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Jaisalmer

        Rising for the heart of the Thar Desert the heart of the Thar Desert lika a golden  mirage it the city of Jaisalmer . A commanding fort etched in yellow  sandstone stands with all its  awesome splendour , dominating the amber – hued city .

The city  has an  intresting 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 build his kingdom  atop the Trikuta hill . His prophency was fulfilled in 1156 A.D when Rawal Jaisal , a descendent of the Yadav Clan and a Bhatti Rajput , Abandond his  fort at Lodurva and founded a new capital – Jaisalemr , perched on the Trikuta hill .

Bhati Rajputs of Jaisalmer  were feudal chiefs who lived off the forced levy on the carvans laden with  precious silks and spices that crossed the territory  enroute  Delhi or Sind . These Carvans earned the town great  wealth . 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 Nights “ , Still enchants .

The Life with in  the citadel conjures up images of medieval majesty visible in its narrow lanes strewn with magnificent palaces , havelis , temples and of course skilled artisans and ubiquitous camels .

The setting sun turning  Jaisalmer  in to a beautiful golden Desert Festival , held in Jan/ Feb , Every year when the city reverberates to the sound of melodius tunes and rythms .

 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 spectable is organized with folk artistes performing against the splendid backdrop of the famous Sam Sand dunes on th full moon night . Surely a not-to-be missed event.

Over the years the remote location of Jaisalmer kept it almost untouched by outside influences. In the 13th century Ala-ud-din Khilji Emperor of Delhi besieged the fort for nine years in an effort to take back the treasure taken by the Bhatti Rajput from his imperial caravan train. When the fall of the fort was imminent the women of the fort committed Jauhar, an act of mass self-immolation, while men donned saffron robes and rode to their certain death. Duda son of Jaitasimha, a Bhatti hero also perished in the battle. Dudas descendants continued to rule Jaisalmer. In 1541 they even fought Mughal Emperor Himayun. Though their relations with Mugshal was not always hostile. Sabala Simha won the patronage of Mughal Emperor Shaha Jahan for battle distinctions in Peshawar and the right to rule Jaisalmer. In the days of Raj, Jaisalmer was the last to sign the Instrument of Agreement with the British.

Ages have gone by and the monuments of Jaisalmer have withstood the buffeting winds of the desert all through. Jaisalmer is a marvel of beautiful culture and harsh climatic conditions, together amounting to a memorable experience. The old city was completely encircled by wall but much of it is now pulled down sadly for want of building material in recent years. The massive golden fort, which is the essence of Jaisalmer, is entered through First Gate. Is a burrow of narrow streets complete with Jain Temples and old palaces. The main market the Bhatia Market is right below the hill. The bank, offices and several shops are also located near the Amar Sagar Gate to the west.
 

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