A day like Arabian nights in Jaisalmer
Imagine waking up in the city of gold, golden cast over the empty sand, the golden fort and golden rays of morning sun making it glow like real gold. Jaisalmer a remote city on extreme west in Rajasthan, it can surely take you back to the old charm of Rajput Kingdoms. In spite of being a famous tourist city, every brick of sandstone still tells the tales of a beautiful empire owned by warrior clan. Once a major trading center, the partition of India in 1947 lead to closing of all the trade routes on the Indo-Pak border and rendered Jaisalmer a drought-prone desert backwater on the international border. With the rich history and culture, Jaisalmer and its people would surprise you every time with their beauty, culture and old school ways.
The main focal point of city and its glory is five-storied structure constructed in a traditional Rajasthani method. The architectural pattern this fort is divided into three layers of walls. The outside layer is made up of solid stone blocks. The forts of Rajasthan are very intricate in nature. The second layer goes around the fort. The inward partition is the third layer which was used by Rajput warriors to hurl boiling water, oil, blocks of rocks on the enemies. This enigmatic structure is sure to keep your eyes wide open. I started for the fort early morning to ensure I can soak into the beauty of stones and find my own corner of peace. However after reaching there I was lost in the beauty of narrow streets and people. As I entered the fort first encountered by the rope artist where the little girl was winning the hearts of foreigners by her dangerous acts. I was sad about her being in this situation though. After taking a few steps my smile was brought back by the hilarious marketing campaign of bed sheet seller which says “you don’t need Viagra if you use these sheets” and also “child beer” written at beer shop. Moving further I encountered the nomads who were selling the pieces of silver Jewelry dressed in their traditional Rajasthani attires on both side of magnificent gates of the fort.
The elegant welcome in the fort made me feel as I was entering in magical Arabian nights like city. The narrow streets were dressed with colorful souvenirs, dolls, turbans and more. The high, strong walls of fort kept me away from the view of city and it didn’t feel as I was inside the fort. In fact I was surprised to see there were many families staying in the fort itself. Inside the fort kids were going to school, vegetable venders were busy selling fresh greens and many crafts showrooms selling traditional handicrafts products. This is like any other daily life of a small Indian town. And the best thing is some of these houses offer the guest rooms with wi-fi which were as inexpensive as 500 per day. I finally ended at one of the guests houses and secured a little window to have the magnificent aerial view of the city. That was probably the best beer, I have had and I decided to be back here and stay in one of these guests houses. After a refresh we visited the main temple
Like in any other towns of Rajasthan, Jaisalmer town has some beautiful Jain temples. There are seven Jain temples of 15th and 16th centuries inside the fort. These temples build by using yellow sand stones perfectly matches with the beauty of the fort and the Jaisalmer town. The carving are beautiful on these temples. But my heart went for the art and carving at Patwano ki haweli. The Patwon ki Haveli is considered to be one of the most important Havelis of Jaisalmer because of two important things: it was the first Haveli to be ever built in Jaisalmer and it is a cluster of 5 different havelis making it one of the biggest Havelis. The other name given to this Haveli is the “mansion of brocade merchants” because the Patwa family used to deal in gold and silver. Currently, the Haveli is taken care of by the Rajasthan government. The gateways and arches of this Haveli are also masterpieces. The entire Haveli is made of yellow sandstone and the main gateway of this Haveli is brown.
The day wasn’t enough to see it all and I missed Tanot temple as well as Gadsisar Lake. And rest of the time I spend exploring the small villages on the way to Thar desert Safari which is one must have experience being in Rajathan.