Jaisalmer Fort

By Sanjeev Nayyar esamskriti@suryaconsulting.net | 2013

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This collections shows u exterior part of fort from various angles, day and night and then walk u thru the fort including some hotels where you could stay. The Bhatti Rajputs shifted their capital from Lodurva (16 kms away) to Jaisalmer in 1156. Fort is on a hill so safer. Day 2 of Jaisalmer Desert Festival u see a fully lit fort with moon in the sky.

Early morning view of Jailsamer Fort from Gadisar Lake. Must go to Gadisar Lake thrice during the day. Sunrise for sure, during the day for boating and puppet show and perhaps at sun set time. Did not visit at sunset but gut feel it must be lovely.

This is view of Jaisalmer Fort from northern side of town, taken from roof top of Pattwa Havelis. In centre of pic u see a flag ie the Royal Palace.

Day 1 of the Desert Festival had a competition of the most well dressed male in local attire. U see contestants standing on the stage with the fort in background. Note the fort design and walls carefully. Somewhere in the fort are Canons which I missed seeing near Surya hotel. Do check out.

Fort at night. Clicked this from Vyas Chhatri ie a couple of kms away, top of a small hill. I was unwilling to climb the hill in the dark that too with sandals on but driver Lalit Singh Pawar helped me go up. Very good driver, has a well maintained Indigo. His contacts are 91 9352739277, 9571750291.

This is a peacock on the run at Lodurva, the ancient capital of Jaisalmer ie 16 kms away. Lodurva is famous for its peacocks and Jain temples.

This is close up of southern side fort wall. Took this from a restaurent. As u can see the external wall is original, the internal structures not sure when made but they are all private property. Most hotels are on the northern and western side of fort. Left of pic u see high bldg Raj Mahal, on top of which flies a red, yellow flag. The palace houses a museum ie run by the former rulers of Jailsalmer.

Took this standing on terrace of Raj Mahal that you saw in earlier pic. Since right of pic is eastern entrance side you see fort has many layers of walls. Right of pic is road. Day 1 of Jaisalmer Desert Festival the procession started from fort entrance down that road thru narrow lanes to come to the main market place.

Fort wall on western side. Took this from a hotel whose room pics u shall see later. Left u can see hill, then fort wall after which it is private property so bldg design varies. Right of pic u can see a bald looking man. He was working on his laptop - internet allowed him to be connected with the world.

The hotel has this lovely sitting place. Just loved it. A foreigner couple were sitting here having chai (tea) and reading a book. There was gentle breeze blowing and the sun was to set shortly. WOW experience, very enjoyable and romantic. Felt bad asking them to get up but kya karuu, had to take this pic. This area is part of a hotel.

Day 1 of the Jaisalmer Desert Festival had many young and smart men on camels in their brightest and best. U see fort wall on north eastern side of fort. Note flood light in centre of pic that beautifully illuminates the fort at night. Camels so colorful.

This piece gives you the design of the Jaisalmer Fort. We now show you inside the fort.

Entrance to fort. Because of the festival there are colored lights. Should have taken this pic against the rising sun. Would have come super. If you have taken please mail me will upload. Behind of pic tall structure with a flag is Raj Mahal which houses private museum. We had seen it in pic no 6 that was taken from western side of fort.

As you cross gate you enter huge open area that you see. In front is fort wall. Number of tourists esp foreigners love to stay in the hotels inside the fort. Guess these cars are theirs and others who have come to see the fort. As you walk meet the local ladies who sell artificial jewellery, observe the jewellery they wear more than what they sell. Theirs is pic no 9 in part 2 in the People of Marwar collection. To see pics Click here

Dressed to impress and kill are these smart men. Love the moustache and look.

Entrance to the Fort.

Board outside Fort. Key points fort named after Bhatti ruler Mahawal Jaiswal, called Sonar Qila because fort n bldgs made of yellow sandstone, fortification wall is 6kms circumference, has 99 bastions, foundation of fort on Trikuta hill laid in 1156 a.d., took 7 years to complete. In 1722-62 people began to settle in fort. Fort has Royal Palace, Surya Mandir, Jain Mandirs, Mahadev ie Shivji temples etc.

External view of Royal Palace. Left of pic take steps to enter palace which is now maintained as a Museum. Missed seeing at night when it is flit. Suggest u walk in the fort at night, am sure will be a different experience. I could not since had to attend Desert Festival Cultural programs in the evenings.

As you pay entrance fee to Museum saw this opposite. Can only admire the intricate work is called Jallis.

Old furniture etc is displayed in the museum. This is silver plated or silver furniture. Display of furniture is not as impressive as in the Havelis of Jaisalmer. Overall the place is very well maintained and worth a visit. Opp entrance to palace is a chaiwala (tea stall) who makes very good tea.

Side view of Raj Mahal or Royal Palace with Jaisalmer flag that you have seen from a distance in various pics before. Please observe the design carefully.

Last point in Royal Palace tour is this point from where u get a great town view - eastern side. Right of pic is fort entrance and car park area. Jaisalmer attracts number of foreign tourists and has lots of places that serve international cuisine not to forget restaurents that serve Rajasthani food. In a sense Jaisalmer still retains the feel of a small town, you can walk around and see it. Loved it.

Intent of fort pic (eastern side) is to give you an idea of fort walls. 1st stone wall is recent construction after which is different levels of fort wall, extreme left of pic is royal palace that you saw in preceeding pic. Circle in white is a Jharokha whose close up u shall see in next pic. Day one of the Desert Festival had the BSF jawans on their impressive, fully decorated camels just outside fort entrance.

Close up of Jharokha. In earlier times Maharanis (Queens) stood on these jharokha''s to say good bye to Maharaja when he went for war. When Maharaja (king) returned from war the Maharani stood on the jharokha and greeted him on his victory. These jharokhas are made of sand stone and very costly. The carving done on the stone is so impressive, done by hand using carving tools. These Jharokhas were also a source of ventilation in forts. To read a nice travelogue on Jaisalmer Click here

The fort has many temples, with evening sun straight into the lens could not get ok pics. There are small lanes like these, some houses are quite big from inside whilst others have made their homes into a hotel. 2 wheelers parked all along the way. Names of places where you can stay in fort are Hotel Shreenath Haveli, 91 2992 252907, shreenath52907@hotmail.com or www.hotelinjaisalmer.com. Quite impressive and well laid. To see more good pics on Jaisalmer Fort on Click here

Rooms in I think Desert Boy''s Guest House. Contact Arvind 91 9571600986, 0091 2992 253091, desert_p@yahoo.com, www.desertboysguesthouse.com. This room window is not facing the town so cheaper Rs 1,000/ a day. Others could be between Rs 1500-3500/ per day. Either way bargain. Also Hotel Paradise Capt Chandra 9414149501, 02992 252674, hotelparadise_jsm2001@yahoo.co.in. Wish these hotels had shorter email ids, less typing for me.

Paraswanath Jain Mandir. Note it is open till 12.30pm. I went in evening and missed going in morning. Am told it is beautiful inside esp Tirthankara images. To see pics Click here Close to temple is MUD Mirror Guest House. Good rooms and reasonably priced. From its roof top café you get a very good view of the temple. Lala Surya 0091 2992 252988, 91 9414763003, email mudmirror@yahoo.co.in.

This is a close up of the dome like structure that you saw on left of previous pic. Back part of pic see water tanks, hotels etc whose increasing height is spoiling the skyline. In Jaisalmer do visit Manak Chowk and experience the art of Silavats (stone carvers) of Jaisalmers. I missed seeing. Pics of Havelis of Jaisalmer we are presenting separately. To see pics of Jain Temple at Lodurva Click here

Another lane inside the fort. There are shops galore. Left of pic in brown sweater is my wonderful driver Lalit Singh Pawar. He doubled up as Assistant, picked up additional camera all the time. To see pics of Jaisalmer City Click here

Day one procession of Jailsalmer Desert Festival saw a large number of foreigners. Child in tow this man came as well. Background are BSF jawans on their colorful camels. To see some lovely pics of Jaisalmer by Suchit Nanda Click here