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24 May 2014

Jaisalmer the "Golden City" , India

India  [印度] • MAY 2014
Where is Jaisalmer? Jaisalmer is very close to the end of the world for India. About 100km from the Pakistan border, this small city rises out of the desert and disappears back into it just as quickly as it appeared. Its claim to fame is the 11th century fort that functions as the town's tourist drawcard and a living heritage sight. Over 5,000 people still live and work inside its walls.

Jaisalmer is a small town in the state of Rajasthan. The town is named after its founder Maharawal Jaisal Singh, a Rajput king. It is also called as the "Golden City of India" because of the yellow sand and yellow sandstone used in the town's architecture giving a golden tinge. Jaisalmer is located at around 575 km west from Jaipur the capital of Rajasthan. It is situated near the border of India and Pakistan in West Rajasthan and is the administrative headquarters of Jaisalmer District.

Jaisalmer has an average elevation of 229 m and covers an area of 5.1 sq km. The climate is dry is hot summers and pleasant winters. Average rainfall is 209.5 mm. Jaisalmer is just about entirely a sandy waste and forms a part of the Great Indian Desert. The west is covered with log bushes and the east with bunch of long grass. Water is scarce and there are no permanent streams, except one small river, Kakni, which flows at a distance of 48 km. 
It also forms a Lake Orjhil "The Bhuj Jhil". 
Tourism is a major industry in Jaisalmer. It is full of artistic structures and monuments of local historical importance. The medieval fortress and the walled township make it a popular tourist destination. The surrounding barren landscape supports its austere beauty. 

The camel safaris in the nearby desert dunes are popular among tourists. Some of the popular tourist attractions in Jaisalmer are: Jaisalmer Fort, Raj Mahal (Royal palace), Jain temples, Laxminath temple, Desert Culture Centre & Museum, Jaisalmer Folklore Museum, Government Museum, Jaisalmer fort palace museum, Gadsisar Lake, etc. Some basic information about Jaisalmer City is necessary before touring the golden city of Rajasthan. Known for its Havelis and sand stone made palaces, Jaisalmer is one of the greatest tourism destinations in the country.The beautiful city lies within the great Thar Desert. The geographical location of the city falls between North Latitude 26° 01' and East Longitude 69°03'.Basically a desert city, Jaisalmer witnesses extreme climatic conditions. The summers are extremely hot but the winters are equally cold.The maximum temperature rises above the 42° in summer Centigrade mark and in winter, the temperature comes down to 7° to 6° Centigrade. All throughout the year, the days are very warm but in the evenings the temperature drops quite a few degrees.Jaisalmer has an excellent transportation system with wonderful rail and road networks. To reach Jaisalmer by air, one has to land at the nearest Jodhpur Airport and resume his journey towards the city by road or train.The local auto-rickshaws and bicycles are the best way of transportation to move within Jaisalmer City. The people of Jaisalmer are friendly and have a rich culture of their own. They generally speak Rajasthani or Hindi but some people are also fluent in English and Urdu. 

Known as the 'golden city', Jaisalmer has several attractive tourist spots. While touring the place one may visit the following: The fort and the temples and royal palace inside the fort.
Patwa Havelies.
Salim Singh's Haveli.
Nathmal's haveli.
Kuldhara, the remains of deserted town hundred years old.
Sam Sand Dunes and Khuri Sand Dunes. One may even go for sunset and camel safari on the desert dunes.
The Akal Wood Fossils Park which comprises of 180 million years old wood fossils.
Sudhasari, the desert national park which houses the great Indian Bustard and other wild life creatures of the desert.
The Golden City of Jaisalmer also revels in the traditional art and culture of the two communities of Manganiars and Langas. The traditional folklore of Jaisalmer is very popular. The tourism department also hosts an annual desert festival that welcomes people around the globe. 
Photos- Credit to Kit


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