Maharaja Jaisal, king of the Bhatti Rajputs, originally established this fort in 1156. It is the second oldest fort in Rajasthan, next to the one in Chittorgarh. The fort overlooks the city from the south and is on the 80m (265 ft) high Trikuta (Gorhara) Hill.
It is a truly fascinating place to wander around. The fort has a series of narrow paths and is packed with old houses, temples, and palaces. It has ninety-nine bastions around its walls. It is said that the fort does not have any cemented stones in its foundation. No vehicle traffic is allowed inside the fort. Sunrise and sunset are especially enchanting times to be on the walls of the fort. The view is spectacular. The fort is the highlight of Jaisalmer, and is one of the most interesting and romantic places in India. Almost everyone who comes here is impressed.
Visitors enter the fort from Gopa Chauk, a square outside the fort’s main gate. To enter the fort you go up a steep ramp passing a series of imposing gate. The first gate is called Akhai Pol. Next is Surya (Suraj) Pol. Next to this gate is a tower from which criminals were thrown to their deaths. Then there is Ganesh (Bhuta) Pol. The last gate is called Hawa (Wind) Pol.
The seven-storey Raj Mahals (City Palace) is just inside the gate and consists of five smaller palaces. There is not much to see in this palace, and you can walk through the place in fifteen minutes. To the right of the entrance is a throne, upon which the maharaja is said to have sat. One of the assembly halls has blue Chinese tiles. Some rooms are closed with their original ancient locks. One of the best views of the surrounding area is from the top of the City Palace.
Open daily 9 am to 1 pm and 2to 5 pm. Admission foreigners/Indians Rs 50/20, Camera/video Rs 50/100, guided tours Rs 25. The ancient Lakshmi Nath Temple (1494) still has active worship. Lakshmi Nath means Vishnu, the Lord of Lakshmi, the Goddess of Fortune. The pillar in this temple was brought from Lodarva and dates to the 9th century.
There are also Siva and Ganesh temples. The Ganesh temple has an old deity of Surya, the sun-god. Jaisaloo Well is an old well near the Lakshmi Nath Temple, which was named after King Jaisal. It is said that this well was dug by Shri Krishna with his Sudarsana Chakra when he and Arjuna passed through here and Arjuna was thirsty.
Not far from the palace, within the fort, are seven intricately carved Jain temples, constructed between the 12th and 15th centuries. They are built on a platform and are covered with remarkable sculptures. The temples are open daily from 7 am to noon; 11 am to 12:30 pm to Visitors. camera Rs 50, video Rs 100.Admsision Rs 10. Leather items and menstruating women are not allowed into the temples.
The Chintamani Parsvanath Temple is the oldest and main temple. In this temple are intricate carvings of Vishnu, Lakshmi, Siva, Parvati, Brahma, lions, and many others. On the altar is a 2,000 year old (55 BC) clay statue of Chintamini Parsvanath coated with pearls. From the balcony you can get a good view of the temple dome. In the Sambhava Nath Temple there is a statue in the temple the size of a grain of rice.