Location : 285-km From Jodhpur, Rajasthan
Tourist Attractions : Jaisalmer Fort, Manak Chowk & Havelis
Festive Attraction : Desert Festival
Best Time To Visit : October To Februay
from the heart of the Thar desert like a golden mirage is the city of Jaisalmer.
A commanding fort etched in yellow sandstone stands with all its awesome splendor,
dominating the amber - hued city. The city has an intresting legend assocaited
with it, according to which Lord krishna - head of the yadav clan foretold Arjuna
that aremote descendent of the Yadav Clan would built his kingdom atop the Trikuta
Hill. His prophecy was fulfilled in 1156 A.D. when Rawal Jaisal, a descendent
of the Yadav Clan and a Bhatti Rajput,abandoned his fort at Lodurva and founded
a new capital -Jaisalmer- perched on the Trikuta Hill. The weather is either
extremely hot or pretty cold given that Jaisalmer is located in the desert region
of Rajasthan. Besides, it's very close to the trouble-prone Indian border with
Pakistan. the life within the citadel conjures up images of medieval majesty
visible in its narrow lanes strewn with magnificent palaces, havelis, temples
and offcourse skilled artisans and ubiquitous camels. The setting sun turning
Jaisalmer into beautiful golden brown is a spectacular sight. Folk dances, exciting
competitions an contests, especially the turban-tying contest. Mr. Desert contest
and camel races enliven the festivities. Colorful craft bazaars are set up for
the occasion and a sound and light spectacle is organized wit folk artists performing
against the splendid backdrop of the famous Sam sand dunes on the full moon
night. Surely a not-to-be missed event.
Places to Visit
The Fort : The golden fort hued fort is sentinel to
the bleak desertscape from its 80 metre high perch on the hill,
the entire township within the ramparts. it has enchanting
cow-web of narrow lanes dotted with some lovely havelis, three
beautifully sculptured Jain temples of the 12th-15th century and five
interconnected palaces. The fort is
apprched through four gateways - Akhaiya Pol, Ganesh Pol, Suraj pol
and Hawa Pol. The fort seems to rise out of the desert haze, its yelow
sandstone walls and bastions
taking on a golden hue in the afternoon when sun reflects on the fort.
In fact at whatever time of the day you look at the Sonar Kila or
Golden fort it looks like a fairy tale
Lake : is an artificial water body that stores rainwater – in
the harsh desert landscape. A scenic rain water lake with numerous beautiful
shrines around and a spectacular avian variety. The lake is an idyllic spot
Tazia Tower : A pagoda like structure looming up
from the "Badal Mahal" with beautiful Taazias' - ornately decorated
bamboo, paper and tinsel replicas of a bier, carried out in processing
during Moharram by the Muslims.
Nathmal ji ki Haveli : The late 19th century haveli
with intricate architecture a display of sheer craftsmanship. The left
and right wings of the mansions, which were carved by two brothers, are
identical but very similar and balanced in design. The interior walls
are ornate with splendid miniature paintings.
Patwon ki Haveli : The most elaborate and
magnificient of all the Jaisalmer havelis. It has exquisitely carved
pillars and exquisitely carved pillars and extensive corridors and
One of the apartments of this five story high haveli is painted with
Salim Singh ki Haveli : This 300 year old Haveli of
Jaisalmer's Prime Minister to Maharaja Rawal Gaj Singh Salim Singh, has
a beautiful blue cupola roof with superby carved brackets in the form
peacocks. This extraordinary mansion in yellow stone is covered with
intricate carvings and has an elaborate projecting balcony on the top
The mansion is one of the most notables of the array of havelis.
Jain Temples : The fort has three exquisitely carved Jain temples dedicated to the Jain Tirthankara-Rishabdev, Sambhavnath and Parswanath
: the ancient capital of Jaisalmer and an important Jain pilgrim centre
lies 16 km to the west. Among the ruins of the city is a complex of magnificent
Jain temples with ornate archway at the entrance, perhaps the finest of its
kind in Rajasthan.
The Akal Wood Fossil Park : (17km) on the road to
Barmer is an interesting stop to the fossilised remains of a forest that
grew 180 million years ago. Not far from there is
another prehistoric site at Kandiala where different kinds of fossils
are found – still older, but undated fossilised rocks, with tiny sea
shells embedded in them, that show that
this sandy desert wasteland was once part of the ocean bed!
The Sand Dunes at Sam : No trip to Jaisalmer is
complete without a visit to the sand dunes at Sam, 42 km away, on the
edge of the Desert National Park. The varying
patterns, ripples and waves that the wind creates on the undulating,
ever changing dunes is awesome to behold. The sunsets at Sam are
particularly beautiful, with the
desert changing into a kaleidoscope of red, orange and copper before
darkness engulfs the desert in a blanket of sheer black.
The Desert National Park :(45km) stretches across
3000km of protected biosphere, where the fragile ecosystem of the desert
is preserved in its natural environs. The native
flora consists of cacti, thorny shrubs, bushes and trees and
vegetation that survives in the dry and arid soil grow here and some of
the local fauna- few animal species like
the monitor lizard, desert foxes, porcupines and herds of black buck
live in this protected park.
How to reach there
Rail : Jaisalmer is 290-km from Jodhpur via Pokhran,
Dechu and Balesar or 330-km from Bikaner via Pokhran and Phalodi. It is
well connected by train with Jodhpur and other
major cities of the country by a meter gauge line.