Mahesh Patil, ThirdEye, Photography, India, Rajasthan, Jaisalmer Fort

Rajasthan 10: Sonar Quila of Jaisalmer

Jaisalmer Fort is one of the largest forts in the world. It is situated in Jaisalmer city in the Indian state of Rajasthan. It was built in 1156 AD by the Bhati Rajput ruler Rawal Jaisal, from where it derives its name. The fort stands proudly amidst the golden stretches of the great Thar Desert, on Trikuta Hill, and has been the scene of many battles. Its massive yellow sandstone walls are a tawny lion color during the day, fading to honey-gold as the sun sets, thereby camouflaging the fort in the yellow desert. For this reason, it is also known as the “Golden Fort”.

Jaisalmer fort is the second oldest in Rajasthan. Two hundred and fifty feet tall and reinforced by imposing crenellated sandstone wall 30 feet high; it has 99 bastions, 92 of which were built between 1633 and 1647. Wells within the fort still provide a regular source of water. Even today, you will find that nearly one fourth of the old city’s population resides within the fort. If you are a student of cross-cultural merging, the subtle fusion of Rajput and Islamic architectural styles, visible in this fort, will catch your fancy. Ganesh Pol, Akshya Pol, Suraj Pol and Hawa Pol are a must see.

Conservationists feel that the Jaisalmer Fort requires major interventions by the government authorities to save it from irrevocable damages. Carrying out restoration works in an ancient structure like the Jaisalmer Fort is in itself a challenge, but doing so while addressing the needs of almost 3,000 people who reside inside it and depend upon it for their livelihood poses a complex range of issues.