THE GLORY OF A GOLDEN PAST
Is it real, or is it a mirage. As you approach Jaisalmer, you realize that your imagination is not playing tricks after all. Rising from the heart of the Thar Desert etched in yellow sandstone, this citadel city stands in all its splendour.
Legend has it that Lord Krishna; head of the Yadava Clan foretold that remote descendants of the Yadav clan would establish his kingdom atop of the Trikuta Hill. True to his word Rawal Jaisal a yadav and a Bhati Rajput, abandoned his fort at Lodurva and founded a new capital Jaisalmer, perched on a Trikuta Hills. Bhati Rajputs were feudal Chiefs who lived off the forced levy on th caravans laden with silk and spices that crossed the territory enroute delhi or Sindh. These caravan were the source of great wealth for the clan.
The rise of shipping trade through the port of Mumbai saw the decline of Jaisalmer. The fortress however stood the test of time. In the mind’s eye, even today, medieval majesty of the citadel still remains. Narrow lanes magnificent palaces, havelis of the rich and the famous temples are all there.
And when the sun sets evening, Jaisalmer is transformed into a magic kingdom-the Sonar kila.
Every year in February Jaislmer host the Desert festival, when the city reverberates with sounds and rhythms all its own. Join in on the folk dances, compete in unique contests involving tying the turban and emerge as Mr Desert. Enthral- the camel races are on. Colorful bazaars are set up, a sound and light spectacle with folk artist performing will thrill you to the bone. Catch it on a full moon light with the sand dunes as a backdrop. Return, year after year.
Places to visit in Jaisalmer
Golden hued fort is a sentinel to the bleak desertscape from its 80 meter high perch on the hill, housing the entire township within its rampart. This is the only living fort of India.
It has the enchanting cob-web of narrow lanes dotted with some lovely havelis, three beautifully 7 sculptured Jain temples of 12th -15th century A.D and five inter connected palaces.
The fort is approached through four gateways.
A scenic rain water lake with numerous beautiful shrines around and a spectacular avian variety. The lake is an idyllic for outings.
Haveli is the most exotic mansions. Tha late 19th century haveli with intricate architecture-a-display of sheer craftsmanship. The left and right wings of the mansion which were carved by two brothers are not indetical but tvery similae and balanced in design. The interior walls are ornate with splendid miniature paintings.
PATWON KI HAVELI
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 250 years old haveli of Jaisalmer’s prime Minister to Maharaja rawal gaj Singh. This haveli has a beautiful blue cupola roof with superbly carved brackets in the form of peacocks.
This extraordinary mansion in yellow stone is carved with intricate carvings and has an elaborate projecting balcony on the top storey.
This mansion is one of the most notable of the array of havelis.
WOOD FOSSIL PARK, AAKAL
Lying on the barmer road 17 Kms from Jasialmer, this parks takes you back to the Jurassic period (When the whole Thar region lay under the sea) with 180 million years old fossils the geological landark of the study of the Thar Desert.
No trip to Jaisalmer is complete without a trip to the most picturesque dunes of Sam. The rupples on the wind-caressed dunes, that create an enchanting mirage, are surely a delight for a trigger happy photographer.
Various cultural programme are oraganised against the backdrop of this fascinating sand dunes. Exciting camel safaris allow you to get the raeal feel of the desert on the camel back.