Jaisalmer The Golden City

I’d like to start to apportioning more of this site to places that may not be as well-known in the mainstream. That’s not to say that there will only be a focus on obscure places. But there is a bit of magic when your imagination starts getting revved up upon the discovery of fantastic new places.

Jaisalmer, commonly known in India as the “Golden City”, is located in western India near the border with Pakistan and covers a major part of the desert region of Rajasthan. Situated in the heart of the Thar Desert, it was once at an important crossroads of camel caravan routes between India and Central Asia. The “Golden City” is known for its ancient palaces, temples and proximity to sand dunes.

The city is said to be founded by Raja Rawal Jaisal, a Rajput ruler, in approximately 1156 A D. after his people fled from their homeland.  Legends say that he choose Trikuta (three-peaked) Hill as the new site for his fort, Jaisalmer Fort. The fort’s massive sandstone walls still stands and its 99 turrets continue to loom 300 m (1,000 ft) above the town.

In medieval times, Jaisalmer was the focus of the region because of its location. It falls in the way of one of the two routes, which connected India from Persia, Egypt, Africa and the West. However, the the advent of shipping routes and the emergence of Bombay as India’s capital led to its becoming a backwater once more and, fortuitously, led to the preservation of much of its architecture.

source: dailytravelphotos

In the modern era, the rulers of Jaisalmer were the last among the Rajputana royals to sign the “Instrument of Agreement” with the British establishment in India. In the year 1947, the royals signed the agreement to remain in just independent India. Since then it has developed itself into a major tourist destination as well as a cultural hub of the western India.

The landscape outside the city is desolate, but beautiful. The majority of the population are descendents of the original settlers. The city is dominated by the Jaisalmer Fort, which contains five interlinked palaces. Unlike most forts in India, the Jaisalmer Fort is a living fort, as there are shops, hotels, old havelis (homes) and of course, tourists inside the fort area.

source: alltoileandnoreward
source: wikipedia
source: matso