like all other structures in Jaisalmer, these temples are craved of yellow sandstones. The beautifully carves decorations on the wall will give you divine peace. The Astapadhi Temples that are situated in the same complex are a must visit too.

The temple complex is open through out the morning till 12noon, for the visitors. So try to get up a bit early or you might miss this splendor. The campus also contain Gyan Bhandar library. Well if you are a student of comparative archeology or otherwise, the library will prove to be a good place to prowl as it contains some of the rare manuscripts available in India.

This tirtha is situated in the fort on the hill adjoining Jaisalmer town that is a distance of 140 miles from Jodhpur in Rajasthan. Here in the temple we have an idol of MULANAYAKA Shri Chintamani Parshvanath Bhagavan. It is white in complexion, about 150 cms in height and in Padmasana posture. There was a time when the town had many wealthy Jain Saravakas in it. A beauty that will make us spell-bound is found in the Jain architectures of Jaisalmer. Architects have not left any space on any stone on which art carved on it cannot be shown. Again, the yellow stone of this area is very hard and carving art on it is no small a matter.

In the whole country, Jaisalmer is the only place in which artistry is visible not only in temples but also in balconies and porticos of houses in all subtlely. There are about seven thousand Jina idols over here, seven libraries with rare palm-leaf manuscripts; there are eighteen Upashrayas. The idol of Shri Chintamani Parshvanath Bhagavan is simply majestic. At the entrance door there are hundreds of art-pieces on the two attractive pillars; there are inner apartments, Gudhamandapas, festival pandals and Bhamati in which there are Shrungarachowkis of 51 Shrines. In the Gabharas there is an anointed idol of MULANAYAKA Bhagavan. The unique and majestic idols of period earlier that the 14th century are uniquely artistic. On the second day of the bright half of falguna in V.S. 1263, there was a fall down of the idol and it was shifted, brought here and ceremoniously installed. There are references of installations in V.S. 1459 and 1473, as well.