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Jaisalmer Sightseeing

Jaisalmer Fort

The Jaisalmer fort, known as Sonar Quila or the Golden fort, rises from the sand and merges with the golden hues of the desert ambience. The setting sun in its most colourful shades gives it a fairy tale appearance. It is simply magical – as the bastions envelop a whole township that consists of the palace complex, the intricately carved havelis of rich merchants, several temples and the residential complexes of the armies and traders placed strategically on the trade route. It was from this trade route that the ancient caravans passed, distributing the riches for the prosperity to an otherwise non resourceful kingdom. These merchants served and acquired a great deal of power and noble status in the royal courts of BhattiRajputs who founded the state in the 12th century AD and proceeded further. However, the rich merchants inspired by the classic style of the royals, 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. The colourful art forms had some how relegated the royal heritage to a position of secondary importance. The craftsmen were usually Muslims who were induced on their journey to exhibit their skills in art forms. The result was an architectural purity that cannot be seen elsewhere.

Government Museum

Established by the Department of Archeology and Museum. It is another prime attraction for the visitors to Jaisalmer. The trophy of the state bird Godawan - the great Indian bustard, is the most eye catching spot. Traditional house-hold items, rock-cut crockery and jewellery recreate the atmosphere of a by-gone era. A look at the statues of 7th-9th century AD creates a scenario of rich cultural heritage of the time.

Deewan NathmalJi Ki Haveli

Two architect brothers built it in the 19th century. Interestingly, while one concentrated on the right, the other concentrated on the left and the result is a symphony epitomizing the side-by-side symmetry during construction. Paintings in miniature style monopolize the walls in the interior. Mighty tuskers carved out of yellow sandstone stand guard to the haveli. It is a private property.

Deewan Salim Singh Ki Haveli

This haveli is actually worth seeing from outside only. It was built in the first half of the 18th century and a part of it is still occupied. Salim Singh was the prime minister of Jaisalmer a princely state in 19th century AD. The mansion has a beautifully arched roof with superb carved brackets in the form of peacocks. It is just below the hill near the fort. It is said that once it had two additional wooden storeys in an attempt to make it as high as the Maharaja's palace, but the Maharaja had the upper storey demolished.

Patwon-Ki-Haveli

A group of apartments, this is one of the largest and most elaborate of Havelis in Jaisalmer and stands in a narrow lane. It is five storeys high and is extensively carved. A part of this beautiful building is owned by theDepartment of Archaeology and Museum. There are remnants of some paintings on the walls inside as well as some mirror work. This has been the star attraction of Jaisalmer.

Mandir Palace (Badal Mahal)

The delicate pagoda like Tazia Tower rises from BadalMahal (Cloud Palace). Rising in its five-tiered splendour, with each storey graced by a delicately carved balcony, the tower is of historical significance. Muslim craftsmen built it in the shape of a Tazia (A float taken in procession Muharram) as symbol of their religion in the town for royal patrons.

Half portion of this palace is converted into a heritage hotel named Mandir Palace and another portion of the palace as Badal Vilas, the residence of the ex-ruler’s family.