JAISALMER - THE GLORY OF THE GOLDEN FORT
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
Palaces to Visit
golden fort hued fort is sentinel to the bleak desertscape from its 80 metre
high perch on the hill, housing 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 creation.
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 for outings.
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 not 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 beautiful
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 of 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.
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
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.
here for Reservation