Tuesday, 31 March 2009


Our train pulled into Jaisalmer station at 6:00am, where we were surrounded by crowds of people trying to get us to use their taxis or to stay at their hotels. In the end we chose to climb into an old jeep driven by an old man with earrings and a big moustache. After roughly 10 minutes of driving, the jeep drew to a halt in the centre of a small square in the ancient fort. It was dark and the only sounds we could hear were those of a few twittering birds and barking dogs. As we walked up a lonely alleyway some stray dogs followed us from the square whilst barking furiously. The streets were old and cobbled and the walls high with many narrow paths branching in all directions. We finally found our hotel and to our relief we were greeted by Chimmy who owns the rooms inside this “Haveli”. The Haveli is 500 years old and actually, the floor of the room we are sleeping in is made of dried mud. From our room we can see a sacred temple and the small street below, and it is noticeable that all of the buildings are made of sandstone.
Later that morning we decided to go and explore Jaisalmer. The moment we stepped out of the hostel we saw a cow roaming the streets. Is it totally safe to walk past a sacred cow? No, not, if, like Simon, you don’t like being gored by its massive horns.
The further we walked, the more people we saw in their shops selling small ornaments, tapestries and throws for chairs or walls. Jon managed to haggle a small gift down from 250 rupees to 110 rupees. Bargain! Now lets hope he can fit it inside his backpack so that he can bring it home.
We were lucky enough to be in the square of the fort when a special festival, unique to Jaisalmer, was taking place. We noticed that a large representation of the Hindu god Shiva’s, wife was paraded through the small square, out of the Fort and down to Lake Gadi Sagar. Normally, in other processions, the king (maharaja) of Jaisalmer rides at the front, but in this particular one he rode behind because he is not higher than Shiva’s wife. In Jaisalmer the maharaja is viewed as a God in human form. In olden days he would ride in the processions on an elephant, but these days he rides a white horse. Amazing that we should stumble upon this yearly event!
Following the procession we went up a small cobbled street inside the fort and up some stone steps where we finally reached the top of one of the forts towering walls. It was great to view the city from so high up and to see the sun go down. We could clearly see that the sandstone houses almost matched the colour of the sand in the desert surrounding the town. It was at this point that we truly understood why the nickname for Jaisalmer is “the Golden City”.


  1. It all sounds wonderful - can't wait to sit down and hear all the details over photo albums and several drinks :-)

  2. Jaisalmer
    What was the room service like ? did u have to tip ? doh!
    Is it my prezzi… it is…... it is.... it is … yeah yeah yeah.
    Seriously cant wait for some photo’s.