For more than 800 years, thousands of families have lived inside this stunning desert fortress in the Indian state of Rajasthan.

Towards the remote, western edge of the Indian state of Rajasthan, surrounded by the Thar desert, the medieval fortress of Jaisalmer rises more than 20 storeys from the dusty landscape like a golden sandcastle. Built beginning in 1156, the sandstone citadel stands guard atop a triangular hill, complete with three layers of walls, four imposing gates and 99 turrets. Together with five other majestic forts in Rajasthan, Jaisalmer is a Unesco World Heritage site, and the striking honey hues of the yellow sandstone used in building this stronghold have inspired its moniker, the Golden City.

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Rajasthan India Asia