jaisalmer-fort

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Jaisalmer Fort is one of the largest fortifications in the world. It is situated in the city of Jaisalmer, in the Indian state of Rajasthan. It is a World Heritage Site. It was built in 1156 AD by the Rajput ruler Rawal Jaisal, from whom it derives its name. The fort stands amidst the sandy expanse 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 colour 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 Sonar Quila or Golden Fort.The fort is located in the very heart of the city, and is one of the most notable monuments in the locality.

The fort was built by Rawal Jaisal in 1156 CE.[citation needed] Jaisal conspired with the Sultan of Gaur to dispose his nephew Bhojdev from his territory. The other important event of the fort was during 1276 when King Jetsi strengthened the fort against the invading Sultan of Delhi. The 56 bastions were manned by 3,700 soldiers. After eight years of invasion, the Sultan’s army destroyed the castle. Bhatis took control of the fort, but had no means to strengthen it. In 1306, Dodoo was elected the Rawal for his bravery for ejecting the Rathors. He subsequently started building the fort.

During medieval times, the city played a major role in trade with Persia, Arabia, Egypt and Africa. The fort contains 3 layers of walls. The outer or the lower layer is made out of solid stone blocks and it reinforces the loose rubble of Trikuta Hill. The second, or middle, wall snakes around the fort. From the innermost, or third, wall, the Rajput warriors once hurled boiling oil and water as well as massive blocks of rock at their enemies, who would become entrapped between the second and third walls. This defences of the fort include 99 bastions, of which 92 were built between the period of 1633-47.

The fort was under the control of Mughals until 1762 when Maharawal Mulraj took control of the fort. Due to its isolated location, the fort escaped the ravages of the Marathas. The treaty between the East India Company and Mulraj on 12 December 1818 allowed the king to have succession of the fort and provided protection from invasion. After the death of Mulraj in 1820, his grandson Gaj Singh took reigns of the fort.

The fort has numerous eateries, including Italian, French and native cuisines. The famous Indian film director Satyajit Ray wrote the Sonar Kella a detective novel, based on the fort and he later filmed it here. The film became a classic and a large number of tourists from Bengal and around the world visit the fort annually to experience for themselves the world that Ray portrayed in the movie.Six forts of Rajasthan, namely, Amber Fort, Chittorgarh Fort, Gagron Fort, Jaisalmer Fort, Kumbhalgarh and Ranthambore Fort were included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site list during the 37th meeting of the World Heritage Committee in Phnom Penh during June 2013. They were recognized as a serial cultural property and examples of Rajput military hill architecture.