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Jaisalmer

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The name Jaisalmer evokes a vivid picture of sheer magic and brilliance of the desert. Jaisalmer was founded in 1156 AD by Rawal Jaisal, a descendent of the Yadav clan and a Bhati Rajput, on a hill called Trikuta as the new capital of his territory. Walking through Jaisalmer one ends up savoring the medieval glory of old Rajasthan, a marvelously rewarding travel experience. Winter is the perfect time to visit for it is then that Jaisalmer's Desert Festival, celebrated in January/ February. Desert contest and camel races enhance the festivities. Jaisalmer is a combination of culture and harsh climatic conditions, together amounting to a memorable experience for the visitor. Very few cities can boast of the magnificence that surrounds Jaisalmer.

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Jaisalmer Tourist Attractions
Jaisalmer Fort

The Jaisalmer Fort seems to rise out of a desert haze, its yellow sandstone walls and bastions taking on a golden hue in the afternoon sun, which is why it is aptly called Sonar Kila or the Golden Fort. The Fort was built in 1156 and is the second oldest in Rajasthan. Wells within the fort still provide a regular source of water. The fort stands almost 30 metres over the city and houses an entire living area within huge ramparts. Also, within it are many beautiful havelies and a group of Jain temples dating from the 12th to the 15th centuries.

Manak Chowk

Outside the Jaisalmer Fort is the main market place called Manak Chowk, which is the centre of local activity. From Manak Chowk, one can walk into the lanes where the famous carved havelis are to be found. Each haveli's facade differs from other. Built mainly during the 18th and 19th centuries, the carving in the havelis of Jaisalmer is of a very superior quality.

Havelis

The beautiful mansions built by Jaisalmer's wealthy merchants are known as 'havelis' and several of these fine sandstone buildings are still in beautiful condition. Patwon ki Haveli is the most elaborate and magnificent of all the Jaisalmer havelis. The Salim-Singh-ki-Haveli is a magnificent edifice whose two upper storeys had to be demolished and yet whose surviving structure has unsurpassed splendor. Particularly noteworthy are the rows of peacocks below the jharokhas. The projected balconies or jharokhas are a perfect example of jeweler's art applied to stone carving.

Jain Temples

Fine Jain temples were built in the 12th to 15th century within the Jaisalmer Fort. They are beautifully carved and dedicated to Rishabdevji and Sambhavnathji. The Gyan Bhandar, a library containing some extremely old manuscripts, is within the temple complex. The temples are open till 12 noon . There are also Shiva and Ganesh temples within the fort, which also close at 12 noon . The emerald icon of Mahavira here is an unparalleled gem.

Gadsisar Lake

Gadsisar Lake in Jaisalmer, the rainwater fed reservoir, was built in 1156 AD and rebuilt in 1367AD by Maharwal Garsisingh. Lake surrounds many exquisite temples and shrines. The myriad birds flapping their wings over the blue lake is the most diverting site. It is a famous place for an outing. The small museum here has displays of folk art. In fact, the scenic rain water lake is endowed with numerous beautiful shrines around and a spectacular avian variety.

Sam Sand Dunes

Sam Sand Dunes is located 42 kms from Jaisalmer, which is the closest point to witness the total sandy desert. It has a truly magnificent stretch of sweeping dunes, with little or no vegetation. It's best to be here at sunrise or sunset, and many camel safaris spend a night at the dunes. The Dunes Safari Camp comes alive in the evening with campfire, mashaals, musicians, dancers, camel safaris & traditional live cultural entertainment.

 
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