Jaisalmer, India is in the northwest of the country, close to the border with Pakistan. This city was once a major stop on the Silk Road, where caravans of goods-laden camels stopped to trade and rest before moving on through the Thar Desert. The city is built around a fort that rises out of the desert like a life-size sand castle. On our first day there, we walked up to this magnificent structure.
The narrow streets within the fort are filled with hustle and bustle – merchants, tourists, residents, cows. You get the feeling that it’s not much different than it was in the days of Silk Road traders.
We visited a magnificent maze of seven interconnected temples.
The carvings depicted many different scenes, including this battle with a large cat (a lion, perhaps?)
We visited the palace within the fort as well, where we saw this model of the whole thing.
Outside the fort, we visited one of the famous Havelis. A Haveli is a large mansion where a wealthy merchant once lived and did business. This Haveli had many early 20th century items that were found inside, including ledgers and other business items.
There were many lush living rooms as well, where you can imagine wealthy traders entertaining and relaxing.
Our trip to Jaisalmer would not be complete without an overnight camel safari in the Thar Desert. Here are our camels, Ricky and Babloo, chilling out after our afternoon trek.
We relaxed in the dunes as the sun went down.
We enjoyed an Indian meal cooked over the fire and slept under the stars. Here is Will, contemplating the morning before we trekked back.
Visiting Jaisalmer was a beautiful trip to another place and time. It was fascinating to see this piece of history – a place where cultures met and mixed and did business. It reminded us once again of the variety of places in India – so different from the larger cities and Moghul strongholds we visited in other parts.