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Jaisalmer - a jewel

Jodhpur Travel Blog

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The rooftops of Jaisalmer

17 Sept. Jaisalmer, old and new, is built of golden sandstone. We walked up through the main zigzag gateway into the old fort, with its 99 bastions. It's beautiful. True, some buildings have collapsed, and others are in long term restoration, but there are dozens of houses, big and small with delicate latticework and beautiful carvings. Many are tourist shops and cafes but many are also homes. Women brush the street, children play, cows wander and make a mess, there is no traffic. We took off our shoes and all leather items, and decided neither of us was menstruating, and entered the Jain temples. A riot of exotic carvings of gods and voluptuous women. In the basement was a bat roost. We visit the Maharwahal's palace, a maze of rooms with various furnishings and mementoes.

Haveli, Jaisalmer
The rooftop is the highest point in Jaisalmer and gave stunning views. After lunch we walked in the old town. Almost every house has a beautiful stone latticework balcony. Some havelis (merchant houses) are huge, 5 or 6 stories, and are decorated all over. It's a beautiful golden laid back desert town, miles from anywhere. A couple of things to shake you up though. In the morning the Indian airforce jets did their practice runs very noisily. It's only 100km to the Pakistan border, and this is the nuclear testing area for India. And in the fort - a conversation with 2 locals. The fort is slowly crumbling because of water seepage from inadequate plumbing. Umpteen organisations are aiming to save it. Will they succeed?

18th September. We revisited the town, and bought a beautiful piece of Rajasthan textile. Later we took a jeep trip into the desert, past small thatched villages, with women carrying water pots from the wells on their heads. We saw the cenotaphs of the maharwahals, and finally stopped in a village for a camel ride to watch sunset over the dunes. Riding a camel was as uncomfortable as we remembered from earlier experiences. On the return to the village we abandoned the camels and jumped down the dunes. On the jeep ride back, Hil remarked on a bonfire quite near the road. The driver said "They're burning a dead body" in a very matter of fact voice. We're seeing India!

 

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The rooftops of Jaisalmer
The rooftops of Jaisalmer
Haveli, Jaisalmer
Haveli, Jaisalmer
Jaisalmer Fort
Jaisalmer Fort
Inside the Jain Temple
Inside the Jain Temple
Dunes at sunset
Dunes at sunset
Outside the Fort walls, Jaisalmer
Outside the Fort walls, Jaisalmer
From Jaisalmer Palace
From Jaisalmer Palace
Jodhpur
photo by: lrecht