Jaisalmer Fort: This Rajasthan Fort Has Thousands Of People Living In It

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the desert fort of Jaisalmer is the only “Living Fort” in India, with thousands of residents
Jaisalmer Fort: The only Living Fort in India. Credit: iStock

Jaisalmer Fort: The only Living Fort in India. Credit: iStock

You have to cross people on foot, bikes and autos inside the labyrinthine alleys of Jaisalmer Fort. You might be a tourist, but for thousands of its residents, the fort is the site for everyday bustle of life. Built in 1156 AD by Rawal Jaisal, the ‘Golden Fort’ hums with life. It's a city within a city.
The facade of the Jaisalmer Fort Credit iStock
The facade of the Jaisalmer Fort. Credit: iStock
The city has had a tumultuous history — Jaisalmer was once a major city on the Silk Road before it fell to plunderers and conquests from invaders, and then suffered because of its proximity to the Pakistan border. The same befell its glorious sentinel, the fort, that changed hands over years, and also was under Mughal control. After independence and the Partition of India, the ancient trade route was closed, and the city’s importance as a trading destination decreased. Now, only tourism remains as a source of tourist footfall.
The city of Jaisalmer as visible from the fort Credit Canva
The city of Jaisalmer as visible from the fort. Credit: Canva
In 2013, at the 37th session of the World Heritage Committee held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Jaisalmer Fort, along with five other forts of Rajasthan, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site under the group Hill Forts of Rajasthan. This put the destination on the map. And even though the government has allotted its residents plots in the city, they choose to stay inside, operating varied businesses from its ramparts.
There are massive gateways, each with their own tale to tell, that mark your entry. Exquisite Jain temples adorned with intricate carvings of gods and goddesses work as places of worship. Other places such as Maa Chamunda Temple inside the fort, Raj Mahal, Lakshmikanth Temple, and Jawahar Palace – the former residence of the royal family, serve as popular tourist spots. Don’t forget to go to the ramparts, from where the city reveals itself in all its glory.
Local women selling jewellery inside the fort Credit iStock
Local women selling jewellery inside the fort. Credit: iStock
Inside the fort, the narrow alleys of which can often get confusing, there are bazaars overflowing with handicrafts, textiles, and souvenirs tempt you to indulge. Then there are cafes and cute hotels where you can choose to stay if you’d like to explore Jaisalmer’s history from close quarters. Since the communities inside the fort are primarily Brahmin and Rajput, the fort is divided into two sides, where the former serves only vegetarian food and the other side offers the entire gamut of non-veg delicacies. Nonetheless, all of them make the view of the fort as their main selling point, and we sure recommend staying inside the fort for a unique experience.

Jaisalmer Fort Timings

Uusually, the fort timings are from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM on all days. However, these timings are subject to change, especially during festivals or special events.

Jaisalmer Fort Ticket Price

The entry fee to visit the Jaisalmer Fort is INR 50 per person for Indian nationals and INR 250 per person for foreigners.
End of Article
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