Jaisalmer Fort in Thar Desert on the Silk Road and Indo Pak War 1971


Jaisalmer Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site at Jaisalmer, Rajasthan state, India. Jaisalmer Fort was built by the Rajput ruler, Rawal Jaisal in 1156 AD. This fort is a fully preserved fort and is one among the largest such forts in the World.

Evening View of Jaisalmer Fort.

Situated on Trikuta Hills, this magnificent fort has the Great Thar Desert as its backdrop. The Silk road or Silk Route, an ancient trade route between East and the West, passes through this fortified city. In olden days, Caravans and travelers of Silk route, used the ramparts of the fort as their way-station.

The fort has 3 layers of walls. the outer layer is made of solid stone. The second and third walls were used by the Rajput to trap enemies and pour boiled water or to throw massive rock blocks on them! There are 99 bastions for the fort.

The Fort covers a length of 1,500 feet or 460 meters. It has a width of 750 feet or 230 meters. The yellow sandstone walls of this massive fort turns yellowish (golden color) in the evenings. Hence the fort is also known as Sonar Quila or Golden Fort. Jaisalmer fort has 4 entrances to the city.

The fort was controlled mainly by Rajputs in the first four centuries after in was built, except for 9 years in the 13th century, when Ala-ud-din Khilji took control of the fort. Mughals took control of the fort in the 15th century. In 1762, Maharawal Mulraj took control of the fort from the Mughals. He signed a treaty with the British which allowed him to control the Jaisalmer Fort and also provided protection from invasion. Jaisalmer has lost its prominence after India got its Independence and the silk route was closed.

The fort faces threat from increasing population pressure, mainly the descendants of the workforce of the rulers of Jaisalmer, who were given permission to stay inside the fort city. Some of the structures like Queen’s Palace and walls were collapsed as a result of this.

During the Indo Pak War 1971, the fort was home to the entire population of Jaisalmer town, due to the strategic advantage of the fort to protect it from enemies.

Chandraprabhu Jain Temple is temple inside the fort dedicated to the Jain prophet Chandraprabhu. This Jain temple is known for its carvings, murals and facades.

How Do I Go To Jaisalmer Fort?

Jaisalmer town is well connected by roads to all parts of the country. Jaisalmer is at a distance of 575 kilometers to the west of Jaipur, the capital city. Jaisalmer railway station is the nearest railway station to Jaisalmer Fort. Jaisalmer Airport is located at around 17 kilometers distance from the fort city of Jaisalmer.