JAISALMER: BRILLIANCE OF THE DESERT
The name Jaisalmer evokes a vivid picture of sheer magic and brilliance of the deser
Legend has it that Ravel Jaisal laid the foundation of the city in 1156 A.D. after consulting a local hermit by the name of Easul. Tricuta was the hill chosen and Jaisal abandoned his old fort at Lodurva to establish this new capital.
Over the year the remote location of Jaisalmer kept it almost untouched by outside influence and even during the days of the Raj, Jaisalmer wea the last to sign the Instrument of Agreement with the British.
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. Ages have gone by the monuments of Jaisalmer of Jaisalmer have withstood the buffeting winds of the desert all though. Jaisalmer is a marvel of beautiful culture and harsh climatic conditions together amounting to a memorable experience.
Like a yellow sand stone fabric that seems to issue skywards from the golden sands, Jaisalmer Fort is sheer magic. Standing proud to a height of hundered metres over the city with its 99 bastions, the fort is a splendid sight in the afternoon sun.
Its double line ramparts enclose a palace and a larg living complex several entrance called 'prols' guard the Megh Darbar and Jawahar Mahal which bear the imperial symbols of the Bhatti caln's lunar lineage.
In fact the fort is a part of the desert citadel, walking up and down the cobbled and narrow lanes , one gets the feeling of a differents age altogether.
A rainwater lake, now a picnic ideal for the boating.
The delicate pagoda like Tazia Tower rises from Badal Mahal (Cloud Palace) Rising in its five tiered splendor, with each storey graced by a delicately carved balcony, the tower is of historical significance. Muslim craftsmen built it in the shape of tazia and gifted to their royal patron. Tazias are ornately decorated bamboo, paper and tinsel replicas of a bier carried in procession during Mohurram.
Jaisalmer is famous for its intricately latticed havelis with conspicuous facades.
SALIM SINGH KI HAVELI:
Was the residencd of the powerful Mohta family, the herditary minister of the Jaisalmer rular . the bule bupola roof is distinctive , facade which is carved all over and an xquisite projecting balcony adoring the top storey.
PATWON KI HAVELI:
It is one of the lagrgest and most elaborate hourse in Jaisalmer. It is five Storeys high, extensively carved.
THE NATHMLJI KI HAVELI:
Was carved by two brothers. One working on the right side and other on the left. Though the motif use by one is not similar to th e other , yet they are in harmony. One has to look closelyto spot any dissimilartires. The superb craftmanship o the stone carver is illustrated in the gossamer quality of lthe screened windows.
Being the financers of th eRajputs, the rich and influential Jain community was given full religiour liberty and they built many temples in the around Jaisalmer. The Paraswanathe
is oldest and the most beautiful of the Jain temples. The wall of the sanctum are carved with animal ahd human fiures and rising above is a tall shikhar, which is crowned by an amalak and a waterpot containing a lotus flower.
LODURVA (16 Kms.):
Northwest of Jaisalmer, Lodurva is an important centre of Jain pilgrimage. It was the lodurva Fort that Rawal Jaisal abandoned and shifted to his new capital. Ruins of the ancient township can also be seen here.
PARK, AAKAL (16 Kms. South-East) An impressive Fossil
, Stnding witness to geologic Cataclysmes that have taken place in the Thar.
Ride by th dunes on camel back to get a feel of the pace and space of desert life . The golden sand dunes beckon he tourist, crating an illusion of being smooth and firm. Often, a sudden wind can blow a dune up into a moving funnel to deposit it yards away.
Raikas, the camel herdsmen travel by the ships of the desert over vast distence and know every pasture and waterhole of the region.
DESERT NATIONAL PARK.(45 Kms.):
The rolling landscape of snad dunes and scrub covered hills is brathtakingly beautful . An extensive variety of desert birdlife ranging from birds of prey to sandgrouse, doves, shrikes , bee-eaters, warblers and desert coursers can be seen. The most remarkable birt of the desert is the Great Indian Bustard. Among the animals found are the desert fox, wolf, blackbuck, vhinkara , nilgai and crusted pocupine.
Numerous insect and reptile species form an important part of the various life forms here The 42 species of reptile family include lizards, chameleons and snakes.