The Jaisalmar Fort, recently declared as World Heritage Site is one of the largest desert forts of the world and the second oldest fort in Rajasthan.
Its yellow sandstone walls (see photo) are a tawny lion color during the day and this becomes honey-gold at sunset. This sight is a real feast for the eyes.
The Indian filmmaker Satyajit Ray was so impressed by this sight that he honored this sight by his detective film Sonar Kella based on this fort
It has crenellated sandstone walls 30-feet high and has 82 bastions most of which were built between 1633 and 1647 AD. Evidence of subtle fusion of Rajput and Islamic architecture is clearly visible here.
The Raj Mahal or the Royal Palace, ornate Jain Temples, the Laxminath Temple and the four gateways the Akhey Prole, Suraj Prole, Ganesh Pol, and the Hawa Pol are the main attractions inside the fort.
Interestingly, this strategically located city escaped direct Islamic invasion. Its strategic importance was revealed during the 1965 and 1971 wars between India and Pakistan. But this wonder of the nation, a rich heritage now cries for better and immediate attention to maintain its splendor and safety. International heritage foundationís insist on reduced water usage to preserve this fort. Efforts to restore and preserve this fort are under way, but more involvement by the government and the public is urgently called for.
The fort stands almost >50 meters over the city and houses an entire living area within huge ramparts. Walking through the narrow lanes is an experience worth savouring.
Known as SONAR QUILA, rising from the sand, the mega structure merges with the golden hues of the desert ambience and the setting suns in its most colourful shades gives it a fairy tale look. Itís simply a magic, the bastions envelops a whole townships that consist of palace complex various security sources and the havelis of rich merchants carved with an incredibly light touch, several temples and the residential complexes of the armies and traders placed strategically on the trade route, from where the ancient caravans passed en-route passing all the riches for the prosperity to an otherwise non source full kingdom. These merchants served and acquire a great deal of power and noble status in the royal courts of Bhatti Rajputs who founded the state in the 12th century and proceeded further. But the rich merchant inspired by the classic style of the royals, constructed huge mansions (havelis) adjacent to each other in the nature of medieval culture and profusely decorated walls and ceilings and intricately carved outdoors and interiors. The colourful art forms and somehow side kind the royal heritage and made it appear paler in comparison. The craftsmen were usually muslims who were induced on their journey to exhibit their skills. The results were architectural purity that cannot be seen elsewhere. Deep in the heart of the Thar Desert is Jaisalmer, one of the last princely bastions in the region. Founded on what was the cross - road of lucrative trade routes, this remote settlement came to be celebrated for the valour of its rulers, and for the aesthetic sense represented by their palaces and havelis.