Trips, unplanned turn out to be much more fun than those planned before. The amount of excitement is always breathtaking as you don’t know what the trip has to offer you. Starting from Bhubaneshwar I found myself in Jaisalmer (via Kolkata — Lucknow — Delhi — Jodhpur) in less than 48 hours!! Last minute tickets and super-excitements!
So, here I was in the ‘Golden City’ of India. What I expected to be a complete desert, turned out to be a small and happening city full of grand architectural beauty. Someone told me the present day city was within the boundaries of the ancient ‘Quila’ or fort !!
Built in 1156 by the Rajput ruler Jaisala (after which the city is named), this is the fort of the Royalty of Jaisalmer. The fort is also known as Sonar Quila due to the yellow colour of the stone and is an imposing structure as you approach the town from the desert. You can spend hours wandering around inside the fort admiring the wonderful architecture of the numerous buildings.
It is a ‘working fort’ which means that unlike every other fort in India, there are people living and working within its walls. Surprising aah ?!! It takes a minimum of one hour to discover this magnificent fort. You may lose your way inside the fort,so keep a guide handy if possible. Audio tours are also available and are provided by the fort officials on paying a nominal fee.
There are numerous lookouts within the fort that give a great view out across the city and desert.
Inside the fort you’ll get a flavour of what royalty actually is. The posh lifestyle is evident clearly from the antiques displayed inside. The Guns,’palkis’,thrones and some real heavy gold to look out for !
Built between 12-15 century,there are 7 beautifully curved temples built inside the fort walls .
A 10 minute walk from the fort, it is a collection of five houses, each one for the son of a wealthy trader who made money, lending to the government. One of the Haveli’s (closest to the street) has been restored and turned into a government museum. Awesome view of the Fort from the Haveli can be experienced.
GADISAR LAKE -
Is a rainwater lake which supplied water to the city during old times. It is surrounded by temples and tombs of saints.Large number of Catfishes can be seen distinctly in the lake.
SAM SAND DUNES -
The Sam (pronounced ‘some’) Dunes, located 45 kilometers (28 miles) from Jaisalmer, do not live up to the imagery of the Arabian or Saharan deserts, but make for an enjoyable evening out. Perfect for camping and spending the whole night is the wilderness. Get closer to the traditional Rajasthan with folk dance and music show in the night.
THE CAMEL SAFARI-
10 km outside the main city, I finally crashed in the Thar desert. The experience of a lifetime it was!! Shades of the setting sun and golden hues of the desert ambiance give a fairy tale look.
Sand dunes, the breathtaking view of the setting sun and the camels lined up in the safari, what more can u possibly ask for?!! No pollution, no mega-structures, nothing !! Peace of mind achieved finally.
So In a nutshell, Jaisalmer is the place to be if you are looking for something ‘hatke’. Before exploring other countries I would rather suggest to discover the wonder called ‘India’.
You don’t see such architectural marvels everyday, you don’t witness vast stretch of sand dunes and breathtaking sunset everyday. And the Rajashtani cuisine, all spiced up for your taste buds ! And if u love hand-loom items or art and crafts, look no further !! One day is just enough to cover all of Jaisalmer. So,what are you waiting for?