One of the oldest and massive forts of Rajasthan, Jaisalmer fort is located in the remote Thar Desert. In the medieval times, the location of Jaisalmer on the trade route made it a prosperous town. Jaisalmer came to be celebrated for the chivalry and bravery of its rulers and also for the aesthetic sense represented by its palaces and Havelis. The rulers and merchants of Jaisalmer engaged craftsmen to work on the sandstone mansions, buildings and palaces, filling up the front with sculptural filigree, screen windows, delicate pavilions and beautiful balconies. The Jaisalmer fort is two hundred and fifty feet tall and reinforced by an imposing crenellated sandstone wall of 30 feet height. The fort has 99 bastions.
Jaisalmer fort crowns the Trikuta Hill. Within the walls of Jaisalmer fort lays the old city, which is nearly a quarter of modern Jaisalmer. Jaisalmer fort stands almost 30 meters over the Jaisalmer city and houses an entire living area within massive battlements. Jaisalmer fort is approached through many gates. The Akshya Pol is the entrance gate of the fort. Across the road is the Suraj-Pol. The Suraj Pol is embellished with a figure of Sun. The Hawa Pol (Wind Pol) is an enormous Gateway, girdled by palaces and courtyard and was constructed during the 17th century AD.
The steep cobbled pathways leading to the royal palace pass through four gates. The fort was made invincible by pathways having sharp and twisting turns. Jaisalmer Fort is a five story architectural monument embroidered with balconies and windows, exhibiting fine craftsmanship of Rajput style. Jaisalmer fort has five interconnected palaces. All the palaces have amazing "Jali" and 'jharokha' work.
Outside the Jaisalmer fort is the main market place called Manek Chowk. From the walls of the Jaisalmer fort one can have a marvelous view of the Old City and the adjoining desert.
At present, merchants and shop owners, living within the walls of the fort, crowd the fort. Small lanes inside the fort are surrounded with houses, temples and shops. Being part of the Desert Triangle and the venue of the Desert Festival, Jaisalmer is accessible by rail, road and air. Jaisalmer is also covered by the "Palace on Wheels".