Jaisalmer Fort, 1156 A.D., built by Rawal Jaisal, which crowns the 80m highTrikuta hill, has its outer wall of palaces, houses and temples of soft yellow sandstone. It has narrow winding lanes and four huge gateways, the last one leading to main chowk dominated by the old palace of the Maharwal. Almost one quater of the town's population resides inside the fort.
How to reach there:
Air: There are flights between Jaisalmer and Delhi via Jodhpur.
Road: There are buses operating at regular intervals for:
Jawahar Niwas Palace.
Narayan Niwas Palace.
Hotel Jaisal Castle.
What to see:
It has 99 bastions around its circumference, some of which still bear canons.
Attractions within the fort walls are a group of beautifully carved Jain temples built between the 12th and 15th century.
Gyan Bhandar, the library containing Jain manuscripts, paintings and astrological charts is also in the temple complex.
The city's real showpieces are its Havelis ( beautiful mansions built by wealthy merchants),the Patwon Ki Haveli, most prominent, is elaborate and magnificent of all with exquisitively carved pillars and extensive corridors and chambers.
Salim Singh ki Haveli, is 300 years old of Jaisalmer's Prime Minster to Maharaja Rawal Gaj Singh and named after him, with beautiful blue cupola roof and superbly carved brackets in the form of peacocks. Built in yellow stone it is covered with intricate carvings and has an elaborate projecting balcony on the top storey.
Nathmal ki Haveli built in the 19th century was also house to the prime minister. Yellow sandtone elephants guard the building, and even the front door is a work of art.