At a distance of 1.5 km from Jaisalmer Railway Station, Jaisalmer Fort locally known as Sonar Quila (Golden Fort) is located in the heart of Jaisalmer city. It is one of the largest forts in the world and also one of the biggest forts in India to visit as part of Rajasthan tour packages. Jaisalmer Fort is a World Heritage Site declared by UNESCO under the group Hill Forts of Rajasthan.
Jaisalmer Fort was built atop the Trikuta Hill in 1156 AD by the Bhati Rajput ruler Maharawal Jaisal Singh, from where it originates its name. It was the center of a number of historical encounters between the Bhattis, Mughals, and Rathores of Jodhpur. The Fort of Jaisalmer survived several attacks by the Muslim rulers like Aladdin Khilji and Mughal Emperor Humayun. The city also served as a refuge and way-station for caravans and travelers along the Silk Road.
Standing proudly in the middle of the great Thar Desert, this fort is regarded as 'The Pride of Jaisalmer'. Its massive yellow sandstone walls are a tawny lion color during the day, fading to honey-gold as the sun sets, thereby hiding the fort in the yellow desert. For this reason, it is also known as the Sonar Quila or Golden Fort.
The Jaisalmer Fort architecture is awe inspiring and marvelous. The seamless blend of Rajput and Islamic styles, the golden tinge due to the yellow sandstone, and the enthralling carvings & sculptures make it rank among the glorious forts in Rajasthan. It is 1,500 ft long and 750 ft wide and is built on a 250 ft high hill. The basement of the fort has a 15 ft tall wall forming a double line of defense. The fort is protected by a 30 ft tall wall surrounding it on all sides. This fort comprises of 99 bastions providing crucial protection to the fort during attacks.
Inside the fort complex, tourists can find several architectural buildings which include palaces, houses and temples. Jaisalmer fort has narrow winding pathways which interlock several parts of the fort. The complex of Jaisalmer fort is so expansive that almost one-quarter of the town's population located inside the fort itself. There are numerous wells inside the fort that are a regular source of water for residents.
The fort has four entrances namely Ganesh Pol, Rang Pol, Bhoota Pol and Hawa Pol. The main attraction of the fort is Maharawal Palace popular for its marble throne. The Palace also has a wonderful museum which showcasing arms, dresses, utensils, & ornaments of the Rajput kingdom. An added attraction of this place is a five-storied Tazia tower located parallel to the Maharawal Palace. This tower was constructed by Muslim craftsmen and is made with decorative Bengali styled roofs. Jain Temple and Lakshmi Temple are also quite famous among the visitors.
Palace Timings: 9 AM to 6 PM
Palace Entry Fee: Rs. 50 for Indians, Rs. 250 for Foreigners, Rs. 50 for Camera