Jaisalmer is also called the
because of the yellow-colored sandstone from which most buildings are built. The fortress dominates centrally, which towers above the lower houses like a medieval city. It is reminiscent of an Indian version of Carcassonne.
The name Jaisalmer literally means "the
hill of Jaisal", a reference to Maharawal Jaisal Singh, the Rajput king who founded the city in the 12th century AD along the caravan route between East and West. It is a very nice place to explore, wandering through the maze of streets and past the many restaurants
and shops. There is an almost medieval atmosphere and it seems as if you have ended up in a story from One Thousand and One Nights. Click here to get
taxi service in jaisalmer.
is the undisputed eye-catcher of the city. It is actually an urban district in itself. It is an ancient residence of the Maharaja and his household. Furthermore, people of the first (Brahman - priests and scholars) and second (Rajput - warriors and kings)
also lived there. In the past, 5,000 people lived within the walls of the fortified fort. Today there are still 4,000 and the caste system plays less strongly here.
The fort towers 76 meters above the city
and is surrounded by its own 17th century fortification wall
of about 9 km long with 99 bastions. In the meantime, 3 bastions have collapsed due to water erosion, which are being restored and the other bastions are being reinforced further. In the fort you will find several impressive Jain temples in addition to various
Sunset Point is a popular point for tourists
because it offers a beautiful panorama of the city and the fort at sunset . Another special feature of this place is that it is a cremation place for Hindus. Cremation is a common tradition for Hindu funerals because it is the fastest way to reincarnation
according to their beliefs. You will also see many small mausoleums that have something magical in the evening.
A funeral at Hindus lasts a total of 12
days. During the cremation, the deceased is wrapped in cloth and placed on 4 layers of branches, usually of sandalwood. Then the body is covered with a fifth layer of wood. The layers of wood symbolize the natural elements (wind, water, earth, fire and air).
The cremation ritual lasts about 3 hours. The family remains until the deceased is completely burned out. The ashes are then scattered in the Ganges.
Gadisar Lake or Gadi Sagar is perhaps
one of the most idyllic places in the entire Rajasthan region. It is an artificial lake that used to serve as a water basin. The charm is formed by the small pavilions that stand on the water. There, the former Maharajahs went in search of cooling during the
Also notable is the 14th century entrance
gate, Tilon Ki Pol, on which a temple is built on top. That would have been done to prevent people from breaking down the gate. It is said to have been built by a courtesan or mistress of the monarch. Therefore, it was said that people who walked to the lake
through the gate "through her legs". The scandal raised fears that the gate would be destroyed.
The lake is magical at sunset. So try
to pass here in the evening if you can.
India is known for the havelis or homes
of former noblemen and wealthy citizens. Also in Jaisalmer you will find some beautiful specimens, of which the Nathmalji ki Haveli is one of the most striking. The house was built in 1885 by two brothers. They also had their own say in the structure and the
Today, the haveli is still inhabited by
the family's descendants. They show tourists around and there is also a souvenir shop.
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Another well-restored haveli is the Patwon
ki Haveli, which dates from 1805. Actually, this is a group of 5 havelis that were built for 5 brothers. One of the havelis now houses a museum and shop, but the other havelis can also be visited. In the 5th haveli there is a gallery with work by local artists.
From the roof terrace you have a beautiful
view of the city and surroundings.
Spend the night in the desert of Sam
The sand dunes of Sam are a very famous
tourist attraction. Every day you see dromedaries and people waiting for the sunset. Here you have an excellent opportunity if you have always wanted to sit on a dromedary. You can also dredge on foot through the soft desert sand or do a
jeep safari in jaisalmer.
There are also many (luxury) tents where
you could spend the night if you
have always wanted to sleep in the desert. Do expect it to get very cold at night, unlike the heat during the day.
Interested in a safari on a camel
or dromedary? Several tours are
available in the Sam area.
Jaisalmer Desert Festival
The Jaisalmer Desert Festival is an annual
event that takes place in the Hindu month of Magh (February) and three days prior to the full moon. The festival is celebrated amidst the beautiful dunes of the Thar Desert in Sam. The festivities of this festival bring the desert to life.
The pageant starts with a morning procession
from Jaisalmer Fort to Shahid Poonam Singh Stadium. The locals then costume in regular costumes .They sing and dance with choreographies around the tragedies and achievements of the desert. The
and the fire dance
are the main highlights of the festival. The Kalabaz or the Nat's are also popular: a group of nomads who perform gymnastic activities. The Langhas and Manganiars of the Bhopa play gripping folk music and ballads.
Attend unique sports events such as
camel polo and camel race
You can also attend unique sports competitions
such as camel polo and camel racing. There are stunts on the back of camels and choreographies with camels. Other competitions include tug of war, turban tying and the longest mustache competition. The grand finale of the festival is the Rajasthani folk concert
following an air force show, cricket match and skydiving.
The festival ends on Poornima (day of
the full moon) in the dunes of Sam with the fort "Sonar Qila" Jaisalmer in the background in a fairytale atmosphere.
On the road between the sand dunes of
Sam and the Thar desert you will find Khuldara . About 400 years ago, this village was completely abandoned overnight. Legend has it that Salim Sing, then Prime Minister, had his eye on a girl from the village. However, the village did not want to give the
beautiful girl to the minister. When the latter insisted, the people decided to leave the village overnight, never to return. Nobody knows where they left.
The village mainly consists of ruins,
but the government does make efforts for tourist development here, as a result of which the houses and the temple are increasingly
rebuilt. It is best to visit Khuldara with a local guide, who can tell you more about the village.
Movie: The most beautiful sights in Jaisalmer
Curious about what Jaisalmer and its special
sights look like?
In this video you will join a short tour through Jaisalmer. If you want to admire this special city in real life, you will of course have to travel to Jaisalmer yourself!
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