Jaisalmer, the "Golden" city

Trip Start Feb 07, 2008
Trip End Mar 31, 2008

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Palace Hights (hotel name is as it appears on outside sign)

Flag of India  ,
Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Fast Facts

In the eastern most part of the state of Rajasthan (close to the Pakistan border)
Population = 60,000

Founded in 1156, Jaisalmer's strategic position on the camel-train routes between India and Central Asia brought it great wealth. The townspeople and merchants built great mansions exquisitely carved from wood and sandstone (the art of carving wood and sandstone is still alive today as you can see in our pictures).  The rise in the importance of shipping and the port of Mumbai resulted in Jaisalmer's decline along with other factors such as water shortages and cutting of the trade routes through Pakistan.

Bordering the Great Thar Desert, Jaisalmer is a giant sandcastle with a town attached, an emblem of honor in a land of rough and tumble.  Rising high from the Trikuta hill, 99 enormous bastions hide havelis of crumbling beauty.  But the Jaisalmer Fort is in trouble.  Overcrowding inside the fort and living quarters of 25% of the population coupled with drainage problems and monsoon rains, have seen the fort sinking into the ground.  The fort is on the Worlds Monument Watch list of the 100 most endangered sites worldwide. For more information on saving Jaisalmer Fort, contact the following agencies:  Jaisalmer Conservation Initiative and Jaisalmer in Jeapordy.

Jaisalmer is known as the "golden city" because everyone uses natural gold colored sandstone to build houses, monuments, and other buildings.  When the stone is polished, it shines like the amber gemstone.  Most outside walls of buildings are not polished but you can still see the golden hue of the stone. 

Day 1
Sights that we saw:
Jaisalmer Fort
3 famous Havelis owned by the royal family and still run by the descendents of the family.
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