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Jaisalmer Travel:
Location : 285-km From Jodhpur, Rajasthan
Tourist Attractions : Jaisalmer Fort, Manak Chowk & Havelis
Festive Attraction : Desert Festival
Best Time To Visit : October To Februay

Jain TempleRising from the heart of the Thar desert like a golden mirage is the city of Jaisalmer. A commanding fort etched in yellow sandstone stands with all its awesome splendor, dominating the amber - hued city. The city has an intresting legend assocaited with it, according to which Lord krishna - head of the yadav clan foretold Arjuna that aremote descendent of the Yadav Clan would built his kingdom atop the Trikuta Hill. His prophecy 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. The weather is either extremely hot or pretty cold given that Jaisalmer is located in the desert region of Rajasthan. Besides, it's very close to the trouble-prone Indian border with Pakistan. the life within the citadel conjures up images of medieval majesty visible in its narrow lanes strewn with magnificent palaces, havelis, temples and offcourse skilled artisans and ubiquitous camels. The setting sun turning Jaisalmer into beautiful golden brown is a spectacular sight. Folk dances, exciting competitions an contests, especially the turban-tying contest. Mr. Desert contest and camel races enliven the festivities. Colorful craft bazaars are set up for the occasion and a sound and light spectacle is organized wit folk artists performing against the splendid backdrop of the famous Sam sand dunes on the full moon night. Surely a not-to-be missed event.

Places to Visit
The Fort : The golden fort hued fort is sentinel to the bleak desertscape from its 80 metre high perch on the hill, Rang Mahalhousing the entire township within the ramparts. it has enchanting cow-web of narrow lanes dotted with some lovely havelis, three beautifully sculptured Jain temples of the 12th-15th century and five interconnected palaces. The fort is apprched through four gateways - Akhaiya Pol, Ganesh Pol, Suraj pol and Hawa Pol. The fort seems to rise out of the desert haze, its yelow sandstone walls and bastions taking on a golden hue in the afternoon when sun reflects on the fort. In fact at whatever time of the day you look at the Sonar Kila or Golden fort it looks like a fairy tale creation.

MotimahalGadsisar Lake : is an artificial water body that stores rainwater – in the harsh desert landscape. A scenic rain water lake with numerous beautiful shrines around and a spectacular avian variety. The lake is an idyllic spot for outings.

Tazia Tower : A pagoda like structure looming up from the "Badal Mahal" with beautiful Taazias' - ornately decorated bamboo, paper and tinsel replicas of a bier, carried out in processing during Moharram by the Muslims.

Nathmal ji ki Haveli : The late 19th century haveli with intricate architecture a display of sheer craftsmanship. The left and right wings of the mansions, which were carved by two brothers, are not identical but very similar and balanced in design. The interior walls are ornate with splendid miniature paintings.

Patwon ki Haveli : The most elaborate and magnificient of all the Jaisalmer havelis. It has exquisitely carved pillars and exquisitely carved pillars and extensive corridors and chambers. One of the apartments of this five story high haveli is painted with beautiful murals.

Salim Singh ki Haveli : This 300 year old Haveli of Jaisalmer's Prime Minister to Maharaja Rawal Gaj Singh Salim Singh, has a beautiful blue cupola roof with superby carved brackets in the form of peacocks. This extraordinary mansion in yellow stone is covered with intricate carvings and has an elaborate projecting balcony on the top storey. The mansion is one of the most notables of the array of havelis.

Jain Temples : The fort has three exquisitely carved Jain temples dedicated to the Jain Tirthankara-Rishabdev, Sambhavnath and Parswanath

Excursions
Lodurva : the ancient capital of Jaisalmer and an important Jain pilgrim centre lies 16 km to the west. Among the ruins of the city is a complex of magnificent Jain temples with ornate archway at the entrance, perhaps the finest of its kind in Rajasthan.

The Akal Wood Fossil Park : (17km) on the road to Barmer is an interesting stop to the fossilised remains of a forest that grew 180 million years ago. Not far from there is another prehistoric site at Kandiala where different kinds of fossils are found – still older, but undated fossilised rocks, with tiny sea shells embedded in them, that show that this sandy desert wasteland was once part of the ocean bed!

The Sand Dunes at Sam : No trip to Jaisalmer is complete without a visit to the sand dunes at Sam, 42 km away, on the edge of the Desert National Park. The varying patterns, ripples and waves that the wind creates on the undulating, ever changing dunes is awesome to behold. The sunsets at Sam are particularly beautiful, with the desert changing into a kaleidoscope of red, orange and copper before darkness engulfs the desert in a blanket of sheer black.

The Desert National Park :(45km) stretches across 3000km of protected biosphere, where the fragile ecosystem of the desert is preserved in its natural environs. The native flora consists of cacti, thorny shrubs, bushes and trees and vegetation that survives in the dry and arid soil grow here and some of the local fauna- few animal species like the monitor lizard, desert foxes, porcupines and herds of black buck live in this protected park.

How to reach there
Rail : Jaisalmer is 290-km from Jodhpur via Pokhran, Dechu and Balesar or 330-km from Bikaner via Pokhran and Phalodi. It is well connected by train with Jodhpur and other major cities of the country by a meter gauge line.
 
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