Today we are travelling to Jaisalmer – Golden City of India, We started early morning from Jaipur via the state highway so far the road has been really good. I think, it is far better than NH (National Highway) 8 which is now renamed as NH 48 As you near Jaisalmer, vegetation starts disappearing and you will start seeing the desert But, the roads are arrow straight and really nice. Once we reached Jaisalmer, we hired a guide, to show us around and he did an incredible job!
Welcome to the Golden City Jaisalmer The Fort you are seeing, it was constructed by Maharaja Jaisal, in 1156 AD .The later generation Kings kept adding newer parts King and Queen are still here, but now, they live outside this fort Jaisalmer Fort is a “living Fort. Cement was not used for construction Its completely made up of Interlocking sandstones with iron nails, Personal outstation cars have to pay 50 for parking You will be approached by a lot of guides/autos and you can hire someone from here
But before we enter the Fort, let’s try some street food , There is a food called Dal Pakwan, made up of refined flour and garnished with tomatos, onions, chillies and “dal” (pulses) It’s really good to taste, We have distorted this completed, as it’s really yummy whoever comes to Jaisalmer should definitely try this It looks like a plate, but the entire plate, you eat it off.
You need to cross 4 gates to climb up the Fort Akshya pol, Suraj pol, Ganesh pol and Hawa Pol All these gates are made in a zig zog pattern and one is not visible from the other Mughals used to attack with Elephants Elephant could easily destroy first gate, but due to the climb and zig zag path, it could not break the subsequent gates The last gate is called Hawa Pol, or Windy gate You can feel the cool breeze here in any season 5000 people live in this Fort even today since the ancient times That time, all these families were working for the King Prominent monuments inside the Fort are King’s palace and Queen’s palace Both are close by King’s palace is now converted into a museum next is a 600 year old Jain Temple It has about 6666 idols Main deity in the temple is of Chintamani Parshunathji But how did this Jain temple come to be inside a Fort when there were no Jains living within the fort.
Jains used to donate money to the Kings You can imagine their wealth and influence if they donated to the Kings who built such a huge fort . This Nathmal haveli was constructed by 2 brothers that’s why you see some minute differences in its 2 halves An elephant idol outside the Haveli used to signify a Dewan’s (King’s accountant) house Apart from Nathmal Haveli, you can see this outside Salaam Singh’s haveli too.
Patwa haveli is a collection of 5 different havelis which were constructed by a businessman However, they are easily comparable to the Royal Havelis in their Grandeur After Independence, they were taken under Govt. control (for preservation & restoration) Since the streets leading up to them are very narrow some nearby houses had to be demolished to allow visitors to observe and appreciate them from a distance.
Though it’s not a haveli this particular house is very famous ,This house was used in Satyajit Ray’s Bengali classic movie “Sonar Kella” If you are an Bengali, nothing more to say, For my Hindi and English speaking readers, the name translates to “Golden Fort” Standing on the Canon point or City view 80% of the city is visible from here Mandir Palace is the current Royal Residence A portion of the Hindi movie Sarfarosh was shot here After roaming around Havelis and Forts if you feel hungry do visit Chandanshree near Hanuman Circle
Water was always scarce in Jaisalmer Gadisar lake was specially constructed to rid the city of its water problem These days, its popular with the tourists for boating This concludes our city tour Thanks to Sandeep for the lovely tour and hopefully, we’ll meet again The real fun starts once you move out of Jaisalmer
The roads are fabulous and you will soon realize you are in the middle of a desert! Arrow straight road for miles and nothing but shrubs for vegetation No trees or grass anywhere You can take detours occassionally to interesting spots to just stop and admire the beauty
Tanot Mata Temple
This is the last point civillians can travel upto without prior approval from authorities To go beyond this point, towards the actual border you need to get permission from BSF at Jaisalmer Keep in mind, photography is prohibited on that road This temple is now under BSF’s care During the ’71 clash many shells aimed for Longewala/Sadhewala landed here, but miraculously, none of them exploded The route from
Also Read: Munnar Hill Station | Places To Visit in Munnar
Tanot to Longewala is very scenic Along this route you will see huge sand dunes On one such dune, Longewala saw a major clash in ’71 The movie “Border (1997)” was based on this story This yellow pillar used to be white earlier They are placed along the International Border In ’71, opposing forces uprooted this from the Border and brought it here to establish a new “border” From where they had to flee Now it stands here as a Victory Memorial
The memorial here nicely explains what happened that fateful day in ’71 You can also see various vehicles on display our men destroyed If you have seen the movie “Border”, you will recognize these communication trenches and maybe this bunker too where the LMGs were stationed Just imagine the conditions that day our 120 soldiers against 1000s of the opposite side numerous tanks, vehicles etc
A salute to their valour! There’s a enemy’s tank and you can have the view of our post that the opposing forces had After visiting Longewala, we returned in a rather mood to our dune camps and seeing the setting our spirits were lifted in no time! Soon we left for a camel safari deep into the desert After sometime, we got our “mechanical” camel too onto the dunes Watching the sun set from the dunes was a heavenly experience Especially since we were all by ourselves! But the night was still young!
Thank You for reading the post. If you liked the post please do share with your friends!