Aug 262013
 

Jaisalmer was originally founded in the 12th century as a strategic commercial centre on the caravan trade route to Afghanistan and Central Asia. By the 16th century wealthy traders built many palaces and havelis made of the local golden-yellow sandstone. These can be seen clustered around the magnificent fort.

  • Barabagh (Big Garden), Jaisalmer

    Barabagh (Big Garden), Jaisalmer

  • Interior Sculpture in Jain Temple, Jaisalmer Fort

    Interior Sculpture in Jain Temple, Jaisalmer Fort

  • Jaisalmer Fort

    Jaisalmer Fort

  • Jaisalmer Fort

    Jaisalmer Fort

  • View of the Impressive Jaisalmer Fort

    View of the Impressive Jaisalmer Fort

  • Ladies inside Jaisalmer Fort

    Ladies inside Jaisalmer Fort

  • Jaisalmer Fort & Town

    Jaisalmer Fort & Town

  • Jaisalmer

    Jaisalmer

  • View of Jaisalmer Fort & Town

    View of Jaisalmer Fort & Town

  • Haveli in Jaisalmer

    Haveli in Jaisalmer

  • Haveli in Jaisalmer

    Haveli in Jaisalmer

Things to see

Jaisalmer Fort

jaisalmerJaisalmer fort rises like a fantastic mirage out of the sands of the Thar desert. It dates back to 1156 and is placed on the 80 m high Trikuta hill. In medieval times Jaisalmer’s entire population could be protected within its walls. Even now, thousands live there amoungst the Royal Palaces, shops, mansions and Jain temples.The fort, one of the largest in the world, has been the scene of many battles. The ramparts still have huge cannonballs perched ready to be toppled onto invaders. Its massive yellow sandstone walls are a tawny lion colour during the day, fading to honey-gold as the sun sets.The seven Jain temples are exquisitely carved, and in the basement of one, is a library of Jain palm-leaf manuscripts dating back to the 11th century. There are many other attractions within the walls including the Royal Palace complex which overlooks the impressive Dussehra Chowk, an open plaza. Another palace, Moti Mahal, has many florally pained and carved doors.


Jaisalmer Haveli

patwon-ki-haveli-jaisalmer-india1152_13021045359-tpfil02aw-22965These mansions dominate the town’s labyrinthine lanes. These grand houses were built raised on a plinth to prevent desert sand being blown through the rooms; in fact the ground floor had no living quarters at all. These haveli’s exhibit golden stone facades so finely carved that they resemble lacework. There are latticed stone screens with a wide variety of patterns keeping out the sun but allowing fresh air in.

Places to Stay

The Serai

Luxury tented suiteThis outrageously luxurious camp is situated outside Jaisalmer, in desert scrubland where shepherds and villagers wander. It takes accommodation in the area to a new high and the 21 huge tents are magnificently decorated in desert colours. The finest linen, hand made furniture, Jaisalmer stone floors and beds, and local artefacts all blend to create an atmosphere which is very easy on the eye. With a large sitting area inside and outside, and immaculate, roomy bathrooms, the tents are amongst the largest and finest in all India .