Jaisalmer is a former medieval trading center and a princely state in the western Indian state of Rajasthan, in the heart of the Thar Desert. Known as the “Golden City,” it’s distinguished by its yellow sandstone architecture. Dominating the skyline is Jaisalmer Fort, a sprawling hilltop citadel buttressed by 99 bastions. Behind its massive walls stand the ornate Maharaja’s Palace and intricately carved Jain temples. Jaisalmer is named after Rawal Jaisal, a Bhati ruler who founded the city in 1156 AD. Jaisalmer means the Hill Fort of Jaisal. It is sometimes called the “Golden City of India” because the yellow sandstone used throughout the architecture of both the fort and the town below, imbues both with a certain golden-yellow light. It is the largest district of Rajasthan and 3rd largest Town by territorial region in the country, hugged on the west & south-west by the Pakistani border.
The length of the international border attached to Jaisalmer District is 464 km (288 mi). It is located 790 kilometres away from the national capital Delhi. It is connected to the rest of Rajasthan by buses provided by Rajasthan State Transport Corporation as well as other private bus operators. Built in 1156 by the Bhati Rajput ruler Jaisal, Jaisalmer Fort, situated on Meru Hill and named as Trikoot Garh has been the scene of many battles. Its massive sandstone walls are a tawny lion colour during the day, turning to a magical honey-gold as the sun sets. The famous Indian film director Satyajit Ray wrote a detective novel and later turned it into a film − Sonar Kella (The Golden Fortress) which was based on this fort. About a quarter of city’s population still live inside the fort. The main attractions inside the fort are: Raj Mahal (Royal palace), Jain temples and the Laxminath temple. There are seven Jain temples in total which are situated within the Jaisalmer fort built during the 12th and 15th centuries. Among these temples, the biggest is the Paraswanath Temple; the others are Chandraprabhu temple, Rishabdev temple, Shitalnath Temple, Kunthunath Temple, and Shantinath Temple. Known for their exquisite work of art and architecture that was predominant in the medieval era the temples are built out of yellow sandstone and have intricate engravings on them.