| Jaisalmer Fort, Bada Bagh, Kuldhara Abandoned Village, Salim Singh-ki Haveli|
Jaisalmer (Rajasthani: ), nicknamed "The Golden city", is a city in the Indian state of Rajasthan. It is located 575 kilometres (357 mi) west of the state capital Jaipur. It is a World Heritage Site. It was once known as Jaisalmer state. The town stands on a ridge of yellowish sandstone, crowned by a fort, which contains the palace and several ornate Jain temples. Many of the houses and temples are finely sculptured. It lies in the heart of the Thar Desert (great Indian desert) and has a population of about 78,000. It is the administrative headquarters of Jaisalmer District.
Jaisalmer District is located within a rectangle lying between 26°.4’–28°.23 North parallel and 69°.20–72°.42 east meridians. It is the largest district of Rajasthan and one of the largest in the country. The breadth (East-West) of the district is 270 km (170 mi) and the length (North-South) is 186 km (116 mi). On the present map, district Jaisalmer is bounded on the north by Bikaner, on the west & south-west by the Pakistani border, on the south by Barmer and Jodhpur, and on the east by Jodhpur and Bikaner Districts. The length of international border attached to Jaisalmer District is 471 km (293 mi).
The majority of the inhabitants of Jaisalmer are Bhati Rajputs, named for Bhati, who was renowned as a warrior. The ruling family of the erstwhile Jaisalmer State belongs to Bhati Clan of Yadu Rajputs of Chandravanshi (Lunar) race who claim descent from Lord Krishna,the deified hero who ruled at Dwarka. In 1156 Rawal Jaisal, the sixth in succession from Deoraj, founded the fort and city of Jaisalmer,atop Trikuta Hill and began to levy taxes on the camel caravans travelling along the nearby route. Laden with exotic spices and precious silks, these trading caravans were en route to cities like Delhi or Sind, but had to pass directly through Jaisalmer. This strategic location continued to serve Jaisalmer well, as it lay right on the two main routes connecting India with Persia, Egypt and farther west. He later made it his capital as he moved from his former capital at Lodhruva (which is situated about 15 km (9.3 mi) to the north-west of Jaisalmer). In 1293, the Bhattis so enraged the Sultan of Delhi Ala-ud-din Khilji that his army captured and sacked the fort and city of Jaisalmer, so that for some time it was quite deserted.Some Bhattis from the Royal family migrated to Jaisal (Now in Pakistan), a place near to Chiniot Distt and some migrated to Talwandi, now Nankana Sahib in Distt. Nankana Sahib (Punjab, Pakistan) and others settled in Larkana (in Sind, Pakistan)under the name of Bhutto. In Nankana Sahib, the Bhatti Clan can be traced from the lineage of Rai Bhoe and Rai Bular Bhatti. After this there is nothing to record until the time of Rawal Sahal Singh, whose reign marks an epoch in Jaisalmers history in that he acknowledged the supremacy of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. Following the collapse of the Mughal Empire in the 18th century, Jaisalmer, like the rest of Rajputana, became subservient to the Marathas, until it came under the protection of the British East India Company following the British victory in the Third Anglo-Maratha War. In 1818, the Rawals of Jaisalmer signed a treaty with the British, which protected Jaisalmer from invasion provided it was not the aggressor and guaranteed the royal succession.
The Maharajas of Jaisalmer trace their lineage back to Jaitsimha, a ruler of the Bhati Rajput clan. The major opponents of the Bhati Rajputs were the powerful Rathor clans of Jodhpur and Bikaner. They used to fight battles for the possession of forts, waterholes or cattle. Jaisalmer was positioned strategically and was a halting point along a traditional trade route traversed by the camel caravans of Indian and foreign merchants. The route linked India to Central Asia, Egypt, Arabia, Persia, Africa and the West.
Jaisalmer has an average elevation of 229 metres (751 ft). It is situated near the border of India and Pakistan in West Rajasthan, and covers an area of 5.1 km2 (2.0 sq mi). The maximum summer temperature is around 41.6 °C (106.9 °F) while the minimum is 25 °C (77 °F). The maximum winter temperature is usually around 23.6 °C (74.5 °F) and the minimum is 7.9 °C (46.2 °F). The average rainfall is 209.5 millimetres (8.25 in). Highest ever recorded temperature was 48.0 °C (118.4 °F) and the lowest ever recorded temperature being ?5.9 °C (21.4 °F).
Jaisalmer is almost entirely a sandy waste, forming a part of the Thar desert (great Indian desert). The general aspect of the area is that of an interminable sea of sand hills, of all shapes and sizes, some rising to a height of 150 feet (46 m). Those in the west are covered with log bushes, those in the east with tufts of long grass. Water is scarce, and generally brackish; the average depth of the wells is said to be about 250 feet (76 m). There are no perennial streams, and only one small river, the Kakni, which, after flowing a distance of 48 kilometres (30 mi), spreads over a large surface of flat ground, and forms Lake Orjhil ("The Bhuj-Jhil"). The climate is dry and healthy. Throughout Jaisalmer only raincrops, such as bajra, jawar, motif, til, etc., are grown; spring crops of wheat, barley, etc., are very rare. Owing to the scant rainfall, irrigation is almost unknown.
Tourism is a major industry in Jaisalmer. The Government of India initiated departmental exploration for oil in 1955–56 in the Jaisalmer area. Oil India Limited discovered natural gas in 1988 in the Jaisalmer basin.
While Jaisalmer may always have been remote, it is filled with many artistic structures and monuments of local historical importance. Jaisalmers medieval mud fortress and walled township make it a popular tourist destination. The surrounding desolate landscape evidences a stark, austere beauty. Camel safaris through the nearby desert dunes are popular with tourists; competition for business is fierce. Prices range wildly and one has to bargain for everything, hotel rates included. Jaisalmer is known for huge mark-ups which range between 400% to 500% depending on the product. So buying shawls, carpets, jewelry etc. can be a very time consuming and nerve rattling experience. A few quiet days spent wandering around the town and the surrounding desert can be a wonderful way of unwinding from the chaos of larger Indian cities.
Built in 1156 by the Bhati Rajput ruler Jaisal, Jaisalmer Fort is situated on Meru Hill and Named as Trikoot Garh had seen the scene of many battles. Its massive sandstone walls are a tawny lion colour during the day, turning to a magical honey-gold as the sun sets. The famous Indian film director Satyajit Ray wrote a detective novel and later turned it into a film ? Sonar Kella (The Golden Fortress) which was based on this fort. This is a living fort and about a quarter of citys population still live inside the fort. The main attractions inside the fort are: Raj Mahal (Royal palace), Jain temples and the Laxminath temple.Desert Culture Centre & Museum
Jaisalmer Folklore Museum
jaisalmer fort palace museum
jaisalmer fort outsidre and insidery
This is held over three days in January/February every year. This is the best time to visit Jaisalmer to witness performing arts like Kalbelia dances and folk songs and music.