India at a Glance
Rising 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 its entire awesome splendor, dominating the amber-hued city. The Jaisalmer city has an interesting legend associated with it, according to which, Lord Krishna the head of the Yadav Clan, foretold Arjuna that a remote 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. Bhati Rajputs of Jaisalmer were feudal chiefs who lived off the forced levy on the caravans laden with precious silks and spices that crossed the territory enroute Delhi or Sindh. These caravans earned the town great wealth.
The golden city of Jaisalmer lies courageously as the western sentinel of India, is a place worth visiting. The golden ray of the setting sun draws a heavenly picture on the sands of Jaisalmer. The magnificent wood- and stone-carved mansions and buildings display the love of the Rajputs towards the fine arts.
For years Jaisalmer remained untouched by the outside influences. The rise of shipping trade and the port of Mumbai saw the decline of Jaisalmer. But the desert fortress, that seems to be straight out of the "Tales of the Arabian Night" still enchants. The Life within the citadel conjures up images of medieval majesty visible in its narrow lanes strewn with magnificent palace, havelis, temples and of course skilled artisans and ubiquitous camels. The setting sun turning Jaisalmer into a beautiful golden brown is a spectacular sight. The perfect time to visit the golden city is during the Desert Festival, held in Jan/Feb. every year, when the city reverberates to the sound of melodious tunes and rhythms. Folk dances, exciting competitions and contests especially the turban-tying contest. Mr. Desert contest and camel races enliven the festivities. Colourful craft bazaars are set up for the occasion and a sound and light spectacle is organized with folk artist performing against the splendid backdrop of the famous Sam sand dunes on the full moon night. Surely a not-to-be missed event.
Jaisalmer is well connected to the nearby towns and cities. The nearest city is Jodhpur. To visit this place by air, one has to take the flight operated by Indian Airlines between Jodhpur and Jaisalmer. To get there by train there is a meter-gauge train that connects this place with the rest of the small and big places.
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