"A Giant Glittering Desert Sandcastle" Jaisalmer by lynnehamman
Jaisalmer Travel Guide: 469 reviews and 1,715 photos
After a 4 hour car journey from Jodhpur, we arrived at Jaisalmer. It was midday, and the magnificent 12th Fort was glittering in the noonday sun. In our usual mad fashion, we had not booked anywhere to stay, so we found a restuarant, had lunch, and after leaving our luggage with the obliging owner, went off to find a place to stay.
We found one with 5 minutes....and it was great. We set off almost immediately after unpacking, to do some exploring.
The main entrance to the town is through Gandhi Chowk, a busy chaotic little square. Cows lie in the street.......goats wander around. Street vendors are everywhere, selling colorful clothing, bags shoes & glittering wall hangings. Its very dusty....but then, its in the desert. A short walk up from Gandhi Chowk is the entrance to the fort.
This 12th Century fort has a magnificent entry gate, and cobbled lanes lead up to narrow, mysterious looking pathways. Of course, being in India, there are stalls and little shops all along the way, selling beautiful things for very little cost. I found the leatherware hard to resist. I bought my best bag ever there.
Keep walking, and you will come across wonderful old sandstone havelis...they looked cool, and inviting. Some are open to the publuc, such as the Patwa-Ki-Haveli ( built in the mid 19th century by a prosperous Jain family) and it is awesome. Many people still live inside the fort,and it is running out of space.
The Jain temple is worth a visit, and part of the old palace is also open to view.
There are many restuarants within the fort, most are situated near the ramparts, and have a fine view of the city. The whole area fairly small, so much can be seen,even in a few hours.
Its easy to understand why Jaisalmer was an important trade route centre long ago. It is close to the Pakistan border., and the rest of Asia. There is also a Military Base close by, and jet aircraft were screaming past every day. This seemed really weird........here we are in the middle of a medieaval fort, in the middle of the desert, and jets overhead!! Anyway, thats progress I guess. We booked a day trip to the desert the next day. That was one of our best expreiences in India. Left at noon by jeep, and arrived at camel camp at about 3pm. We had refreshments, then set off into the Thar desert.
The camel was smelly,noisy, but not unfriendly. We rode for a few hours, watched a beautiful sunset over the dunes, then rode back to the camp where we had a wonderful evening, with a campfire meal and folk/fire dancing. It was very special. Our jeep driver got us backto our hotel by 11pm the same night., with very sore bums.
While we were in Jaisalmer, we saw a Government sponsered Bhang Shop, selling Bhang Lassi, and crowded with young tourists. We resisted.
We dined every night at a great restuarant that had good ambiance, food, music & was 2 min walk from our hotel.
I was sad when we had to leave. But also lookingforward to our next "port of call"
Before you choose where to stay in Jaisalmer-read my tip about the Fort being in peril ( in "things to do" tip)
- Pros:Fort, surrounding desert,and its walk-friendly
- Cons:for me-none
- In a nutshell:Can't wait to get back there
Jaisalmer can be reached quite easily from Jodhpur by bus, train or hire car We had a car & driver, and the trip took... more travel advice
This mighty fort is in trouble. The infastucture is struggling to cope. Being home to not only a quarter of the... more travel advice
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