Visiting the worlds biggest sandcastle
Trip Start Jan 20, 2009
120Trip End Jan 19, 2010
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Where I stayed
A mere 22 hours after leaving Delhi we arrived on the train at Jaisalmer. During the 22 hours the terrain had altered dramatically from farmland to desert, cows were replaced in the countryside by camels. As we got out of the station we were treated to our first view of what Jaisalmer is famous for – rising out of the desert and scrubland stands a honey-coloured fort originally built in 1196. It is a great sight and looks not dissimilar to something a child would build on the beach with a bucket and spade. We checked into our guest house and for a whopping £5 we were treated to a view as spectacular as any we've had on the whole trip so far.
The next two days we explored this incredible fort and also the old town below. Much of the interior of the fort is hundreds of years old and exploring the narrow streets was like stepping back into medieval times. Again it was a blaze of colour as the brightly coloured ladies sari’s stood out against the golden coloured walls. As for the men, they gave the place a Middle Eastern feel with white gowns, shawls draped around their necks, big moustaches and a turban to finish the look off. The whole town is built using local sandstone and when the sun sets the town lives up to its name of the golden city.
As well as the fort the old town has a number of haveli’s, these are enormous mansions built by the rich merchants of the time. They contain the most incredibly detailed stone work we have ever seen, it is so intricately carved and the detail so minute and precise that at first glance you use it must be made of wood, the craftsmanship was sublime. The insides of these haveli’s were also spectacularly over the top with rooms full of coloured glass, mirrors and paintings covered with gold leaf.
On both evenings we spent in Jaisalmer we encountered wedding celebrations that snaked through the town in a riot of colour and music. The groom dressed as a Maharaja was led through the narrow streets on horseback, as men danced around and behind him to the music of marching band. Behind the men came the ladies procession with them all wearing their finest saree’s, what a sight, it makes wedding in the West seem very dull indeed.
Here are the photos.
Next stop, another fort town, this time Jodhpur.