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Jaisalmer Fort – India

Through the heat of the Thar Desert covered with gold sandstone walls, in the westernmost part of Rajasthan, you can find one of the most majestic forts and the only one in the world to be inhabited, the Jaisalmer Fort. Also, this place seems to be taken out of the “Tales of the Arabian Nights” because of the Arabic influence that can be seen throughout its architecture, additionally you can also feel familiar with parts of this place as we have already seen them since a young age, and if you still haven’t figured it out, then you should watch “Aladdin” again.

Full of tiny streets, where visitors can find a huge variety of temples, palaces, bazaars, residences, and hostels, you will often have to push past sacred cows which act as if they were the owners of the place. This fort was built in 1156 AD by King Rawal Jaisal. It’s made up of circular bastions and it’s protected by double fortification walls that were used for defense and battle. This is one of the reasons why the fort has endured for almost 1.000 years, even though, nowadays it’s on danger of collapse as it’s deteriorating not only because of all the modern human activities but also because of global climate change. 

What else can you see?

The fort itself is considered to be the main attraction, but there’s so much more to see than what you can imagine. The Rajmahal, also known as the Jaisalmer Palace, is partially built over the air gate of the fort, and it used to be the former rulers’ elegant seven-story palace. That’s why two important areas are Raja-ka-Maal (the King’s palace) and the Rani-ka-Mahal (the Queen’s palace), from the top of this structure you can look over the whole town and far out the desert.  

Then, you can go to the Jain temples, a complex made up of 7 temples where each one of them represents an architectural wonder because of the intricate stone carvings they were made with. Their beauty will leave you speechless. Also, each temple has an intriguing tale to tell.   

Another must-see is the Gadi Sagar tank, one of the most important tourist attractions. It’s a man-made marvel built with the purpose of serving as a water source, but as time went by, it has evolved into a popular spot among Rajasthan visitors. Tourists love this place because the tank encircles a number of temples that they can visit by renting a boat, also they love it because it’s a peaceful site where no noise is going to disturb you.  

Last but not least, Bara Bagh is a historical garden of cenotaphs or chatris of the royal family of Jaisalmer. This place was built in memory of those Kings and Queens that passed away, so each cenotaph is erected for each ruler with their respective inscribed tables or statues.

What else can you do?

If you want to do something different, besides just seeing the fort and its surroundings, then you should definitely try to go on a camel safari. This is an unforgettable experience and a good way to explore the sand dunes, and also you will have the opportunity to camp under the stars. There are many companies offering safaris, what you should do is look at your budget and start comparing prices until you get one that fits you. 

How to get there?

From November to January you can take a direct flight from New Delhi to Jaisalmer, but keep in mind that this is only during the peak tourist season. Otherwise, the airport will be closed and you will have to take a flight from New Delhi to Jodhpur, and then you will have to take either a train or a bus to Jaisalmer. Also, once you get there, if you want to have a phenomenal view of the fort from your hotel, then you should stay in the Narayan Palace.

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