Jaisalmer is the stuff of legend, like something out of 1001 Arabian nights. It’s one of those enigmatic places that doesn’t seem like it could possibly be real, but certainly does exist.
Founded in the 12th century by Maharawal Jaisal, Jaisalmer is known as the Golden City with its giant sandcastle-like yellow sandstone Fort, with its 99 turrets, rising out of the surrounding desert sands. There are historical monuments scattered all over the town but the Fort, known locally as Sonar Qila immediately commands attention for its sheer unlikelyness.
Jaisalmer is the last city as you head westwards through the Thar Desert before you reach Pakistan. In fact, the border is a mere 100km away. There is a heavy army presence and the sound of jets heading off to patrol the border is a daily occurrence.
Jaisalmer is a perfect place to take a Camel Safari – whether it’s an hour in the desert to watch the sunset, or to stay overnight, either camping on the dunes or in a camp-site, or whether you want to stay out for several days. The desert dunes are magical and there’s a certain mystic peacefulness to sitting astride your quietly galumphing camel who’s long legged stride lulls you into a calm meditative state.