Soraya & Brett India 2007 travel blog

Jaisalmer Fort


After our long camel safari, and two bus rides later, we finally arrived in the city of Jaisalmer. This is one of the few forts remaining in India that is actually still inhabited - local houses as well as an abundance of hotels, shops and restaurants. We made the decision to stay in a guesthouse just outside of the fort because we had heard that the infrastructure of the fort is not able to support the tremendous pressure of increasing facilities - particular attention has been given to the water problems. In fact, 3 bastions have collapsed in the last few years because of this. So our guesthouse was just a ten-minute walk from there and had a fantastic view of the fort from our rooftop.

True to the rumors, Jaisalmer is extremely touristy, and everything is geared to accommodate them/us. I will admit that after being in more remote towns etc, it was nice to no longer be the sole focus of attention to many people. And we were able to do some substantial shopping. Jaisalmer is famous for its patchwork art - this is on tapestries, purses, anything you can imagine.

As to the sights, we of course wandered through the streets of the forts and visited the palace / museum, as well as two of the most intricate havelis (mainly patwa-ki haveli). But the highlight of that visit was being there during the festival of Diwali. I couldn't tell you exactly what its meant to celebrate, but I believe it has something to do with the battle between good and evil... No matter - its not like anyone knew anyways. Kids get 2 weeks off school so a lot of families travel within India at this time. The actual day of Diwali, all shops are still open, TONS of fireworks for sale everywhere, and touts trying to sell you stuff every-which-way you looked. Once dusk hit, people linded loads of clay bowls of candles on their doorsteps and rooftops; and then the fireworks began going off all over the city. As there was no culmination of someone setting off a large display for the public, everyone took charge of their own. Blasting went on well into the night and ranged from large, high, sparkly ones, to tiny ones called bombs, that were extremely close to blasting out an ear drum. It didn't help that as they were blowing these bombs, that the streets they were done in were so narrow and had high walls on either side, so the sound was only magnified ten-fold - OUCH! The next morning all shops were closed as this was a day to visit the temple and spend with family. Kids were still out in the streets blowing their bombs and that night the fireworks continued as Brett and I headed (and dodged the unpredictable blasts) to catch our overnight train to Jodhpur.

Entry Rating:     Why ratings?
Please Rate:  
Thank you for voting!
Share |