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 not with standing
the warmth and colour of people is simply over whelming. One of
the main draws is the daunting 12th century Jaisalmer Fort. The
beautiful havelis 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.
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 Mugshal 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.
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.