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Jaisalmer

     Bhatti Rajput Rawal Jaiswal founded Jaisalmer as his new Capital in 1156 AD. In the midst of the Thar desert, Jaisalmer served as a gateway for the Indian silk and spices going to Sindh and further west during the medieval period. When other routes developed in course of time, it lost its eminence. Today what beckons one to the place is the ancient palaces, havelis and the temples. The desert festival of Jan-Feb is the ideal time to pay a visit. There will be craft bazaars, camel races and folk dances.

     The Jaisalmer Fort has four gateways. One can see the palaces, the famous havelis and the Jain temples around the fort. Gadsisar Lake: A rain-water lake, it is a picnic spot.

     Other Sites: Manak chowk, Tazia tower, Nathmalji-ki-Haveli, Patwon-ki-Haveli, Salim Singh-ki-Haveli, Jain temples

     EXCURSIONS

     Lodurva (16 km): It is the ancient Capital of Jaisalmer. A divine tree called Kalpataru is an attraction; Sam Sand Dunes (42 km): Noted for camel safaris and attractive dunes; Wood fossil park (17 km), the place was under the sea once upon a time and hence is important for geological study; Desert national park (45 km); Amar Sagar (5 km); Barmer (150 km), known for its handicraft items

     HOW TO REACH: The nearest airport is at Jodhpur, 285 km away. There are trains and buses connecting Jaisalmer with all major towns. Local transport: Autorickshaw, taxi, jeep.

     CLIMATE: Summer, 25 to 45 deg C; winter, 7 to 24 deg C; Best season: Oct-Feb

     CLOTHING: Light cotton in summer and woollen in winter

     SHOPPING: The exclusive shopping items are embroidery works, wooden items, silver jewellery. The main shopping centre is Manak Chowk.

     FAIRS and FESTIVALS: The Desert festival, Jan-Feb, craft bazaars, camel race, folk dance and fire dance are the main attractions.

     LANGUAGES: Rajasthani, Hindi and English

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