Jaislamer, Desert castle in the sand
Trip Start Sep 01, 2009
70Trip End Dec 27, 2009
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Like some giant golden sandcastle rising up out of the scrub desert, Jaisalmer fort is an amazing site above the now sprawling city lying at its base. It was constructed on top of Triuka hill and is composed of 99 enormous bastions, each connected to the other with a strong, tall stone wall. Inside the protective wall of this ancient fortress are Jain temples, guest houses, and old Haveli homes from a faded era.
The citadel is in trouble, and is listed as one of the world's most en danged historic sites
Rich as it was, and perhaps due to its richness, the city suffered many sieges and sackings. On at least three occasions (2.5 exactly) these sieges resulted in the Rajput practice of Jauher. Jauher is a Rajput practice which is in keeping with the strict Rajput fighting spirit and mantra, " Death before dishonor" and "Death before Defeat". They would employ Jauher only as a last resort. When the fortress was under siege in 1295, for example, and all hope was lost, they would declare Jauher. They had no other option, but defeat or surrender, so they built a large fire below a Palace wall 9near the current main gate. Then all the women would jump from the Palace wall into a huge fire.Their handprints are marked on the walls to this day. Following this event, the Rajputs would dress themselves in saffron cloth, then ride out of the fort in one giant saffron wave. There mission: kill as many of the enemy as possible before their inevitable death.
I say it happened 2.5 times not three, because in 1315, just twenty years after a previous jauher, they were up against it again
Remember the Rajput code: "Death before dishoner or defeat"
We visited the Castle, and the Jain Temples housed inside. The Jains are another off shoot religion rooted in Hinduism. They worship no god, just their beloved leaders. I thought it was a Buddha image at first, but noticed that the eyes were wide open and a medallion was placed on his chest. We will be seeing more beautiful Jain Temples next few days. I'll try and study up on Jainism before I post much more related to them,