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Jaisalmer - Golden City of India

STATE - RAJASTHAN

DISTANCE - 793 KM From Delhi, 439 KM From Ajmer, 570 KM From Jaipur

CONNECTION

By Air : Nearest airport is in Jodhpur.

By Rail : Well connected to cities within Rajasthan. A broad gouge line connects Jodhpur to Jaisalmer.

By Road : Jodhpur is well connected to good roads to Udaipur, Jaipur Ahmadabad.

ABOUT JAISALMER

The golden beauty, etched in yellow sandstone. Perched atop the Trikuta Hill, it stands tall against miles of gleaming sand. Epitomizing the wild, amazing 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 wonderfully in the early morning. The sunset has a peculiar glow here. As the night descends, the sky goes up in conflagration, 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'.

The city has an attractive legend associated with it, according to which, Lord Krishna – the head of the Yadav Clan, foretold Arjuna that a remote descendent of the Yadav Clan would build his kingdom atop the Trikuta hill. His forecast was fulfilled in 1156 A.D when Rawal Jaisal, a descendent of the Yadav Clan and a Bhatti Rajput, derelict his fort at Lodurva and founded a new capital – Jaisalmer, perched on the Trikuta hill.

PLACES OF INTERESTS IN JAISALMER

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 brilliance. 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 mesmerized.

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 water pot containing a lotus flower.

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

Shopping In Jaisalmer : Jaisalmer's flourishing tourist trade has made it one of the best places in India to shop for souvenirs . Prices are comparatively high and the salesmen notoriously hard at work, but the choice of stuff on sale puts the town on a par with Pushkar and Jaipur. Good buys include woven jackets, tie-dyed cloth, wooden boxes and ornaments, camel-leather slippers(jhoolis) and Western-style clothes. Puppets are sold inside Number One (aka "First Fort") Gate, but you'll get better prices buying direct from the puppet-makers' quarter north of town, immediately below the "Sunset Point"; to find it, pick your way through Bhatia Bazaar and follow the main arterial road north past the Narayan Niwas Palace hotel, turning left when you reach a junction that drops downhill past a row of painted mud-and-thatch houses.

Camel Safari In Jaisalmer : Visitors who make it as far as Jaisalmer pass up the opportunity to go on a camel trek , which provides an irresistibly romantic chance to cross the barren sands on a sturdy ship of the desert, sleeping under what must rank as one of the starriest skies in the world. Sandstorms, sore backsides and camel farts aside, the safaris are usually great fun.

RELIGIOUS PLACES IN JAISALMER

The Parshvanath Temple : The Parshvanath Temple is the main Jain temple which predates the temples of Jaisalmer just as the town itself is more ancient. The temple was destroyed in 1152, but was reconstructed in 1615 by Seth Tharu Shah and further additions were commisssioned in 1675 and 1687.

Kalpavriksha(Celestial Tree) : Inside the temple complex is the Kalpavriksha or the celestial tree. A tree was once believed to have grown here, and when it died it was substituted by a true to life sculpture in an alloy of eight metals, making it an ‘eternal tree’ symbolising enlightenment.

Rishabhnath Temple : This is the second of the Jain Temples at Lodurva, located near the ruins of the palace of Moomal and the once gushing watercourse of the river Kak. The temple was commissioned by a wealthy Marwari Seth Sachcha and constructed in 1479. The Jain Kalpa Sutra (holy book) lists the qualities of Rishabdevaji thus: "That he was a man of great beauty, modest, clever and in complete control of his senses. That he lived 20,00,000 years as a prince and no less than 63,00,000 years as a king."

Shambhavanath Temple : The third important Jain temple in Lodurva (as the name suggests) is dedicated to the Jain fordmaker Shambhavnath whose symbol is the horse. The whole temple complex is surmounted by an octagonal pyramidal roof, and a fortification wall nearby suugests that the community was apprehensive about defilement of their places of worship by aggressive Muslim and Hindu groups.

WHEN TO GO JAISALMER

The best time to visit Jaisalmer is during winters from October to March or even April. Jaisalmer has desert climate and the summers are very oppressive with maximum temperatures going upto 46-48 degrees making it almost impossible to venture out. During the rainy season the humidity rises and adds to the discomfort. In winters the temperature occasionally touches 4-5 degrees but most of the days are pleasant making it excellent for sight-seeing.

The desert festival is celebrated in January End of February begining for three days where there are music and dance performances by the locals. In addition to this there are performances by snake charmers, acrobats, puppeteers, polo matches, camel dances and many more. The festival ends on full moon day.

WEATHER FORECAST

Weather In Summer : Jaisalmer is very hot in the summers. Summer season persists from April to August. The daytime temperature remains very high and usually touches around 42°C. Nights are relatively cooler typical of arid desert climate and the temperature comes down to as low as 25 °C.

Weather In Winter : Winters in Jaisalmer are a lot cooler with day temperature remaining pleasant around 24°C. And nights are chilly with temperature getting as low as 7 to 8°C. The winter falls around Mid-November and continues till February end.

Weather In Monsoon : As Jaisalmer is situated amid Thar Desert monsoon is as good as negligible. Though western disturbance brings around 15 centimeters of annual rainfall, Jaisalmer remains dry for most parts of the year.

EVENTS AND FESTIVALS IN JAISALMER

Every year in winters and on the middle of the continually rising and falling stark yellow sands of the great Thar Desert, the empty sands around Jaisalmer come alive with the shining colour, music and laughter of the Desert Festival. The festival is organised by the tourist authorities as tourist entertainment around January-February.

The very rich and colourful Rajasthani folk culture is on show here for a few days. Rajasthani men and tall beautiful women dressed in their brightly costumes dance and sing remaining ballads of valour, romance and tragedy. Traditional musicians attempt to outdo each other in their musical superiority.

The high points of the festival are - snake charmers, puppeteers, acrobats, folk performers do rapid trade. Camels, the lifeline of the desert, play a foremost role. Proud moustached villagers, dressed in their ethnic best come astride their picturesquely caparisoned camels to join in the camel dances and competitions of camel acrobatics, camel races and décor, camel polo, tug of war and the like.

FOOD AND RESTURANTS IN JAISALMER

In the Jaisalmer 'Dal-baati'(dumplings with a filling, roasted among hot coals) and 'choorma'(dry, flaky, sweet crumb pudding) are the universal favourites. The non-vegetarian dishes include 'soola' or barbecued meats, marinated with a local vegetable. But it is the sweets that the Rajasthanis freak out on. Each part of the State has its own speciality - Jaisalmer are famous for heir 'laddoos'.

  • Poolside Barbeque(At the Fort Rajwada Hotel)
  • Little Italy( inside the Fort)
  • Monica Restaurant(near  the first Fort Gate)
  • Natraj Restaurant
  • Trio(near the Amar Sagar Gate)
  • Bhang Shop(outside the first gate at the Fort)
  • Dhanraj Bhatia Sweets
  • Vyas Meal Service (at the Jain temple).
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