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DESCRIPTION

Rising from the heart of the Thar Desert, like a golden mirage, is the magical city of Jaisalmer. A commanding fort etched in yellow sandstone, stands with its entire awesome splendor, dominating the amber - hued city.

With the crenellated golden sandstone town walls and narrow, streets, lined with exquisitely carved buildings, through which camel carts trundle leisurely, it has an extraordinarily medieval feel and an incredible atmosphere.
The fort inside, perched on its hilltop, contains some gems of Jain temple building, while beautifully decorated merchants havelis, are scattered through the town. Jaisalmer gives convenient access to the surrounding desert wilderness, sand dunes and oasis villages, ideal for camel rides and safaris.


HISTORY

An interesting legend associates this city. Lord Krishna foretold Arjuna, that a remote descendent of the Yadav Clan, would build his kingdom atop the Trikuta Hill. His prophecy came true in 1156 AD, 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.

These Rajputs lived off the forced levy on the caravans laden with precious silk and spices, which crossed the territory enroots to Delhi or Sind, earning the town great wealth. As a major staging post on the trade route, the merchants prospered and invested in building beautiful houses and temple. But maritime trade between India and the West came to a decline and ceased altogether in 1947.


CULTURE

The life within the citadel, conjures up images of medieval majesty visible in its narrow lanes, strewn with magnificent palaces, havelis, temples and of course skilled artisans and ubiquitous camels. Folk dances, exciting competitions, turban-tying contest, Mr. Desert contest and camel races enliven the festivities during the Desert festival.

Colorful craft bazaars and a sound and light spectacle, is organized with folk artistes performing against the splendid backdrop of the famous Sam sand dunes on the full moon night.


FOOD

Jaisalmer is a centre for typically fiery Rajasthani cuisine. The use of red chilli and ginger is liberal and each preparation has its own uniquely piquant flavour. Hot favourites are the famed gatta curry, macchi/maas sulas, lal/safed maas and the ever present ker-sangri. The dal-bati-choorma is available though not very distinctive.

An integral part of the cuisine is the soul-stirring local music, accompanied by graceful dancing. For people with an incurable sweet tooth, on offer are a variety of gramflour and milk sweetmeats which are guaranteed to tempt even the most jaded palate.


SHOPPING

Jaisalmer is famous for its tie and dye fabric, embroidery, mirror-work, old stonework, blankets, leather goods etc. Some of the famous shopping areas are — Khadi Gramudyog Bhavan at Dibba Para; Rajasthani Handicraft Emporium at Amar Sagar Gate & Gandhi Chowk; Light of the East at Jain Temple Lane.


ENTERTAINMENT

Camel Safari This is the most interesting means to explore the desert escape & are conducted on various circuits by tourism department & known experienced private operators. Camel Safaris have become an integral part of a tourist's itinerary at Jaisalmer and indeed, there is rarely a tourist to Jaisalmer who does not attempt an outing on camel back.

January/ February The Desert Festival : takes place each year. Camel races and dances, folk music, desert ballads, puppet shows and beauty contests are part of the activity. Prices shoot up, so be warned.

February/ March Holi : The colourful festival of Holi can get quite boisterous.


USEFUL INFORMATION

Location :     


Situated in western Rajasthan, the city is accessible from Jodhpur and Bikaner, at comfortable distances of 300 km and 330 km respectively. The highway connecting these three cities is well maintained and road travel is quite convenient.

Climate :

Jaisalmer is a typical desert with dry, hot summers and high chill, windy winters. The summer temperature ranges from 41°C to 25°C and the winter highs and lows are 23.6°C and 7.9°C.


JAISALMER SIGHT-SEEING

Tazia Tower Jaisalmer

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 Muslims.




Sam and Dunes

No trip is complete to Jaisalmer, without a trip to the picturesque sand dunes of Sam. The ripples on the wind-caressed dunes, that create an enchanting mirage, are a sure delight for a trigger-happy photographer. Various cultural programmed are organized, against the backdrop of these fascinating sand dunes. Exciting camel safaris, allow you to get the real feel of the desert on the camels back.

Salim Singh ki Haveli Jaisalmer

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 notables of the array of havelis.




Gadisar Lake Jaisalmer

A scenic rainwater Lake, with numerous beautiful shrines around and a spectacular avian variety. The lake is an idyllic spot for outings.















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