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Jaisalmer, The Alchemist’s Fort

by on August 7, 2007

jaisalmer-fort.jpgJaisalmer, one of the most beautiful city of Rajasthan, evokes a cluster of associations in the minds of travelers, a golden fort, golden desert sands and elaborated carved havelis. It is a wonderful place to visit in the winter. The city is divided into two nearly equal haves, the town at ground level and the fort upon Trikutta Hill, both of which provide plenty of visual vision pleasure. Rawal Jaisal built the Jaisalmer fort in 12th Century. The fort can be accessed by a ramp winding through five massive gates. There is a large courtyard known as Dussehra Chowk, from where you can view the Royal Palace, or Raj Mahal. Inside the fort is a complex of 7 Jain temples built in the 15th and 16th century. The Parshvanath temple is the most impressive of these. It has finely carved torana and the ceiling of the sabha mandapa, which supports a demonic looking head surrounded by five bodies. And as we walk around the Mandapa the head seems to connect, in turn which each of its bodies. Another highlights of the complex are the poky little basement called the Gyan Bhandar, under the gaudy coloured dimly lit Sambhavanath Temple. The other major monument in the fort is the Rajmahal, the erstwhile royal residence, which is now converted into the Jaisalmer Fort Palace Museum and Heritage Centre.

There are three 19th century havelis at the ground level foremost between which is the Patwa Haveli. This is also known as the Patwon- ki- Haveliyan, because there are actually five different houses. These havelis are perhaps, the last truly great Indian buildings constructed without a trace of European influence. Two of these Patwa havelis are government run.

Not far from the town centre is the Gadisar Lake, formerly, which is also the Jaisalmer’s chief water source. It is a charming picnic spot. To get it to it, we crossed an imposing gateway called Tilon ki Pol. there’s a domed pavilion in the centre of the water. You can also do boating, as the paddleboats are available. The Jaisalmer Folklore Museum situated nearby contains a few puppets and traditional items of daily use, the Desert culture Centre and Museum displays fossils, coins and musical instruments. The lanes inside the fort are packed with shops selling fabrics replete with embroidery and mirror work.

You can take a jeep to the Sam sand Dunes, 42 km from Jaisalmer, jaisalmer-sam-dunes-sand.jpghop on to a camel for an hour around sunset and then get back to your comfortable hotel bed or else find a fancy tent to stay in for night. At the other end of the scale, you can ride for days with only a camel driver for company and the most basic provisions. The best option for reasonably hardy travelers is a 2-day safari with one night spent under the immense canopy of the desert sky. Lying under the open sky at night, with a dune entirely to you.

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4 Comments
  1. Kps permalink

    Dear Travellers
    Well come to jaisalmer
    Before come to jaisalmer to know about K.P.S.
    K.P.S.:- It means “ Karo Public Seva “ in English “Let’s Serve Public”
    We are a non-government organization doing work in Jaisalmer. This is our registration I.D. “S.R 30/ Jaisal/2008-2009” We are serving Jaisalmer public from last more than 5 year’s. Looking at the efforts of our society Government registered us this year only.
    Our Motto:-
    1> Blood Banks.
    2> Development of status of education in rural area.
    3> Preservation of heritage monument in Jaisalmer.
    4> Good activities which encourages tourism in Jaisalmer.
    5> Help to tourist in medical and information fields.
    6> Keep cleanity of Jaisalmer and especially of Jaisalmer Fort.
    7> We encourage public of Jaisalmer to make Jaisalmer a plastic free zone.
    8> Encouragement to regional fairs and festivals of Jaisalmer so as to keep on the culture and it indirectly encourages the interest of tourist to come to Jaisalmer.
    9> One of the main motto of our society is that the tourist who arrives in Jaisalmer should not be hassled or treated in bad manner.
    10> Encouraging the peoples of Jaisalmer who ever restores their houses should make it in the old fashion and continue their efforts.

    Why we have Forum here.

    Because it very help full for Travellers
    Jaisalmers economy is centrally based on tourism only. Our society wants that the tourism in Jaisalmer should be fair enough so that we can continue it for next more than 100 years. All the members of our society are local peoples from Jaisalmer. Some of our members are working in media, some in medical fields and some of them also work with tourism.
    The members of our society who works with tourism told us that the live status of tourist in Jaisalmer is very bad..
    The current situation of the tourist is when he arrives in Jaisalmer by train or bus the commission agents of some hotels starts hassling them to come to their Hotel in the running train or buses. Later when the tourist arrives to railway and bus stations the touts of the same hotels starts hassling them in the train or bus stands so as to come to their hotels. They all do this to in a very bad and tiring manner. It gives tourist a very bad first impression of our town. At last when the tourist gives up and follow these touts to go their Hotels as soon as the tourist arrives in the Hotel before entering in the room he gets started tortured by the hotel man to do camel treks with them. If the tourist agrees to go safaris he has to pay a lot then the normal price or in case if he dis agrees then his baggage’s and other stuffs are out of the Hotel in any time of day or night. And these Hoteliers make false propaganda about the heritage sights of Jaisalmer and especially of Jaisalmer Fort.
    JAISALMER Fort:-
    Jaisalmer Fort was established (made) in 1156 A.D. Since then the local public of Jaisalmer is continuously living in it. The till today population of the Fort is 2500 peoples (approx). And it is the only Fort in which peoples are living for so long. And that is the only reason that way tourists arrives to Jaisalmer. And so as to feel in a homely atmosphere the tourist still stays in side the Jaisalmer fort .
    In Jaisalmer fort there are about 380 houses only 28 are converted as small family run Hotels or Guest Houses. Except 3 or 4 hotels none of the Hotels have more then 5 rooms. The total rooms in Jaisalmer Fort are 200 and the maximum numbers of the peoples who can reside in it is 400 peoples. And the Hotel in Jaisalmer gets fully occupied for Just 30 days in a year and other all the days the normal occupancy rate of the Hotels is 50 to 60 % which means only 200 to 225 Tourists.
    If there is any problem by the sewage line then for your kind information that the Jain temples which are amongst the most reliable Jain pilgrim of Jain society of Rajasthan are situated in Jaisalmer Fort and as this is very Holy temples here more than 250 Jain peoples arrives and takes shower 2 times a day so as to worship there God. It means that about 500 shower a day which are a way too much then the consumption of water done by the tourist staying in the Fort .
    As well as the water supply in all the city of Jaisalmer has been supplied by the Fort because the biggest water supply tank of Jaisalmer is situated in side the Fort.

    Jaisalmer Fort Peoples And Their culture

    All the peoples who lives in Jaisalmer Fort are owned by them selves. Till the time when there was no tourism in Jaisalmer all the Heritage sights of Jaisalmer mostly in the Fort were in a condition to fall because no one helps us financially but as the tourism started in Jaisalmer the local peoples get there regular and good source of income and as they earned from there ancestral properties the also restored and maintained them in the old styles. And the business started well and all the houses, temples, Havelis and other points were well settled we also thanks you a lot if you stay in side fort .
    Tourist still now stays in the Fort either they come by TRIPADVISOR, travel agents or by looking good comments on many internet WebPages or by the recommendation of the tourists who had stayed in the Fort. But our society want to clear with you that this controversies issue of Jaisalmer Fort.
    There is no problem of Jaisalmer fort with tourists staying in it… It is just a false propaganda done by some outside fort hoteliers.
    And we heartily request to Travelers should clear with our local public. And we hope from you that you will help us out in this matter and if you like to have any of our Ngo help in jaisalmer During jaisalmer visit we most welcomes you.
    As our Ngo name derive that lets serve public so we are helping out the public of Jaisalmer Fort. And there is no personnel interest in it.
    We are eagerly waiting for you reply also hope your interest in this matter.
    Warm regards from
    120 members of K.P.S.
    jaisalmer

  2. kanwar narindra singh bhatti permalink

    salut to the Bhatti warriors of jaiselmer

  3. kalvin permalink

    the fort bussiness should be stop as soon as possible.otherwise fort will not remain like a fort it will convert as a modern town and no one will come here.

  4. brick permalink

    There’s been alot of controversy over whether to stay or not stay in the Fort. It’s eroding from increased water usage and tourists are contributing to the problem.

    Check out this link, it shows the different viewpoints so you can make a more educated decision.

    http://beta.flowgram.com/fgshare/FLOxsnFr/

    Happy Travels!

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