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Jaisalmer
Jaisalmer
Location of Jaisalmer
in Rajasthan and India
Coordinates 26°55′N 70°54′E / 26.92°N 70.9°E / 26.92; 70.9
Country  India
State Rajasthan
District(s) Jaisalmer
Mayor Chhotu Singh Bhati
Population
Density
58286 (2001)
11,429 /km2 (29,601 /sq mi)
Time zone IST (UTC+05:30)
Area
Elevation
5.1 km2 (2 sq mi)
225 m (738 ft)

Jaisalmer About this sound pronunciation (Hindi: जैसलमेर), (Urdu and Punjabi:جيسلمير), (Sindhi:جيسلمير) nicknamed "The Golden City", is a town in the Indian state of Rajasthan. It was once known as Jaisalmer state. The town stands on a ridge of yellowish sandstone, crowned by a fort, which contains the palace and several ornate Jain temples. Many of the houses and temples are finely sculptured. It lies in the heart of the Thar Desert and has a population of about 78,000. It is the administrative headquarters of Jaisalmer District.

Contents

Origin of name

Jaisalmer is named after its founder, Rao Jaisal[1] (see History). "Jaisalmer" means "the Hill Fort of Jaisal". Jaisalmer is sometimes called the "Golden City of India" because the yellow sand gives a yellowish-golden tinge to the city and its surrounding area.

Location

District JAISALMER is located within a rectangle lying between 26°.4’ –28°.23' North parallel and 69°.20'-72°.42' east meridians. It is the largest district of Rajasthan and one of the largest in the country. The breath (East-West) of the district is 270 Kms and the length (North-South) is 186 Kms. On the present map, district Jaisalmer is bounded on the north by Bikaner, on the west & south-west by Indian boarder, on the south by Barmer and Jodhpur, and on the east by Jodhpur and Bikaner Districts. The length of international boarder attached to District JAISALMER is 471 Kms.

History

For the history of the region, see Jaisalmer state.
Jaisalmer city view

The majority of the inhabitants of Jaisalmer are Bhatti Rajputs, who take their name from an ancestor named Bhatti, renowned as a warrior when the tribe were located in the Punjab. Shortly after this the clan was driven southwards, and found a refuge in the Indian desert, which was henceforth its home. This area was part of Gurjar - Pratihara empire and until the 11th century was ruled by a powerful Bargujar King. Deoraj, a famous prince of the Bhati family, is esteemed the real founder of the Jaisalmer dynasty, and with him the title of rawal commenced. In 1156 Rawal Jaisal,[1] the sixth in succession from Deoraj, founded the fort and city of Jaisalmer, and made it his capital as he moved from his former capital at Lodhruva (which is situated about 15 km to the north-west of Jaisalmer). In 1293, the Bhattis so enraged the emperor Ala-ud-din Khilji that his army captured and sacked the fort and city of Jaisalmer, so that for some time it was quite deserted. Some Bhatti's migrated to Talwandi, now Nankana Sahib in Distt. Nankana Sahib (Punjab, Pakistan) and others settled in Larkana (in Sind, Pakistan)under the name of Bhutto. In Nankana Sahib, the Bhatti Clan can be traced from the lineage of Rai Bhoe and Rai Bular Bhatti. After this there is nothing to record until the time of Rawal Sahal Singh, whose reign marks an epoch in Bhatti history in that he acknowledged the supremacy of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. The Jaisalmer princes had now arrived at the height of their power, but from this time till the accession of Rawal Mulraj in 1762 the fortunes of the state rapidly declined, and most of its outlying provinces were lost. In 1818 Mulraj entered into political relations with the British. Maharawal Salivahan, born in 1887, succeeded to the chiefship in 1891.

The Maharajas of Jaisalmer trace their lineage back to Jaitsimha, a ruler of the Bhatti Rajput clan. The major opponents of the Bhati Rajputs were the powerful Rathor clans of Jodhpur and Bikaner. They used to fight battles for the possession of forts, waterholes or cattle. Jaisalmer was positioned strategically and was a halting point along a traditional trade route traversed by the camel caravans of Indian and Asian merchants. The route linked India to Central Asia, Egypt, Arabia, Persia, Africa and the West.

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Medieval period

Flag of the princely state of Jaisalmer

During the Islamic invasion of India, Jaisalmer escaped direct Muslim conquest due to its geographical situation in the desert region. The Rawals of Jaisalmer agreed to pay an annual tribute to the Delhi Sultans. The first siege of Jaisalmer occurred during the reign of Alauddin Khilji. It was provoked by Bhatis' raid on a caravan filled with treasure. According to local ballads, the Bhatis defended the fort for seven years until the enemy army forced beached the ramparts. Bhatis, facing certain defeat, proclaimed the rite of jauhar. Later, Sultan Ferozshah also sieged Jaisalmer after the rulers of Jaisalmer raided his camp at Anasagar lake near Ajmer. The siege led to another jauhar. Jaitsimha's son Duda perished in the attack. Duda's descendants ruled over Jaisalmer for about two centuries. Duda's descendant Lunakarna had a fight with Humayun when the latter passed through Jaisalmer en route to Ajmer. Mughal emperor Akbar was married to one of the Jaisalmer princesses.

Later, Jaisalmer was ruled by a noble called Sabala Simha, who won the patronage of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan for services rendered in his Peshawar campaign.

Princely Jaisalmer

Facade of a mansion in Jaisalmer

Jaisalmer was one of the last states to sign a treaty with the British. During the British Raj, Jaisalmer was the seat of a princely state of the same name, ruled by the Bhati clan of rajputs. The present descendant is Brijraj Singh. Though the city is under the governance of the Government of India, a lot of welfare work is carried out by him and his family. The Royal Family still commands a lot of respect from the people.[citation needed]

Traditionally, the main source of income was the levies on the caravans. However, the glory of Jaisalmer faded when Bombay emerged as a port and the sea trade replaced the traditional land routes. The partition of India in 1947 lead to closing of all the trade routes on the Indo-Pak border and rendered Jaisalmer a drought-prone desert backwater on the international border. Ironically, skirmishes between India and Pakistan gave Jaisalmer a strategic importance and made it serviceable as an army supply depot. Later, the Rajasthan Canal served to revive the surrounding desert areas. Roads and railroads were then built, knitting the hitherto remote town with the rest of Rajasthan. Later, the Government of Rajasthan decided to promote Jaisalmer as a tourist destination.

Geography

Jaisalmer
Climate chart (explanation)
J F M A M J J A S O N D
 
 
1.5
 
24
7
 
 
3.1
 
27
10
 
 
3.5
 
33
16
 
 
1.8
 
38
22
 
 
6.3
 
42
25
 
 
21
 
41
27
 
 
67
 
38
26
 
 
67
 
36
25
 
 
23
 
36
24
 
 
1.8
 
36
20
 
 
2.2
 
31
13
 
 
3
 
25
8
average max. and min. temperatures in °C
precipitation totals in mm
source: IMD

Jaisalmer has an average elevation of 229 metres (751 ft). It is situated near the border of India and Pakistan in West Rajasthan, and covers an area of 5.1 km². The maximum summer temperature is around 41.6 °C (106.9 °F) while the minimum is 25 °C (77 °F). The maximum winter temperature is usually around 23.6 °C (74.5 °F) and the minimum is 7.9 °C (46.2 °F). The average rainfall is 150 millimetres (5.9 in).[2]

Jaisalmer is almost entirely a sandy waste, forming a part of the great Indian desert. The general aspect of the area is that of an interminable sea of sand hills, of all shapes and sizes, some rising to a height of 150 feet (46 m). Those in the west are covered with log bushes, those in the east with tufts of long grass. Water is scarce, and generally brackish; the average depth of the wells is said to be about 250 feet (76 m). There are no perennial streams, and only one small river, the Kakni, which, after flowing a distance of 28 metres (92 ft), spreads over a large surface of flat ground, and forms Lake Orjhil ("The Bhuj-Jhil"). The climate is dry and healthy. Throughout Jaisalmer only raincrops, such as bajra, jawar, motif, til, etc., are grown; spring crops of wheat, barley, etc., are very rare. Owing to the scant rainfall, irrigation is almost unknown.

Distances: Jaipur (558 km), Ahmedabad (626 km), Agra (802 km), New Delhi (864 km), Mumbai (1177 km).

Economy

Bada Bagh Panorama in the afternoon

Tourism is a major industry in Jaisalmer.

The Government of India initiated departmental exploration for oil in 1955-56 in the Jaisalmer area.[3] Oil India Limited discovered natural gas in 1988 in the Jaisalmer basin.[4]

Musicians and dancers are also a major cultural export from Jaisalmer to the rest of the world. Manganyar musicians have played the world over, and Queen Harish,[5] the dancing desert drag queen, is touring the world and has featured in international movies.

Jaisalmer is also known for its leather messenger bags, made from wild camels native to the area.

Transport

Road sign to Bikaner and Jaisalmer

Jaisalmer is the terminus of a Broad gauge branch railway of Indian Railways, which joins with the main system at Jodhpur. The Palace on Wheels has a scheduled stop at Jaisalmer.

Demographics

As of the 2001 India census,[6] Jaisalmer had a population of 58,286. Males constitute 57% of the population and females 43%. Jaisalmer has an average literacy rate of 64%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 73%, and female literacy is 50%. In Jaisalmer, 16% of the population is under 6 years of age.

The main part of the population lead a wandering life, grazing their flocks and herds. Large herds of camels, horned cattle, sheep and goats are kept. The principal trade is in wool, ghee, camels, cattle and sheep. The chief imports are grain, sugar, foreign cloth, piece-goods. It suffered from famine in 1897, 1900 and other years, to such an extent that it has had to incur a heavy debt for extraordinary expenditure.

Tourism

While Jaisalmer may always have been remote, it is filled with many artistic structures and monuments of local historical importance. Jaisalmer's medieval mud fortress and walled township make it a popular tourist destination. The surrounding desolate landscape evidences a stark, austere beauty. Camel safaris through the nearby desert dunes are popular with tourists; competition for business is fierce. A few quiet days spent wandering around the town and the surrounding desert can be a wonderful way of unwinding from the chaos of larger Indian cities.

Visitor attractions

Jaisalmer Fort

Jaisalmer Fort sign.jpg

Built in 1156 by the Bhati Rajput ruler Jaisal, Jaisalmer Fort is situated on Trikuta Hill and had been the scene of many battles. Its massive sandstone walls are a tawny lion colour during the day, turning to a magical honey-gold as the sun sets. The famous Indian film director Satyajit Ray wrote a detective novel and later turned it into a film – Sonar Kella (The Golden Fortress) which was based on this fort. This is a living fort and about a quarter of city's population still live inside the fort. The main attractions inside the fort are: Raj Mahal (Royal palace), Jain temples and the Laxminath temple.

Havelis

The main havelis in Jaisalmer are:

  • Patwon-ki-Haveli: Guman Chand Patwa (and later by his five sons), a wealthy merchant belonging to powerful Oswal Jain community and banker who had over three hundred trading centres from Afghanistan to China. This ornate five-storey complex took fifty years to complete. This is the largest, the most magnificent, and the most elaborate of Jaisalmer havelis.[7]
  • Salam Singh-ki-Haveli: It was built by the scheming Prime Minister Salam Singh in 1815. It has a beautifully arched roof capped with blue cupolas and carved brackets in the form of peacocks.
  • Nathmalji-ki-Haveli: Built by a Prime Minister of princely state of Jaisalmer. Its facade is a riot of ornamentation: flowers, birds, elephants, soldiers, a bicycle and even a steam engine.
  • Simla Haveli': this is a 500 year old building in Jaisalmer fort[8].
  • Haveli Shreenath: Prime Minister House Of Jaisalmer This beautiful 450-year-old haveli was once inhabited by the prime minister under the maharaja. The gorgeous archways, alluring alcoves, sizeable rooms opening onto small balconies and rich ambiance must have been grand back in the old days.

Shree Nath Fort Jaisalmer: Heritage Haveli Hotel in Jaisalmer. Shree Nath Palace is a wonderful example of an old Rajasthani haveli, set in the golden fort of Jaisalmer.

  • Mehra haveli: Built by Gopikishan Mehra, Mayor of Jaisalmer city. He named Haveli after his grandmother Parwati Davi Parwati Sadan

Jain heritage of Jaisalmer

Jaisalmer city has been enriched by its Jain community which has adorned the city with beautiful Jain temples most notably the temples dedicated to 16th Tirthankar Lord Shantinath and 23rd Tirthankar Lord Parshvanath. Jaisalmer boasts some of the oldest libraries of India which contain rarest of the manuscripts & artefacts of Jain tradition. There are many Jain pilgrimage centres around Jaisalmer like Lodarva, Amarsagar, Brahmsar and Pokharan.

Museums

  • Desert Culture Centre & Museum
  • Jaisalmer Folklore Museum
  • Government Museum
  • Mehra Haveli

Other

  • Gadsisar Lake - Excavated in 1367 by Rawal Gadsi Singh, it is a scenic rainwater lake surrounded by small temples and shrines.

In neighbourhood

Desert festival

This is held over three days in January/February every year. This is the best time to visit Jaisalmer to witness performing arts like Kalbelia dances and folk songs and music.

Gallery

See also

Further reading

  • Bhati, Hari Singh. 2002. ANNALS OF JAISALMER: A Pre-Mediaeval History. Kavi Prakashan, Bikaner.
  • Gahlot, Sukhvirsingh. 1992. RAJASTHAN: Historical & Cultural. J. S. Gahlot Research Institute, Jodhpur.
  • Somani, Ram Vallabh. 1993. History of Rajasthan. Jain Pustak Mandir, Jaipur.
  • Tod, James & Crooke, William. 1829. Annals & Antiquities of Rajasthan or the Central and Western Rajput States of India. 3 Vols. Reprint: Low Price Publications, Delhi. 1990. ISBN 81-85395-68-3 (set of 3 vols.)

References

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Jaisalmer article)

From Wikitravel

Jaisalmer, the "Golden City", is located on the westernmost frontier of India in the state of Rajasthan. Close to the border with Pakistan, the city is known for its proximity to the Thar Desert. Desert Safari in the sand dunes of Jaisalmer is an unforgettable experience.

The city is dominated by the Jaisalmer Fort. Unlike most forts in India, the Jaisalmer Fort is a living fort. There are shops, hotels, age old havelis (homes) inside the fort area.

Get in

By plane

A military airstrip has recently been opened to limited civilian flights, with Kingfisher offering flights from Delhi(only from October to March). A new, dedicated airport is planned for 2010.

By train

There is a direct train service from Delhi When arriving by train you will pass the station of Pokharan, India's nuclear testing area!

By bus

Bus or car-taxi from Jodhpur or by bus from Bikaner. A daily bus runs to and from Jaipur.

By camel

Another option is to arrive by camel; Jaisalmer is famous for camel trips. The most grueling is the 14 day trip from Bikaner. When booking a few days in the desert on a camel, remember you get the quality you pay for. People who go for the cheapest trips find themselves eating lentils three times a day!

Get around

The walled centre is a pedestrian area; from the gates you can get other means of transport. The Sam sand-dunes are 45 km away from the city. The rest of the city is easily walkable from one end to the other.

Sam Sand Dunes, located 40 km west of Jaisalmer
Sam Sand Dunes, located 40 km west of Jaisalmer

One of the most magnificent attractions is the Jaisalmer Fort known as the "Sonar Kila" due to the yellow stone it was built out of.

Gadi Sagar is a rainwater lake which supplies water to the city. It is surrounded by temples and tombs of saints. Boat rides are offered. Nearby is the desert cultural centre and a local museum built out of the collections of a local schoolteacher.

Jaisalmer Fort:

Jaisalmer fort is also known as the “Sonar Quila”. Colourful shades of the setting sun and golden hues of the desert ambience give a fairy tale look to this mega structured fort. The interior of this fort is amazing. Tourists can also visit many havelis of rich merchants, which are also having a touch of great classical interior and design.

Jain Temple: There are 7 beautifully curved temples built inside the fort walls. These temples were built in between from 12th century to 15th century. All the temples are connected by walkways and corridors. It is compulsory to remove your shoes, and all other leather articles (belts, wallets, purses etc...) before entering any Jain temple. The very first temple which a tourist can visit is dedicated to Chandraprabhu, who is the eight tirthankar (Jain God). The symbol of the God Chandraprabhu is the moon. This temple was built in 1509. It is built with fine stones.

Do

Just chill, Jaisalmer is a lovely and very relaxing place. Go for a stroll, visit the palace and do the camel safari (trips available from a few hours to 14 days). If you do not feel remotely attracted to camels try a jeep safari into the desert to see the scenery and watch the sun go down. Below the fort are several magnificent havelis with intricate stone carving. Several can be visited for minimal charges and are well worth seeking out.

Camel safari is organized by different tour operators and travel agents in Rajasthan. Most of the camel safaris are organized in Bikaner, Osian, Jaisalmer and Pushkar. This camel safari trip can be of 2 to 7 days and if someone wishes to extend it, it can go up to one month. Short trips give a glimpse of the desert to the tourists. Jaisalmer is the land of desert and most of the camel safaris start from this city. In most of the trips, one camel is allotted to one person and a camel cart is also provided with the group which carries all the food material, tents and other stuff.

  • Matarr Camel Safari, Jaisalmer, 0091 09829914373. Great non-touristy camel safari away from the crowds. Beautiful dunes and area. You can chose where you go for route itinerary. No pressure to visit villages and buy things. Any trip duration possible. Great cook and food provided with assistants if large group. Sleep out under stars or tent. English spoken very well and a few other languages. Honest and nice guys. Lovely friendly camels, well trained and cared for. Based just outside Jaisalmer city but will come to you. Price negotiable.  edit

Buy

The usual: in Jaisalmer this means items made of camel leather, intricate textiles, especially embroidery and silver jewelry. Local advice is to seek out shops outside of the fort for better value and service.

Eat

Lots of local eateries which offer sumptuous lunches and dinners for a measly Rs. 20 (approx. $0.45).

  • Seema Restaurant Just outside the fort. Really good and cheap food (50Rs). The main appeal is everything is made fresh. Only bad thing is the restaurant is a little dingy.
  • Artist Hotel Restaurant Near the sunset view point - in the middle of the Jaisalmer artist colony. The very best food in town(50Rs). Everything is made fresh. You will get western (also nice Austrian food) food as well as very nice Indian dishes. The restaurant is placed on rooftop and you can enjoy your meal while listening to live performed rajastani music!
  • The Jaisal Treat (A Multicuisine Restaurant), Near Hanuman Circle (Geeta Ashram Road), +91 9414206055. If want to enjoy candle light dinner with Full fort view with lighting & specially if you want to take best meal (your antire tour)in INDIA then go for The Jaisal Treat Restaurant. And yes dont forget for SULA Wine. more than Best.  edit
  • The Jaisal Treat ((A Multicuisine Restaurant)), Near Hanuman Circle (Geeta Ashram Road), +91 9414206055. This is a Multicuisine Restaurant. If you want to have Best meal in your entire tour then go for This Restaurant. They have Full Fort view (Specially at Dinner time Fort covered with Lighting) with candle light. They have best wine (SULA) wight & red both are available. Specially Rajasthani food : In Non vegitarian - Lal Maas, Tanddori Chicken, & Non Veg. Platter And in Vegitarian - Gatta Jaisalmeri, Ker Sangri, Kadhi Pakora. They Have Speciall Bread named Jangi Paratha.  edit

Drink

Drink delectable bhang lassi at the government authorized shop close to the haveli.

  • desert roof top restaurant, In the fort jaisalmer (Nr the jain temples), 91 9252022430, [1]. This is all time best oportunity to sit on the rampart ,,, the fort of jaisalmer and enjoy delecious food and acclaimed views of the Golden city  edit
  • Desert Haveli Guest House (Jaisalmer India), In the national museum/monument fort of Jaisalmer (Nr to jain temples), +912992251555, [2]. 24. this exotic heritage hotel is situated in the national monument/museum Jaisalmer fort on the high altitude on the rampart ,in the closed ended street. it offers unique experience of staying in the apartment of ancient historical fort of Jaisalmer it self , this is the ONLY place which provides tourists a golden opportunity with due permition of arceological survey department as this building was alloted to nobel person of kingdom time for residential pupose of divisional magistrate , which has been converted in to the popular guest house. many guide books and web sites has recommended it very much highly,, due to its wonderful location and friendly trained staff 2000.00.  edit
  • The Jaisal Treat (A Multi Cuisine Restaurant), Near Hanuman Circle (Geeta Ashram Road), +91 9414206055. If want to enjoy candle light dinner with Full fort view with lighting & specially if you want to take best meal (your antire tour)in INDIA then go for The Jaisal Treat Restaurant. And yes dont forget for SULA Wine. Good.  edit
  • Hotel Shree Govindam (A Budget Class Hotel), Near Hanuman Circle (Geeta Ashram Road), +91 9414150528, [3]. checkin: After 11 AM; checkout: 9 AM. If you want to stay in budget class category hotel with best accomodation then coose for Shree Govindam Hotel. This is situated at out side the fort, Near of Main Circle (Hanuman Circle). They have 10 Air Conditioner Double Room, Hot & Cold Water, 24 Hrs service, Safari Booking Facility, And Best Restaurant with Full Fort View & Night time Fort covered with lighting. From its terest you can see also best Sun Rise & Sun Set View with enjoying coctail. 1000 C.P..  edit
  • Garh Jaisal, ON FORT, [4]. opened in 2006 and overlooks the entrance to the fort. It has an amazing rooftop deck overlooking the city. Each room is decorated like a jewel tone. It is luxury in the fort and you can book directly on their website. A good combination with a desert trip.>  edit
  • Hotel Moonlight, Opp. Head Post Office, Hanuman Circle, +91-2992-250267, [5]. checkin: 12.00 Noon; checkout: 12.00 Noon. Traditional-style hotel, rooftop restaurant.>  edit
  • Hotel Jaisal Palace, Behind Royal Palace, Gandhi Chowk, +91- 2992 - 252717, [6]. checkin: 12.00 Noon; checkout: 12.00 Noon. from 600 to 2100.  edit
  • Thar Vilas, [7].  edit
  • Shanti Residency, S-5, Transport Nagar, +91-9414149138, [8]. checkin: 12PM; checkout: 12PM. Located at a very approachable area on the State High Way No.11. consists of 24 well equipped and well furnished rooms. The facilities include a multi cuisine Restaurant and a Banquet Hall with capacity of 70-90. 1250.  edit
  • Artist Hotel (Royal Guest House), Artist Colony, Jaisalmer, 345001, 02992-252082, [9]. Built for fun and cultural exchange. The profits go towards a social cause. Rs. 180-600.  edit
  • Mirvana Nature Resort, [10], Sodakore, 1 hr from Jaisalmer along the road to Jodhpur. A tented camp attached to a desert farm. Meals are served under the stars!
  • Moonlight Khuri Resort, 40 km far from Jaisalmer at Khuri village, surrounded by natural sand dunes. Accommodation in mud cottages Huts and Tents with Camp- Fire, Dinner, Music & Folk Dance & Camel Ride.
  • Sam sand dunes Sam is about 40 km from the city. Watch the sunset from the Sam sand dunes. RTDC has limited accommodations (huts) at Sam; or you can chill out at the one of the camps/tents, right in the middle of the desert, organized by many tour operators. You can watch cultural programs and dances organized by RTDC and many private organizers. Highly recommended to spend one night at Sam (early evening to late morning next day).

"Khuri Sand Dunes" Just about 45 Km from the city is the village of Khuri. It is equally famous for the sand dunes as sam. However at khuri you are away from the madenning crowd and the hawkers. As khuri is slowly emerging on the tourism map, it still has all the basic necessities but the crowd is non exsitant. That Means you can have a couple of dunes just for yourself and do whatever you feel like there. Khuri also boasts of numerous private Hut/Tent resorts, available at very reasonable rates with accomodation, food, camel safari to the dunes and folk dance thrown in as accompanients.

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

JAISALMER, or Jeysulmere, a town and native state of India in the Rajputana agency. The town stands on a ridge of yellowish sandstone, crowned by a fort, which contains the palace and several ornate Jain temples. Many of the houses and temples are finely sculptured. Pop. (1901), 7137. The area of the state is 16,062 sq. m. In 1901 the population was 73,37 0, showing a decrease of 37% in ten years, as a consequence of famine. The estimated revenue is about £6000; there is no tribute. Jaisalmer is almost entirely a sandy waste, forming a part of the great Indian desert. The general aspect of the country is that of an interminable sea of sandhills, of all shapes and sizes, some rising to a height of 150 ft. Those in the west are covered with phog bushes, those in the east with tufts of long grass. Water is scarce, and generally brackish; the average depth of the wells is said to be about 250 ft. There are no perennial streams, and only one small river, the Kakni, which, after flowing a distance of 28 m., spreads over a large surface of flat ground, and forms a lake or jhil called the Bhuj-Jhil. The climate is dry and healthy. Throughout Jaisalmer only raincrops, such as bajra, joar, moth, til, &c., are grown; spring crops of wheat, barley, &c., are very rare. Owing to the scant rainfall, irrigation is almost unknown.

The main part of the population lead a wandering life, grazing their flocks and herds. Large herds of camels, horned cattle, sheep and goats are kept. The principal trade is in wool, ghi, camels, cattle and sheep. The chief imports are grain, sugar, foreign cloth, piece-goods, &c. Education is at a low ebb. Jain priests are the chief schoolmasters, and their teaching is elementary. The ruler of Jaisalmer is styled maharawal. The state suffered from famine in 1897, 1900 and other years, to such an extent that it has had to incur a heavy debt for extraordinary expenditure. There are no railways.

The majority of the inhabitants are Bhatti Raj puts, who take their name from an ancestor named Bhatti, renowned as a warrior when the tribe were located in the Punjab. Shortly after this the clan was driven southwards, and found a refuge in the Indian desert, which was thenceforth its home. Deoraj, a famous prince of the Bhatti family, is esteemed the real founder of the present Jaisalmer dynasty, and with him the title of rawal commenced. In 1156 Jaisal, the sixth in succession from Deoraj, founded the fort and city of Jaisalmer, and made it his capital. In 1294 the Bhattis so enraged the emperor Ala-ud-din that his army captured and sacked the fort and city of Jaisalmer, so that for some time it was quite deserted. After this there is nothing to record till the time of Rawal Sabal Singh, whose reign marks an epoch in Bhatti history in that he acknowledged the supremacy of the Mogul emperor Shah Jahan. The Jaisalmer princes had now arrived at the height of their power, but from this time till the accession of Rawal Mulraj in 1762 the fortunes of the state rapidly declined, and most of its outlying provinces were lost. In 1818 Mulraj entered into political relations with the British. Maharawal Salivahan, born in 1887, succeeded to the chiefship in 1891.


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Simple English


Jaisalmer , nicknamed "The Golden City", is a town in the Indian state of Rajasthan. The town is located on a ridge of yellowish sandstone which contains a palace and temples. It lies in the middle of the Thar Desert and has a population of about 78,000. It is the capital of Jaisalmer District. The city is named after Rawal Jaisal.[1]

References


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