RAJASTHAN TOURISM Tour
Deep in the heart of the Thar Desert is Jaisalmer, one of the last princely
bastions in the region. Founded on what was the cross - road of lucrative
trade routes, this remote settlement came to be celebrated for the valour
of its rulers, and for the aesthetic sense represented by their palaces
The rich merchants engaged stone - craftsmen who worked delicately on
the sandstone mansions they built, filling up facades with sculptural
filigree, screen windows, delicate pavilions and beautiful balconies.
Today, these veritable art - museums are still inhabited, and their colourful
celebrations and festivals have placed Jaisalmer Fort firmly on the world
The golden - yellow sandstone of Jaisalmer Fort, over 800 years old, crowns
the Trikuta Hill. Within its walls, defended by 99 turrets, lies the old
city, nearly a quarter of modern Jaisalmer. Seen from outside, the sight
must be almost identical to what was seen by merchants on their overland
camel caravans to central Asia.
Once this desert outpost was an important gate for the trade route, and
Jaisalmer grew wealthy on the proceeds. But the advent of commercial shipping
relegated the town to relative obscurity.
The fort stands almost 30 metres over the city and houses an entire living
area within huge ramparts. Walking through the narrow lanes is an experience
It is approached through Ganesh Pol, Suraj Pol, Bhoot Pol and Hawa Pol.
Also, within it are many beautiful havelies and a group of Jain temples
dating from the 12th to the 15th centuries.
Being part of the Desert Triangle and the venue of Desert Festival, the
place is accessible by rail, road and air and has tourist accommodation
ranging from high budget to low budget. The city is also covered by the
"Palace on Wheels" a train-cum-road package, which needs no
description. This place too witnesses large flow of tourist traffic in
This tank, south of the city walls, once held the town water supply, and
befitting its importance in providing precious water to the inhabitants
of this arid city, it is sourrounded by small temples and shrines. The
beautiful yellow sandstone gateway arching across the road down to the
tank is the Tilon-ki-Pol, and is said to have been built by a famous prostitute,
Tilon . When she offered to pay to have this gateway constructed, the
Maharaja refused permission under it to go down to the tank and he felt
that this would be beneath his dignity. While he was away, she built the
gate , adding a Krishna temple on top so that king could not tear it down.
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.
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