Jaisalmer, nicknamed "The Golden city", is a city in the Indian state of Rajasthan, located 575 kilometres west of the state capital Jaipur. The town stands on a ridge of yellowish sandstone and is crowned by the ancient Jaisalmer Fort. This fort contains a royal palace and several ornate Jain temples. Many of the houses and temples of both the fort and of the town below are built of finely sculptured sandstone. The town lies in the heart of the Thar Desert (the Great Indian Desert) and has a population, including the residents of the fort, of about 78,000. It is the administrative headquarters of Jaisalmer District. Jaisalmer was once the capital of Jaisalmer State.
Jaisalmer is named after Rawal Jaisal, a Bhati ruler who founded the city in 1156 AD. Jaisalmer means the Hill Fort of Jaisal. Jaisalmer 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.
Jaisalmer has been enriched by its Jain community, which has adorned the city with beautiful temples, notably the temples dedicated to the 16th Tirthankara, Shantinath, and 23rd Tirthankara, Parshvanath.
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.
Jaisalmer has some of the oldest libraries of India which contain rarest of the manuscripts and artefacts of Jain tradition. There are many pilgrimage centres around Jaisalmer such as Lodhruva (Lodarva), Amarsagar, Brahmsar and Pokharan.
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