Jaisalmer, named after its founder Jaisal in 1156AD, lies in the heart of the Thar Desert. Compared to other Rajasthani cities like Jodhpur and Jaipur, Jaisalmer is downright tiny. It consists mainly of a fort that locals still live in, and the surrounding town. Jaisalmer also has a rather large wind farm north of the city, which you’ll see below.
Jaisalmer, within the fort walls at least, was the cleanest city I’ve seen so far in India. Without a doubt. But sadly this only exists within the fort walls. There are red garbage cans as you can see, which people really do use. I’m not sure if it’s kept so clean because people consciously make an effort to keep things clean or because there are workers who clean things up in the tourist area. Sadly, the pictures below were taken just outside the fort walls. By all means Jaisalmer is just like the rest of India despite being just a short distance from Pakistan. I just wanted to highlight how clean it is inside the fort as it was a breath of fresh air.
The city is called the Golden City for good reason. It’s always sunny and the yellow stones that buildings are made from give it a distinctive golden glow.
Below are some pictures of the fort.
Inside the fort there are a series of Jain temples. I hadn’t been inside one yet, as Jain temples aren’t so easy to come by. Jains make up about 1% of the Indian population and share many beliefs with Hinduism and Buddhism. Jains are best known for their policy of doing no harm to animals, the strictest adherents going to extreme lengths to prevent injuring even the tiniest ants. Below are some pictures of the two temples I visited. And in case you’re wondering, yes, a holy man did ask me directly for a tip.
Below are some other pictures, showing how beautifully colorful Jaisalmer and Rajasthan are, the wind farm, some Sadhus (Hindu holy men), and where I should have stayed.