After zigzagging between cows, goats, camels and trucks driving on the wrong side of the road, coming straight towards you, making you doubt that you are living the last seconds of your life, and then crossing the line to go back on the left side at the last minute, … we arrived in Jaisalmer.
We found those pilgrims all along the road, walking, sometimes bare feet, under the Rajasthani heat, towards a Temple at 80 km from Jaisalmer, with heavy bags on their heads, some are on motorbikes, on bikes, or on a camel backs… There you can see Faith is carrying them… The small restaurants on the side of the road provide them with free food, again because their purpose of their trip is religious.
My eyes are wide open and I am thirsty of all those landscapes, and the life happening behind the window! On the radio, I realize I know more songs here in India than back home in Europe, that’s so funny.
My hotel is at the entrance of the city when we step into Jaisalmer, a very nice one, where I have enjoyed a walk around the well preserved gardens, with green grass despite the heat and desert a few steps from here. I find at the entrance, a staff member with typical clothes and a turban, but he does not speak English, so I start asking a few questions in Hindi and explaining where I am from,and he was happy of me making the effort to speak his language, and accepted to pause for my picture.
Late in the afternoon, I went to see the sunset from the “Chatteries”, a place where there are cenotaphs with an amazing view on the whole city and the Fort on a small mountain. What a lovely place! I walked around again and again, goats on my way, the light becoming red as the time passed, and the sun going down in the sky, changing the colors of the walls of the city in front of me. A feeling that you own the world!
Early morning the next day, I’ve been taken to the artificial lake where fishing is forbidden as fish have been introduced here and people feed them as it is said to bring luck. In the old times, that place was the only way to the city, and every night the gates of Jaisalmer closed until the next day. That way, if boats arrived late at night, they could stay there, and the people could stay, cook their dinner and sleep before the sun rised and the doors opened again.
Visit of the Fort, some Jain Temples, and Havelis. Havelis are houses made of the local stone, and letting the air come inside – “hav” in the word “Havelis” comes from “Hawa” which means “air” or “wind” in Hindi.
One Haveli was built by 2 brothers, and each brother had built a half of the house, in a quite similar way except for some details. There are 100 differences between the 2 parts (apparently someone had counted them!).
Inside the Fort, there are many guesthouses, restaurants and shops, which should be ignored, because they are destroying the fort bit by bit… So guides and even the Lonely Planet encourage people not to buy anything, and wait to be outside the walls of the Fort to do so. That is sad to think the Fort might in a near future, fall down…but there is nothing we, as tourists, can do, except discouraging this practice, so I have contributed in the preservation of Jaisalmer Fort in my own little way…