Jaisalmer - The Golden Desert Saga !!!
The golden city of "Jaisalmer" lies deep in the heart of Thar
Desert bordering Pakistan in the west of Rajasthan. This enthralling city
has been labeled as the
"Golden City" because of the honey colour that bestowed on its
stone bastion by the posing sun. The Jaisalmer City portrays the picture of
massive forts, romantic palaces, magnificent havelis and exquisite temples
that bask in the glory of setting sun. Most importantly the vision describes
the thirsty desert and imperial fort, that can sheer you down with the magic
of haze in the sand dunes of Jaisalmer. This elegant fort is impressive
enough to brush you with the lost memories of Arabian Nights.
Do you know the charming Jaisalmer city has been
christened the 'Golden City because of the honey colour transmitted to its
stone ramparts by the setting sun.
According to myth, Lord Krishna, the head of Yadav Clan, foretold Arjuna
that a remote descendant of the Yadav Clan would build his kingdom at the
top of Trikuta Hills. His divination was fulfilled in 1156 A.D. When the
Rawal Jaisal, a descendant of the Yadav Clan and a Bhatti Rajput, abandoned
his fort at Lodhruva and founded a new capital Jaisalmer, nestled on the top
of Trikuta Hills in Rajasthan.
The descendant of Duda continued to rule over the wise desert kingdom, and
in 1541, the Luna Karna of Jaisalmer fought against Humayun, at the time
when he passed through Jaisalmer en route to Ajmer, for seeking the
blessings of Moin-ud-Din Chisti in Dargah (Sufi City). The relationship
between both the dynasty "Jaisalmer rulers and the Mughal Empire"
was not always faithful, and various marriages were contracted between the
two parties to cement there accords. Later the Jaisalmer came under the
confidence of Sabala Simha, who won the patronage of the Muslim Emperor Shah
Jahan (governed 1627-58), when he fought with distinction in a campaign at
peshawar. Although he was not a legal successor to the throne (Gaddi). But
even though, the great Mughal warrior Shah Jahan empowered Sabala Simha with
the power to rule Jaisalmer desert. As soon as the Sabala Simha grow in fame
, he started annexed areas, which now fall in the geographical boundaries of
Bikaner and Jodhpur.
The Falling of the Valor and Pride
In around 13th century "Ala-ud-Din Khilji" the emperor of Delhi,
mounted an expedition to Jaisalmer to retrieve treasures, which the Battis
had taken from a caravan train en-route to the imperial capital. He laid
blockade the Jaisalmer Fort for nearly 9 long years. When the Bhatti Rajputs
saw that the defeat was inevitable, it was decided to declare the Jahur act,
after which the gallant women of Rajputana started committing self
immolation, burning themselves to the flames, while the Rajput warriors
donned saffron robes and rode out to certain deaths.
Explore the Exotica
Do you know, the bewitching Jain Temples of
Jaisalmer houses a famous Gyan-Bhandar (Library) having a large number of
palm-leaf, extremely old manuscripts and astrological charts, which are well
preserved inside the underground cell of the temple. There are nearly 1252
icons of important Jain Tirthankars (Followers of Jainism) beautifully
carved inside the temple primises.
Over a period of time, Jaisalmer has become a most preferred destination
for tourists, there are hordes of visitors, who converge over the desert
valley in the season of winters. Jaisamler Fort its grand architectural
Havelis, adventurous sand dunes and of course the hue of its golden aroma
all cast a spell on its visitors. The tourism boom in Jaisalmer importunes
the localities to increase the range of hotels, palaces, safaris and markets
for lucrative tourist trade. Today, Jaisalmer has become a home to domestic
as well as international tourists, who want to rush out of there busy life's
and want to seek some tangible moments in the great sand dunes of Rajasthan
Jodhpur Airport, 300 km is the nearest airport
to Jaisalmer, it has
excellent airbase networks with the major cities of India like Jaipur,
and Mumbai, from where the tourists can hire taxis or take express deluxe
buses to reach Jaisalmer.
Jaisalmer railway station is well connected to
the major cities of India. There are regular trains from Jodhpur, Jaipur,
Delhi, Alwar that connects Jaisalmer with in a span of few hours. The
tourist can take DEE-JSM Express from Delhi's Sarai Rohilla Station, leaves
Delhi around 6 pm and arrives Jaisalmer around 12.45 pm.
Jaisalmer is well linked to the national high
way No.15, linking Pathankot via Amritsar via Bathinda via Ganganagar via
Bikaner via Jaisalmer via Barmer via Samakhiali (near Kandla). Some
important distnaces from Jaisalmer are Ajmer 439 km, Jaipur
570 km, Delhi 793 km, Agra 802 km, Mumbai 1140 km.
Local Transport :
The most convenient and cheap mode of
transportation in Jaisalmer is Rickshaw and Bicycle, but beware of rickshaw
drivers at times they can be much demanding, so bargain hard. whereas for
good condition bicycle, you can access to Gandhi Chowk, Carpark area outside
the Jaisalmer fort.
Attractions of Chivalrous Past !!!
Jaisalmer Fort - The Sonar Quila !!!
Jaisalmer Fort is one of the prime attraction for tourists across the
world, it is popularly referred as the Jewel of Desert.
This mega structure fort is centuries old in the history of Jaisalmer, and
is almost surrounded by exotic sand dunes, that offers exciting and
unforgettable camel safaris to tourists.
The fort portrays number of amazing attractions that showcase the vibrant
and enigmatic royal past of this fascinating city. It is one of the major
attractions that is not to be missed, once you reach this golden city.
This splendid and unbeatable fort of 12th century, was built over Trikuta
hill, which is 250 ft tall and is surrounded by 30 ft high arenaceous walls.
The Fort houses the famous Jain Temple, its a worth visiting place, if you
are planning to tour city inside a city "Jaisalmer".
Havelis - Architectural Mansion of Merchants !!!
The Hawa Pol, opens out into Dussehra Chowk inside
the fort premises, which has witnessed at least two Jahurs, committed by the
royal women of Jaisalmer, one can still see Sati Hand prints beside the
entrance to the Raja Ka Mahal located in the front of Dussehra Chowk.
Besides its fort attractions, Jaisalmer is a great treasure trove of carved
havelis of wealthy merchants. These impressive havelis were once the
residence of the wealthy Jain merchants which are in superior conditions
till date. The most engrossing and elaborate haveli is Patwon Ki Haveli.
This beautiful haveli has 6 floors, out of which two floors are owned, by
the archaeological survey of India, two are converted in the private homes,
and the last two apartments include craft shops. Look for original
Rajasthani art and crafts in the craft shop, you can shop here for some
exclusive artifacts. more..
"Salim Singh Ki Haveli"
it is one of the most
fascinating haveli ever constructed in the history of Jaisalmer, build in
1815 A. Pay a special attention to beautifully arched roof of the havelis
capped with blue cupolas and carved brackets in the form of peacocks. The
tourist are allowed to visit the royal residence of Salim Singh daily
between 8 am to 6 pm.
"Nathmal Ki Haveli",
build in the late 19th
century, The front door of the building portrays the great work of art and
architecture, it has lavish interiors with antique flooring, number of
paintings in miniature style add brilliant colours to the indoors definitely
must a visit site.
Sam Sand Dunes The Desert Majasty
Jaisalmer evokes heaven pleasures, it has ageless beauty and unmeasurable
desert. This beautiful Sam sand dunes is located in the Thar Desert near Sam
Village, nearly falls 42 km from Jaisalmer along a excellent broad road,
which is now maintained by Indian Army. Your tour to Jaisalmer will be left
untouched without experiencing the Sam village, where the dunes change its
position in regular intervals of time, as soon as wind arrives. The most
interesting way to explore the desert territory is on a camel back that
allows you to glimpse at each and every corner of the desert. The camel
safaris are full fledged with decorated items that allow you to get the
royal feel in the erstwhile princely state.
The Overnight Charm of Desert
The tourist across the world converges over this settlement to undergo the
romantic flavors that floats desert wind. The Sam village provides
enchanting atmosphere to tourists, though hordes of travelers spend number
of nights watching the mesmerizing beauty of the desert. It is the best
place to be here at the time of sunrise and sunset. The Rajasthan tourism
and localities offer cooperative environment to tourists, who are new to
this place, every year number of completions held to get the real smiles on
the faces of tourists, who especially come to visit the tales of Arabian
Do you know, this bewitching Jain Temple houses a
famous Gyan-Bhandar (Library) having a large number of palm-leaf, extremely
old manuscripts and astrological charts, which are well preserved inside the
underground cell of the temple.
The golden city "Jaisalmer"
is one of the most favorable tourist destinations, where you can receive the
real camel safaris and Jeep drives, that covers the endless and unknown
paths of the sand dunes. Here you can witness the real ridge of sands, that
can even height to 70 to 80 feet's. The tourists are welcomed all through
the year, to feel the actual charm of royal accommodation, Rajasthani
cuisine, dances and to gaze at the factual Rajasthani living. The best time
to visit the Sam sand dunes of Jaisalmer is between October to February that
makes it the best season for tourists to converge on this immensely popular
Jaisalmer Shopping Arcade !!!
Jaisalmer is famous for Rajasthani handicraft emporium, you can look for
best handicrafts just outside the Amar Sager Gate, which sells all sorts of
products, from embroidered cushion covers to wooden ornaments. Also visit
the Gandhi Chowk outside the Jaisalmer fort, you can also visit the Jain
Temple within the fort, where enthralling small shop is located "Light
of the East" here you can get crystals, Zealot and rare mineral
specimens. Beside, Jaisalmer is far famed for embroidery, rugs, Rajasthani
mirror work, blankets, old stone work and antiques. Other items for sale
include silver, tie and die woolen shawls, fabrics, cushion covers and the
cotton bed sheets, that you can pick from the Khadi Gramyog Bhawan.
The Life and Love of Desert Festival !!!
The arid, isolated desert tracks of Jaisalmer offers stark beauty and a
surprising variety of desert life. The giant sand dunes have always been the
precious wealth of Jaisalmer, escorted by the howling winds. The picturesque
dunes on the full moon day with the contoured shadow of ripples that has
always been a favorite subject for photographers and travelers across the
The long expected desert festival held in the month of January to February,
that hold its beauty for three days, hordes of travelers converge to
Jaisalmer specially at the time of festival. This beautiful earsplitting
festivals has scores of affairs to display in front of tourists and guest
like the famous Gair dance and the traditional fire dance. Other big
competitions that are organized by the Rajasthan tourism includes turban
tying and Mr. Desert contest that further enhance the fun and add excitement
to the festive celebration. No tour to Jaisalmer is compete without
experiencing the rich and colourful Rajasthani folk culture that last for
few days. Here you can see tall Rajasthani men and beautiful women dressed
in their brightly costumes to dance and sing lingering ballads of valor,
romance and tragedy. The grand finale is a trip to the sand dunes where one
can enjoy the pleasure of a camel ride and at times you can also view the
musicians and dancers performing on the dunes. This chromatic festival is
every time made successful with the help and support of department of
tourism and RSTC.
Near by Wandering of Jaisalmer!!!
Lodhruva, 15 km
Do you know Lodhruva Jain Temple - the most
visited temple site in the north, is a house of a deadly cobra, well
preserved and cared. The cobra is said to be 1.5m long and over 400 years
Lodhruva, 15 km in the north-west of Jaisalmer was once the former capital
of Bhatti Rajput Jaisala, before moving down to Jaisalmer in 1156 A.D.
Lodhruva is renowned as the most popular pilgrimage grounds of Jains, here
you can pay a visit to the famous Jain Temple, which the only reminder of
former city grandeur. The temple is adored with the images of important Jain
saints. The main attraction inside temples, is the image of Parasnath, the
23rd tirthankar, shaped with the layers of silver and surrounded by fine
sculptures. Beside this, as you move inside the temple location, behind the
inner sanctum is a 200 year old carved Jaisalmer stone slab, which bears
carving of the Tirthankars feet in the miniature. Temple has many figures to
pay respects, like a small temple in the extreme right, which is dedicated
to Adinath, the first tirthankar. The entry to Jain visitors are wholly
Kuldhara - 25km
Another most pleasure trip include Kuldhara, which is an interesting
village arena of Paliwal brahmins with skeleton of houses, located about 25
km west of Jaisalmer. This small village has enjoyed famous tales of valor
and wealthy living in its bygone days.
The village of Kuldhara does not only posses rich history but even renowned
for unfolded camel treks, that are organized during the tourist seasons. If
you are seeking a water treasure than do visit the Bada Bagh, that literally
means big garden, located around 7 km north of Jaisalmer. Bada Bagh is a
fertile oasis with a vast dam. Today hordes of tourists make visit to the
dam location for relaxation and water treasures. Here you can receive a
exceptional charm while walking through the artificial dam. After taking
bathe in the dam you can spend some cherishable moments with your loved ones
in the gardens, where royal chhatris are kept with beautifully carved
ceilings and equestrian of former ruler. The renowned spots of Lodhruva,
Kuldhara and Bada Bagh is easily approachable by express / deluxe buses or
you can also hire taxis for more comfort and luxury, there are frequent
daily buses that runs in the regular intervals of time from Jaisalmer.