Miracle happens. And it happens miraculously. I was on an official tour to the golden city of Jaisalmer, Rajasthan for two days. A team of 04 executives and our manager landed at the Jodhpur Airport sharp at 09am and headed for Jaisalmer on a Toyota Innova which took about 05 hours. We checked into the hotel for a quick refreshment after having had a joyride for 300kms. A meeting with the local board was scheduled to be held in the evening and the next day was for a day long tour to the different offices in Jaisalmer. So chances of seeing the Jaisalmer Fort or a Camel ride in the Thar Desert was next to impossible as we had to depart at the dawn on the 3rd day.
On the final day, I was woken up and informed that our flight got cancelled due to some technical issues and we would be taking the evening flight from Jodhpur. It instantly charged me up and I made my way to the Jaisalmer Fort.
The Jaisalmer fort is about 02kms away from the Jaisalmer Railway station and the fort can be seen from the railway station itself. Having had the luxury to put up in a hotel nearby the railway station gave me the opportunity to hike towards the fort in no time.
India is diverse, so is Rajasthan. Every city in Rajasthan is distinctively different from one another. Though people name Jaipur, Jodhpur, and Udaipur predominantly over the others, but for me, the golden city will certainly be within the top 5 attractions of Rajasthan. It actually feels to be in a city made of gold.
The fort was built in 1156 by the Rajput ruler Rawal Jaisal, from whom it derives its name. It stands amidst the sandy expanse of the great Thar desert and is made of yellow sandstone which makes it looks golden, thereby camouflaging itself in the desert.
It takes about an hour or two to cover the principal sites of the fort. However, one can easily find various means to spend a whole day at the fort. Maneuvering through the narrow winding lanes can be tiring but thrilling. There are quite a few shops selling souvenirs and a handful of eateries to cater to your thirst and gourmet. I tried a French joint for a coffee and a pie and almost succeeded visualizing myself as the ruler of the 11th century.
You need not be too smart to know that there used to be a proper civilization inside the fort. The fort has an ingenious drainage system called the "ghut nali" which allows for the easy drainage of rainwater away from the fort in all four directions of the fort. They are many temples and houses some of which have now converted into guesthouses and restaurants. Dashera Chowk which is at the fort's center is worth seeing.
It was almost 1 in the afternoon and I was in the verge of getting lost in the charm of Rajputanas but my phone rang and notified me that I had to get going back to the hotel. Before leaving the Great Golden Fortress, all I could mutter was beauteous and sworn to return soon.