, nicknamed "The Golden city", is a town in the Indian state of Rajasthan. It is located 575 kilometres (357 mi) west of the state capital Jaipur. It was once known as Jaisalmer state. The town stands on a ridge of yellowish sandstone, crowned by a fort, which contains the palace and several ornate Jain temples. Many of the houses and temples are finely sculptured. It lies in the heart of the Thar Desert
and has a population of about 78,000. It is the administrative headquarters of Jaisalmer District. Jaisalmer is a city of forts, havelis, and sand dunes with added attraction of camel rides. The main attraction is Jaisalmer Fort along with Jain Temple, Salim-singh-ki-Haveli, Patwon-ki-Haveli, Gadsisar Sagar Tank, Bara Bagh, and Jaisalmer Culture Center. This desert city lying on an old trade route connecting India to Central Asia, is an important tourist destination today famous for camel rides across Thar Desert and its golden sand dunes. The golden city of Jaisalmer, which lies courageously as the western sentinel of India, is a place worth visiting. The golden ray of the setting sun draws a heavenly picture on the sands of Jaisalmer. The magnificent wood- and stone-carved mansions and buildings display the love of the Rajputs towards the fine arts.
History of Jaisalmer
The majority of the inhabitants of Jaisalmer are Bhati Rajputs, named for Bhati, who was renowned as a warrior. The ruling family of the erstwhile Jaisalmer State belongs to Bhati Clan of Yadu Rajputs of Chandravanshi(Lunar) race who claim descent from Lord Krishna,the deified hero who ruled at Dwarka. Jaisalmer is a great place to simply wander
. The old city was once completely surrounded by an extensive wall, much of which has sadly been ripped away in recent times for building material. Some of it remains, however, including the city gates and, inside them, the massive fort which rises above the city and is the essence of Jaisalmer. The main market area is directly below the hill, while the banks, the new palace and several other shops and offices are near the Amar Sagar Gate to the west.
Jaisalmer’s past glories can be seen in its impressive golden fort on Trikuta Hill that dominates the horizon. The fort houses a township with markets, palaces, temples and exquisite carved sandstone havelis. Today, these homes are national treasures and art museums that are still inhabited. This last outpost of the Indian Republic is valued for its heritage as much as for its brave citizens, its people and culture, colourful festivals and crafts have placed Jaisalmer on the world tourist map.
Jaisalmer has been enriched by its Jain community, which has adorned the city with beautiful temples, notably the temples dedicated to the 16th Trithankara, Shantinath, and 23rd Tirthankara, Parshvanath.
Havelis in Jaisalmer
This is one of the largest and most elaborate Haveli in Jaisalmer and stands in a narrow lane. It is five storeys high and is extensively carved. It is divided into six apartments, two owned by archaeological Survey of India, two by families who operate craft-shops and two private homes. There are remnants of paintings on some of the inside walls as well as some mirror work.
Nathmal Ji Ki Haveli
Nathmal Ji Ki Haveli
Two architect brothers built it in the 19th century. Interestingly, while one concentrated on the right, the other concentrated on the left and the result is a symphony epitomising the side by side symmetry during construction. Paintings in miniature style monopolise the walls in the interior. Mighty tuskers carved out of yellow sandstone stand guard to the haveli.
Salim Singh Ki Haveli
This haveli was built about 300 years ago and a part of it is still occupied. Salim Singh was the prime minister when Jaisalmer was the capital of the princely state and his mansion has a beautifully arched roof with superb carved brackets in the form of Peacocks. The mansion is just below the hill and it is said that once it had two additional wooden storeys in an attempt to make it as high as the maharaja's palace, but the maharaja had the upper storey torn down.
Tourist attractions in Jaisalmer
Visiting Jaisalmer itself means a visit to the Jaisalmer Fort. Built over the Trikuta hill, this fort is the biggest and the most beautiful landmark of the city. The fort is occupied by shops, stalls, and a number of other business concerns. This fort accommodates quarter of the city's population. Just outside the fort is the Manakchowk, the famous marketplace of Jaisalmer. It is a good place for bargaining the local products.
Baba Bagh is an oasis at the bank of a man-made dam. It has greenery all around to give a much-needed relief to the local people.
Gadsisar Sagar Tank
Gadsisar Sagar Tank is a famous place for an outing. Earlier it used to be the source of water for the entire city. A number of migratory birds flock this place during the winter season.
The Jain temple, a place worth visiting, is also situated inside the fort itself. The temple, made between 12th and 15th century, bears testimony to Rajasthan's unique artistry.
Center and Museum Desert Culture Center and Museum is another place that would give the visitor a clear insight of the place. The museum has a number of old coins, different kinds of textile, traditional Rajasthani instruments, and some fossils that were found in the desert.
Sam Sand Dunes
Located at a distance of 42 kilometers from the main Jaisalmer city on the outskirts of the Sam village, the Sam Sand dunes are a must visit during your Jaisalmer tours. Located close to the Desert National Park, Sam Sand dunes give you a clear picture of true Rajasthan in its arid yet mesmerizing Golden sand glory. Join a camel caravan at Jaisalmer on your Rajasthan tours and ride along in rhythm with the tinkling anklets of your camel towards the breathtaking sand dunes.
Khuri Sand Dunes
Ride your camel to the Khuri sand dunes that are located at a little distance from the main village and experience the true spirit of gorgeous Jaisalmer. Set camp as dusk begins to set in and help the others in the caravan put up tents, release the camels from their loads and anchor them to a post for rest, help build a bonfire with dried twigs and sit down for a glamorous evening of cultural extravaganza under a clear starlit sky.