Golden Fort with 99 bastions
: Known as SONAR QUILA or the Golden fort, rising from
the sand, the mega structure merges with the golden hues of the
desert ambience and the setting suns in its most colourful shades
gives it a fairy tale look. Its simply a magic. The bastions envelop
a whole township that consists of palace complex various security
sources and the Havelis of rich merchants.
Salim Sing Ki Haveli : This
Haveli was built about 300 years ago and a part of it is still occupied.
Salim Singh was the prime minister when Jaisalmer was the capital
of the princely state and his mansion has a beautifully arched roof
with superb carved brackets in the form of Peacocks.
Patwon ki Haveli : This is one
of the largest and most elaborate Haveli in Jaisalmer and stands
in a narrow lane. It is five storeys high and is extensively carved.
It is divided into six apartments, two owned by archaeological Survey
of India, two by families who operate craft-shops and two private
homes. There are remnants of paintings on some of the inside walls
as well as some mirror work.
Diwan Nathmal 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 epitomising the side-by-side symmetry
during construction. Paintings in miniature style monopolise the
walls in the interior. Mighty tuskers carved out of yellow sandstone
stand guard to the Haveli.
TaziaTower : The delicate pagoda
like Tazia Tower rises from Badal Mahal (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 and gifted it to their
Mool Sagar : On way to Sam Sand
Dunes, is another natural point. Lake, Garden, summer palaces constructed
by Maharawal Mool Raj in 18th Century.
Gadisar Lake : This tank, south
of the city walls, once held the town water supply, and befitting
its importance in providing precious water to the inhabitants of
this arid city, it is surrounded by small temples and shrines. The
beautiful yellow sandstone gateway arching across the road down
to the tank is the Tilon-ki-Pol, built by a famous prostitute, Tilon.
When she offered to pay to have this gateway constructed, the Maharaja
refused permission under it to go down to the tank and he felt that
this would be beneath his dignity. While he was away, she built
the gate, adding a Krishna temple on top so that king could not
tear it down.
Gyan Bhandar : A library founded
in 1500 A.D. by Acharya Maharaj Jin Bhadra Suri. This small underground
vault houses priceless ancient illustrated manuscripts, some dating
from the 11th century. Other exhibits include astrological charts
and the Jain version of the Shroud of Turin: the Shroud of Gindhasuri,
a Jain hermit and holy man who died in Ajmer. In a small locked
cabinet are the images of Parasnath made of ivory and various precious
stones including emerald and crystal. There are plans to shift the
library outside the present location within the Jain temple so it
can be visited.
FAIRS & FESTIVALS
DESERT FESTIVAL, JAISALMER
Once a year in winters and on the middle of the continually
rising and falling stark yellow sands of the great Thar Desert,
the empty sands around Jaisalmer come alive with the brilliant colour,
music and laughter of the Desert Festival. The festival is organised
by the tourist authorities as tourist entertainment around January-February.