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JAISALMER

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JAISALMER – “THE DESERT CITY” - It’s like straight out of an Arabian Nights fable. The name Jaisalmer induces a dramatic picture of utter magic and brilliance of the desert. The hostile terrain notwithstanding the warmth and color of people is simply over whelming. One of the main draws is the daunting 12th century Jaisalmer Fort. The beautiful havelies which were built by wealthy merchants of Jaisalmer are yet another interesting aspect of the desert city. And you can let your eyes caress the sloppy sand dunes while you ramble your way in a camel safari. The desert citadel is truly a golden fantasy in Thar Desert. Bhatti Rajput ruler Rawal Jaisal, after whom the city finds its name, founded Jaisalmer in 1156. On advice of a local hermit Eesaal he chose the Tricut Hills as his new abode abandoning his vulnerable old fort at Luderwa just 16 kilometres northwest. In Medieval times, its prosperity was due to its location on the main trade route linking India to Egypt, Arabia, Persia, Africa and the West. The Bhatti Rajput rulers lined their coffer with gains from traditional taxes on passing by caravans and sometimes through illicit gains by rustling cattle.

Over the years the remote location of Jaisalmer kept it almost untouched by outside influences. In the 13th century Ala-ud-din Khilji Emperor of Delhi besieged the fort for nine years in an effort to take back the treasure taken by the Bhatti Rajput from his imperial caravan train. When the fall of the fort was imminent the women of the fort committed Jauhar, an act of mass self-immolation, while men donned saffron robes and rode to their certain death. Duda son of Jaitasimha, a Bhatti hero also perished in the battle. Dudas descendants continued to rule Jaisalmer. In 1541 they even fought Mughal Emperor Himayun. Though their relations with Mughal was not always hostile. Sabala Simha won the patronage of Mughal Emperor Shaha Jahan for battle distinctions in Peshawar and the right to rule Jaisalmer. In the days of Raj, Jaisalmer was the last to sign the Instrument of Agreement with the British.

Ages have gone by and the monuments of Jaisalmer have withstood the buffeting winds of the desert all through. Jaisalmer is a marvel of beautiful culture and harsh climatic conditions, together amounting to a memorable experience. The old city was completely encircled by wall but much of it is now pulled down sadly for want of building material in recent years. The massive golden fort, which is the essence of Jaisalmer, is entered through First Gate. Is a burrow of narrow streets complete with Jain Temples and old palaces. The main market the Bhatia Market is right below the hill. The bank, offices and several shops are also located near the Amar Sagar Gate to the west.

Quick Facts
Area : 5.1 sq. kms.
Climate : Hot Summer (25.0 C Min to 41.6 Max C)
Cold Winter (7.9 Min to 23.6 Max C)
Clothing :
Summer Light Tropical’s
Winter Heavy Wollens
Season : Winter Oct. - March
Summer April – June
Language : Rajasthani, Hindi, English

How to get Jaisalmer

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Air

Jodhpur is the nearest airport for Jaisalmer.

Rail

Jaisalmer is well connected by Indian Railway by Delhi.

Road

Jaisalmer is well connected from Bikaner and Jodhpur. Chauffeur-driven air-conditioned cars can be hired through the State Tourist Offices and other approved operators.

ROAD DISTANCES FROM JAISALMER

Bikaner
333 km
Jodhpur
260 km
Pokahran
330 km
Barmer via Devikot
153 km

Best Time to Visit

The best time visit Jaisalmer is between Octobre and February. The weather remains very pleasant during this time. The daytime temperature during this time encourages visits to various tourist places to see in Jaisalmer. The summer months, from March to May, are best to be avoided, as the temperature can easily cross 40° C, which is not conducive for visiting places of attractions in Jaisalmer.