The Jaisalmer fort is a breathtaking sight: a massive sandcastle rising from the sandy plains like a mirage from a bygone era. Inside are shops swaddled in bright embroideries, a royal palace and numerous businesses looking for your tourist rupee. No place better evokes exotic camel-train trade routes and desert mystery. Ninety-nine bastions encircle the fort’s still-inhabited twisting lanes. Despite the commercialism, it’s hard not to be enchanted by this desert citadel. Beneath the ramparts, particularly to the north, the narrow streets of the old city conceal magnificent havelis, all carved from the same golden-honey sandstone as the fort – hence Jaisalmer’s designation as the Golden City.
Jaisalmer Fort –
The magnificent complex, also known as Sonar Kila (“Golden Fort”) for its gleaming golden sandstone walls and buildings, flourished on the east-west caravan route connecting India and Central Asia to the Middle East and North Africa. Merchants built elaborately designed havelis among the numerous palaces, temples, bazaars, and residences inside the walls of the complex. The superb architecture within the fort was protected by double fortification walls and circular bastions, key physical components used for defense and battle. Additional features of the fort include a pitching wall to hold the clay soil of the hill in place, a toe wall, and the mori, a pathway between the inner and outer fortification walls that allowed soldiers and horses to move throughout the structure in times of war. The fort is deteriorating, and in recent times, human activities, especially the introduction of modern plumbing, have accelerated this deterioration.
Deserts safari with folk dance –
Desert Festival of Jaisalmer is the most awaited and famous cultural and colourful events that dominate the sand of Rajasthan and Camel races, turban tying competitions are organized. It is held in the month of February every year in Rajasthan. The desert festival in Jaisalmer has showcased Rajasthani folk songs and dance so it is a very attracted festival for foreign tourists. The rich culture of the region is on display during this three-day long festival. This is the best time to visit Jaisalmer to witness performing arts like Kalbelia dances and folk songs and music. A person will never forget the famous Gair and Fire dancers which are the major attraction of the Jaisalmer desert festival celebrations. Interesting contests including a Mr. Desert contest and a turban tying competition enhance the fun of the occasion.The place acquires something of a carnival atmosphere from late afternoon till the next morning, making it somewhere to avoid if you’re after a solitary desert experience.If you’re organising your own camel ride on the spot, expect to pay Rs.300 for a one-hour sunset ride, but beware tricks from camel men such as demanding more money en route.
Sam sand dune-
You can drive there in a sturdy SUV, jeep or similar vehicle. Taxis can be hired in the city for the same as well. Ideally, you should opt for an overnight camping that typically includes transfers to and from Sam besides a short camel safari followed by dinner on the dunes with live folk performances, in addition to accommodation. The most exciting excursion that you can plan around Jaisalmer would have to be to Sam sand dunes. A vast area covered with rolling mounds of fine sand, Sam is barely 42 kilometres away from the city and is very popular for day trips as well as overnight camp excursions.
Havelis in Jaisalmer–
There are a number of Havelis in Jaisalmer which feature different types of architecture like Rajputana and Islamic architecture. All the havelis are made using yellow sandstone and have beautifully carved facades and beautiful oriel windows. The beauty of these havelis is truly unmatched. The spectacular architecture of the havelis speaks of the creativity and innovation of craftsmen of those times. Some popular havelis of the city are Patwon Ki Haveli, Nathmal Ki Haveli and Salim Singh Ki Haveli.
Jain Temples Jaisalmer –
Within the vicinity of The Jaisalmer fort lie 7 Jain temples which are an embodiment of beautiful structural designs. Right from ceilings to tombs to gateways, each and every part of this temple is decorated with mirrors, frescoes, carvings, etc. These temples were built way back in the12th and 15th century, and are dedicated to various Jain Tirthankars (Hermits). On the walls of the temples, you can find animal & human figures, carved in famous Dilwara temple style. The Jain temple has a Gyan Bhandar, a library, which interest many tourists.
Tanot mata temple–
Belief or faith in God often helps one gather the courage in the face of adversity. The Indian Army has its share of stories when God helped Indian soldiers standing on the brink of annihilation and ended up being victorious.
The story of Tanot Temple at the Longewala border in Rajasthan is one such miraculous tale when the local deity Tanot aka Awad Mata didn’t let any Pakistani tank bomb explode and Indian soldiers who were certain of martydom and defeat went on to crush the Pakistanis in both 1965 as well as 1971 wars.