24th December 2013
Standing amidst the vast Thar Desert is the fort of Jaisalmer. Built on a hill in 12th Century, it housed the entire population of Jaisalmer at one point of time. It is still a living fort but Jaisalmer has grown much larger than the fort now.
|Morning view of Jaisalmer fort|
|Night view of the fort|
Jaisalmer was along the ancient trade route to Iran, Arabia and other Middle East countries. The trade routes were closed with the advent of Maritime traffic. Today, Jaisalmer thrives on tourists who flock to the town from various parts of the world.
|Royal Palace at the fort|
When we reached the parking lot at the base of the fort, a kid was attracting lot of people by his balancing acts over a rope.
From the parking lot at the base, we had to walk up for some distance to reach Royal Palace.
The major attraction of the fort is Royal Palace. Converted now to a museum, it gives a glimpse of desert architecture. Audio guides are available which we happily used.
One can get a panoramic view of the town from the top of the Palace.
There are several Jain Temples in and around Jaisalmer. The fort houses a complex of seven Jain Temples each of them dedicated to a Thirthankara. It is located in a narrow street near to the Royal Palace.
The Temple has some great stone carvings. Surprisingly it contains lot of carvings of celestial dancers!!
Look at the carvings of the main entrance.
Carving of a beast.
Outside the Jain Temple.
The inside hall of one of the Jain Temple.
After spending a very long time in the Temple, we started exploring the fort. Went to some narrow lanes to reach the walls of the fort where cannons are still located.
There are some good eateries in the fort which I felt were much better than the ones outside the fort!! We had our lunch in a restaurant that provides good views over the fort.