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Jaisalmer Fort

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Every part of Jaisalmer Fort is made of soft yellow Jurassic sandstone. Outside, the thick walls, punctuated with barrel-sided bastions, drop almost 100m to the town below, while inside narrow winding streets are flanked with carved golden facades. Two thousand people still live within its walls; seventy percent of them are Brahmins and the rest, living primarily on the east side, are predominantly Rajput. A paved road punctuated by four huge gateways winds up to the fort’s main chowk (square) – large round stones lie atop the ramparts above the entrance, waiting to be pushed down on the heads of any approaching enemy. The main chowk was the scene of the three terrible acts of johar during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, when the women of the royal palace, which overlooks the chowk, had a huge fire built, and jumped from the palace walls into it.

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