Exploring The Royal Golden Fort Of Rajasthan- Sonar Kella
Rajasthan has lots to explore, lots of stories, adventure and all…but for Bengalis, Rajasthan starts with one of the most outstanding movies “Sonar Kella” of Satyajit Ray, the famous director of all times. The film itself portrays a very interesting story which was shot in Rajasthan and especially in Golden Fort…Today we are Exploring The Royal Golden Fort Of Rajasthan- Sonar Kella. Exploring The Royal Golden Fort Of Rajasthan- Sonar Kella
So coming back to our story. Today we packed up our luggage and had our breakfast in Sam Dhani tents in the Thar Desert. After that, we started our journey towards our dream destination of Jaisalmer. Rolling for 1 and half hours we finally reached and was ready to explore. Exploring The Royal Golden Fort Of Rajasthan- Sonar Kella
Jaisalmer Fort, one of the six forts in Rajasthan that was included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site list during the 37th meeting of the World Heritage Committee in Phnom Penh during June 2013. It was built by the Rajput Rawal (ruler) Jaisal in 1156AD.
Our guide was very decent and friendly…
Before entering the fort, we had sweet coconut water. The view of the fort from outside was mesmerizing and the colors of the bricks were golden. It looked like the bricks were covered by the matte golden sheet.
Finally, after crossing a big gate, we put our feet inside the fort for the first time. The first thing, we realized that the fort was very much different from other forts. This fort was just like a small city within a big city
We know you will think what does it mean!!
Ok!! we are explaining. Sonar Kella or golden fort is the only living fort in India. This is not just a fort, rather it is the home of many citizens till date. The gate was like a toll gate to enter a city…so it is a small city within a big city.
Here we got the taste of interacting with Rajasthani people, their culture, and their habits and so on. Exploring The Royal Golden Fort Of Rajasthan- Sonar Kella
One incident that really touched our heart was when our tour guide introduced us with his friends, then one of them suddenly spoke out “We salute Satyajit Ray 100 times, he was like our father. Before his movie, no one came to visit the fort. Holding Satyajit Ray’s hand, the fort became famous and we got a way of earning to support our families“.
Most Bengalis have grown up with memories of the legendary Ray film…Sonar Kella
The places to explore inside the Sonar Kella :
With every step, we started to explore the age-old town of Jaisalmer and it was an amazing feeling. The narrow lanes connected with each other just like a maze.
The entrance gate guide to a big central courtyard known as Dashera Chawk. Every year Dashera Festival is celebrated here. This legacy was continued from the reign of Maharoyal Baidhyanath Singh. Till 1973 every year on the day of Dashra, they sacrificed buffalo as one of the important rituals. But from 1974, due to animal cruelty act, Government possessed a ban on buffalo sacrifice. Exploring The Royal Golden Fort Of Rajasthan- Sonar Kella
Old well :
After Dashera Chawk, we walked towards the old well. The ruler of this place was famed as Yaduvanshi. Our guide narrated us a mythological story behind this well. The story is a part of the great epic “MAHABHARAT”.
After completing the war, when Krishna and Arjun were passing by this place, Arjun felt thirsty. Krishna with the help of his Sudarshan chakra, dug a well and Arjun fulfilled his thirst. Krishna gave the parole that the king who will rule this place should be Yaduvanshi Rajput. Exploring The Royal Golden Fort Of Rajasthan- Sonar Kella
Mukul Bari (House of Mukul)A thrill spun up within our body when our tour guide told us “Mukul bari dekhbe cholo” means “Come let’s see Mukul’s house”
Many of the tourists other than Bengalis are unfamiliar with the name Mukul. ‘Mukul bari’ (the house of Mukul), a fictional character from Satyajit Ray’s famous detective novel Sonar Kella (The Golden Fort). We really felt too much excited when we saw the house. But alongside got disheartened due to poor maintenance and most of the parts were broken. The administrative and Government should take extra care to conserve this heritage site. After taking some photographs we went forward.
Within this fort, there are all total 99 bhurj. At every corner of the fort, there were small round roofs, above which canyons were placed. Earlier, the rulers used the canyons for defensive purpose. We climbed 3 small steps and with our face up we got amazed to see the whole beauty of the city. The mesmerizing beauty carried our attention. We both murmured in a low tone “What a Beauty”.
There are no multi-storeyed buildings, rather small houses painted in bright colors adorned in a row. Such a beautiful city, free from the concrete world.
Now it’s time for Haveli…Exploring The Royal Golden Fort Of Rajasthan- Sonar Kella
Inside the fort, there are many temples but most famous of them is the Jain Temple. The architectural work on the wall of the temple was flawless and the minute details pointed out that the art in our country was at its highest level. It was built in the Dilwara style that is famous all over the world.
The pillars, designed with the engraved statue of dancers in different forms of dance and also depict many stories through engraving. The temple was so attractive and the sunrays falling on the wall of the temple made more captivating. There are also hundreds of Lord Buddha Statue.
The Jain temples in the Jaisalmer Fort, dedicated to Rikhabdevji and Shambhavdev Ji, the famous Jain hermits known as ‘Tirthankars’.
Patwon Ki Haveli:
Within Sonar Kella Fort, one of the most beautiful buildings with fine yet interesting architectural work is Patwon Ki Haveli.
Being the first haveli in Jaisalmer and composed by the cluster of five small havelis, made this haveli the most prominent one among all others in Jaisalmer.
The havelis, also known as “mansion of brocade merchants”. In 1805, Guman Chand Patwa constructed the first haveli and later he built for his 5 sons. All the havelis are unique in their own style of architectures and interior design.
Walking down through the narrow lane inside the fort, we saw the haveli at our left side. Presently it is taken over by the government and served as the office of Archaeological Survey of India and State Art and Craft Department.
There we saw a good number of mirror arts and paintings. Mirrored peacock art took our glance for few seconds. Additionally, there was also a model of watch tower along with royal furniture, utensils and royal clothes. They also preserved one of the oldest models of a camera of that time, used by the then royal family. Colorful Rajasthani Turbans showcased which were worth watching, symbolize the culture of the citizen. Not only the turbans but also the musical instruments were carrying the legacy of the rich cultural values. Exploring The Royal Golden Fort Of Rajasthan- Sonar Kella
Some of the special musical instruments are Ravanahatha, Kamaicha, Sindhi Sarangi, Morchang, Dedh Satara, NaagPhani, Ghara, Jantar etc.
Later we went up to the roof and the whole mini-city was in front of our eyes. It looks amazing to see the panoramic view of the Golden fort. The roof was the perfect photogenic place to take the photographs keeping the whole fort in the background. We too added some memorable pictures in our Rajasthan photo album.
Outside the Haveli, the Puppet Designers were busy in creating and designing beautiful puppets of king, queens, and warriors. Other than puppet sellers, there were many other sellers too, selling graphics painted t-shirts of different Rajasthan portraits, bags and lot more. Exploring The Royal Golden Fort Of Rajasthan- Sonar Kella
And now the time came to bid goodbye to the living fort of India. We were really happy to see all the smiling face of the citizen who lives there. And we must say that the owner of the fort is really big-hearted that they allowed people to stay there and convert a normal fort into the living fort of India.
Facts About Sonar Kella:
- The fort’s huge yellow sandstone walls are a tawny lion color during the day, dissolving to honey-gold as the sun sets, thereby disguising the fort in the yellow desert. For this, it is also recognized as the Sonar Kella or Golden Fort.
- The name of the fort was the combination of two words, Jaisal-mer. Jaisal came from the name of the Rajput King Jaisal and Meru is the name of a mythological mountain of the Gods in the Himalayas.
Travel Tips :
- You may feel exhausted and tired during summer times. So November to March is the best time to visit.
- Carry plenty of water. Wear loose fit clothes, flat shoes, sunglass, and hats.
- Carry a camera or handy camera.
- Hire a travel guide or an audio guide. The travel guide will help you throughout your trip inside the fort. He will narrate to you all the stories and warn you about the blind alleys.
- The total time for exploring is almost 2-3 hours.
9:30 AM to 4:30 PM
Places to stay in Jaisalmer :
- Taj gateway hotel Jaisalmer
- Hotel Moomal (RTDC)
- Hotel Mirage
- Hotel Garh Jaisal Haveli
- Sagar Guest House
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