WHY VISIT JAISALMER
Jaisalmer, also known as the Golden City. Why golden city? As you drive into this former medieval trading center, you will notice this beautiful sun-kissed distinguished massive fort standing tall in the middle of the Thar desert, glowing with the rays of the sun like gold. The yellow sandstone architecture creates this illusion of gold; with the yellow desert sand surrounding it.
Jaisalmer Fort is a live-in Fort, unlike the other forts I have visited in Rajasthan. Behind its massive walls stand the ornate Maharaja’s Palace, shops, cafes, local residence and intricately carved Jain temples. Despite the chaos, the commercialism, the cows, dogs, tuk-tuks, scooters sharing the narrow streets of the old Fort, it is hard not to be enchanted by this desert citadel.
THINGS TO DO AND SEE IN JAISALMER
(1) Jaisalmer Fort
A massive sandcastle in the middle of the desert also goes by the name Sonar Quila meaning Golden Fort. Jaisalmer Fort is a World Heritage Site. Built-in 1156 AD by Rajput ruler Rawal Jaisal. The setting sun adds its magic and shrouds the fort with mystique. This impressive Fort standing tall and proud in the middle of Thur Desert has been the scene of many battles in the medieval time.
Constructed in 1800 century, of yellow sandstone mirroring that of nearly every other building in Jaisalmer this beautiful, unique Haveli is not just one building, in fact, it is five different haveli’s. Each distinct and mesmerizing in its own right.
(3) Vyas Chhatri
This memorial or cremation site is of a significant persona. The word Chhatri means canopy or umbrella. You will notice the architecture of this site is very different, unusually very ornate. The high style displays the status and wealth of the owner.
(4) Jain Temples
The Jain temple is situated inside the Jaisalmer Fort, dating back to the 12th century built in Dilwala style. Curved in yellow sandstone like most of the buildings in Jaisalmer. Enjoy the beautifully carved decorations on the wall; I found going through this temple very peaceful. Please note, do not wear any leather (handbags, wallets, belts, etc.)
(5) Manak Chowk and Havelis
The local market full of life, one of the biggest attractions in Jaisalmer. Tourists enjoy the thrilling adventure of shopping Indian market style, choose from ethnic silver jewelry, highly decorative leather works, embroidered goods and antique pieces of traditional craft works from the local artist.
(6) Surya Gate
A 12th-century gate, the Surya Gate is found at the famous Jaisalmer Fort popularly known as ‘Golden Fort.’ Admire the art and the history the Surya Gate gate has to tell. This narrow and artistically decorated gate with stone carvings, the sole purpose of this gate was to prevent enemies from launching a surprise attack and entering the Fort without been noticed.
(7) Watch Sunset
Jaisalmer has many rooftop restaurants, which offer dinner, local music, and magnificent India desert sunsets. Why not indulge in the mouthwatering spicy food, warm your heart with light-hearted music and energize your soul with the magic of the sun setting over the Thur desert.
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