Inside the fortress for free residence in India

Thanks to the ancestors' dedication to the King, the descendants of the first inhabitants in Jaisalmer Fortress (India) do not have to pay land taxes when they live here.


Located on the western edge of Rajasthan State (India), Jaisalmer Fortress stands out and stands out among the desert of Thar, looking like a castle made of golden sand. Started in 1156, the sandstone building is 20 stories high, located atop a triangular hill with 3 walls, 4 large gates being 99 turrets.


Along with 5 other fortresses in Rajasthan state, Jaisalmer was recognized by UNESCO as a world heritage site. The outstanding honey color of gold sandstone used to build the building makes it a nickname "golden city".


Currently, about 2,000 to 4,000 descendants of the first inhabitants are living in solid walls. Thanks to the ancestors' dedication to the King, the following generations have enjoyed many privileges, including land tax exemption. However, they are not allowed to sell houses to outsiders.


Not only is India's last ancient fortress, but Jaisalmer is also a living monument, where visitors can see the 12th-century breath in the middle of the 21st century. Vimal Kumar Gopa's family has lived in the fortress for more than 700 years. Historically, his ancestors were high-profile people in society. They were priests, teachers, and mentors to the King. From the first house that the King gave, after 7 centuries, 23 generations, his family has owned 43 houses inside the ancient walls.


Next to the community is the descendants of intellectuals like the Gopa family, another community is living here whose ancestors were warriors responsible for the safety of the city.


According to the BBC, Jaisalmer Fortress flourished most prosperously between the 16th and 18th centuries, when it was an important stop on the Silk Road, linking Europe with China. Although there is no longer busy as before, "golden city" is still a destination to attract caravans.


Currently, visitors can find shops, cafes, and hotels at any corner of the fortress. The fortress also has many eateries, including Italian, French and local dishes. Famous Indian director Satyajit Ray wrote “Sonar Kella” ("The Golden Fortress") - a detective novel based on the fortress and then filmed here. The film has become a classic film and a large number of tourists from Bengal and around the world visit the fort every year to experience themselves that Ray described in the film. Like the ancestors, the locals, especially those living in the fortress, continue to make money from the guests.


The most famous temples in the fortress are Paraswanath, Chandraprabhu, Rishabdev, Shitalnath, Kunthunath, and Shantinath. All were built from the 12th century to the 15th century, possessing sophisticated architecture with complex carvings.


Jaisalmer desert festival is the most awaited and most famous cultural event of Rajasthan state. Here, visitors can enjoy camel races, watch dancers, enjoy folk songs and dances. The event is held in February every year.

By: Olivia Swift

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