- Jalore Fort
Jalore Fort is the main attraction of
Jalore, a town in the Indian state of Rajasthan, one of the nine castles of the Maru’, under the Paramaras in the 10th century. It is one of the most famous and impressive forts in the state and has been known through history as the Sonagir or the ‘golden mount’.
Jalore Fort is regarded as one of the most impregnable forts of the country . There is a saying: "Let the sky be torn, the earth turned upside down, let the iron armour be cut to pieces, body fighting alone, but Jalore would not surrender"
The precise year of its construction is not known however it is believed to be built between the 8th and 10th centuries.
Jalore was ruled by the
Parmar, a Rajputclan in the 10th century. Kirtipala, the youngest son of Alhana, ruler of Nadol, is the founder of the Jalore line of Chauhans. He captured it from the Paramaras in 1181 and took the clan name Songara after the place. His son, Samarsimha, succeeded him in 1182. After him, Udayasimha became the ruler. The rule of Udayasimha was a golden period in the history of Jalore. He was a powerful and able ruler . He ruled over a large area. He captured back Nadol and Mandor from the Muslims. In 1228 Iltutmish circled Jalore however Udayasimha offered stiff resistance. He was succeeded by Chachigadeva and Samantasimha respectively. After Samantasimha his son Kanhadadeva became ruler of Jalore.
During the reign of
Kanhad Dev SongaraJalore was attacked and destroyed in 1311 by Ala ud din Khilji, Sultan of Delhi. Kanhad Dev Songara and his son Viramdeo Songira died defending.
Jalore fort is perched atop a steep and perpendicular hill. It commands the town from rocky outcrop 336m (1200 ft) high fortified with a wall and bastions with cannon mounted upon them.
The fort has four gigantic gates however it is approachable only from one side, after a two-mile (3 km) long serpentine ascent. The approach to the fort is from the north, up a steep, slippery road through three rows of fortification to a single rampart wall 6.1m (20ft) high. It takes a good two hours to climb. The fort is built on the lines of traditional Hindu architecture.
The Main Poles or Gates
Built into the front wall are four mighty gates or pols that lead into the fort: The Suraj Pol, Dhruv Pol, Bal Pol and the Siroh Pol. The Suraj Pol or the "Sun gate" is built so that the first rays of the morning sun enter through this gateway. It is an impressive gate with a small watch tower built over it. The Dhruv Pol is rather simple looking compared to Suraj Pol.
The Attractions inside the Fort
The mahal or "the residential palace" inside the fort is now desolated, and what is left of it are the ruined symmetrical walls with huge rock formations around it. The cut-stone walls of the fort are still intact at many places. There are some drinking water tanks in the fort.
One of the most important structures with in the fort is the Topekhana or "the cannon foundry". The building is not in the best of conditions now, but its architecture indicates that this structure must have been awesome in the old days. The structure is imposing, with a spacious forecourt and an intricate facade. The colonnade and the ceiling are tastefully carved.
The Topkhana was built in the 14th century by
Ala ud din Khiljiwho conquered Jalore's fort from the Rajputs, and it is said he made the mosque using ruins of 84 Hindu and Jain temples.
The Fort Mosques
Topekhana Masjid (Arsenal Mosque) and the Kila Masjid (Fort Mosque) within the fort are also noteworthy as they demonstrates the widespread influence of the architectural decorations associated with the Gujarati styles of the period (i.e. late 16th century).
Another shrine in the fort is that of Saint
Rehmad Ali Baba. Near the main gate there is the tomb of Malik Shah, a noted Mohammedan saint.
The Jain Temples
Jalore is also a place of pilgrimage for
Jains and the famous Jain temples of Adinath, Mahavira, Parsvanathand Santinathare located here.
The oldest temple is that of
Adinath, which existed as far back as in the 8th century. The mandapawas subsequently built in 1182 A.D. by Yasovira, a Srimali vaishya. The temple stands out the most among the dark fort walls and rocky surrounding . Built in white marble this imposing structure is quite a sight.
The temple of Parsvanath was built by the ruler of Jalore and then rebuilt in 1785 A.D. This temple has a spectacular toran or an archway and a golden "cupola' in the hall meant for theatre performances. Built near the Bal Pol, which is situated north west of the fort.
The temple of Mahavira was also known as Chandanavihara Nahadarao, named after a Pratihara ruler and a hero of Jain tradition who built it in the 14th century.
The temples of Santinatha and the Ashtapads are believed to have existed in the 13th century.
There is an old Shiva temple, a temple devoted to Lord Shiva. It was built by Kanhaddev Ruler of Jalore. Same was renovated by Mah Singh Ruler of Jodhpur and built a Samadhi Mandir of Shri Jalandharnath .Resently this temple renovated again by Holy highness Shri 1008 Pirji Shri Santinathji Maharaj in 2005 with all facility for dovotees. A triple temple dedicated to Amba mata, Ashapuri and
Hanuman(the monkey god) is also located within the fort premises.
Attractions outside the Fort
West of the fort is the shrine of Saint Jalindernath Maharaj (called Sire Mandir)
Sire Mandir Temple of Jalore
Being the sacred groove of sage Jabali many saints came & meditated here. Pandawas spent some of there time here and king Bhruthhari’s path leader Suanath and his disciples made it there home. There are many temples for Shiva & Shakti present here, out of which Sire Mandir Temple is famous for its natural beauty belief & austerity.
West of Jalore on Kalashachal Sire temple is situated on 646 m high. The road in front of Geetco Hotel leads directly towards the Kalashachal mountain. It is only 3 Km. away from town. While climbing the mountain,we may find Yogiraj Jalandhar Nath Ji’s footsteps’ imprints. Nearby there is a temple and one big water hut and parking place for Jeep,Car, Scooter etc.
From valley of mountain to temple it is only 3 Km. of climbing where stairs are made for safe climbing. In between there is a temple of Hanuman & lord Ganesha built. The path is basically good & approachable.
Sire temple is the house of lord Shankar built by Raja Ratan Singh known as Ratneshwar Temple and is famous for its vastness.Shivling is established in one rounded Cave.
Here there is one Jhalara,a big Mansarovar, Non Stop ‘Dhunna’, Dinning Hall,Palace of Raja Mansingh, two beautiful gardens and Resting place on different locations.
Presently in the undertaking of Mahant Shri 1008 Shantinath Ji Maharaj new construction had taken place and plantation on mass basis happened. There is facility of both Telephone & electricity. On the other side water facility for tourists is available 24 hours.
In front of Ratneshwar temple one big elephant of cement & stone is built. Being the sacred groove of Yogi Jalandhar Nath Ji, it also a sacred groove of Yogi Suanath, Dev Nath, Bhawani Nath, Bhairunath, Phoolnath Kesarnath and Bholenath also. Jodhpur’s king Mansingh also prayed here to get his kingdom back.
This place is quiet magnificent naturally and inspires one to come back again
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