The princely state of Rajasthan is a spectrum of colours – red, blue, pink and green. The quaint old Rajasthani town, Jaisalmer, on the other hand, is the city of yellow or widely embraced as the golden city of India. This yellow glory has ochre sand and every structure ever, is built of yellow sandstone, and when the sunbeams over the city, there appears a golden tinge in the air. The splendour of this city lies in its austere fortresses, walled housing and the barren sun-kissed land!
Named after Maharawal Jaisal, the Rajput blood fills this land with complete majesty! The dunes of Thar and a swim in the Gadisar lake makes for a memorable trip at Jaisalmer. The flowing waters in the Gadisar lake are soothing to the ears and such a lovely place to visit in the evenings.
Here are some monuments that showcase the yellow city of India!
Built by Rawal Jaisal, Sonar Quila has a history as old as 800 years. When the sun strikes, the tall yellow sandstone walls swell like honey, and hence it also called the Golden Fort. The fort is an architecture within an architecture, that holds houses, palaces and temples. The fort is so big that one-fourth of the city’s oldest population lives inside the fort. An interaction with them will give you deep insights into the culture and living. Thus this UNESCO World Heritage site is rightly called “The Jewel of Rajasthan”.
A fort within the fort includes Akhai Vilas, the Rang Mahal, Sarvottam Vilas, Gaj Mahal and the Moti Mahal. Of them, the Rang Mahal’s mural paintings, artistic interior designs and colourful glass paintings are breath-taking!
Address: Fort Rd, Near Gopa Chowk, Khejer Para, Manak Chowk, Amar Sagar Pol, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan Timings: 8:00 AM – 5:30 PM Price: Per Person INR 30
2. Patwa Haweli
Legend has it that the Patwa brothers were advised by a priest from the Jain temple to start a business outside of Jaisalmer to flourish. They paid heed to his words, earned wealth and finally decided to settle back home. In Jaisalmer each of the five brothers was given a Haweli, but true to the priest words they couldn’t afford to maintain it, so they left it under the care of the locals and fled the city. Thus making the Patwa Haweli a tourist attraction. An 18th-century palace which is now a museum, the Kothari’s Patwaon ki Haweli has intricate paintings, furniture and artwork are on display.
Address: No. 3129, Near Chura Para, Rajasthan Hours: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM Phone: 098281 45552
The Big Garden as it translates to in English, Bada Bagh has yellow stoned cenotaphs of the Rajput lineage. The Bhaironji Temple near the Bada Bagh is believed to cure infertility in women who visit the temple with silver girdles.
Entry: Indians – INR 20, Foreigners – INR 50
4. Laxminath Temple
Laxminath temple is perched on a hill and is a shrine to Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi. This hugely popular temple is supposed to be very powerful. Simple structure, silver framework, paintings and idols of deities are everything that summons our attention amid the beauty of the sandstone.
5. Jain temples of Jaisalmer
Situated within the Jaisalmer Fort, these temples are of immense archaeological importance. They are shrines to the Jain Tirthankaras - Rikhabdevji and Shambhavdevji. They have more than 600 idols, predominantly carvings of animal and human sculptures with many old scriptures. Visit the Gyan Bhandar library and the Astapadhi temples within the bounds of the fort while you’re here.
Location: In the Jaisalmer Fort How to reach: Take a rickshaw or share an auto rickshaw Timings: Early morning – 12:00 PM
6. Thar Desert
The vast Indian desert covers 2,00,000 sq. Km and it is the 17th largest desert in the world. The sand reflects why Jaisalmer is genuinely known as the Yellow City of India. The nights are chilly and the days are hot, so desert camp, Dune bashing, parasailing, camel rides are some of the deserty things to do here. Be sure to carry a sunblock when you come here!
Visit this yellow city of India- Jaisalmer between October and March for a relaxing time off from the urban rush. The walls of the city are beautiful by themselves, so don’t forget to bring out your cameras. Beware the shining sun might outshine the flash from your camera!