Go to content Go to menu
 


Jaisalmer Fort history and photo

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

Contents

  [hide

[edit]History

A view of the fortress above the city, in the evening

During medieval times, the city played a major role in trade with Persia, Arabia, Egypt and Africa. The fort contains 3 layers of walls. The outer or the lower layer is made out of solid stone blocks and it reinforces the loose rubble of Trikuta Hill. The second, or middle, wall snakes around the fort. From the innermost, or third, wall, the Rajput warriors once hurled boiling oil and water as well as massive blocks of rock at their enemies, who would become entrapped between the second and third walls. This defenses of the fort include 99 bastions, of which 92 were built between the period of 1633-47.

Ala-ud-din Khilji attacked and captured the fort in the 13th century and managed to hold it for 9 years. It was during the seize of the fort, the Rajputwomen committed Jauhar. The second battle at the fort happened in 1541, when Mughal emperor Humayun attacked the fort city.

Since British rule, due to the rise of sea trade and the growth of the port ofBombay, the city experienced a major economic recession. After the independence and partition of India, the ancient trade route was totally closed, thus sealing the fate of the city. Nonetheless, the continued strategic importance of Jaisalmer was demonstrated during the 1965 and 1971 wars between India and Pakistan.[1] Today about a quarter of the city's population lives in the fort. At one point the entire population of Jaisalmer lived within the fort. With the increase in population, people gradually moved out and found shelter at the foot of Trikuta Hill. Because of the increase in the resident population, and in the number of visitors, the fort was included in the 1996 World Monuments Watch by the World Monuments Fund, and again in 1998 and 2000.[2] Major restoration work has taken place by the Fund. According to former INTACH chairman S.K. Misra, American Express has provided more than $1 million for the conservation of Jaisalmer Fort.[3]

[edit]Major Attractions

  • Raj Mahal (Royal palace).
  • Jain temples.
  • Laxminath temple.
  • 4 massive gateways.
  • Merchant Havelis. These are large houses often built by wealthy merchants in Rajasthani towns and cities in North India, with beautiful, ornate sandstone carvings. Some havelis are many hundreds of years old. In Jaisalmer there are many elaborate havelis carved from golden sandstone. Some of the most famous have many floors and countless rooms, with decorated windows, archways, doors and balconies. Some havelis are today museums but most in Jaisalmer are still lived in by the families that built them. Among these is the Vyas haveli which was built in the 15th century, the descendants of which still occupy the building. Another example is the Shree Nath Palace which was once inhabited by the Prime Minister of Jaisalmer, and you are invited to stay in these rooms – there are only five available for the hotel – and join the Vyas family in enjoying this architectural treasure. Some of the doors and ceilings are wonderful examples of old carved wood from many hundreds of years ago.

The fort has numerous eateries, including Italian, French, and native cuisines. The famous Indian film director Satyajit Ray wrote a detective novel and later made it into a film, Sonar Kella (The Golden Fortress), based on the fort. The film became such a massive success and a classic, famous in all parts of the world, that tourists from Kolkata and Bengal flock in to Jaisalmer only to experience the virtual cinematic deja vu, surrounding the fort.

 

Comments

Add comment

Overview of comments

migration over night

sumati, 2014-09-19 16:57

what about the back ground of the minister who threatened palis and what is the truth about their migration from 84 village

Very useful

Snekha, 2014-06-28 14:58

This site is very useful to me to finish my History activity. Thank you a lot. May God bless you.