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 interesting legend associated with it, according to which,
Lord Krishna-the head of the Yadav Clan, foretold Arjuna that a remote
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.
Bahti Rajputs of Jaisalmer were fedual chiefs who lived off the forced levy
on the caravans laden with precious silks and spices that crossed the
territory enroute Delhi-or-Sind. These caravans earned the town great
For years Jaisalmer remained untouched by the outside influences. The rise
of shipping trade and the port of Mumbai saw the decline of Jaisalmer. But
the desert fortress, that seems to be straight out of the Tales of the
Arabian Nights still enchants.
The life within the citadel conjures up images of medieval majesty visible
in its narrow lanes stewn with magnificent palace, havelis, temples and of
course skilled artisans and ubiquitous camels.
The setting sun turning Jaisalmer into a beautiful golden brown is a
The perfect time to visit the golden city is during the Desert Festival,
held in Jan/Feb. every year, when the city reverberates to the sound of
melodious tunes and rhythms.
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.
Attractions of Jaisalmer
The golden hued fort is a sentinel to the bleak desertscape from its 80
metre high perch on the hill,housing the entire township within its
ramparts.It has an enchanting cow-web of narrow lanes dotted with some
lovely havelis,three beautifully sculptured Jain Temples of the 12th-15th
century A.D. and five interconnected palaces.The fort is approached through
four gateways-Akhaiyal,Ganesh Pol,Suraj Pol and Hava Pol.
Manak Chowk and Havelis
A main marketplace outside the fort leads to the narrow lanes dotted with
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 procession during Moharram by the
Some of the most exotic mansions or havelis,all intricately latticed are
strew all over Jaisalmer-each with a different facade.
The late 19th century haveli with intricate architecture a display of sheer
craftsmanship. The justify and right wings of the mansion 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.
The most elaborate and magnificent of all the Jaisalmer havelis. It has
exquisitely carved pillars and extensive corridors and chambers.One of the
apartments of this five storey high haveli is painted with beautiful murals.
This 300 year old haveli of Jaisalmers Prime Minister to Maharaja
Rawal Gaj Singh-Salim Singh, has a beautiful blue cupola roof with superbly
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 storey.The mansion is one of the most notable of the
array of havelis.
How To Get There - Jaisalmer
There is a domestic airport provided in the Jodhpur city that avails the
means of reaching the city in a plane. Flights operate from cities like
Delhi and Mumbai. However, the airport is about 285 kms far from the city.
Trains coming from different destinations regularly reach the place. There
is a regular service from the city of Jodhpur. The city (Jodhpur) also lies
en route the circuit on which luxury train Palace on Wheels runs.
Short and long distance buses from different parts of city are available.
Buses frequently come from Jodhpur and Delhi.