Built in 1156 by the Bhati Rajput ruler Jaisal, Jaisalmer Fort is situated on Meru Hill and Named as Trikoot Garh had seen the scene of many battles. Its massive sandstone walls are a tawny lion colour during the day, turning to a magical honey-gold as the sun sets. The famous Indian film director Satyajit Ray wrote a detective novel and later turned it into a film − Sonar Kella (The Golden Fortress) which was based on this fort. This is a living fort and about a quarter of city's population still live inside the fort. The main attractions inside the fort are: Raj Mahal (Royal palace), Jain temples and the Laxminath temple.
Jaisalmer has been enriched by its Jain community, which has adorned the city with beautiful temples, notably the temples dedicated to the 16th Tirthankara, Shantinath, and 23rd Tirthankara, Parshvanath.
Jaisalmer boasts some of the oldest libraries of India which contain rarest of the manuscripts and artefacts of Jain tradition. There are many pilgrimage centres around Jaisalmer such as Lodarva (Lodhruva), Amarsagar, Brahmsar and Pokharan.
Bada Bagh, also called Barabagh (literally Big Garden) is a garden complex about 6 km north of Jaisalmer on way to Ramgarh, and halfway between Jaisalmer and Lodhruva in the state of Rajasthan in India. It contains a set of royal cenotaphs, or chhatris of Maharajas of Jaisalmer state, starting with Jai Singh II (d. 1743).
A descendant of Maharawal Jaisal Singh, the founder of the state and Maharaja of Jaisalmer, Jai Singh II (1688–1743), commissioned a dam to create a water tank during his reign in the 16th century. This made the desert green in this area.
After his death on September 21, 1743, his son Lunkaran built a beautiful garden next to the lake and a chhatri (Hindi for cenotaph) for his father on a hill next to the lake. Later on, many more cenotaphs were constructed here for Lunkaran and other Bhattis.
The last Chatteris are of Maharawal Jawahar Singh and Maharaj Sultan Singh of Nachana made after the independence & the largest Chattris are also of the nachana family . It still remains the cremation ground for the royal family of jaisalmer / Nachana.
The gardens are largely neglected, but the hill with the cenotaphs is still quite an interesting sight.
Lodrawa (Lodurva or Lodarva) is a village in Jaisalmer district, Rajasthan, India. It was situated 15 km to the north-west of Jaisalmer, and it was ancient capital of the Bhatti dynasty till 1156 AD, when Rawal Jaisal shifted it to present Jaisalmer, when he founded the of Jaisalmer state.
In the 9th century, Deoraj, a famous prince of the Bhati Rajput clan, captured Lodrawa from another Rajput clan and made it his capital. The city stood on an ancient trade route through the Thar Desert, which also vulnerable to frequent attacks. Mahmud of Ghazni laid siege on the city in 1025 AD, in the coming decades the city, now more vulnerable was repeatedly attacked by foreign invaders. Later it was again attack and sacked by Muhammad Ghori in 1152 AD, which eventually led to its abandonment and established in new capital Jaisalmer by subsequent ruler, Rawal Jaisal, 16-km away on a more secure Trikuta Hill in 1156 AD, where the present fortress stand today
The place was also the setting for the doomed-loved story of Princess Mumal and Mahendra, the prince of Amarkot, recounted in local folklore and songs
Today, it is a popular tourist destination, known for its architectural ruins and surrounding sand dunes. Apart from that Ludrawa is also famous for the Jain temple dedicated to 23rd Tirthankara, Parshvnath destroyed in 1152 AD when Muhammad Ghori sacked the city. The temples were rebuilt in the late 1970s, are reminders of the city's former glory. Other places are Hinglaj mata temple, Chamunda mata temple, and old temple of Shiva.
Amar Sagar is a small and beautiful lake cum Oasis and is adjacent to a 17th Century palace called the Amar Singh Palace. Maharawal Akhai Singh built this palace in honor of one of his predecessors Amar Singh. Next to the palace are pavilions with a large stairs leading down to the Amar Sagar Lake. This haveli has been constructed in the pattern of apartments. The Amar Sagar is a five story high haveli and is famous for its murals. Wherever you go in this haveli, you will notice beautiful murals painted with delicate efforts.
You can find many of wells and ponds in the surrounding which have a royal air about them. There is an old Shiva temple in the complex itself. Amar Singh built this because he was supposed to be an ardent follower of Lord Shiva, a Hindu God related to destruction.
Gadsisar Lake is one of the major tourist attractions of Jaisalmer. Just leave the madding crowd behind and venture towards the outskirts and you will find yourself next to the famous Gadsisar Lake. Contrary to the popular belief, it is not an oasis but a water conservation tank made around 1400 A.D. by the then maharaja of Jaisalmer, Maharwal Gadsi Singh. Can you believe this structure just outside the city walls once acted as a reservoir that controlled the entire supply of water to the arid city!
This place was selected because it had a certain amount of declivity already and it automatically retained some of the rainwater. If you are lucky and venture out in winters, you might get to see a variety of migratory birds. Due to its proximity to Bharatpur, some of the birds get attracted to this place also. Don't miss to carry a good pair of binoculars and SLR camera with a wide-angle lens if you want to take away some really mesmerizing snaps.
You will find whole varieties of temples and shrines surrounding the lake. In later years it became more of a pilgrimage spot. The beautiful gateway that arches across the road down to the Lake was built by royal courtesan named Tillon in the end of 19th century, known as Tillon Ki prol (Gate of Tillon). Lord Vishnu's statue was installed in the year 1908 A.D. or the gate by the courtesan & declared Krishna Temple to save it from demolition by the then Maharawal.
Situated 8 K.M. west of Jaisalmer, this is another pleasant, but rather neglected, small garden and tank. It belongs to the Royal family of Jaisalmer and was originally built as a cool summer retreat. The major attraction of this place is a Shiva temple, which is said to be constructed out of just two large blocks of sandstones.
Maharawal Moolraj II built the Moolsagar complex in 1815 AD. You will find numerous wells, the Moolsagar Garden and a splendid Raj Mahal built on its premises. Maharaja Moolsagar was known for his patronage to art and artisans and that becomes pretty evident when you come across some great murals on the palace walls. He definitely had a considerable influence on the wazirs and land-lords. Therefore his patronage to the art and architecture was resonated among his nobles and subjects. It was mainly due to his efforts that so many lovely palaces and structures were built in that period which was influenced by both the Mughal and Rajput schools of art.
The Desert National Park is a protected sanctuary. The park is considered not only the largest in the state of Rajasthan but among the largest in India. The catchments area of the Desert National Park is around 3100 sq. km. The desert is a harsh place to sustain life and thus most of the fauna and flora live on the edge. Nevertheless this place attracts large hoard of migratory birds due to its close proximity to Bharatpur.
The great Indian Bustard is a magnificent bird and can be seen in considerably good numbers. It migrates locally in different seasons. The region is a heaven for migratory and resident birds of the desert. One can see many Eagles, Harriers, Falcons, Buzzards, Kestrel and Vultures. Short- toed Eagles, Tawny Eagles, Spotted Eagles, Laager Falcons and Kestrels are the most common among these.
The substantial part of the park is on a landscape, which comprises of lakebed of extinct salt lakes and thorny scrubs. It is a wonder in itself that how come living organisms flourish in these harsh conditions. Similarly, a considerable area of the Desert National Park consists of sand dunes. If you really want to explore the magnificent wildlife at the Desert National Park in Jaisalmer then the best way is by setting out on an adventure-filled jeep safari. And yes, don't forget to carry a really good pair of binoculars and any of Ultra Zoom SLR cameras.
If you are done with history then Akal Fossil Park is the place to be. For, it takes you beyond History. It takes you back to the prehistoric Jurassic era, which is, hold your breath, 180 million years back! It is a fossil park where stood a forest 180 millions years ago. Then the area submersed in to the sea and the tree trunks got preserved in the form of fossils.
The fossil trunks lie scattered in this park. Fossilized tree trunks are of various sizes with the largest being 13 meters in length and 1.5 meters in width. Covering about 10 sq. Km of bare hillside, the Fossil Park contains 25 petrified trunks, in total. The 21-hectare preserved area of the park lies about 17 Km from Jaisalmer on the road to Barmer.
If you happen to be a Conservationist or a Geologist by chance, try to get there early. Get there before tourists come pouring in. You will have to seek prior permission in order to study the remains..
There is no point coming to the Thar Desert if you don't go for the Desert Safari. That is why Sam sand dunes are becoming the major attraction in Jaisalmer. This is the closest place from where you can loose yourself in 'the Great Thar Desert'. Sam has a truly magnificent stretch of sweeping dunes, with sparse or no vegetation. The best way to get here, of course, is on camelback.
Join a camel caravan at Jaisalmer on your Rajasthan tours and ride along the breathtaking crests and troughs. Enjoy the romance of solitude as your camel takes you deep in the hearts of the Thar Desert. Put yourself in the camp and experience the sun setting behind the horizon. Organize a bonfire with the fellow tourists in the night and enjoy the rustic and earthy music and dance of Rajasthan.
In the month of February/March, this whole place turns into a cultural hub. The desert festival organized amid these dunes is the showcase of Rajasthani culture as a whole. Open-air cultural extravaganzas, puppet shows, folk dance performances, camel races, competitions and general festivities mark this annual event that is held with great pomp and show at the Sam Sand dunes in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan.
Khuri sand dunes are slowly picking up in the must visit charts of tourists. If you find Sam sand dunes a bit crowded then you can very well opt for Khuri sand dunes. Situated just 40 K.M. off the town, Khuri is a must visit for tourists seeking solitude in the desert. It is a peaceful place with houses of mud and straw decorated like the patterns of Persian carpets.
The Khuri sand dunes offer you a memorable experience in the land of the Rajputs. Enjoy the ride on camel back and let the place itself take you to its mesmerizing heights. Get closer to the local way of living with a close view of thatched straw roofs, camels, narrow streets and the local bazaar. At the night, organize a campfire with the fellow tourists (if any) and listen to the songs of 'Kalbeliyas'.
You can also try Rajasthani cuisine for a change and just keep looking on sand dunes as it changes its hue during different parts of day. And say adieu to the sun as it sets behind the crimson red sand dunes.
Once inhabited and suddenly deserted by Paliwal Brahmins for reasons unknown, the Khaba Fort is yet another of the spooky places Jaisalmer has to offer. When here, you can take a look at the ruins of the homes of the 80 families that used to live here over 200 years, take a walk around the crumbling fort structure or visit the small museum that houses ancient village artefacts.
The air over Khaba Fort hangs dull and broody, and yet the whizzing wind gives the place a spooky feel, as abandoned over two centuries ago, the place still sees sparse human activity.
Tannot Mata is a temple in western State of Rajasthan in District Jaisalmer of India. The village is close to the border with Pakistan, and is very close to the battle site of Longewala of the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. Tourists cannot go beyond this temple to see the Indo–Pak Border unless one gets the relevant documentation in advance from the District and Military Authorities. It is now a tourist destination in India. The area is said to have oil and gas reserves.
It is said that during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, Pakistani Army dropped several bombs targeting the temple but none of the bombs could fall on the temple and large number of the bombs in the vicinity of the temple did not explode. After the war the temple management was handed over to Border Security Force of India. On date Border Security Force Jawans man the temple. The temple has a museum which has collections of the unexploded bombs dropped by Pakistan. As per Indian Census, The Population of Tanot Village is 492 Persons having 49 Household. The place is close to the Pakistan border, an infertile land, and is prone to enemy attacks. The governments of both countries have planted land mines in the area. Animals like camel or cattle are the worst sufferer of these devices.
The temple is approx 150 kilometres (93 mi) from the City of Jaisalmer, and it takes approximately two hours to reach by road. The area has a high average windspeed and as such there are now a large number of wind-based renewable energy projects in the area. The road to Tannot is surrounded with miles and miles of sand dunes and sand mountains. The temperatures in the area can go up to 49°C and ideal time to visit the place is from November to January.
Ramdev Pir (or Ramdevji, Ramdeo Pir, Ramsha Pir) (1352 - 1385 AD)(V.S. 1409 - 1442) is a Hindu folk deity of Rajasthan in India. He was a ruler of the fourteenth century, said to have miraculous powers who devoted his life for the upliftment of downtrodden and poor people of the society. He is worshiped today by many social groups of India as Ishta-deva. His followers believe him to be an incarnation of Vishnu. He is revered by Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs.
The temple complex housing the resting place of Ramdev is located at Ramdevra, (10 km from Pokhran) in Rajasthan. The present temple structure was built around Ramdev's final resting place by Maharaja Ganga Singh of Bikaner in 1931
The complex also houses Samadhis of his disciples like Dalibai and some other of his chief disciples. The complex also houses the tombs of five Muslim Pirs, who had come from Mecca.
The complex also houses a step-well, the water of which devotees believe has healing powers.