Jaisalmer Fort

The state of Rajasthan in India perhaps contains most of the heritage sites of the country. In every city, one finds the beautiful remnants of various ruling families gone by, over generations. They have left their marks behind in terms of what they have built. Beautiful palaces and forts, and their beautiful and distinctive architectures are what we appreciate, and recognize them by, today. Jaisalmer Fort is a fitting example of a beautiful heritage site. It still echoes the grandeur with which it was built, and is a must-visit for those who love history, culture and architecture.

Jaisalmer Fort is perhaps one of the larget forts in the whole world. It is also one of the only living forts in India. This means, that a considerable percentage of the town of Jaisalmer still lives within the grounds of the fort. Once upon a time, the whole town was contained within the ramparts of the fort, but the population boom forced people to move out and expand.

The fort, and therefore the town on Jaisalmer was said to be found by Raja Rawal Jaiswal, on the behest of a sage, at around 1,156 A.D. It is located atop the Trikuta hill, and it has been constructed on the sands on the great Thar Desert. The yellow sandstone, which was used to make the fort and all the structures inside it, was chosen because of the convenient camouflage it provided against the golden desert landscape. This is why the fort is also known as the Golden Fort.

Jaisalmer is one of the most romantic places in India, exotic for foreign as well as Indian tourists. For centuries, this little site near the present India - Pakishtan border was a trading post, via whih trains of camels trekked across deserts to Afghanistan and West Asia, carrying silver, cloth and more.

From the outside, Jaisalmer's main landmark, towering above the town, looks small and toy-like, a fragile castle built on miniature hill. Jaisalmer fort is unique in as much as people have been living in it throughout its history. It's still a world of turbaned heads, moustachioed faces and long ghagras.

Rajasthani is the most official language in Jaisalmer.


Travel Tips

Avoid the summer months, since Rajasthan experiences a brutal wave of heat during this time, and Jaisalmer is on the desert, therefore, it will be scorching hot. January to February is the best time to visit, because of the Desert festival.

The whole city comes alive with traditional celebration, folk dances, food and music. Carry light cotton clothes, sunscreen and sunglasses.

When to visit

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • July
  • Aug
  • Sept
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
sprinkles Cold
  • 24.3° Max
  • 9.6° Min
  • 8.3 mm
  • Carry Heavy woollen
Things to do

Within the fort, there are quite a few places which stand out. One of them is the Raj Mahal or the Royal Palace, which still retains the majestic qualities and the beautiful, intricate work done on the exterior and the interiors. The various Jain temples scattered within the grounds of the fort, their depictions of the Tirthankars, with the beautiful architectural work done on them are also worth a visit, as is the Laxminath Temple. The fort has four massive gateways to it, each very intricately made. They’re called Ganesh Pol, Hawa Pol, Bhoot Pol and Suraj Pol.

The drainage system which was formulated when most of the town lived within the fort itself is quite interesting. It is called “Ghut Nali” and if you like observing such small but significant changes, you can ask the locals about the drainage system within the fort. The Merchant Havelis are a spectacular example of why the Jaisalmer Fort is so famous. These palaces were built by rich merchants, and some of them, such as the Vyas Haveli go back to as far back as the 15th century. These palaces are huge and intricate. The yellow sandstone on these houses was carved out into ornate designs, and these houses represented the might of the wealth of the owners.

The Maharwal’s palaces are also quite significant within the fort grounds, and one look at them will tell you why. They’re situated near the Chauhata square, and there are some marble steps which lead up to the marble throne of the Maharwals. The Tazia Tower, or the metal tower is located very close to the throne. The palaces are known for their beauty and their formidable but beautiful structural designs.

Getting Around

The small city is getting around can be easily covered by foot but bikes are also available for rent.

Places to Stay

High Range hotels at Jaisalmer is worth every penny you spend for it. The hotel provides all the basic facilities, plus it also allows free Wi-Fi access, laundry services, free breakfast, the option of room service, an in-house restaurant, and friendly, helpful staff. You get access to an outdoor pool, picturesque setting, traditional, historic rooms, a good restaurant, a bar, a business centre as well as free Wi-Fi.

Mid Range hotels are affordable and are also packed with everything you might need to make your trip a comfortable one. From free internet facilities to laundry services and air-conditioned rooms.

Low Range hotel palace height is the perfect option for those who are on a tight budget and the décor, ambience and staff is homely. The place has clean, comfortable rooms. Dylan Cafe and Guest House is another nice option. The place is clean, and the staff is helpful.

How to Reach

  • The closest airport to Jaisalmer is the one at Jodhpur, which is 285 kilometers away. From here, you can either take a train or a bus for the rest of the journey.
  • Jaisalmer has its own railway station with broad gauge as well as meter gauge facilities. Many trains from all over India come here on a regular basis. It forms one of the stops for the legendary luxury train called Palace on Wheels.
  • Jodhpur, Jaipur, Bikaner and Ahmedabad are just some of the major cities connected to Jaisalmer by road, because this city is very close to the India-Pakistan border. The roads here are very well-maintained. Within the city, taxis and auto-rickshaws ply regularly, but its always better and cheaper to opt for the latter.

Surrounding Attractions

Amar Sagar Lake, Bada Bagh, Desert National Park, the Khuri Sand Dunes and the Sam Sand Dunes, Camel safaries are just some of the fascinating places to visit while here.

Emergency No.

Phone number: 141372200 (Jaisalmer Fort)