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Jaisalmer Rajasthan

Bada Bagh Chhatries (cenotaphs), Jaisalmer RajasthanThe Golden City Jaisalmer is truly an exotic and unusual town and is completely different from any other in Rajasthan. A walk down its winding lanes evokes a feeling of being in another time and planet, in this over 900 year old city.

Founded in 1156, Jaisalmer is the stronghold of Bhati Rajputs who claim their lineage from Lord Krishna. Rawal Jaisal was the founder of Bhati dynasty, after whom this medieval trading outpost and modern day hotspot is named.

Jaisalmer's history evokes mystique, romance and an era of brave warriors and even more brave women. The town was sacked by the invading army of Alauddin Khilji. The warriors held against him for nine years. Ultimately, when defeat was imminent and the men all spread out to fight till the end, the women committed Jauhar (an ancient rite of self-immolation). Princely Jaisalmer was among the last Rajput states to sign a treaty with the British. The royal family of Jaisalmer still commands plenty of respect from the local people.

Should you want to step out of the luxury of your heritage hotel in Jaisalmer, there is no dearth of sightseeing and entertainment. Jaisalmer is almost entirely a desert city. The sand dunes beckon every traveler and the constantly shifting golden sands captivate all hearts. The best way to enjoy this experience is through a camel safari though jeep safaris are also available.

Jaisalmer is a photographer’s delight. Landscape photography, palaces and temples as well as colourful traditionally attired people and even cattle abound here.

The golden hued Jaisalmer Fort, called Sonar Kila in local parlance, is made of yellow stone and being located on top of Trikuta Hill, is majestically poised over the city. The fort is unique, in that the entire town was contained within its ramparts since its inception. It is still a living fort. Only now, due to pressures of increasing population, people have moved outwards. Hours can be spent leisurely exploring the fort, its many majestic gateways and ramparts as well as beautiful mansions and temples.

The bazaars of Jaisalmer stock all its handicrafts ranging from clothes and bedspreads to toys and the famous culinary delight of Jaisalmer called Ghotua, a bright yellow candy ball. Jaisalmer is also known for its jewellery; silver ornaments designed to adorn nearly all parts of the female anatomy, viz. the nose, head, fingers, ears, ankles and even a decoration called Chupara for the teeth can be bought here! Also look for tie-and-die fabrics, embroidery and mirror work, camel-skin slippers, traditional dhurries (rugs) and shawls.

Traditional Rajasthani meals to the accompaniment of cultural performances or continental and Chinese cuisines are available here.

Jaisalmer is a hot and dry place, though evening and winters are cold due to it being located in the desert. Jaisalmer is easily accessible by air, rail and road. Nearest airport is Jodhpur. There are plenty of trains coming up to Jaisalmer. Travel agents can organize private buses and taxis, should you wish to travel by road.

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Taj Mahal, Agra

The Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan had Taj Mahal constructed in the memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal, who is entombed here alongside Shah Jahan (who was buried later).

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