Rising from the heart of the Thar Desert like a golden mirage is the city of Jaisalmer. A commanding fort etched in yellow sandstone stands with all its awesome splendour, dominating the amber – hued city.
The city has an interesting legend associated with it, according to which, Lord Krishna – the head of the Yadav Clan, foretold Arjuna that a remote descendent of the Yadav Clan would build his kingdom atop the Trikuta Hill. His prophecy was fulfilled in 1156 AD when Rawal Jaisal, a descendent of the Yadav Clan and a Bhati Rajput, abandoned his fort at Lodurva and founded a new capital – Jaisalmer, perched on the Trikuta Hill. Bahti Rajputs of Jaisalmer were feudal chiefs who lived off the forced levy on the caravans laden with precious silks and spices that crossed the territory enroute Delhi – Sind. These caravans earned the town great wealth.
For years Jaisalmer remained untouched by the outside influences. The rise of shipping trade and the port of Mumbai saw the decline of Jaisalmer. But the desert fortress, that seems to be straight out of 'Tales of the Arabian Nights', still enchants.
The life within the citadel conjures up images of medieval majesty visible in its narrow lanes strewn with magnificent palaces, havelis, temples and of course skilled artisans and ubiquitous camels.
The setting sun turning Jaisalmer into a beautiful golden brown is a spectacular sight.
The perfect time to visit the golden city is during the Desert Festival, held in Jan/Feb every year, when the city reverberates to the sound of melodious tunes and rhythms. Fold dances, exciting competitions and contests, especially the turban-tying contest, Mr.Desert contest and camel races enliven the festivities. Colorful craft bazaars are set up for the occasion and a sound & light spectacle is organized with fold artistes performing against the splendid backdrop of the famous Sam sand dunes on the full moon night. Surely a not-to-be-missed event.
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