Sonar Quilla or the Golden Fort is one amongst the many forts in the state of Rajasthan. This fort became famous after a blockbuster detective film ( Sonar Kella or the Golden Fort) made by one of the most illustrious filmmakers of our country Late Shri Satyajit Ray, in which this very fort is the central theme.
The fort, which is on a hilltop lies in district Jaisalmer and made of yellow sandstone. It shines as bright as gold when the sun is in its full glory hence the name Sonar Quila. A Bhati king built it – Rawal Jaisal in 1156 AD, who was also the founder of the city of Jaisalmer(named after Rawal Jaisal).
In close vicinity of the fort, one can find many small havelis as well which were build by the locals than to stay.
Sonar Quilla is a big fort with intricately carved’ jharokhas ‘ jutting out of the walls – a symbol of rich Rajasthani architecture. As one enters the Fort, there are various lanes to choose from, to reach the chauraha or central courtyard – more popularly known as the ‘ Dussehra Chowk’. Near this chauraha, are small palaces which were built to house the royals.
One can look around and can see the life of the locals. Various small shops are selling bright and colourful Rajasthani wares. Men in their traditional dress & women in colourful ghagra and heavy jewellery roam around the place to sell their wares to the tourists.
How to Reach?
Air- The Jaisalmer airport is approximately 6 km from the city, also well connected with Delhi, Jaipur, and Jodhpur.
Rail- Jaisalmer Station, well connected to Delhi by the Delhi Jaisalmer Express, which starts from Old Delhi Railway Station. From Jodhpur, there’s the Jodhpur Jaisalmer Express.
Road-Jaisalmer located at the far western end of India. One has to reach here via Bikaner or Jodhpur. Travelers coming in from the north of India should use the Bikaner Route. Volvo buses also ply from Jaipur to Jaisalmer on a regular basis.
Where to stay?
There are many choices, but we recommend our viewers to stay at Hotel Victoria which located inside the fort; one can get the first-hand experience of staying in a prominent location.Their staffs are very friendly to their guests.
Another USP of this hotel is they have rooftop dining area; one can have an authentic Rajasthani Thali and enjoy the magnificent view especially during winters.
There is a wide range of rooms to choose, ranging from anywhere between Rs. 6000- 15000.
Chandan Shree Restaurant located in Hanuman Circle known for excellent Gujarati, Bengali and Rajasthani thalis.
In Jaisalmer’s bazaars, try their local food Chili Pakoras which made of long green chillies stuffed with mashed potatoes.
A thick and deep fried spicy onion filling served with Pudhina Chutney. Pyaaz Kachori is favourite throughout Rajasthan, but a lot of tourists seem to enjoy this snack from the food carts in Jaisalmer.
Daal Bati Churma
These are hard wheat-bread balls which are seasoned with salt and cooked in a tandoor or firewood and sprinkled with pure desi ghee, served with dal. For desserts, Churma is a traditional item made from a mixture of Wheat flour, Besan, Sooji, Sugar, Ghee. This is a must try food item while visiting Rajasthan and especially Jaisalmer & Jaipur.
Laal Maans is a very spicy mutton gravy, cooked with Dahi(Curd) and red chillies paste. The fiery hot sauce(gravy) can be had with rice or roti.
An authentic vegetable dish prepared from Ker and Sangari (desert beans and capers), locally found in the desert region of Jaisalmer. Ker Sangri is a slowly cooked food item using locally available spices and chilly. It tastes great when combined with bajra roti.