Jaisalmer Fort - Quick Guide
Jaisalmer Fort - Overview
Jaisalmer Fort is situated on a hilltop and was built by Rawal Jaisal in 1156AD. The fort is located on Trikuta hill. In ancient times, the city served as a trade route to many places. The fort is built with yellow stone and have golden colour due to which the fort is also called Sonar Qila or the Golden Fort. Today the fort is under UNSECO World Heritage Committee.
Jaisalmer is a beautiful city that is situated in Indian state Rajasthan. The city was founded in 1156 by Maharaja Jaisal and due to his name the city came to be known as Jaisalmer. The city is situated nearby Thar Desert and the buildings are made up of yellow sandstone. The city has forts, palaces, Jain and Hindu temples and many other structures that the tourists can visit.
Jaisalmer fort is opened for public at 9:00am and closed at 5:00pm. It takes around two to four hours to visit the whole fort. The fort is opened on all days of the week including government or public holidays.
Tourists have to pay an entry fee to visit the fort. Indians have to pay Rs. 30 while foreigners have to pay Rs. 70 to visit the fort. If the tourists want to carry still and video camera, they have to pay extra charges. Indians have to pay Rs. 50 for carrying either of the cameras whereas foreigners have to pay Rs. 50 for still and Rs. 150 for video camera.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Jaisalmer is from the month of November to March. These months have pleasant climate but December and January are very cold. The period from April to August is very hot and September hand October have humid climate. Though there is very little rainfall in Jaisalmer but this causes humidity.
Where to Stay?
There are around 461 hotels in Jaisalmer where tourists can stay. The cost of staying in the hotel ranges from inexpensive cheap hotels to expensive five-star hotels. Besides these, there are luxury hotels and resorts where the tourists can stay. Some of these hotels are as follows −
Hotel Jaisalkot located at Kuldhara Turn Off Sam Road
Jaisalmer Marriot Resort and Spa Jaisalmer-Sam-Dhanana Road, Police Line, Police Lines
Chokhi Dhani The Palace located at Chokhi Dhani, Barmer Link
Hotel Rang Mahal located at 5, Hotel Complex, Post Box No. 50, Sam Road
Tao’s Lakshmana Desert’s Camp located at Lakshmana Desert. near Sam Sand Dunes
Hotel Rawalkot located at Jaisalmer Jodhpur Highway
Hotel Priya located at opposite Collector’s C.V.S. Colony
Hotel Golden Haveli located at Bera Road
Gaji Hotel located at Sunset Point, Kalakar Colony
Hotel Moonlight located at Opposite Head Post Office Hanuman Circle
Hotel Akash Deep located at Hanuman Circle Bus Stand
Kalyan Beacon Hotel located at Gandhi Chowk
Golden City located at opposite SBI Bank
Hotel Apollo Jaisalmer located at opposite SBI Bank, Madarsah Road
Hotel Jeet Villa locate at C.V.S. Colony near Hanuman Circle
Hotel Leela Kunj located at Bhatia Bagechi, Hanuman Circle
Hotel Pusp Mahal located at opposite Railway Station
Hotel Raj Mandir located at Kotri Para
Jaisalmer Fort - History
Jaisalmer under Bhati Rajputs
Bhati Rajput belonged to Sialkot area in Punjab who established themselves in a town called Annot, 120km away from Jaisalmer. One of the descendants named Devaraj defeated Nirpabharu who belonged to Lodra Rajput and made Lodruva his capital and called himself Maharawal.
Maharawal Jaisal was the descendant of Devaraj and he built the Jaisalmer Fort in 1156AD which is a massive fort. In that year, he dethroned his nephew Bhojdev with the help of Sultan of Gaur. King Jetsi also strengthened the fort in 1276 to protect the fort from Sultan of Delhi. But still the sultan was able to win over the fort by eight years of siege. Bhatis took over the fort again but were not able to repair it. Dodoo strengthened the fort in 1306.
Trade during ancient period
Jaisalmer was situated on Silk Road which was the trade route connecting east and west. Through this route trade with Persia, China, Egypt, Africa, and Arabia was possible. As Jaisalmer was the centre of the trade and also provided warehousing services so this fort was built.
Jaisalmer Fort under Alauddin Khilji and Mughals
Alauddin Khilji ruled Jaisalmer for nine years after capturing the fort in 13th century. During the siege, women committed Jauhar. Mughal emperor Humayun also attacked the fort in 1541. Due to continuous attacks, the king of Jaisalmer signed a treaty with Akbar in 1570. He also offered his daughter in marriage to Akbar. Mughals controlled the fort till 1762.
Jaisalmer Fort under Rajputs and British
Maharawal Mulraj took over the fort from Mughals in 1762. He also signed a treaty with East India Company in 1818. Mulraj died in 1820 and was succeeded by his grandson Gaj Singh. During the British period, the trade route was changed. They started trading from port of Bombay that led to declination of trade from Silk Road and was closed after independence.
Jaisalmer Fort - Architecture
The length of the fort is 460m and width is 230m. The fort was built on a hill whose height is 250 feet. Tourists can find many structures inside to visit. Some of them are as follows −
Raj Mahal or the royal palace of the fort is opened for the public from 9:00am to 5:00pm. In order to visit the palace, the tourists have to pay a sum of Rs. 250. The palace was built in around 1500AD with seven storeys.
There are seven Jain temples which were built in around 12th century. In the temples, there are carvings made up of yellow sandstone. The temple is opened for the tourists till 12:00pm. Each temple is dedicated to different Jain Tirthankara whose names are Parsvanath, Sambhavanath, Chandraprabhu, Rishabhadeva, Shitalnath, Shantinath, and Kunthanath. The entrance to the temple complex is a gate called Toran that leads to Parsvanath temple. Gyan Bhandar Library is also there in the complex where people can read the books related to archaeology.
Laxminath temple was built to worship Goddess Laxmi and Lord Vishnu. The temple was built during the reign of Rao Lunkaran in 1494AD. The temple has a lot of Rajasthani paintings which lets the people know about the culture of Rajasthan in ancient period. In comparison to Jain temple, Laxminath temple does not have any carvings.
In order to enter the fort, there are four pols or gates which are Ganesh Pol, Akshay Pol, Suraj Pol, and Hawa Pol. There are various carvings to make each gate different from each other. The Suraj Pol or Sun Gate has the carvings of Sun. Hawa Pol or Wind Gate is plain and the courtyards surrounding it get the flow of air.
Jaisalmer Fort - How to Reach?
The city of Jaisalmer is situated in the heart of the Thar Desert and is well-connected to various Indian cities by road and railways. Jaisalmer has only military airport and there is no terminal for passengers. Jodhpur is the nearest airport of Jaisalmer. The cities nearby Jaisalmer with their approximate distance are as follows −
Jaisalmer to Udaipur
By rail – 843km (via Jodhpur, Jaipur as there is no direct train)
By road – 488km
Jaisalmer to Jodhpur
By air – 205km
By rail – 291km
By road – 235km
Jaisalmer to Bikaner
By air – 268km
By rail – 316km
By road – 331km
Jaisalmer to Jaipur
By air – 481km
By rail – 665km
By road – 568km
Jaisalmer to Ahmedabad
By air – 463km
By rail – 743km
By road – 533km
Jaisalmer to Mumbai
By air – 893km
By rail – 1204km
By road – 1061km
Jaisalmer to Ajmer
By air – 375km
By rail – 530km
By road – 494km
Jaisalmer has only military airport and only chartered planes are allowed there. The airport nearby Jaisalmer is Jodhpur that is around 331km away if one comes by road. Jodhpur is connected to various cities by air so tourists can come to Jodhpur by air and take a taxi for Jaisalmer.
Very few trains arrive to and depart from Jaisalmer but they connect the city to other major cities like Jaipur, Jodhpur, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Ajmer, Delhi, etc. Only superfast trains, mails and express train start from and terminate at Jaisalmer. There are no Rajdhani, Shatabdi, or Garibrath from this station.
Jaisalmer is connected to many nearby cities in Rajasthan and cities like Mumbai and Ahmedabad by bus. Tourists can catch buses or book taxis from Jaisalmer to go to these places. Tourists can get buses from
Jaisalmer Border Security Force Railway Station
Main Bus Stand
Private Bus Stand
Touring Bus Stand
Dedanasar Gramin Bus Stand
Tourists can visit Jaisalmer locally through auto-rickshaws and bicycles. Besides these, government and private cabs are also available to visit the city. At some places, roads are very congested so taking an auto or a bicycle will be the right choice.
Jaisalmer Fort - Nearby Places
Besides Jaisalmer Fort, tourists can visit other places nearby the fort. These places are as follows −
Patwon ki Haveli
Patwon ki Haveli was built in 19th century due to the increase in trade. Merchants from different parts of the world visited the city very often so the city became a trading center. The monument has beautiful carvings at the inside and outside walls that are painted with golden colour. The haveli was used as a residing centre for the traders and merchants who sold the items made up of gold and silver. The haveli is less than 1km away from the fort.
Tazai tower is one of the architecture that tourists must visit. The tower is a five-storey building that shows the brotherhood of the kings of Jaisalmer with other communities. Maharawal Berisal Singh constructed this tower in 1886AD that depicts the mausoleums of various imams. The tower was constructed by Muslim craftsmen who constructed each floor with unique designs. The tower is around 550m away from the fort.
Bada Bagh is a garden located at 6km away from Jaisalmer. Since Jaisalmer is a desert city so rulers tried to bring some greenery to the city and that’s why the garden was made. The garden is watered through an artificial dam that was built by Maharawal Jaisal Singh. At the entrance there is Goverdhan Stambh that was constructed for successful construction of the dam. There are tombs of the royal people within the garden that were built on the basis of Hindu architecture.
Gadsisar lake was constructed by Maharawal Gadsi Singh in 1400AD to store rain water for harvesting the crop. The lake is surrounded by many temples and shrines and is also a place for migratory birds during winter season. Tourists especially bird watchers can find birds of different species. The other structures that beautify the lake are cenotaphs and gardens situated around the lake.