This is an 800 year old fort and is also known as the Golden Fort of Rajasthan. This is one of the most magnificent fortifications of the state and is the second oldest also after the Chittorgarh Palace. The title given to this fairytale fort complex is because of its light color which almost merges with the color of the desert sand like a mirage coming out of it. Jaisalmer City is located in the interiors of the Thar Desert and the King Jaisal planned to make this place his capital. The intricate designs on the sandstone base of the fort buildings make them look even more heavenly. It is also the only living fort of the country. This means almost half of the whole city resides inside the fort complex even today. This includes rich merchants, artisans and other common people as well. Earlier, the whole population of the kingdom lived inside but a part had to move out given the constraint of increasing population. From earlier times onwards, Jaisalmer has been a very important trade connection especially with the Muslim kingdom. Till today you will find a number of Muslim merchants dwelling here. An interesting legend about the history of this fort complex says that Lord Krishna, the leader of the Yadav clan once dreamt of setting up his kingdom in this area and his wish was fulfilled by King Jaisal, who also belonged to the Yadav clan. The fort crowning the Trikut Hills looks no less than a dreamland. You can come here in the month of February and enjoy the famous Annual Camel Fair and other festivals too.
Yet another beautiful mansion in Jaisalmer, it was started by Guman Chand Patwa. The mansion took 55 years to be completed. Gumans sons completed it later. The most beautiful features of this mansion are the archways, gateways and especially the balconies, known as jharokhas. The golden color of the mansion catches the eye of every visitor at once. The tour of the whole mansion will take not more than 45 minutes. This is no doubt one of the most splendid residences in the beautiful city.
The original purpose of creating this lake in the city of Jaisalmer was to meet the water requirements of the increasing population. It was built by King Gadi Singh and thus the name Gadisar Lake. The lake being so beautiful, had to be accepted as a pious place of worship and so were built a number of temples in the precincts of the lake. Out of the all the temples the most popular is the Krishna Temple alsodo known as the Tilon ki Pol. This was built by an officer of the king known as Tila in spite of the kings contempt. He later placed the idol of Satyanarayan or Lord Vishnu inside this temple. The temple could be caused no harm even after a number of trials. At present the lake does not serve the original purpose, but is one of the primary attractions of the city. Also during the winter season, many migratory birds come here and serve as a visual treat for all those who visit the lake.
This literally means a Big Garden. This is an estate that was constructed by Mahrawal Jait Singh in the 16th Century on the Ramgarh Road. The main attractions here are a dam, a tank and a garden. All of these were built by large blocks of stone and are known as jait band and jai tsar. All of these have been named after the man who made them. Also beautiful are the cenotaphs or chhatris which belong to one ruler each. The oldest among these is the cenotaph of Mahrawal Jait Singh.
Kuldhara Abandoned Village
Rated as one of the most haunted villages of Asia, this small place in Jaisalmer has been desolated for almost a century now. It is known that once their lived a Rajput king who was cursed because of which the place is still not fit to be resided by people. There are a number of ruins of forts and palaces but the government has strict rules that no one should be entering this place after sunset. There have been a number of investigations which have proved the presence of supernatural forces in the Kuldhara Village.
Nathmal Ji Ki Haveli
This mansion in the heart of Jaisalmer is rated as the best in the city in terms of splendor. This mansion was the residence of Diwan Nathmal ji Mohta, who was the Prime Minister of the Maharaja of Jaisalmer at that time. The construction credit goes to a Muslim brother duo, Hathu and Lulu. The light color sandstone and the beautiful life size statues made in the mansion are remarkable. The pair of huge elephants on both the sides of the entrance seems like they are guarding the mansion as well as welcoming the guests inside. Inside the mansion the walls are filled with beautiful paintings and carvings of various incidents from daily lives, floral motifs and also modern equipments such as cars and fans. It is said that the builders had not seen these things ever but they made them with mere imagination of what they had heard from other people.
Salim Singh-ki Haveli
Another beautiful gem of Jaisalmer, this mansion was built by Salim Singh in the year 1815 when Jaisalmer was the capital of the Rajput Kingdom. Salim Singh was the Prime Minister of the court at that time and this was his residence. The specialty of this mansion that makes it stand out from others is the fact that the bricks and stones of this are not joined with cement and mortar. They are joined with long and strong iron rods. The mansion is so huge that it is said the king was also jealous of it. It is also one of the most innovative buildings of that era. The theme from which the design of the mansion was inspired is a dancing peacock. The 38 balconies projecting out resembles a peacock dancing. The intricate designs of the walls and pillars are also remarkable.
Saalam Singh Ki Haweli (Moti Mahal)
Salim Singh ki Haveli was built by Salim Singh, who was the formidable prime minister of Jaisalmer when it was the capital of the princely state. Present haveli has been built on the remains of an older haveli built in the late 17th century. The new building was built in the year 1815 and was occupied by the Mehta family of Jaisalmer.Must See :- 11 Must Things You Should Do In Jaisalmer
We then visited the museum in the in Patwa-ki-Haveli in which history spoke for itself. The first floor of the palace was lined up with incredibly engaging paintings which we were told were painted using 1.5 kilograms of gold!India sure was rich – once upon a time!!After a lively day we went to the quite of our own private haveli (hotel, I mean!) ;). We wrapped up the day with the most simple yet most amazing dinner (“fired” daal – roti, literally!) on the rooftop overlooking the alluring golden fort!While the days sparkled with bright & warm sunlight, the evenings were cool & angelic glittering under the silver moonlight.Our dinners were long and slow. Post dinner we would watch the pigeons doze off to sleep in the alcoves of the haveli – head down – neck pulled back – feet tucked under. On hearing our footfalls some of them would occasionally tremor and lift their heads, their soft feathery necks heaving up and down – breathing! However, lost in themselves, they would doze back again.This was one of the best experiences I have ever had!Next day, after yet another delightful breakfast, we walked over to Gadisar Lake – the scenic rainwater lake surrounded by the small temples & shrines of Amar Sagar. For a long time, we were told, this lake was the only source of water for the inhabitants of Jaisalmer.There were so many pigeons at the lake - & hence in the introduction I had called Jaisalmer also a city of pigeons! I have never seen so many pigeons together at one time! It was amazing & also a little scary!! Humans were suddenly in minority.They would keep swirling around us as if trying to scare us away for having intruded in their space!
Breakfast on top of the Khaba Fort is nothing less than a dream come true experience for anyone. If you are staying close by and can turn up just at dawn, you will be able to see a flock of many peacocks and peahens present there and feeding on grains. Also beautiful is the view of the ruined village of Khaba which has been left abandoned for more than 2 centuries.
More Food More MemoriesOne last stop before we head back to our normal life was The TRIO restaurant. Its the best that you can have in Jaiselmerh and our ultimate destination had to be the best one. Very close to the fort and serves exquisite food. The setup is also very well maintained which is why foreign travelers prefer this place. We for the one last time had Laal Maas along with Naan and Bud. We even packed our dinner so that we do not miss Rajasthan on our way back to home.Post our lunch, we headed for railway station and finally bid adieu to beautiful Rajasthan for such colourful memories to cherish for our remaining life.Few things to make a note, both Jodhpur and Jaiselmerh are not that commercial as compared to Jaipur and others. So you find less fake peoples. Plus people have value for their words. So always make clear communication of your requirement and you will find a bliss while you travel.Plus personal experience suggest, Jodhpur is a bare minimum 3 day stay. We missed Umaid Bhawan Palace which we have planned for next year.Jaiselmerh is a 2 Night 3 days trip. We did not planned for Tanot Mata Temple so we got it all covered under 1 Night stay.Lastly if you like to use my contacts, here are the details below. To be honest, both my CAB's were too good to be true.For Jodhpur- Mr. Puran Singh Gehlot: 7665308172 & 9799858614. Cost: 4300+ (Toll & Parking) for All places. Car: Honda City.For Jaiselmerh- Mr Jamsher: 9660234286.Mr Ali (Owner- Malra Heritage Camp): 9928254863.Not to forget my best buddy @suvojitroy who did all the hardwork for finding the best available places and the itenary. As said, he painted we relived.. ;)
AMAR SAGAR JAIN TEMPLE
We reached Hotel and we were ready for our venture at 3'O clock. After having our delicious lunch we started the journey at 4 for the Sam dunes (Part of Thar desert).It is almost 42 km away from the main city. Started our venture with a visit to Amar Sagar Jain Temple, followed by Kuldhara Village and then went straight to Sam Sand Dunes.
Off the Jodhpur- Barmer Link Road is the popular Fort Rajwada luxury hotel. This is an old fort turned into a beautiful holiday resort built almost completely of marble. The rooms are huge and everything you find around is worth an appreciation. The best part is that you can have dinner inside the lovely dining hall as well as enjoy a romantic dinner by the pool side. There is also a SPA at reasonable rates as a part of the holiday resort too.
Also known as the Parswanath Temple and dedicated to the 23rd Tirthankara of the Jains, this is a beautiful temple in the Badridas Lane of Kolkata. The temple complex is divided into 4 parts- Shitalnath Ji Temple, Chandraprabhu Ji Temple, Mahavir Swamy Temple and Dadawadi. The temple is built in the contemporary style and is like most other Jain Temples in white. The complex has gardens and fountains also that increase the peacefulness of the area. The temple complex is not only a popular one with Jains but with all tourists.
Sam Sand Dunes
This is an area a little out of the main city of Jaisalmer and is one of the most beautiful attractions of the city. The sand dunes are a visual treat and camping is what attracts most of the tourists till this place. This is a unique experience as you have a tent right on the sand and the whole night gets more colorful with the traditional music and dance programs. There are a number of camel tour agencies which try to force you to pay more. You should be able to tackle them skillfully. A trip to Rajasthan cannot be completed if you miss this.