: Jaisalmer, Rajasthan
: 12th Century AD
Made Of : Golden Yellow Sandstone
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. The rich merchants engaged stone - craftsmen who worked delicately on the sandstone mansions they built, filling up facades with sculptural filigree, screen windows, delicate pavilions and beautiful balconies. Today, this veritable art - museums are still inhabited, and their colourful celebrations and festivals have placed
Jaisalmer Fort firmly on the world tourism map.
One of the last generous forts in the state,
Jaisalmer Rajasthan is the center of rich merchants occupied in
stone crafting who do their work with great delicateness. Jaisalmer
fort was built in 1156 and is the second oldest Fort in
Rajasthan. 250 feet tall and strengthened by impressive
castled sandstone, it has 99 bastions. Wells within the fort still give
a regular source of water. Situated in the middle of the Thar Desert it
raises like a fantasy from the sands. Raja Jaisal, who was
penetrating for a new capital, constructed it. He built the fort and the
city surrounding it, thus fulfilling Lord Krishna's prediction in
There was a time when every person lived inside
the fort itself. As the population of Jaisalmer Rajasthan
expanded, people started emigrating from within the fort's district.
Even nowadays the fort is a nest of movement, and one can witness a
section of the public living within it as you travel through its
twisting streets and alleys. The Jaisalmer fort has an irregular gadget
hoisted on top of its walls. This was used to predict the weather. Every
year in April a flag would be placed in its center and the way in which
it blew determined the weather for the entire.
Jaisalmer fort is one of the marvels of Rajasthan
architecture, mainly of the stone carver's art. Jaisalmer is a medieval
fortress town because it was situated on the group routes between
Egypt, Arabia, Persia and India. After the division of
India and Pakistan in 1947, this remote desert area became a armed area
and an area of camels, sheep and cattle.
The golden - yellow sandstone of Jaisalmer Fort, over 800 years old, crowns the
Trikuta Hill. Within its walls, defended by 99 turrets, lies the old city, nearly a quarter of modern
Jaisalmer. Seen from outside, the sight must be almost identical to what was seen by merchants on their overland camel caravans to central Asia. Once this desert outpost was an important gate for the trade route, and
Jaisalmer grew wealthy on the proceeds. But the advent of commercial shipping relegated the town to relative obscurity.
The fort has 99 towers some of which possess cannons even today. In the Chauhata Square the majestic palaces of
Maharawals are located. To reach the palace, one has to climb a flight of steps. In close proximity is the
Tazia Tower which is all of five stories and is conspicuous by its unusual roof. The external portion of the fort is well protected by lofty walls which has an exclusive corridor that leads to the first barricade.
In the days of yore, a majority of the population of Jaisalmer lived within the fort premises but with the burgeoning growth of population, people began living elsewhere from 17th century onwards. Nonetheless, even in the present times the fort is bustling with activity and there are a lot of people who still live within the ramparts.
The Fort has an unusual and weird device, which is set on top of the fort and was used to forecast the weather for an entire year. Legend has it that if it wafted in the northerly direction it was a sign of famine and if it wafted on the westerly direction it was a precursor to a fine monsoon.
All said and done, the magnificent Jaisalmer fort is one of the finest examples of
Rajput architectural grandeur as far as the art of stone carving is concerned.