Jaisalmer – The Golden City and it’s Pride And Glory

The Golden City of Jaisalmer has to be on your must see list in India. The iconic city in Rajasthan is full of architectural treasures. If you are an art lover, traveler or just plain curious there is so much to do there. Prime among the attractions is Salim Singh ki Haveli, a beautiful mansion in the city.

Jaisalmer is in the heart of the desert. Photo of “Rajasthan India” by Nick Kenrick under CC BY 2.0

Did you know that Jaisalmer is a World Heritage Site? It is acknowledged by UNESCO as a culturally, historically significant city and area. No wonder it is so popular with national and international tourists! Situated in Rajasthan, this city is right in the heart of the desert. It’s called the ‘Golden City‘ because of the prominent use of yellow sandstone through the area. With sunlight being reflected on the buildings, the place looks washed in golden light. Jaisalmer was named after the Jaisal Fort that is the crown jewel of the city and district. Rajasthan is known for its palaces, royal mansions and art. Jaisalmer is representing all of these things that the city and state is famous for.

The ideal time to visit Jaisalmer is between November to early February. Because of its location, it faces temperatures of all ranges. As it is a desert, the days are hot and breezy while the nights are chilly and cold. It can really be boiling hot during summer as the hot wind (known locally as Loo) blows across the city. Carry sunscreen, hats and caps when you travel to Jaisalmer to save yourself from the scorching heat. Sunglasses and cotton clothes are also a good option to have. Flights, trains and buses are available from all major cities of India. Now that you know when to visit and what to pack, what should you actually see in the city?

Patwon ki Haveli is another beautiful structure you must visit. Photo of “Havelis of yore! Patwon Ki Haveliyan” by lensnmatter under CC BY 2.0

One of the most exciting and tourist friendly cities, Jaisalmer has a lot to offer for everybody. Families, international tourists, backpackers, students, young couples and art lovers can come visit this grand city at ease. The most popular and unmissable destination remains the Jaisalmer Fort, the attraction after which the city is named, the fort has been a vital part of Rajput history. Many battles have been fought over the stone walls of the strong and sturdy fort. This fort is different than any other fort in India. Do you know why? It still has a chunk of the local population living within its walls! Walk around the walls, see the gates, the intricate architecture that stands testimony to an era gone by. For history geeks and lovers, you can find some of the oldest libraries of India in Jaisalmer. They have preserved artifacts, memoirs, books and trinkets from the Jain community, the Rajputs and the locals of centuries past. The Jain community and culture is a big part of the city as its evident by the many temples in and around the fort. Last but definitely not the least, you must pay a visit to Salim Singh ki Haveli.

A Haveli is a mansion or a palace built in ancient times. Salim Singh ki Haveli is special because of its distinct architecture and the myths surrounding it. Built in the 17th century for an influential and rich family, the mansion was so opulent it attracted the envy of local rulers. There is a very popular myth or legend that Haveli was built as tall as the Jaisalmer Fort. The ruling king considered this an insult as the Fort was supposed to be higher than any other residences. They say he ordered the top 2 floors to be torn down. There is no written evidence but locals firmly believe in this. When you see Salim Singh ki Haveli, maybe you’ll agree. The intricate and exquisite building is full of murals, artwork, glass work and mirrors. The roof of the mansion resembles a peacock. Salim Singh ki Haveli is a treat for your senses and eyes!

“Featured Photo of Camel ride in the Thar desert near Jaisalmer, India.” by vil.sandi under Attribution-NoDerivs License

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