lies in desolation''. You might be confused a bit as you try to get to the
essence of this line. But, once you arrive at Jaisalmer and stand before the
splendid fort, with its turrets pointing skywards, you would surely agree on
this point. The fort seems to rise like a mirage in the midst of the
expansive Thar Desert. If you are a history buff, you would be able to soak
up the medieval charm that still lingers on here. Visiting the fort by
nightfall is a nice option to fill your vacation with moments of romance and
Raja Jaisal, the founder of the city, was in search of a secure capital
where he had no fears of foreign invasions. His earlier capital Lodurva was
too susceptible to attacks and thus he decided to establish a new capital
Jaisalmer. In 1156, he got erected the doughty structure of the Jaisalmer
Fort. The medieval fortress town of Jaisalmer was lying on the caravan
routes. And the frequent arrivals of traders from places like Egypt, Arabia
and Persia helped prosper the town much.
Also referred to as the Sonar Quila, the Jaisalmer Fort stands in five
storeys with numerous balconies and windows showcasing some of the finest
masonry work. The huge ramparts and the bastions of the fort are a sight to
see during sunrise and sunset. The interiors of the fort, which is 250 feet
tall, are worth watching as they are beautifully painted and tiled in the
typical Rajput style. The bastions house a whole township comprising of many
havelis, temples and residential complexes.
The havelis or the grand mansions inside the fort were built by the
merchants who wished to live a life of luxury and comforts, that could be
anywhere close to the opulent lifestyle of the monarchs. The merchants
enjoyed a noble status in the royal courts of the Bhatti Rajputs. They
engaged well-versed craftsmen to work on the sandstone mansions to create
exquisite sculptural figures, screen windows, delicate pavillions and
One of the biggest draws for tourists here is the Jain temples carved
between the 12th and 15th centuries. The detailed carvings on the temple
walls speak of a glorious past. There are various other attractions inside
the fort that has cobbled pathways leading to the royal palaces. Do take a
stroll along the alleyways inside and spend time exploring the storehouse of
major lure for visitors to Jaisalmer is the camel safari through the Thar
Desert. Riding a camel and moving across the vast sands would make you
reminisce the days of the past. Visit the Sam sand dunes, enjoy a bonfire
night and serve yourself with delicious Rajasthani dinner. You can also
choose to make a trip to the town of Lodurva (16 km) which was the former
capital before the Bhatti Rajput rulers shifted their capital to Jaisalmer.
Though it mus be admitted that Jaisalmer itself would take you quite a few
days as you visit such famous attractions as the Ramkunda Temple, Moolsagar
Palace, Manak Chowk, Folklore Museum, Garsisar Tank and the havelis of
Jaisalmer among others.
The Jodhpur Airport, at 308 km, is the closest airport from Jaisalmer.
Those who love to travel by train, can go for the luxurious Palace On
Wheels, which lets you experience the traditional charm of the state of
Rajasthan. Through road routes, the city has links with Jodhpur, Bikaner,
Jaipur, Ajmer, Devikot etc.