Jaislmer  

Rising from the heart of the Thar Desert like a golden mirage is the city of Jaislmer. A commanding fort etched in yellow sandstone stands with all its awesome splendour, dominating the amber-hued city. 

The city has an interesting legend associated with it, according to which, lord Krishana-the head of the Yadav clan, foretold Arjuna that a remote descendent of the Yadav clan would build his kingdom atop the Trikuta Hill. his prophency was fulfilled in 1156 A.D. when Rawal Jaisal, a descendent of the Yadav clan and a bhatti Rajput, abandoned his fort at Lodurva and founded a new capital-jaisalmer, perched on the Trikuta Hill. 

Bhati Rajputs of Jaislmer were fedual chiefs who lived off the forced levy on the caravans laden with precious silks and species that crossed the territory enroute Delhi-or-Sind. These caravans earned the town great wealth.

This desert fortress close to Rajasthan's border with Pakistan is straight out of an Arabian fairy tale. Founded in the 12th century as a staging post for camel trains travelling between India and Central Asia, Jaisalmer is a golden sandstone city with crenellated city walls, a magnificent fortress and a number of exquisitely carved stone and wooden havelis. Seen at sunset from afar, it glows with the luminescence of a mirage. Jaisalmer's impressive fort crowns an 80m (260ft) high hill, and about a quarter of the city's 40,000 inhabitants reside within its walls. Little has changed here for centuries, and if ever a record-breaking effort were made to pack as many houses, temples and palaces into a confined space, this would be the result. 

The fort is honeycombed with winding lanes, and has formidable gateways, a maharaja's palace, a ceremonial courtyard and beautifully carved Jain temples. The most beautiful of the havelis built by Jaisalmer's wealthy merchants are Patwon ki Haveli, Salim Singh ki Haveli and Nathmal ki Haveli. 

Despite its incredible picturesqueness, you don't have to look very hard to realise that Jaisalmer is crumbling at an alarming rate. Its disintegration has finally brought local, governmental, tourist and archaeological interest groups together and a 'Jaisalmer in Jeopardy' campaign has been launched in the UK. 

Camel trekking is big business in Jaisalmer and it's a great way to experience the desert. Make sure you know exactly what you're getting for your money, because there's ample opportunity to be disappointed. Most treks last three to four days. The best time to go is between October and February.

Rajasthan has a reasonably reliable bus system and a fairly extensive railway system so getting to the city of Jaisalmer isn't too much of a hardship. You may find that some of the railway lines have been disrupted by recent track works designed to get you from point A to point B faster, so check local timetables for updates and changes. If you want to experience how the other half lives, you can book yourself onto the Palace on Wheels which passes through Jaisalmer on its regal route. It's a mobile hotel on wheels decked out like a traditional maharaja's state carriage. Expensive but luxurious. Jaisalmer is 795km from Delhi.  

Festive Fun 

Desert Festival (Jan/Feb)

A spectacular event coinciding with the full moon in Jan. Feb. The rich culture of the region is on display during the three day long festival. The famous Gair and Fire dances are the major attraction of the celebrations. Interesting contests including a turban tying competition and a Mr. Desert contest further enhance the fun of the occasion. A trip to the Sam Sand dunes marks the grand finale, where one can enjoy camel rides and brilliant performances by the folk artiest under the full moon against the backdrop of picturesque dunes. 

General Information 

Area - 5.1 sq. km. 

Climate - Mean Max. Mean Min 

Altitude - 225 meters 

Summer - 41.6 degree C 25.0 degree 

Rainfall - 15 cms. 

Winter - 23.6 degree C 7.9 degree C 

Best Season - October to February 

Languages - English, Rajasthani, Hindi. 

Some of the Monuments of India are
Taj Mahal (Agra)
Konark Sun Temple (Orissa)  
Mahabalipuram Temples (Chennai)
Jaislmer Fort (Rajasthan)
Hemis Gompa (Ladakha)
Mehrangarh Fort (Jodhpur)
Victoria Memorial (Calcutta)
Sarnath (Varanasi U.P)
Qutab minar (Delhi)
Meenakshi Temple (Tamil Nadu)  
Jama- Masjid (Delhi) 
Ajanta Ellora (Maharshtra) 
Red Fort (Delhi) 
Udaipur Palace (Udaipur) 
Golden Temple (Amrtisar) 
Khajuraho Temple 
Sanchi Stupa (Bhopal) 
Charminar (Hyderabad) 
Nalanda (Bihar)