Area: 38,401 square km.
Languages: Rajasthani, Hindi, Urdu, English, Sindhi
Best Time To Visit: July-March
Jaisalmer is a must visit destination in Rajasthan. It is very colorful, vibrant & energetic. Jaisalmer - "the land of sand" is famous fro its exotic sand dunes, the Fort, friendly people and interesting lifestyle. The name Jaisalmer induces a dramatic picture of utter magic and brilliance of the desert. The hostile terrain not with standing the warmth and colour of people is simply over whelming. One of the main draws is the daunting 12th century Jaisalmer Fort.
The beautiful havelis which were built by wealthy merchants of Jaisalmer are yet another interesting aspect of the desert city. And you can let your eyes caress the sloppy sand dunes while you ramble your way in a camel safari. The desert citadel is truly a golden fantasy in Thar Desert. Bhatti Rajput ruler Rawal Jaisal, after whom the city finds its name, founded Jaisalmer in 1156.
On advice of a local hermit Eesaal he chose the Tricut Hills as his new abode abandoning his vulnerable old fort at Luderwa just 16 kilometres northwest. In Medieval times, its prosperity was due to its location on the main trade route linking India to Egypt, Arabia, Persia, Africa and the West. The Bhatti Rajput rulers lined their coffer with gains from traditional taxes on passing by caravans and sometimes through illicit gains by rustling cattle.
Over the years the remote location of Jaisalmer kept it almost untouched by outside influences. In the 13th century Ala-ud-din Khilji Emperor of Delhi besieged the fort for nine years in an effort to take back the treasure taken by the Bhatti Rajput from his imperial caravan train. When the fall of the fort was imminent the women of the fort committed Jauhar, an act of mass self-immolation, while men donned saffron robes and rode to their certain death.
Duda son of Jaitasimha, a Bhatti hero also perished in the battle. Dudas descendants continued to rule Jaisalmer. In 1541 they even fought Mughal Emperor Himayun. Though their relations with Mugshal was not always hostile. Sabala Simha won the patronage of Mughal Emperor Shaha Jahan for battle distinctions in Peshawar and the right to rule Jaisalmer. In the days of Raj, Jaisalmer was the last to sign the Instrument of Agreement with the British.
The old city was completely encircled by wall but much of it is now pulled down sadly for want of building material in recent years. The massive golden fort, which is the essence of Jaisalmer, is entered through First Gate. Is a burrow of narrow streets complete with Jain Temples and old palaces. The main market the Bhatia Market is right below the hill. The bank, offices and several shops are also located near the Amar Sagar Gatoe to the west.
What to See:
|» Jaisalmer Fort
» Gadsisar Lake
|» Patwon ki Haveli
» Nathmal ki Haveli
|» Salem Singh ki Haveli
» Desert National Park
Where to Stay:
|» Fort Rajwada
» Garh Jaisal Heritage Fort
» Hotel Rawal Kot
|» Narayan Niwas
» Rang Mahal
» Sonagarh Hotel
|» Dholamaru Resort
» Jaisal Castle Hotel
» Mahadev Palace
|» Desert Festival|
The jeweler's craftsmanship in the stonework of Jaisalmer is well known. You may also opt for the beautifully carved wooden boxes instead that replicate the intricacies of the stone carvers in wood. Tie and dye fabrics, unique embroidery patterns, mirror-work, typical Rajasthani silver jewellery, brilliantly hued traditional rugs, hand-woven blankets and shawls with typical Rajasthani weave are also good mementos to look out for. The items made out of camel leather are also a specialty. The major shopping spots include the market within the fort, Sadar Bazaar, Gandhi Darshan, Seema gram, Rajasthani Govt. Shop and Khadi Gramodyog Emporium.
By Air - Jaipur (413 km from Jaisalmer) is the nearest airport.
By Rail - Regular train services link Jaisalmer with all major cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Ahmedabad.
by surface - There is a well-connected network of buses that ply to and fro from Jaisalmer connecting it to major towns and cities in north India.
Suggested Itineraries : Rajasthan Desert Tour | Rajasthan Life Style