Jaisalmer Fort

SONAR QILA, JAISALMER:

Life, in the searing heat of the summer months of the medieval ages, once flourished within the 99 bastions of the fort of J aisalmer .Rising from the sands, it merges with the sand dunes, resembling from a distance a giant ant hill. Closer, the bastions show up more formidable, vast chunks of honey-coloured stone blocks carved to dovetail together. Within these bastions is a complete township that consists of a palace complex, the havelis of rich Jain merchants carved with an incredibly light touch, and Hindu temples. Jaisalmer was founded in the 12th century by the Bhatti Rajputs who shifted here from Lodurva. Placed strategically on the trade route along which ancient caravans passed, Jaisalmer soon became rich, so much so that the merchants, who also served as ministers in the royal courts, came to command more power than the rulers themselves. No wonder the large mansions of the merchants, built adjacent to each other in the nature of medieval desert cultures, are so profusely decorated that the palace; in comparison, appe:ars to pale. While the havelis and the palace, along with the temples, will warrant the mandatory visits, Jaisalmer is incredible for the experience it brings alive of a medieval township caught in a time ~arp, as you move up its ancient cobbled streets. For most part, its incredible sculptors were Muslim craftsmen who were induced, on their journeys to the patrons in other parts of India, to stay. The result is an archi-tectural purity that, because of Jaisalmer's incredible isolation, is not seen elsewhere. Jaisalmer is located deep in the heart of the desert, 285 km from Jodhpur. It can be reached by road and rail from Jodhpur, and is also connected with Harmer and Hikaner. In recent years, a number of good hotels have opened in Jaisalmer, and the township haA developed appropriate tourist infrastructure to cater to most requirements.

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