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Jaisalmer Monuments and Festival

SONAR QUILA
Known as SONAR QUILA or the Golden fort, rising from the sand , the mega structure merges with the golden hues of the desert ambience and the setting suns in its most colourful shades gives it a fairy tale look. Its simply a magic, theMonuments and Festivals bastions envelops a whole townships that consist of palace complex various security sources and the havelis of rich merchants carved with an incredibly light touch, several temples and the residential complexes of the armies and traders placed strategically on the trade route, from where the ancient caravans passed en-route passing all the riches for the prosperity to an otherwise non source full kingdom. These merchants served and acquire a great deal of power and noble status in the royal courts of Bhatti Rajputs who founded the state in the 12th century and proceeded further. But the rich merchant inspired by the classic style of the royals , constructed huge mansions (havelis) adjacent to each other in the nature of medieval culture and profusely decorated walls and ceilings and intricately carved outdoors and interiors. The colourful art forms and some how side kind the royal heritage and made it appear more pale in comparison . The craftsmen were usually muslims who were induced on their journey to exhibit their skills. The results was architectural purity that cannot be seen elsewhere.

Nathmal Ji Ki Haveli
Two architect brothers built it in the 19th century. Interestingly, while one concentrated on the right, the other concentrated on the left and the result is a symphony epitomising the side by side symmetry during construction. Paintings in miniature style monopolise the walls in the interior. Mighty tuskers carved out of yellow sandstone stand guard to the haveli.

Salim Singh Ki Haveli
This haveli was built about 300 years ago and a part of it is still occupied. Salim Singh was the prime minister when Jaisalmer was the capital of the princely state and his mansion has a beautifully arched roof with superb carved brackets in the form of Peacocks. The mansion is just below the hill and it is said that once it had two additional wooden storeys in an attempt to make it as high as the maharaja's palace, but the maharaja had the upper storey torn down.

Patwon-Ji-Ki-Haveli
Monuments and Festivals This is one of the largest and most elaborate Haveli in Jaisalmer and stands in a narrow lane. It is five storeys high and is extensively carved. It is divided into six apartments, two owned by archaeological Survey of India, two by families who operate craft-shops and two private homes. There are remnants of paintings on some of the inside walls as well as some mirror work.

Tazia Tower
The delicate pagoda like Tazia Tower rises from Badal Mahal (Cloud Palace). Rising in its five-tiered splendour, with each storey graced by a delicately carved balcony, the tower is of historical significance. Muslim craftsmen built it in the shape of a Tazia and gifted it to their royal patron.

Gadi Sagar
This tank, south of the city walls, once held the town water supply, and befitting its importance in providing precious water to the inhabitants of this arid city, it is sourrounded by small temples and shrines. The beautiful yellow sandstone gateway arching across the road down to the tank is the Tilon-ki-Pol, and is said to have been built by a famous prostitute, Tilon . When she offered to pay to have this gateway constructed, the Maharaja refused permission under it to go down to the tank and he felt that this would be beneath his dignity. While he was away, she built the gate , adding a Krishna temple on top so that king could not tear it down.

 

Festivals

Desert Festival, Jaisalmer
( Jan-Feb. ): One of the most popular of all festivals it is a journey into the heart of the desert, the golden city ofMonuments and Festivals Jaisalmer that has a charm of its own. Held in the month of January - February, the Desert Festival exudes a delightful spirit. For three days ,he otherwise barren land of Jaisalmer comes to life and is cluttered with hordes of colorfully dressed people . Infact during these days Jaisalmer gets a chance to paradeits exuberant charm to the world.

Traditional dance backed by high pitched music take the folk dancers and the audience on an euphoric trip.

The turban-tying competition and Mr. Desert contest add a touch of excitement to the festive celebrations The famous Gair dancers and the traditional fire dancers leave the crowd enchanted whenever they perform.

The grand finale is a trip to the sand dunes where one can enjoy the pleasure of a camel ride & at times also view the musicians and dancers performing on the dunes .

Jaisalmer exercise immense charm, but with the staging of the annual Desert Festival (January - February), it has also become one of the more important events on the annual calendar. Essentially, it is a showcase of the performing arts of the region on the stretching sands around this desert citadel. A number of amusing turban tying competitions and camel races.

Activities
The perfect time to visit the golden city is during the Desert Festival, held in Jan/Feb. every year, when the city reverberates to the sound of melodious tunes and rhythms. Folk dances, exciting competitions an contests, especially the turban-tying contest. Mr. Desert contest and camel races enliven the festivities. Colorful craft bazaars are set up for the occasion and a sound and light spectacle is organized wit folk artists performing against the splendid backdrop of the famous Sam sand dunes on the full moon night. Surely a not-to-be missed event.