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Jaisalmer

Jaisalmer

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Jaisalmer

History
For the history of the region, see Jaisalmer state.

The majority of the inhabitants of Jaisalmer are Bhatti Rajputs, renowned as a warrior when the tribe. This area was part of Gurjar - Pratihara empire and until the 11th century was ruled by a powerful Bargujar King. Deoraj, a famous prince of the Bhati family, is esteemed the real founder of the Jaisalmer dynasty, and with him the title of rawal commenced. In 1156 Rawal Jaisal,[1] the sixth in succession from Deoraj, founded the fort and city of Jaisalmer, and made it his capital as he moved from his former capital at Lodhruva (which is situated about 15 km to the north-west of Jaisalmer). In 1293, the Bhattis so enraged the emperor 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 Bhatti's 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 Bhatti history in that he acknowledged the supremacy of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. The Jaisalmer princes had now arrived at the height of their power, but from this time till the accession of Rawal Mulraj in 1762 the fortunes of the state rapidly declined, and most of its outlying provinces were lost. In 1818 Mulraj entered into political relations with the British. Maharawal Salivahan, born in 1887, succeeded to the chiefship in 1891. The Maharajas of Jaisalmer trace their lineage back to Jaitsimha, a ruler of the Bhatti 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 Asian merchants. The route linked India to Central Asia, Egypt, Arabia, Persia, Africa and the West.
Medieval period

During the Islamic invasion of India, Jaisalmer escaped direct Muslim conquest due to its geographical situation in the desert region. The Rawals of Jaisalmer agreed to pay an annual tribute to the Delhi Sultans. The first siege of Jaisalmer occurred during the reign of Alauddin Khilji. It was provoked by Bhatis' raid on a caravan filled with treasure. According to local ballads, the Bhatis defended the fort for seven years until the enemy army forced beached the ramparts. Bhatis, facing certain defeat, proclaimed the rite of jauhar. Later, Sultan Ferozshah also sieged Jaisalmer after the rulers of Jaisalmer raided his camp at Anasagar lake near Ajmer. The siege led to another jauhar. Jaitsimha's son Duda perished in the attack. Duda's descendants ruled over Jaisalmer for about two centuries. Duda's descendant Lunakarna had a fight with Humayun when the latter passed through Jaisalmer en route to Ajmer. Mughal emperor Akbar was married to one of the Jaisalmer princesses. Later, Jaisalmer was ruled by a noble called Sabala Simha, who won the patronage of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan for services rendered in his Peshawar campaign.

. and forms Lake Orjhil ("The BhujJhil"). knitting the hitherto remote town with the rest of Rajasthan. skirmishes between India and Pakistan gave Jaisalmer a strategic importance and made it serviceable as an army supply depot. Bhati Rajput ruler Rawal Jaisal. During the British Raj. The climate is dry and healthy. are very rare. the Kakni. after whom the city finds its name.5 °F) and the minimum is 7. which.9 in). founded Jaisalmer in 1156 AD. those in the east with tufts of long grass. and covers an area of 5. The beautiful havelis which were built by wealthy merchants of Jaisalmer are yet another interesting aspect of the desert city. the glory of Jaisalmer faded when Bombay emerged as a port and the sea trade replaced the traditional land routes. Jaisalmer was the seat of a princely state of the same name. Roads and railroads were then built. after flowing a distance of 28 metres (92 ft).1 km². The maximum summer temperature is around 41. Ironically. The name Jaisalmer evokes utter magic and vibrancy of the desert..9 °F) while the minimum is 25 °C (77 °F). However. irrigation is almost unknown. ruled by the Bhati clan of rajputs. the Government of Rajasthan decided to promote Jaisalmer as a tourist destination. The maximum winter temperature is usually around 23. are grown.6 °C (74. The present descendant is Brijraj Singh. Though the city is under the governance of the Government of India. Owing to the scant rainfall.6 °C (106. spring crops of wheat. The hostile terrain notwithstanding the warmth and colour of people is simply overwhelming. til. The partition of India in 1947 lead to closing of all the trade routes on the Indo-Pak border and rendered Jaisalmer a drought-prone desert backwater on the international border. a lot of welfare work is carried out by him and his family. Later. etc. forming a part of the great Indian desert.[citation needed] Traditionally. The average rainfall is 150 millimetres (5. Those in the west are covered with log bushes. It¶s straight out of an Arabian Nights fable. The general aspect of the area is that of an interminable sea of sand hills. and only one small river. motif. On advice of a local hermit Eesaal he chose the Tricut Hills as his new abode. etc. barley.9 °C (46. .2 °F). the Rajasthan Canal served to revive the surrounding desert areas. the main source of income was the levies on the caravans. The desert citadel is truly a golden fantasy in the Thar Desert. spreads over a large surface of flat ground. And you can let your eyes caress the sloping sand dunes while you ramble your way in a camel safari. the average depth of the wells is said to be about 250 feet (76 m). Later. of all shapes and sizes. such as bajra. One of the main draws is the daunting 12th century Jaisalmer Fort. There are no perennial streams. jawar. It is situated near the border of India and Pakistan in West Rajasthan. Geography Jaisalmer has an average elevation of 229 metres (751 ft). some rising to a height of 150 feet (46 m).Princely Jaisalmer Jaisalmer was one of the last states to sign a treaty with the British.[2] Jaisalmer is almost entirely a sandy waste. Throughout Jaisalmer only raincrops. The Royal Family still commands a lot of respect from the people. Water is scarce. and generally brackish.

which is the essence of Jaisalmer. When the fall of the fort was imminent the women of the fort committed Jauhar. Jaisalmer is a paragon of beautiful culture and harsh climatic conditions. an act of mass selfimmolation. In 1541 AD they even fought Mughal Emperor Humayun. Duda's descendants continued to rule Jaisalmer. though their relations with the Mughals were not always hostile. The old city was completely encircled by a wall but much of it has crumbled sadly for want of building material in recent years. these together leave a lasting impression on the visitors. is entered through First Gate. Ages have gone by and the monuments of Jaisalmer have withstood the buffeting winds of the desert all through. a Bhati hero also perished in the battle. They also amassed wealth through questionable means. Duda son of Jaitasimha. Jaisalmer was the last to sign the Instrument of Agreement with the British Government. Over the years the remote location of Jaisalmer kept it almost untouched by outside influences.abandoning his vulnerable old fort at Luderwa just 16 kilometres northwest. Sabal Simha won the patronage of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan for his distinctions in battlefield. The main market. while men donned saffron robes and rode to their certain death. Prime Sites: . Ala-ud-din Khilji. In the days of the British rule. the Sadar Bazar is right below the hill. The Bhati Rajput rulers lined their coffers with gains from traditional taxes levied on passing by caravans. its prosperity was due to its location on the main trade route linking India to Egypt and Arabia. is a burrow of narrow streets with Jain Temples and old palaces. the Sultan of Delhi besieged the fort for nine years in an effort to take back the treasure looted by the Bhatti Rajputs from his imperial caravan train. In Medieval times. in Peshawar and thus earned the right to rule Jaisalmer. In the 14th century AD. The massive golden fort. The bank. offices and several shops are also located near the Amar Sagar Gate to the west.

hear petitions and present extravagant entertainment for important visitors. winding lanes. The fort walls provide superb views over the old city and surrounding desert. and between this and the third. It is fascinating to9 wander around this living fort. with one quarter of the old city's population residing in it. fronts onto this. It is also quite as vehicles are not allowed up here. distributing the riches for the prosperity to an otherwise non resourceful kingdom. several temples and the residential complexes of the armies and traders placed strategically on the trade route. all of them paved in stone. Ganesh Pol. The setting sun in its most colourful shades gives it a fairy tale appearance. the rich merchants inspired by the classic style of the royals. Over the centuries it was the focus of many battles between the Bhatties. wall. the intricately carved havelis of rich merchants. The second wall snakes around the fort. Suraj Pol and Hava Pol. Even building materials have to be carried up by camel cart.The fort is approached through four gateways ± Akhaiya Pol. Above the fort flies the Jaisalmer standard. It is simply magical ± as the bastions envelop a whole township that consists of the palace complex.The Fort About The Fort Built in 1156 by the Bhatti Rajput ruler Jaisala. It was from this trade route that the ancient caravans passed. the Mughals of Delhi and the Rathores of Jodhpur.high Trikuta Hill. It has an enchanting cow-web of narrow lanes dotted with some lovely havelis. The square was formerly used to review troops. Rajmahal. . The fort looks especially magical when it is lit up at night. temples. The lower wall is of solid stone blocks which reinforce the loose rubble of which Trikuta hill is composed. and reinforced by later rulers. The Jaisalmer fort. housing the entire township within its ramparts. three beautifully sculptured Jain temples of the 12th 15th century A. These merchants served and acquired a great deal of power and noble status in the royal courts of Bhatti Rajputs who founded the state in the 12th century AD and proceeded further. and massive round missiles on their unwitting enemies below. which features a chatri against a red and yellow background. Strolling around the outer fort ramparts is a popular activity at sunset. The former Maharaja's seven storeys Palace. of inner. rises from the sand and merges with the golden hues of the desert ambience. The result was an architectural purity that cannot be seen elsewhere. It is packed with houses. known as Sonar Quila or the Golden fort. The fort is entered from First Fort gate tough it is forbidding series of massive gates via an enormous stone paved ramp. the warrior Rajputs hurled boiling oil and water. This is one of the planets only living forts. The golden hued fort is a sentinel to the bleak desertscape from its 80 meter high perch on the hill. The fort has 99 bastions around its circumference and is protected by three walls. However. The colourful art forms had some how relegated the royal heritage to a position of secondary importance. constructed huge mansions (havelis) adjacent to each other in the nature of medieval culture and profusely decorated the walls and ceilings and intricately carved the outdoors and interiors.D. The craftsmen were usually Muslims who were induced on their journey to exhibit their skills in art forms. the fort crowns the 80m . which leads to a large courtyard. handicraft shops and honeycombed with narrow. and five interconnected palaces.

the carving in the Havelis of Jaisalmer is of a very superior quality. A main marketplace outside the fort leads to the narrow lanes dotted with famous havelis. are strewn all over Jaisalmer. Havelis Some of the most exotic mansions or havelis. Nathmalji-ki-Haveli About Nathmalji-ki-Haveli Haveli This late 19th century Haveli was also used as a prime minister's house and has a superb exterior. but not identical. Tazias are ornately decorated bamboo. with each storey graced by a delicately carved balcony. all intricately latticed.Mank Chowk and Havelis About Manak Chowk Outside the Jaisalmer Fort. one can walk into the lanes where the famous carved Havelis are to be found. Tazia Tower About Tazia Tower The delicate pagoda like Tazia Tower rises from Badal Mahal (Cloud Palace). A pagoda like structure looming up from the µBadal Mahal¶ with beautiful µTaazias¶ ± ornately decorated bamboo. Rising in its five-tiered splendor. and even the front door is a work of art. the tower is of historical significance. Built mainly during the 18 th and 19 th centuries. paper and tinsel replicas of a bier. The left and right wings of the building were carved by brothers and are very similar. is the main market place called Manak Chowk which is the centre of local activity. paper and tinsel replicas of a bier carried in procession during Muharram. Yellow sandstone elephants guard the building. carried out in procession during Moharram by the Muslims. . Each Haveli's facade differs from other. Muslim craftsmen built it in the shape of a Tazia and gifted to their royal patron. From Manak Chowk.each with a different façade.

They are empty but you can wander around and soak in the atmosphere. The third Haveli is an antique shop and the fourth.The late 19th century haveli with intricate architecture. it is sourrounded by small temples and shrines. and befitting its importance in providing precious water to the inhabitants of this arid city. is not open for public. Godi Sagar Lake This tank. and. Patwon-ki-Haveli About Patwon ki Haveli The Haveli built between 1800 and 1860. The left and right wings of the mansion. south of the city walls. once held the town's water supply. is surrounded by small temples and shrines. and is said to have been built by a famous prostitute. the Maharaja refused permission under it to go down to the tank and he felt that this would be beneath his dignity. taking the advantage of a natural declivity that already retained some water. adding a Krishna temple on top so that king could not tear it down. The most elaborate and magnificent of all the Jaisalmer havelis. The beautiful yellow sandstone gateway arching across the road down to the tank is the Tilon-ki-Pol. The lake is an idyllic spot for outings. It has exquisitely carved pillars and extensive corridors and chambers. When she offered to pay to have this gateway constructed. A wide variety of waterfowl flock here in winter. One of the apartments of this five storey high haveli is painted with beautiful murals. are not identical but very similar and balanced in design. The tank was built by Maharaja Gadsi Singh.a display of sheer craftsmanship. While he was away. featuring displays of old furnishings and household items. Garsisar Tank Jaisalmer ¤ Magnificent Tank . a private residence. once held the town water supply. Only the ground floor is open on the second Haveli. was built by five Jain brothers who made their fortunes by trading jewellery and fine brocades. she built the gate . Tilon . A scenic rain water lake with numerous beautiful shrines around and a sepectacular avian variety. This Haveli is divided into five apartments. The interior walls are ornate with splendid miniature paintings. The second and fifth Havelis are government run. befitting its importance in providing precious water to the inhabitants of this arid city. Gadsisar Lake About Gadisar lake This tank outside the city walls. which were carved by two brothers. The first Haveli is a private museum and shop.

the longest scripture in the world with almost 300. and was later renovated by Maharawal Garsi Singh after whom it is named. There are stone elephants before the Haveli. The Garsisar gate is one of the two main entrances to the city. was able to cement her place in Jaisalmer¶s history. annually during the monsoons. the cunning Teelon had a statue of Satyanarayan (god of Truth).the stones are connected with tongue-and-groove joints. Salim Singh ±Ki-Haveli About Salim Singh-ki-Haveli This private Haveli was built by Salim Singh who was the prime minister when Jaisalmer was the capital of a princely state. ¤ Teelon ki Pol-Garsisar Gate Garsisar lake is reached through an exquisite archway called the Garsisar Gate or the Teelon ki Pol. who ironically was also very religious minded. her birth place. the god with an elephant-head and son of Shiva the Destroyer.000 verses. There are a number of small shrines built in and around the tank. who used her ill-gotten wealth to build the gateway in an effort to immortalize herself. Vyas Chhatri Just north of the fort lies the cenotaph of Sage Vyas. It was built by a courtesan Teelon. placed atop the archway and the Maharawal was forced to rescind his order. This mansion is erected with no mortar or cement . The Sunset point over Sooli Dongri is a big hit with tourists and is definitely worth making a trip to if you want a bird¶s eye view of Jaisalmer and its adjoining areas. which is when a lot of tube wells were built at Dabala village about 15kms off the city limits to augment Jaisalmer¶s meager water supply.Garsisar is an artificial water tank and was the main source of water to Jaisalmer till about 1965. A part of the Haveli is still occupied. The tank itself was built way back in 1156 by the first monarch of Jaisalmer King Jaisal. However. he ordered its destruction. but came to Jaisalmer.The monument still stands at the sight and is a certainly worth a dekko. Vyas Chhatri is also referred to in the city as Sunset Point as it gives you a wonderful view of picturesque Jaisalmer at sundown. the man who compiled the Hindu epic Mahabharata. these were traditionally erected before the homes of the prime ministers. He dictated the Mahabharata to Ganesh. . When some courtiers protested and suggested to the king that he couldn¶t possibly pass under an archway built by a woman of easy virtue. In this manner Teelon. Teelon lived in Hyderabad (the one now in Pakistan).

camel ornaments. The most ironical part of it was that immediately after the deed was done. not women. The last and half jauhar was the most intriguing of all. and the palanquin he sent inside the fort was full of warriors. the Afghan got Maharawal Lunakaran¶s permission to let his begums (wives) visit the ranis (queens) of Jaisalmer. Amir Ali.The mansion is one of the most notables of the array of havelis.000 women gave up their lives at the altar of honour.This 300 hundred year old haveli of Jaisalmer¶s Prime Minister to Maharaja Rawal Gaj Singh-Salim Singh. Sation Ka Pagothia . To the Rajputs. it is called a half . photographs. It is a very informatory and intriguing Folk Art Museum. reinforcements arrived in the shape of other princes and Amir Ali was defeated and blown up by a cannon ball. dressed in saffron robes worn during weddings (a concept similar to the Japanese practice of ritual suicide or hara-kiri). This terrible but at the same time fascinating ritual took place exactly two and a half times in the history of Jaisalmer. .the exhibits include everything from paintings and musical instruments to old coins. has a beautiful blue cupola roof with superbly carved brackets in the form of peacocks. Established in 1984 by a N K Sharma.jauhar or Sako. The men would then fling open the castle gates and fight to the last man. manuscripts. but how well they fought.000 women sacrificed themselves in the fiery inferno. Folklore Museum Jaisalmer Situated on the banks of the Garsisar lake the museum is a gold mine of information not just about Jaisalmer. rather than face defeat they performed their own last rites. ¤ The Grand Jauhar--Mass Self Immolation From the Rajput¶s rigid sense of honour arose the practice of jauhar or mass suicide by women when their men folk faced defeat in battle.Jauhar Place Also called the Jauhar Place it was here that the most celebrated as well as frightening of all Rajput customs was performed. but the rich cultural heritage of western Rajasthan. But he played a µTrojan horse¶ trick on the Maharawal. honour came before all else ±even life. postcards. When it seemed to the Maharawal that he was fighting a losing battle he slaughtered his womenfolk with his own hands as their was little time to arrange a funeral pyre.This extraordinary mansion in yellow stone is covered with intricate carvings and has an elaborate projecting balcony on the top storey. Quite often what was important to them during a battle was not victory or defeat. Hence. They would dress themselves in their bridal finery and embrace their funeral pyres with a smile on their lips. curios and even fossils. By this code. and is a must-see for tourists keen on learning about Jaisalmer¶s history art and traditions or for the intellectually inclined. A few decades later when Firoz Shah Tughlaq invaded the city 16. On the first occasion when Allauddin Khilji vanquished Jaisalmer 24.

and since the Jaisalmeris love for jewellery is legendary you¶ll come across paraphernalia of silver ornaments designed for different parts of the female body. the glorification of the barbaric custom of sati was part and parcel of Rajasthani culture and this was an extreme example of it. ankles and even a decoration called chupara for the teeth. camel-skin slippers and traditional dhurries (rugs) and shawls. The princess decided to proceed with the act nevertheless as sacrificing her life for her dewar. The camels and gypsies that pass you by lend an atmosphere to the place similar to ancient Arabia and the alfresco shops which dot the area sell everything from clothes to bedspreads to toys to the famous culinary delight of Jaisalmer. (husband¶s younger brother) would make her into a mahasati (great sati). ghotua (bright yellow candy balls). While this may seem bizarre to the modern reader. and a beehive of activity. The guards of the shrine are Muslim Manganiyars (wandering minstrels) who sing songs extolling the princess¶s virtues and light a ceremonial lamp before the tablets.Jaisalmer Bazaars A trip down the winding lanes and the narrow causeways of Jaisalmer and you might get the feeling that you have just travelled by a time machine back to the medieval cities of Mecca or Medina. There is an old-worldly charm about the place and a trip to the main mart called Manak Chowk or Ruby Square is well worth a visit. ears. Iraq. However. Jaisalmer in those days was not dissimilar to the µgreat silk route¶ from Europe to China and made the town fairly prosperous. Other things worth shopping for are tie-and-die fabrics. Merchants from far away lands like Persia. the nose. Apparently the princess¶s husband and his younger brother had gone out to battle when a messenger arrived with his headgear signaling his death. Egypt and Arabia used to visit the city to trade. Bhattiani Sati Rani Temple ¤ A Fascinating Tale of A Sati . embroidery and mirror work. Testimonial tablets with the handprints of satis can be seen throughout the state. The anecdote behind the incident reveals the pride Rajput women felt at the time of becoming a sati (a widow self-immolating on her husband¶s funeral pyre) till as late as the last century. fingers. the head. Manak Chowk Market The chowk was once a Sadar Mandi (grain-market).(Widow's Self-Immolation) A few steps away from the fort lies a temple dedicated to a Bhatti princess who performed sati ± but with a difference. the body was brought back which turned out to be of the younger sibling. As she prepared for sati. .

Steps lead below the temple to Kunthunath Temple. a few steps behind Chandraprabhu. The fort has three exquisitely carved Jain temples dedicated to the Jain Tirthankaras-Rishabdev.Jains. There is a voluptuous carving of an apsara balancing a set of balls on her raised forearm. include the temple dedicated to Parasnath. their limbs decked with ivory and silver ornaments. the population of Jaisalmer declined from 35000 in 1815 to only about 22. This led to a large number of people migrating from the town. The image of Shitalnath enshrined here is composed of eight precious metals. Manak Chowk hosts the relics of a bygone age.355 according to the 1981 census. and the pillars are beautifully sculpted with apsaras (Celestial Maiden) and gods. whose symbol is the moon. The enclosed gallery around the temple is flanked by hundreds of images of saints. Steps lead from the courtyard before the Sambhavnath temple to the Shantinath Temple. which was also built in 1536. Sambhavnath and Parswanath. It was built in 1509 and features fine sandstone sculpture in sandstone in Mandapa (Fore chamber of the inner sanctum of the temple). dedicated to the 10th tinrthankar. Other temples which may be currently closed to the non . This temple has a lovely and tranquil atmosphere. To the right of the Chandraprabhu Temple is Rikhabdev temple. The cluster of temples is connected by a series of corridors and walkways. the importance of Jaisalmer as a conduit for trade between India and the rest of Asia declined. which was built in1536. Shoes and all leather items must be removed before entering the temple. There are some fine sculptures around the walls protected by glass cabinets. A door to the south side of the temple leads to the small Shitalnath Temple. Cochin and Madras. Entry is via an enormous and beautifully carved torana (Gateway) that culminates the image of the Jain tirthankara its apex. Gyan Bhandar or Library . the eighth tirthankar (Jain Teacher). some of marble and some of Jaisalmer sandstone. Jain Temples About The Jain Temple Within the fort walls. At Manak Chowk you¶ll get the impression that you are sitting in a time machine and have gone back into the past ± women dressed in brightly coloured ghagharas (long skirts) and odhanis (long scarf). there are seven beautifully carved Jain Temples built between the 12th and 15th centuries. The first temple you come around is the one dedicated to Chandraprabhu.with the development of other trading centres in India in the port cities of Bombay. A door in the north wall leads to the beautiful Sambhavnath Temple.

in 10th century. Wood Fossil Park. the 23rd tirthankar. are the deserted ruins of Lodhurva. this park takes you back to the Jurassic period (when the whole Thar region lay under the sea) with 180 million year old fossils ± the geological landmarks for the study of the Thar Desert. are the only reminders of the city's former magnificence. Other exhibits include astrological charts and the Jain version of the Shroud of Turin: the Shroud of Gindhasuri. by Acharya Maharaj Jin Bhadra Suri. some dating from the 11th century. prompting Jaisala to shift the capital to a new location. Bhatti Devaraja. a library founded in 1500 A. The Jain Temples. It was probably founded by the Lodhra Rajputs.About Gyan Bhandar Gyan Bhandar."Toran" or the ornate arches at the main entrance and splendid carvings are noteworthy. and passed to the ruler of Devagarh. resulting in the foundation of Jaisalmer in 1156. The ancient capital of Jaisalmer and an important pilgrim spot of the Jain community with some magnificent Jain Temples. In 1025. Some of the oldest manuscripts of India are found in this library established as a part of Jain Temples. These are beautiful forest vistas and any forester around can show you. Aakal Just 17 kms from Jaisalmer and a kilometre away from the Barmer Road are fossilised remains of 180 millionyear-old forests. The main temple enshrines an image of Parasnath. and is finely wrought in silver and surrounded by fine sculptures. Lying on the Barmer Road. In a small locked cabinet are the images of Parasnath made of ivory and various precious stones including emerald and crystal. 15 km northwest of Jaisalmer.D. This small underground vault houses priceless ancient illustrated manuscripts. There are plans to shift the library outside the present location within the Jain temple so it can be visited. a Jain hermit and holy man who died in Ajmer. rebuilt in the late 1970s. and it was sacked various times over subsequent decades. Excursions Lodurva About Lodurva Further beyond Amar Sagar. Sam Sand Dunes . A µKalapataru¶ or a divine tree within is the main attraction of the temples. Mahmud of Ghazni laid siege to the town. which was the ancient capital before the move to Jaisalmer.

Exciting Camel safaries allow you to get the real feel of the desert on the camel back. Villagers in their rural world can be seen on the way to Khuri. a typical accommodation in the shape of fortress provides the visitors with warm welcome.About Sam Sand Dunes Sam village is on the edge of the Desert National Park. 42 km from Jaisalmer along a very good sealed road. The black buck is another common antelope of this region. Bengal fox. Sudashri forest post is the ideal place for observing the wildlife of Desert National Park and is the most suitable in the entire 3162 sq. Birds such as the sandgrouse. Just before the sunset jeep carrying loads of day-trippers arrive from Jaisalmer to be chased across the sands by tenacious camel owners. It is a delightfully peaceful place with mud and straw decorated houses. bee-eaters. Its other notable inhabitants are the desert fox. Beautiful folk dancers enrich the visitor's experience with traditional flavour of joy. No trip to Jaisalmer is complete without a trip to the most picturesque dunes of the Sam. . There is regular bus service that runs from Jaisalmer to Sam village. Herds of camel and cows are attractions on the way to Sam. Khuri Village & Sand Dunes Khuri is a village 45 km south west of Jaisalmer. it is still quite a magical place. inter medial areas and fixed dunes which are quite suitable for the chinkara to move at high speed. Desert National Park (45 km) The Desert National Park is an excellent example of the ecosystem of the Thar desert and its diverse fauna. It is best to be here at sunrise or sunset. and it is possible to frame pictures of solitary camels against lonely dunes. are surely a delight for a trigger ± happy photographer. The birds of prey seen here . Demoiselle crane and Hobard arrive in the winter. There is regular bus service that runs from Jaisalmer to Khuri village. Sam Dhani. The ripples on the wind ± caressed dunes. The desert dung beetles are fascinating to watch. One of the most popular excursions is to the sand dunes on the edge of the park. One kilometre away from the village. Some 45 kms towards the west of the Jaisalmer city are located the barren yet beautiful shifting sand dunes adjoining the village Sam. kms. The major landform consists of craggy rocks and compact salt lake bottoms. Birdlife in this sandy habitat is vivid and spectacular. and many camel safaris spend a night at the dunes. larks and shrikes are commonly seen. wolf and desert cat. Sand dunes form around 20% of the Park. Here one can have a ride on camel ± the ship of desert in the desert sea. of this park for watching and photographing the activities of the animals from behind cover. patches of sand dunes are additional attractions for the tourists. Various cultural programmes are organized against the backdrop of these fascinating sand dunes. partridges. that create an enchanting mirage. Despite of the tourist hype. board and lodging.

6 kms. Several terraces are formed where summer palaces. Beautifully carved jain temples add to its splendour. Much of the city¶s fruits and vegetables are grown here. But the most outstanding of the avifauna is the great Indian bustard. Surrounded by dense trees are the royal cenotaphs with beautifully carved ceilings and equestrian statues of the former rulers. Bada Bagh (6 Km) About Bada Bagh Bada Bagh was built by Maharaja Jai Singh II and completed after his death by his son. Chinkara. heavy bird is an epitome of confidence and grace. Amar Sagar (5 km) A pleasant garden beside a lake with mango and other fruit trees. A fertile oasis on the bank of an artificial lake. Above the gardens are picturesque royal chhatries (Cenotaphs)with beautifully carved ceilings and equestrian statues of former rulers. This tall. long legged and honey buzzards. The prominent fauna of the park includes Black Buck. Entry Requirements All visitors to Desert national sanctuary need to pay an entry fee of Rs 100 per person and for jeep. It is good to see five or six bustards near Sudashri water hole. The dams were constructed to hold rainwater. the descendant of famous patwas. On the south of the lake stands the exquisitely carved Jain temple constructed by Himmat Ram Bafna.100 and for coach fee is Rs. on way to Luderwa the natural spot developed by Maharawal Amar Singh is a water reservoir in 1688 AD. . Desert Fox and the great Indian Bustard. temples are constructed & Garden developed.are tawny and steppe eagles. car fee is Rs. 200 The landscape of the Desert National Park is dominated by rolling sand dunes and scrub covered hills. Bada Bagh is now surrounded by windmills used to generate electricity. falcons and kestrels.

carets. There is no fortress here. This place is primarily famous for its woodcarving. block printing and embroideries.handicrafts produced here are found in shops throughout Rajasthan. which were influenced by both the Mughal and Rajput schools of art. carved wood furniture. small villages. carpets. crafts are for sale on Station road at more reasonable prices than elsewhere. But whatever be the excesses he committed. A tiny desert town renowned for its hand block printing industry. Initially the residence of the Pushkarna Brahmins (a sect among Brahmins). The pleasant shady grove is a perfect picnic spot during summers. Barmer is a desert town just 153 kms from Jaisalmer and has fortresses to boast off. The Moolsagar complex was built by Maharawal Moolraj II in 1815AD. . block printing and other crafts . this is another pleasant. It belongs to the Royal family of Jaisalmer and was originally built as a cool summer retreat. Festival Funs Desert Festival (Jan/Feb) A spectacular event coinciding with the full moon in Jan/Feb. colourful costumes and amiable folks. He definitely had a profound influence on the Maharawal. Barmer (155 km) About Barmer Barmer is famous for its wood carving. The centre for embroidery is the Sadar Bazaar and woodcarvings are around the Station Road. It may also be recalled that the monument was built at the time of Prime Minister Salim Singh s reign of terror (see History). Perhaps the best part of journey here through peaceful. The rich culture of the region is on display during this three day long festival. where one can enjoy camel rides and brilliant performances by the folk artistes under the full moon against the backdrop of picturesque dunes. he was a great lover of art and his beautiful haveli (see Salim Singh s haveli) bears testimony to that. Moolraj was a great patron of art and there are some wonderful paintings and pictures housed inside the Mahal. but rather neglected . The famous Gair and Fire dancers are the major attractions of the celebrations. the Moolsagar Gardenand a splendid Raj Mahal built on its premises.Mool Sagar (18 km) About Mool Sagar Situated 9km west of Jaisalmer. today you will find numerous wells. In the lemon groove there's a small Shiva temple carved from two pieces of sandstone. It has an RTDC Hotel and private Hotels too.walled houses decorated with geometric designs. The center for embroidery is Sadar Bazaar. small garden and tank. Desert contest further enhance the fun of the occasion. embroidery. A trip to the Sam sand dunes marks the grand finale. their mud . and it was thanks to his efforts as well that so many lovely palaces and structures were built in that period. furniture and interiors. to give the devil his due. Interesting contests including a turban-tying competition and a Mr.

The Paliwals were basically descendents of the priestly sect of the Pali tribe who gave up their spiritual calling and took to commercial and agricultural pursuits. It is also said that the area was particularly prone to dacoity. Khuldra. The fort is located about one and a half kilometres from the bus stand and has an assortment of weaponry. and the Paliwals being a prosperous community were quite vulnerable to them. Salim Singh molesting their women and the development of the railways which made the camel caravans obsolete. ¤ Migration of the Paliwals However. They had migrated from Pali district to Jaisalmer way back in the 13th century. as in Pali. the notorious Prime Minister during Mool Raj II¶s reign who levied heavy taxes on them. such as official apathy from the Maharawal. This time it came from Salim Singh. Here they built no less than 84 villages. It is en route to Jaisalmer and is also a fort town though the fort is not of the same dimensions as those of Jaisalmer or Jodhpur. brocade clothes and various games of dice and dominoes on display. Pokran came into limelight in the wake of India's first underground nuclear explosion. they faced discrimination here too. It was a resting place for traders and the camel caravan people.A Stop Over Distance : 17km from Jaisalmer ¤ A Residing Place for Traders Khuldra was once upon a time inhabited mainly by Paliwal Brahmins.Just 35 kms form Barmer is a group of five temples in architectural style known as Solanki. Jaisalmer and Bikaner Road. Since it is very close to the sensitive Pakistan border. Several other reasons are given for the emigration of the Paliwals again. Pokran is also renowned for its furniture and crafts for interior decoration. These temples feature some very fine sculpture and the Someshwara Temple with a multi tier spire is the most impressive. Pokran It is located at the junction of Jodhpur. foreigners visiting it must obtain prior permission form the District Collector. Fort Pokran also offers accommodation with a rugged heritage appeal. and Khuldra was one of the main centres from where they plied their trade and tilled the land. ¤ The Architecture Splendor of Paliwal Village .

The shrine is dedicated to God Rama and Krishna and was constructed during the reign of Maharawal Amar Singh in 17th Century. is a fruit garden. A temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.16 kms. The chhatris have been built in a set pattern but in different sizes. one mala (necklace) and a topa (cap) for worshippers. the Maharawal from 1659-1701.It is only 16 kms from Jaisalmer. Rama Kunda has become a major tourist attraction and worth taking a camel ride too. probably to shield the inhabitants from the fierce desert winds. Now a silent city. In the temple are available one gudari (cloth). Attached to the bundh (Dam). Mahishasur the demon bull and Bhairu. The temple monument itself has some inscriptions written on the walls and outside on the Govardhan Pillars which were added to the complex in the early 18th century. Each chhatri preserves an inscribed tablet recording the death of Maharawals on which the memorials are raised. There is also a perimeter wall built around the village. toran (ornate arch) and artificial divine tree (Kalptaru). You can see the remnants of the Paliwal villages.A temple. originally of early Pratihar period seems to have been restored in the 16th Century AD.Whatever may have been the reason for their departure. Ruins of the deserted capital and the remains of an apartment of Princess Moomal still recall the famous love legend of Moomal-Mahendra. New statues of Rama and his brother Lakshmana were installed in 1988. The Rama Kunda temple monument was built by Mansukhi Devi. Khuldra today resembles a ghost town. is Ram. Jait bundh (Dam) named after Maharawal Jait Singh was constructed in 1513 AD. the magnificence of the architecture of the buildings is still very much on display. Royal cenotaphs with carved images of late Maharawals and their families are seen. Nearby lie some beautiful cenotaphs with intricate carvings. But while the streets and houses may be deserted. attracting a number of devotees on full moon day of Baisakh every year for a holy dip. chhatris and wells. the only witness to its former splendour are the Jain temple. Northwest from Jaisalmer. Ram-Kunda:. 11 kms off the Ramgarh local route. a religious palace for Hindus. the wife of Amar Singh. Rama Kunda Temple Rama Kunda is located 11km off Jaisalmer on the Ramgarh road on the bank of the Kak river. Luderwa:. . with their beautiful archways. Luderwa is the old capital of Jaisalmer. as the name of the temple suggests. The beautiful spot. In Amar Singh¶s time lived a saint called Anant Ram who was the guru of the Maharawal. The principal deity.Situated six kms north of Jaisalmer on way to Ramgarh. Baisakhi:. but there are also images of Ganesh. Bada Bag:.

the descendant of famous Patwas.P. temples and gardens were developed. Kuldhara & Khabha:. rugs.A.Smt. Krishi Mandi 02292-222884 Shri Ashok Tanwar Chairman N. antiques and old stone work.L. On the south of the lake stands the exquisitely carved Jain temple constructed by Himmat Ram Bafna. photographers and movie makers. Jaisalmer 02292-252312 .P.. P.P.A. Jaisalmer 9414149531 Shri Shale Mohammad M.Amar-Sagar:. Pokaran 02994-222239 ± Shopping Local Market Jaisalmer is famous for embroidery. Zila Parishad 02292-252314 . Gandhi Darshan and Khadi Seema Ggram etc. Tie-dye and other fabrics are made at the Khadi Gramudyog Bhavan. Barmer-Jaisalmer 9414106999 Smt.S.Chhoteswari Devi Chairman. Pokaran 9414149286.Just 6 kms. Sam 02292-252318 . blankets. on the way to Luderwa is a natural spot developed by Maharawal Amar Singh in the form of a water reservoir in 1688 AD.S. P. 952993.Shree Mula Ram Pradhan. out of which the two most prominent villages are Kuldhara and Khabha located about 18 and 30 kms respectively south west of Jaisalmer on the same road. The ruins of Kuldhara and Khabha exhibit the architectural excellence of those times and are an attraction for peace-lovers. Rajasthani mirror work. The dams were constructed to hold rainwater. . Lackmi Kanwar Pradhan.Shri Vahidulla Mehar Pradhan.JodhpurPokaran 9418010223 Shri Chhotu Singh Bhati M. Several terraces are formed where summer palaces. 252024. Chandresh Kumari MP . N. List of Public Representatives of District Jaisalmer Name Post Telephone Number Office Residence Shri Harish Choudhary M. Sankara 02994-222226 ..275601 275611 Shri Abdulla Fakir Pramukh.L.(Medieval Deserted village of Paliwal Community) A total number of 84 villages were abandoned by Paliwal Brahmins overnight. Sunita Bhati Chairperson.Smt. Here one can have best of the woolen products as well as other cottage industry products of Jaisalmer. P.Smt.S. Jaisalmer 02292-251995 .

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