Thursday, 14 June 2007

Inside Jaisalmer Fort

Obviously we had to go visit the fort, which is one of the few living forts (still inhabited by a substantial number of people) remaining in India.

As with most other cities in the state of Rajasthan, Jaisalmer was also an independent Kingdom (Rajasthan means literally the place of Kings). This is the main Royal Palace of the fort. This is now a museum. Although he has lost all his formal powers, Jaisalmer still has a king (or Maharaja as they are usually called) but he doesn't live in the palace any more.

Atmospheric alleyway typical of the fort. Everywhere within the fort there are such small, narrow lanes.

View to one of the many great havelis of the city from the fort.

Susanna looking out at the Golden city relflected in her glasses.

Susanna listening to the sounds of an old kettle or stove (or something like that).

Sus playing basket with one of the local Fort boys.

Me, acting as a basket.

A lemon and seven chillies. You see this hanging many places all over India. It is meant to ward of evil spirits.

Since the fort is a living one it is filled with houses, shops and - as everywhere in India - temples. The most interesting is this complex of small Jain Temples with a very intimate, labyrinthine and slightly claustrophobic atmosphere. I loved it.

Play of the light on some carved Jain figures.

Just inside on the courtyards of the eight or so temples. Since the room was very tight, I could not capture this whole scene in one picture, so this image is actually stitched together from two different pictures. They don't line up a 100% but for my first try I think it worked out well enough.

The two images before being stitched together. Not quite the same impression of the place seeing them individually I think.

Another part of the Jain complex and another example of two images put together. This was an incredible miniature dome structure with the upper balcony almost reachable from the downstairs hall. But once again it was impossible to capture it in one image so I put two together. Since the images didn't match up complete I couldn't avoid the white space in the corner, but still quite happy with the result. I will experiment more with this in the future. I like the priest lying casually on the floor (Notice the idol bathed in cool blue light just above him) and the other priest leaning on the balcony railing above.

And again the two images that went together to create the one above. Again I think the composite image gives a much better impression of the place.


Brick said...

There's been alot of controversy over whether to stay or not stay in the Fort. It's eroding from increased water usage and tourists are contributing to the problem.

Check out this link, it shows the different viewpoints so you can make a more educated decision.

Happy Travels!

Brick said...

There's been alot of controversy over whether to stay or not stay in the Fort. It's eroding from increased water usage and tourists are contributing to the problem.

Check out this link, it shows the different viewpoints so you can make a more educated decision.

Happy Travels!

jaisalmer fort said...

Dear Travellers
Well come to jaisalmer
Before come to jaisalmer to know about K.P.S.
K.P.S.:- It means “ Karo Public Seva “ in English “Let’s Serve Public”
We are a non-government organization doing work in Jaisalmer. This is our registration I.D. “S.R 30/ Jaisal/2008-2009” We are serving Jaisalmer public from last more than 5 year’s. Looking at the efforts of our society Government registered us this year only.
Our Motto:-
1> Blood Banks.
2> Development of status of education in rural area.
3> Preservation of heritage monument in Jaisalmer.
4> Good activities which encourages tourism in Jaisalmer.
5> Help to tourist in medical and information fields.
6> Keep cleanity of Jaisalmer and especially of Jaisalmer Fort.
7> We encourage public of Jaisalmer to make Jaisalmer a plastic free zone.
8> Encouragement to regional fairs and festivals of Jaisalmer so as to keep on the culture and it indirectly encourages the interest of tourist to come to Jaisalmer.
9> One of the main motto of our society is that the tourist who arrives in Jaisalmer should not be hassled or treated in bad manner.
10> Encouraging the peoples of Jaisalmer who ever restores their houses should make it in the old fashion and continue their efforts.

Why we have Forum here.

Because it very help full for Travellers
Jaisalmers economy is centrally based on tourism only. Our society wants that the tourism in Jaisalmer should be fair enough so that we can continue it for next more than 100 years. All the members of our society are local peoples from Jaisalmer. Some of our members are working in media, some in medical fields and some of them also work with tourism.
The members of our society who works with tourism told us that the live status of tourist in Jaisalmer is very bad..
The current situation of the tourist is when he arrives in Jaisalmer by train or bus the commission agents of some hotels starts hassling them to come to their Hotel in the running train or buses. Later when the tourist arrives to railway and bus stations the touts of the same hotels starts hassling them in the train or bus stands so as to come to their hotels. They all do this to in a very bad and tiring manner. It gives tourist a very bad first impression of our town. At last when the tourist gives up and follow these touts to go their Hotels as soon as the tourist arrives in the Hotel before entering in the room he gets started tortured by the hotel man to do camel treks with them. If the tourist agrees to go safaris he has to pay a lot then the normal price or in case if he dis agrees then his baggage’s and other stuffs are out of the Hotel in any time of day or night. And these Hoteliers make false propaganda about the heritage sights of Jaisalmer and especially of Jaisalmer Fort.
Jaisalmer Fort was established (made) in 1156 A.D. Since then the local public of Jaisalmer is continuously living in it. The till today population of the Fort is 2500 peoples (approx). And it is the only Fort in which peoples are living for so long. And that is the only reason that way tourists arrives to Jaisalmer. And so as to feel in a homely atmosphere the tourist still stays in side the Jaisalmer fort .
In Jaisalmer fort there are about 380 houses only 28 are converted as small family run Hotels or Guest Houses. Except 3 or 4 hotels none of the Hotels have more then 5 rooms. The total rooms in Jaisalmer Fort are 200 and the maximum numbers of the peoples who can reside in it is 400 peoples. And the Hotel in Jaisalmer gets fully occupied for Just 30 days in a year and other all the days the normal occupancy rate of the Hotels is 50 to 60 % which means only 200 to 225 Tourists.
If there is any problem by the sewage line then for your kind information that the Jain temples which are amongst the most reliable Jain pilgrim of Jain society of Rajasthan are situated in Jaisalmer Fort and as this is very Holy temples here more than 250 Jain peoples arrives and takes shower 2 times a day so as to worship there God. It means that about 500 shower a day which are a way too much then the consumption of water done by the tourist staying in the Fort .
As well as the water supply in all the city of Jaisalmer has been supplied by the Fort because the biggest water supply tank of Jaisalmer is situated in side the Fort.

Jaisalmer Fort Peoples And Their culture

All the peoples who lives in Jaisalmer Fort are owned by them selves. Till the time when there was no tourism in Jaisalmer all the Heritage sights of Jaisalmer mostly in the Fort were in a condition to fall because no one helps us financially but as the tourism started in Jaisalmer the local peoples get there regular and good source of income and as they earned from there ancestral properties the also restored and maintained them in the old styles. And the business started well and all the houses, temples, Havelis and other points were well settled we also thanks you a lot if you stay in side fort .
Tourist still now stays in the Fort either they come by TRIPADVISOR, travel agents or by looking good comments on many internet WebPages or by the recommendation of the tourists who had stayed in the Fort. But our society want to clear with you that this controversies issue of Jaisalmer Fort.
There is no problem of Jaisalmer fort with tourists staying in it... It is just a false propaganda done by some outside fort hoteliers.
And we heartily request to Travelers should clear with our local public. And we hope from you that you will help us out in this matter and if you like to have any of our Ngo help in jaisalmer During jaisalmer visit we most welcomes you.
As our Ngo name derive that lets serve public so we are helping out the public of Jaisalmer Fort. And there is no personnel interest in it.
We are eagerly waiting for you reply also hope your interest in this matter.
Warm regards from
120 members of K.P.S.