Jaisalmer Journals

The Elegant Desert City

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An April 2006 trip to Jaisalmer by Koentje3000

The Golden Fort Photo, Jaisalmer, India More Photos
Quote: Sun, sand, and stars await you in the desert capital of Rajasthan. And don't forget that bone-breaking camel ride!

The Elegant Desert City

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Overview

The Golden Fort Photo, Jaisalmer, India
Quote:
Jaisalmer (Hindi: जैसालमेर) is a small Indian town of 70.000 inhabitants close to the Pakistani border. It is located in the Indian state of Rajasthan right in the heart of the arid Thar desert. Due to the border with Pakistan, the main source of income to the Jaisalmer district is military expenditure, and you are likely to see army personnel, even in the city. Tourism however is taking the second place nowadays, despite the town's remoteness, with the next town of a similar size, Barmer, at 150km and the state capital Jaipur at 650km.Jaisalmer's main claim to fame is its mighty 12th century desert fort, towering over the city. The magnificent yellow sandstone fort gave the city its nickn...Read More

Jaisalmer Fort

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Attraction | "Golden Fort"

Jaisalmer Fort Photo, Jaisalmer, India
Quote:
The magnificent Jaisalmer fort was built in the 12th century by the town's founder Rawal Jaisal on the Trikuta hill, rising 80m above the city. The colour of its 30m high and 10m wide sandstone wall changes from pale ochre over honeycomb yellow to almost orange depending on the weather and the time of the day, hence its nickname "The Golden Fort" or "Sona Qila". It is one of the oldest forts in India and the only one still inhabited. Still about one quarter of Jaisalmer's citizens live inside the fort.The great entrance gate Suraja Pol (Sun Gate) can be entered after a steep but short climb on a cobbled road, also reachable by rickshaw for around Rs. 20. Please note that motorized vehicles...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 8, 2007

Jaisalmer Fort
Fort Road
Jaisalmer, India
0141 372200

Jaisalmer (The Golden City)

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Attraction | "Thar Desert"

Jaisalmer (The Golden City) Photo, Rajasthan, India
Quote:
The Thar Desert or Great Indian Desert occupies an area of 450.000 sq km in the border region of India and Pakistan, making it one of the world's largest deserts. In the east of the desert, near Udaipur, lie the Arravali hills. They block the rain coming from the east, thus creating in fact the desert features. The south is bounded by the Rann of Kutchh salt marshes and to the north and west are the Indus and Sutlej river plains, where the soil was made fertile by many irrigation schemes. Average precipitation in the Indian Thar Desert is only 200mm annually, making it a real desert region. However, more than 80% of the rain falls in the summer months July and August, making the desert bloom for a sho...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 11, 2007

Jaisalmer (The Golden City)
Heart of the Thar Desert
Rajasthan, India

Jaisalmer (The Golden City)

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Attraction | "Thar Desert Part II"

Jaisalmer (The Golden City) Photo, Rajasthan, India
Quote:
(continued from part I)A good and easy way to explore the Thar Desert from Jaisalmer is by taking a tour. They are available for every budget and every taste, ranging from a few hours jeep safari over a few days travelling by camel to a tough two weeks trek. Doing it by yourself e.g. in a rented jeep is possible but difficult due to the unavailability of good regional maps and the presence of military areas, off limits or only accessible with a special permit. If you go with a tour group,...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 11, 2007

Jaisalmer (The Golden City)
Heart of the Thar Desert
Rajasthan, India

Salim Singh-ki-Haveli

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Attraction

Jaisalmer Fort Photo, Jaisalmer, India
Quote:
A haveli or havayli is a residential building meant for a wealthy family and their household in northwestern India or Pakistan, similar to a mansion in the English language. They were normally built by rich merchants, noblemen, or influential politicians from the 15th to 19th centuries. Normally royals and emperors did not live in a house like this, but in a much larger palace inside the city fort. During the flourishing period of the havelis, the mentioned region was a part of the Muslim Moghul empire, so many havelis were built in the ornate Moghul architectural style. The house was centred around a courtyard and its walls were decorated with beautiful stone carvings. Even now houses are still somet...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 18, 2007

Lodhruva & Bada Bagh

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Attraction | "Lodhruva & Bada Bagh"

At the cenotaph site Photo, Jaisalmer, India
Quote:
Lodhruva (also spelled Laudrava or Lodurva) was the former capital of the Rajput Bhatti kingdom. King Dusai appointed his son Vijayrai as his successor sometime in the 12th century. When Vijayrai ascended the throne, he expelled his older brother Rawal Jaisal. The latter formed an army and waged a war against Lodhruva, in which he killed his brother, destroyed the capital, and declared himself the new king. He then founded Jaisalmer as his new capital city and left Lodhruva in ruins. Larger and smaller remains of the ancient city are scattered out in an area around 10km north of Jaisalmer, but these are interesting only to archaeologists.There is a small desert village, also named Lodhruva...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 25, 2007

Gadi Sagar Lake

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Attraction | "Gadi Sagar Tank"

Gadi Sagar Lake Photo, Jaisalmer, India
Quote:
Just south of Jaisalmer city is a man-made water reservoir called Gadi Sagar tank. It was reportedly constructed by the founder of Jaisalmer, Rawal Jaisal, in the 12th century as the town's sole source of fresh water, a valuable good in the desert. The lake was enlarged and improved 200 years later by one of Jaisal's successors, Maharaja Gari Sisar Singh, who named the lake after him. The current name is a local pronunciation of the Maharaja's name, one that stuck until now. Singh also constructed a few small temple buildings and ghats (bathing places) in and on the shores of the lake.However, the most (in)famous building at the lakeside is the beautiful 17th century Tilon-ki-Pol (Gate of Tilo...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 29, 2007

Gadi Sagar Lake

South Of Jaisalmer, India