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Jaisalmer Fort

The Jaisalmer Fort is a Golden Beauty. Built by the Bhati Rajput ruler Rawal Jaisal, the Jaisalmer Fort is named after him. It is among the largest forts and the second oldest in Rajasthan. It is a rugged monument symbolic of the topography of Rajasthan and also the way the Rajputs lived their lives.

It is also called Sonar Kila or the Golden Fort as it is made of yellow sandstone that lights up with the rays of the sun. The fort has beautiful fusion of Rajput and Mughal architecture and there are several unique aspects to its construction. It is two hundred and fifty feet tall and has been reinforced by a sandstone wall that is thirty feet high; it has ninety-nine bastions, ninety-two among were added between 1633 and 1647.

There are three layers of walls; the outer or the lower layer is made with blocks of solid stone. The second or the middle wall goes all around the fort. The inner most or the third wall was the last part of the defence mechanism. The Rajput warriors hurled boiling oil and water, and massive round blocks of rock as missiles on their enemies trapped between the second and the third walls.

The view from the Fort of the hill town spread below is spectacular to say the least. The palaces of the Maharawals also are situated close by. The Maharawal's marble throne and the five-storeyed Tazia (metal) Tower, with Bengal-style roofs and beautiful carvings, are both worthy of a look.

The Jaisalmer Fort and the Trikuta Hill on which it stands have been silent witness to many battles throughout Jaisalmer's history. The Fort also has some poignant history. It was this very fort that was attacked by Ala-ud-Din Khilji and sieged for nine years, in the thirteenth century. The women of the Fort finally committed Jauhar (self immolation) so that they would not be captured alive.

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