A reminiscence of Lawrence of Arabia, Jaisalmer is a fort city located in the confines of India’s Thar Desert. Nicknamed as the ‘Golden City’, Jaisalmer stands on a ridge of yellowish-golden sandstone. A giant fort is the prominent landmark of the city which is the second largest in the world. Jaisalmer, which literally translates to “The Hill Fort of Jaisal”, was founded in 1156 A.D. and is presently a World Heritage Site. Jaisalmer district is the largest in Rajasthan and sports the barren Thar Desert. The town was strategically located at an important interlink to facilitate trade between India and Persia. The novel architecture of the town, primarily forts and palaces, envelops one in a nostalgic reverie and reminds one of the princely heritage the town has inherited.
A vision and experience that combine in this place creates the true magic of one of those unique places. It strikes the hearts and imaginations of all those who visit it.
Arguably the most renowned, the Jaisalmer Fort on Meru Hill houses about a quarter of the town’s population. Besides this, the Raj Mahal, Laxminath temple and Jain temples are to look out for, the presence of which lends the town a religious and cultural sanctity. A magical sight indeed! Once you are in the vicinity, there’s evidence of what made it great primarily. Trade, commerce, local dignitaries and royalties have built the house called Havelis where there are major architectural splendors. Rajasthani and Islamic styles can be found everywhere around the market area. Other sites include the range of museums to explore and celebrate. The fort and palace complex, plus the natural wonders such as the water tank and camel safari are fantastic sceneries to visit. A must see for all who want to see camels in real life, Jaisalmer is the place to come.
The food to try should be murgh-e-subz, a dish of succulent strips of chicken fried with spices and strips of fresh vegetable. Alternatively, if you fancy something a bit lighter you could try the Kadi Pakorao or flour dumplings cooked in yogurt sauce. All in all, there are many dishes here to choose from. Many from the Thar tradition are given with a local spin all delicious foods which many of which are available only in this city.
A camel or jeep safari in the desert is often employed to watch the sun rise or set. The Desert Festival of Jaisalmer held in February every year is a hugely acclaimed international affair, unknowingly stirring memories of fictional cults such as Arabian Nights, thanks to their lively displays of music, dance, local delicacies and dressing styles.
Visitors will find this city a mystery. Its identity is simply waiting to be explored. It has some of the friendliest people in Rajasthan, as they say here 'padharo mahare desh' (welcome to our lands)!
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Jaisalmer - THINGS TO KNOW
Historical, City, Museums
Rajasthani, Hindi, English