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Jaisalmer

Golden splendor  amid the desert 

Jaisalmer   the golden beauty, etched in yellow sandstone. Perched atop the Trikuta Hill, it stands  tall against miles of gleaming sand. Epitomising the desolate, awesome charm of the  desert.

Jaisalmer, the  city of the golden fort is a fantasy in yellow sandstone in the heart of the Thar Desert.  The city was founded in 1156 by Rawal Jaisal, a Bhatti Rajput King.

Legend has it,  that Lord Krishna the head of Yadav Clan, foretold Arjuna that a remote descendent  of Yadav Clan would build his kingdom atop the Trikuta Hill. His prophecy was fulfilled,  when in 1156 AD Rawal Jaisal, a descendant of Yadav Clan and a Bhatti Rajput, founded the  city of Jaisalmer. 

This amber-hued  city, in the heart of the desert, dazzles gloriously in the early morning. The sunset has  a peculiar glow here. As the night descends, the sky goes up in flames, which fade leaving  a few embers, till it becomes black. A breathtaking sight indeed! 

Jaisalmer is  famous for cobbled streets, strewn with palaces, forts, temples and havelis. Every house,  here, is exquisitely carved, having filigreed work all over. These houses date back to  12th 15th century. And hence Jaisalmer is called 'the Museum city'. 

Filled with  colour, festivity and smiles, Jaisalmer is truly a memorable experience across the  shimmering sands.

PRIME  SITES 

Jaisalmer  Fort 
Renew yourself amid the past galore, as you  visit the commanding Jaisalmer Fort. The fort stands guard over the desertscape from its  250 feet high perch on the hill with its wall following the contours of the hills. The  steep cobblestone pathways leading to the royal palace pass through four gates. The sharp  twists and turns make the fort invincible. The fort has five interconnected palaces with  'jaali' screens and dainty 'jharokhas' all showpieces of  Jaisalmer artisans' talent. 

Within the fort  are three exquisitely sculptured Jain temples, 

Gadsisar Lake
A rain water lake, adorned with an arched  gateway. Many small shrines and temples are festooned a11 around the lake. Today, it is an  ideal picnic spot, famous for boating. 

Salim  Singh-ki-Haveli
Witness the legendary architectural wealth  of Jaisalmer at Salim Singh's haveli, truly unsurpassed in splendour. Of particular  note are the blue roof and rows of peacocks below the arched balconies. The haveli was  once the residence of the Mohta family, ministers of Jaisalmer rulers. 

Patwon-ki-Haveli
It is the grandest mansion in Jaisalmer,  not to be missed at all. This five haveli wonder has its ceiling supported by exquisitely  carved pillars and its delicately chiselled balconies surely leave you mesmerised. 

Nathmalji-ki-Haveli
This haveli was carved by two brothers. One  worked on right side and the other on left, but the harmony in design exists still.  Screened windows, projected balconies and intricate carvings illustrate superb  craftsmanship. 

Jain Temples Within the citadel are the splendorous Jain temples, dedicated to Rishabdevji,  Sambhavnathji and Parshvanathji. 

The Parshvanathji  Temple is the oldest and the most beautiful of the Jain temples. Human and animal figures  are carved on the walls of its sanctum and the rising dome or 'shikhar' is  crowned by an amalak and a waterpot containing a lotus flower.

Gyan Bhandar or  Library 
A part of the Jain temples, the library  contains some of the oldest manuscripts of India. 

SIDE  TRIPS 

Lodurva (16 km)
A trip to this important pilgrimage centre  for Jains, once the ancient capital of Jaisalmer rulers, is a rewarding experience. A  masterpiece of architectural grandeur is 'Toran' or the ornate arch at the main  entrance with its exquisite carvings. 'Kalpatru' or the divine tree is another  attraction.

Sam Sand Dunes  (42 km)
No trip to Jaisalmer is complete without a  visit to the most picturesque dunes. The ripples on the wind-caressed dunes create  enchanting mirages a photographer's delight. Various cultural programmes are  organised against the backdrop of these fascinating dunes. Adventure freaks can go out on  a camel safari - getting the real feel of the desert on the camel-back. 

Wood Fossil  Park (17 km)
This park, lying on the Barmer Road, takes  you back to the jurassic period with 180 million year old fossils, which are the  geological landmarks for the study of the Thar Desert. 

Desert National  Park
Come, see the rolling landscape of the Sam  sand dunes. Head on for a wild experience, as you may encounter the Indian Gazelle,  Chinkara Eagle and exotic avian variety in this 3000 sq. km. vast protected Biosphere  Reserve. The park lies to the south-west of Jaisalmer. 

CELEBRATING  TIME 

The Desert  Festival (February)
During the three day long festival,  Jaisalmer reverberates with music, colour and joy, displaying its glorious past and rich  culture. Under the full moon, the vigorous folk dancers sway to the enchanting music. The  turban tying contest and Mr. Desert contest add to the enthusiasm. A trip to Sam sand  dunes, where one can view folk musicians performing and even enjoy a camel safari, marks  the finale of this colourful extravaganza. 

ACCESS

 

  • Air: The nearest  airport is Jodhpur (285 km)
  • Rail: Jaisalmer is  connected with Jodhpur by night train service.
  • Road: Well  connected by road with all the major cities of India. Direct bus services to Udaipur,  Mount Abu, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Barmer, Ajmer and Jaipur. Ahmedabad and Bhuj (Gujarat),

DISTANCES TO  IMPORTANT CITIES 

  • Jodhpur 285 km Via  Pokaran 
  • Bikaner 325 km Pokaran  112 km 
  • Barmer 153 km 
  • Delhi 897 km 
  • Jaipur 638 km 

GENERAL  INFORMATION 

Altitude:  225 mtrs. Best season: July to March, Rainfall: 30 cms. Climate: Extremely hot summers  with maximum temperature touching 47 'C. Cold winters min 1'C
Clothing: Summer Tropical Winter  Woollen
Season : October to February

CONDUCTED TOUR

Places covered  Fare Operator/ Resvn.
The Fort, Jain Temples, Daily Rs.30/-  R.T.D.C.,
Gyan Bhandar, Garhisisar. Oct. to March.  Tel: 106.

WHAT TO SEE

Fort, Jain Temple,  Gyan Bhandar, Garhsisar, Salim Sing Ki Haveli, Patwon ki Haveli, Nathmalji ki Haveli &  Amar Sagar, Mool Sagar.

EXCURSIONS

Devikot (40 kms),  Ramdeora (150 kms), Sam Sand Duna (42 kms), Lodhruva (17 kms), Bada Bagh (6 kms), Wood  Fossil Park (17 kms), Desert National Park (40 kms), Barmer (153 kms).

INFORMATION  CENTRE

Tourist Officer,  Tourist Bungalow, Tel: 106, Jaisalmer. 
 

Are you interested in visiting this wonderful city of Rajasthan ?

 

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