Bhatti Kings Of Jaisalmer

Jaisalmer state (जैसालमेर) (also called Jaisalmer region) is a region of southwestern Rajasthan state in western India. It lies in the southern part of Thar Desert.

Region includes the present-day Jaisalmer District. It is bounded on the north by Jangladesh region, on the east by Marwar region.

Contents

 

Ancient Jaisalmer

Jaisalmer state (Hindi: जैसलमेर राज्य) (also called Jaisalmer Region) is a region of southwestern Rajasthan state in western India. It lies in the southern part of Thar Desert.

Region includes the present-day Jaisalmer District. It is bounded on the north by Jangladesh region, on the east by Marwar region.

 

The majority of any inhabitants of Jaisalmer are Bhati Rajputs, who take their name from an ancestor named Bhatti, renowned as a warrior when the tribe were located in the Punjab. Shortly after this the clan was driven southwards, and found a refuge in the Indian desert, which was henceforth its home.

The Maharajas of Jaisalmer trace their lineage back to Jaitsimha, a ruler of the Bhati Rajput clan, though Deoraj, a famous prince of the Bhati clan during the 9th century, is esteemed the founder of the Jaisalmer dynasty. With him the title of “Rawal” commenced. “Rawal” means “of the Royal house”. According to legend Deoraj was to marry the daughter of a neighbouring chief. Deoraj’s father and 800 of his family and followers were surprised and massacred at the wedding. Deoraj escaped with the aid of a Brahmin yogi who disguised the prince as a fellow Brahmin. When confronted by the rival chief’s followers hunting for Deoraj, the Brahmin convinced them that the man with him was another Brahmin by eating from the same dish, something no Brahmin holy man would do with someone of another caste. Deoraj and his remaining clan members were able to recover from the loss of so many such that later he built the stronghold of Derawar.[1] Deoraj later captured Laudrava (located about 15 km to the south-east of Jaisalmer) from another Rajput clan and made it his capital.[1]

The major opponents of the Bhati Rajputs were the powerful Rathor clans of Jodhpur and Bikaner. They used to fight battles for the possession of forts and waterholes as from early times the Jaisalmer region had been criss-crossed by camel caravan trade routes which connected northern India and central Asia with the ports of Gujarat on the Arabian Sea coast of India and hence on to Persia and Arabia and Egypt. Jaisalmer’s location made it ideally located as a staging post and for imposing taxes on this trade.

Founding of the City

Bada Bagh panorama

In the 12th century,Rawal Jaisal the eldest son of the Rawal of Deoraj was passed over in favour of a younger half-brother for the throne of Laudrava.[2] Enlisting the aid of Shihabuddin, a Muslim invader from Ghor in Afghanistan, Jaisal captured Lodurva. As he had previously agreed with his ally to allow the city to be sacked for 3 days he was left upon gaining the throne with a ruined city.[1]

While checking out Trikuta a massive triangular rock rising more than 75 metres out of the surrounding sands as a more secure location for a new capital, Rawal Jaisal meet a sage called Eesul, who was staying on the rock. Upon learning that Jaisal was of Yaduvanshi descent, Eesul told him that according to ancient mythology Krishna and Bhima had come to this location for a ceremony, where Krishna had prophesied that a descendent of his Yaduvanshi clan would one day establish a kingdom here Eesul showed him a spring which Krishna had created and his prophecy craved into a rock. Encouraged by this meeting Rawal decided to move his capital to this location despite Eesul predicting that it would be sacked two and a half times.[3]

So it was that in [1156}] Rawal Jaisal established his new capital in the form of a mud fort and named it Jaisalmer after himself. According to some historians the royal Sikh clan of Ahluwalias,rulers ofKapurthala state in Punjab trace their link to Jaisalmer royal family.

Medieval Period

During the Islamic invasion of India, Jaisalmer escaped direct Muslim conquest due to its geographical isolation and the natural protection provided by the desert. The Rawals of Jaisalmer agreed to pay an annual tribute to the Delhi Sultans. The first jauhar of Jaisalmer occurred in 1294, during the reign ofAlauddin Khilji of Delhi. It was provoked by Bhatis’ raid on a massive treasure caravan being transported on 3000 horses and mules.[3][4] Alauddin Khilji was so outraged that his army marched upon Jaisalmer. Rawal Jethsi sent the children, elderly and sick, together with some troops to refuge in the desert and applied a scorched earth policy to the countryside surrounding Jaisalmer while building up a massive store of food within the fort. According to local ballads, the Bhatis defended the fort for 8 years during which the forces left outside of the walls occupied themselves attacking the supply lines of the besiegers. During the siege Rawal Jethsi died and was succeeded by his son Mulraj II. By 1294 the besiegers had received sufficient reinforcements that they were able to impose a complete blockage of the fort which soon exhausted the Bhati’s ammunition and food. The Bhatis, facing certain defeat, decided there was no alternative but to perform the rite of jauhar. 24,000 women committed suicide, most on a funeral pyre though some were killed by the swords of their male relations when the pyre proved too small. The men 3,800, in number then threw open the gates of the fort and advanced to their death.[5] For some years afterwards Jaisalmer remained abandoned before the surviving Bhatis reoccupied it.

In the late 14th century, Sultan Ferozshah also besieged Jaisalmer after a prince of Jaisalmer raided his camp at Anasagar Lake near Ajmer and carried away his prize steed. The siege led to the secondjauhar of the prophecy, the suicide of 16,000 women and the death of Rawal Dudu and his son Tilaski together with 1,700 warriors.[5]

During the 15th century the Bhatis once again reoccupied the site and continued to rule with some independence.

The “half jauhar” of the prophecy occurred in the 16th century when Amir Ali, an Afghan Pathan chieftain obtained Rawal Lunakaran’s permission to let his wives visit the queens of Jaisalmer. Instead of a retinue of palanquins containing women they were full of armed warriors, which took the guards of the fort by surprise. When it seemed to the Rawal that he was fighting a losing battle he slaughtered his womenfolk with his own hands as there was insufficient time to arrange a funeral pyre.[3] Tragically immediately after the deed was done, reinforcements arrived, sparing the men from the Jauhar and Amir Ali was defeated and blown up by a cannon ball. Hence, it is called a half jauhar or Sako.

Mughal Era

While initially Jaisalmer came into conflict with the Mughals. Rawal Lunakarn had a fight withHumayun Sahal Singh rebuilt Jaisalmer fort in stone and extend the kingdom northwards to the Surej River and westward to the Indus River. Attempts to expand to the east bought Jaisalmer into conflict with Bikaner, which lead to Anup Singh of Bikaner invading the kingdom. He was repulsed by Maharawal Amar Singh (1661–1702) though peace was only finally concluded by Maharawal Akhai Singh (1722–62).[6] Despite these disruptions the period was a time of growth and prosperity with the ruling family and the resident merchants building many beautiful palaces and havelis.

Due to its isolated location and the protection of the desert the kingdom was little effected by attacks by the Marathas which effected other kingdoms in the region. However from this time until the accession of Maharawal Mulraj in 1762 the fortunes of the state rapidly declined, as most of its outlying provinces were lost to Rathor clans of Bikaner and Jodhpur, the treasury became depleted and the population shrunk.

Maharawal Mulraj

Territorial stability was obtained during the reign of Maharawal Mulraj’s (1762 to 1819) when in 1818 he signed a treaty with the British, which protected Jaisalmer from invasion provided it was not the aggressor and guaranteed the royal succession. Jaisalmer was one of the last Rajput states to sign a treaty with the British. Jaisalmer was forced to invoke the provisions of the treaty and call on the services of the British in 1829 to avert a war with Bikaner and 10 years later when it was threatened by Afghan forces.[7]

Mehta family and migration of Bhati Royal family towards Pakistan

Facade of a mansion in Jaisalmer

The reigns of both Maharawal Mulraj and his successor were plagued by bitter intrigues between him and the Mehta family who were the hereditary holders of the office of prime minister. Prime minister Swarup Singh Mehta was beheaded by the Bhati heir-apparent in a dispute over a maiden who preferred the prince to the Mehta. It is also claimed that he insulted the prince in public over a debt he owed to him. His young son Salim Singh, 11 at the time, secretly swore revenge on the ruling family. Eliminating many rivals by violence and with many of the ruling family deep in debt to him by the time he succeeded to the position of prime minister he effectively controlled the kingdom. Once in office he used spies and detention of members of the leading families as hostages to maintain control while isolating the power of Rawal Gai Singh (1820 to 1846) who had succeeded to the throne He introduced such heavy taxation that approximately 5000 of the merchants immigrated to other kingdoms which contributed to the downturn in the fortunes of Jaisalmer.[8] Colonel James Tod who was the British political agent for Jaisalmer at this time requested intervention by the British but before this could occur the situation was resolved in 1824 when Salim Singh was stabbed by a noble and for good measure when it appeared he might survive his wound he was poisoned by his own wife.

So in all this situation of chaos Maharawal Gai Singh Bhatti ordered the Royal family to migrate towards the peaceful land of Punjab. Because in the Bhati dynasty of Jaisalmer there was serious threat to the Royal lives. Finally many of the members of Royal family reached the Punjab of present Pakistan, near to Jhang and Chiniot, along with the battalions of Royal Guards. In Punjab the Royal family got almost 5000 KM square land, by the British Raj as an appreciation gift to the Royals of Jaisalmer. Due to peace and prosperity many of the members of the Bhati Royal family preferred residing in Jaisal Bhattian (Pakistani Punjab). And still living in Pakistan.

The Bhati Royal Family In Pakistan

British Raj fully welcomed these members of the Bhati Royal family and gifted millions of agricultural land to them in Punjab. So Royal Family started their Punjabian territory in Punjab. Interesting fact is tht the Royal Family once again put the name of their terroritory capital (JAISAL BHATTIAN) ‘in local language’, and ‘in English’ that is (Jaisal of royal bhatis) in Punjab. So Bhati Family of Jaisal holding the Royal Flag in Pakistan. But rights of Monarchs have been usurped in Pakistan by the civil Govt.

Princely Jaisalmer

Main article: Jaisalmer State

Flag of the princely state of Jaisalmer

During the British Raj, Jaisalmer was the seat of a princely state of the same name, and was entitled to a 15 gun salute.

As traditionally, the main source of income for the kingdom was levies on caravans the economy was heavily affected when Bombay emerged as a major port and sea trade replaced the traditional land routes. Maharawals Ranjit Singh and Bairi Sal Singh attempted to turn around the decline but the dramatic reduction in trade impoverished the kingdom. A severe drought and resulting famine from 1895 to 1900 during the reign of Maharawal Salivahan Singh only made matters worse by causing widespread loss of the livestock that the increasingly agriculturally based kingdom relied upon. Maharawal Jawahir Singh’s (1914–49) attempts at modernization also failed to turn the kingdom’s economy around and it remained isolated and backwards compared with other areas of Rajasthan.

1947 Onwards

Following the independence of India in 1947, Jaisalmer acceded unto the dominion of India. On May 15, 1949, it was united with certain other princely states to form the present-day Indian state ofRajasthan.

The partition of India in 1947 lead to the closing of all the trade routes on the Indo-Pak border and reduced Jaisalmer a drought-prone desert backwater on the international border. Ironically, skirmishes between India and Pakistan gave Jaisalmer a strategic importance and resulted in it being built up into a major army base. Later, the Rajasthan Canal served to revive the surrounding desert areas. The opening of a paved road in 1958 and the completion of a railroad in 1968, connected the hitherto remote town with the rest of Rajasthan.[9] These links allowed Jaisalmer due to the attractions of its old city to develop into one of the major tourist destinations in Rajasthan.

Rulers of Jaisalmer (1530-1971)

Name Reign began CE Reign ended CE
1 Rawal Lon-Karan 1530 1551
2 Rawal Maldev 1551 1562
3 Rawal Harraj – In December 1570, he accepted the protection of the Mughal Empire and became the second Rajput ruler who presented his daughter in marriage to Mughal Emperor Akbar. 1562 1578
4 Rawal Bhim Singh 1578 1624
5 Rawal Kalyan-Das 1624 1634
6 Rawal Manohar-Das 1634 1648
7 Rawal Ram-Chandra 1648 1651
8 Rawal Sabal Singh – Recognized the sovereignty of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. 1651 1661
9 Maharawal Amar Singh – Received the title Maharawal from Mughal EmperorAurangzeb. 1661 1702
10 Maharawal Jaswant Singh 1702 1708
11 Maharawal Budh Singh 1708 1722
12 Maharawal Akhay Singh 1722 1762
13 Maharawal Mulraj Singh II – Became a British protectorate in 1818 as a result of poor administration of ministers Swarup Singh and his son Salim Singh. 1762 1819
14 Maharawal Gaj Singh 1820 1846
15 Maharawal Ranjit Singh 1846 1864
16 Maharawal Bairi Sal 1864 1891
17 Maharajadhiraj Maharawal Salivahan Singh III 1891 1914
18 Maharajadhiraj Maharawal Sir Jawahir Singh 1914 1949
19 Maharajadhiraj Maharawal Girdhar Singh 1949 1950
20 Maharajadhiraj Maharawal Raghunath Singh – Last ruler of Jaisalmer; functions and titles abolished by Indian Constitution in 1971. 1950 1971
  • Silver Shaded Rows signify Moghul Period.
  • Yellow Shaded Rows signify British Raj

House of Bhati at Jaisalmer 1971-Present

Name Reign began CE Reign ended CE
1 Rawal Raghunath Singh 1950 1971
2 Rawal Brijraj Singh 1982 Present

Notes

  1. a b c Beny & Matheson. Page 51.
  2. ^ Balfour, Edward (1885). The Cyclopædia of India and of Eastern and Southern Asia:. Original from Oxford University: B. Quaritch. p. page 406.
  3. a b c Crump and Toh. Page 208.
  4. ^ Beny & Matheson. Page 147.
  5. a b Beny & Matheson. Page 149.
  6. ^ Martinelli and Michell, Page 238.
  7. ^ Martinelli and Michell, Page 239.
  8. ^ Beny & Matheson. Page 151.
  9. ^ Martinelli and Michell, Page 239

Further reading

  • Crump, Vivien; Toh, Irene (1996). Rajasthan (hardback). London: Everyman Guides. pp. 400 pages. ISBN 1-85715-887-3.
  • Martinelli, Antonio; Michell, George (2005). The Palaces of Rajasthan. London: Frances Lincoln. pp. 271 pages. ISBN 978-0-7112-2505-3.
  • Tod, James. Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan (With a Preface by Douglas Sladen). 54, Jhansi Road, New Delhi-1100055: Oriental Books Reprint Corporation.
  • Beny, Roland; Matheson, Sylvia A. (1984). Rajasthan – Land of Kings. London: Frederick Muller. pp. 200 pages. ISBN 0-584-95061-6.

Bikaner Indian Princely States http://www.uq.net.au/~zzhsoszy/ips/b/bikaner.html

Notes

  1. a b c Beny & Matheson. Page 51.
  2. ^ Balfour, Edward (1885). The Cyclopædia of India and of Eastern and Southern Asia:. Original from Oxford University: B. Quaritch. p. page 406.
  3. a b c Crump and Toh. Page 208.
  4. ^ Beny & Matheson. Page 147.
  5. a b Beny & Matheson. Page 149.
  6. ^ Martinelli and Michell, Page 238.
  7. ^ Martinelli and Michell, Page 239.
  8. ^ Beny & Matheson. Page 151.
  9. ^ Martinelli and Michell, Page 239

Further reading

  • Crump, Vivien; Toh, Irene (1996). Rajasthan (hardback). London: Everyman Guides. pp. 400 pages. ISBN 1-85715-887-3.
  • Martinelli, Antonio; Michell, George (2005). The Palaces of Rajasthan. London: Frances Lincoln. pp. 271 pages. ISBN 978-0-7112-2505-3.
  • Tod, James. Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan (With a Preface by Douglas Sladen). 54, Jhansi Road, New Delhi-1100055: Oriental Books Reprint Corporation.
  • Beny, Roland; Matheson, Sylvia A. (1984). Rajasthan – Land of Kings. London: Frederick Muller. pp. 200 pages. ISBN 0-584-95061-6.

 

 

भाटी  Bhatti

Jaisalmer  (Rajasthani:जैसलमेर), nicknamed “The Golden city”, is a town in the Indian state of Rajasthan. It is located 575 kilometres (357 mi) west from the state capitalJaipur. It was once known as Jaisalmer state. The town stands on a ridge of yellowish sandstone, crowned by a fort, which contains the palace and several ornate Jain temples. Many of the houses and temples are finely sculptured. It lies in the heart of the Thar Desert (great Indian desert) and has a population of about 78,000. It is the administrative headquarters of Jaisalmer District.

Contents

  • 1 Origin of name
  • 2 Location
  • 3 History
    • 3.1 Medieval period
    • 3.2 Princely Jaisalmer
  • 4 Geography and climate5 Economy
    • 4.1 Climate
  • 6 Education
  • 7 Transport
  • 8 Demographics
  • 9 Occupation
  • 10 Tourism
  • 11 Visitor attractions12 Desert Festival
    • 11.1 Jaisalmer Fort
    • 11.2 Jain heritage of Jaisalmer
    • 11.3 Museums
    • 11.4 Other
    • 11.5 In neighbourhood
  • 13 See also
  • 14 Cultural References
  • 15 Further reading
  • 16 How to reach
  • 17 References
  • 18 External links

Origin of name

Portrait of Maharawal Jaisal Singh insideJaisalmer Fort.

Jaisalmer is named after its founder Maharawal Jaisal Singh, a Rajput king in 1156 AD.”Jaisalmer” means “the Hill Fort of Jaisal”. Jaisalmer is sometimes called the “Golden City of India” because the yellow sand and the yellow sandstone used in every architecture of the city gives a yellowish-golden tinge to the city and its surrounding area.

Location

District Jaisalmer is located within a rectangle lying between 26°.4’ –28°.23′ North parallel and 69°.20′-72°.42′ east meridians. It is the largest district of Rajasthan and one of the largest in the country. The breadth (East-West) of the district is 270 km and the length (North-South) is 186 km. On the present map, district Jaisalmer is bounded on the north by Bikaner, on the west & south-west by the Pakistani border, on the south by Barmer and Jodhpur, and on the east by Jodhpur and Bikaner Districts. The length of international border attached to District JAISALMER is 471 km.

History

For the history of the region, see History of Jaisalmer.

The majority of the inhabitants of Jaisalmer are Bhati Rajputs, named for Bhati, who was renowned as a warrior. The ruling family of the erstwhile Jaisalmer State belongs to Bhati Clan of Yadu Rajputs ofChandravanshi (Lunar) race who claim descent from Lord Krishna,the defied hero who ruled at Dwarka. In 1156 Rawal Jaisal, the sixth in succession from Deoraj, founded the fort and city of Jaisalmer, and made it his capital as he moved from his former capital at Lodhruva (which is situated about 15 km to the north-west of Jaisalmer). In 1293, the Bhattis so enraged the emperor Ala-ud-din Khiljithat his army captured and sacked the fort and city of Jaisalmer, so that for some time it was quite deserted. Some Bhatti’s from the Royal family migrated to Jaisal (Now in Pakistan), a place near to Chiniot Distt and some migrated to Talwandi, now Nankana Sahib in Distt. Nankana Sahib (Punjab, Pakistan) and others settled in Larkana (in Sind, Pakistan)under the name of Bhutto. In Nankana Sahib, the Bhatti Clan can be traced from the lineage of Rai Bhoe and Rai Bular Bhatti. After this there is nothing to record until the time of Rawal Sahal Singh, whose reign marks an epoch in Bhatti history in that he acknowledged the supremacy of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. The Jaisalmer princes had now arrived at the height of their power, but from this time till the accession of Rawal Mulraj in 1762 the fortunes of the state rapidly declined, and most of its outlying provinces were lost. In 1818 Mulraj entered into political relations with the British. Maharawal Salivahan, born in 1887, succeeded to the chiefship in 1891.

The Maharajas of Jaisalmer trace their lineage back to Jaitsimha, a ruler of the Bhatti Rajput clan. The major opponents of the Bhati Rajputs were the powerful Rathor clans of Jodhpur and Bikaner. They used to fight battles for the possession of fortswaterholes or cattle. Jaisalmer was positioned strategically and was a halting point along a traditional trade route traversed by the camel caravans of Indian and Asian merchants. The route linked India to Central Asia, EgyptArabiaPersiaAfrica and the West.

Panorama of Jaisalmer from top of Maharaja Palace

Kuldhara Village, Jaisalmer

Medieval period

During the Islamic invasion of India, Jaisalmer escaped direct Muslim conquest due to its geographical situation in the desert region. The Rawals of Jaisalmer agreed to pay an annual tribute to the Delhi Sultanate. The first siege of Jaisalmer occurred during the reign of Alauddin Khilji. It was provoked by Bhatis’ raid on a caravan filled with treasure. According to local ballads, the Bhatis defended the fort for seven years until the enemy army forces breached the ramparts. Bhatis, facing certain defeat, proclaimed the rite of jauhar. Later, Sultan Ferozshah also besieged Jaisalmer after the rulers of Jaisalmer raided his camp at Anasagar lake near Ajmer. The siege led to another jauhar. Jaitsimha’s son Duda perished in the attack. Duda’s descendants ruled over Jaisalmer for about two centuries. Duda’s descendant Lunakarna had a fight with Humayun when the latter passed through Jaisalmer en route to AjmerMughal emperor Akbar was married to one of the Jaisalmer princesses.

Later, Jaisalmer was ruled by a noble called Sabala Simha, who won the patronage of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan for services rendered in his Peshawar campaign.

Princely Jaisalmer

Main article: Jaisalmer State

Flag of the princely state of Jaisalmer

Facade of a mansion in Jaisalmer

Jaisalmer was one of the last states to sign a treaty with the British. During the British Raj, Jaisalmer was the seat of a princely state of the same name, ruled by the Bhati clan of Rajputs. The present descendant is Brijraj Singh. Though the city is under the governance of the Government of India, a lot of welfare work is carried out by him and his family.[citation needed]

Traditionally, the main source of income was the levies on thecaravans. However, the glory of Jaisalmer faded when Bombayemerged as a port and the sea trade replaced the traditional land routes. The partition of India in 1947 lead to closing of all the trade routes on the Indo-Pak border and rendered Jaisalmer a drought-prone desert backwater on the international border. Ironically, skirmishes between India and Pakistan gave Jaisalmer a strategic importance and made it serviceable as an army supply depot. Later, the Rajasthan Canal served to revive the surrounding desert areas. Roads and railroads were then built, knitting the hitherto remote town with the rest of Rajasthan. Later, the Government of Rajasthan decided to promote Jaisalmer as a tourist destination.

Geography and climate

Sand dunes near Jaisalmer.

Jaisalmer has an average elevation of 229 metres (751 ft). It is situated near the border of India andPakistan in West Rajasthan, and covers an area of 5.1 km². The maximum summer temperature is around 41.6 °C (106.9 °F) while the minimum is 25 °C(77 °F). The maximum winter temperature is usually around 23.6 °C (74.5 °F) and the minimum is 7.9 °C(46.2 °F). The average rainfall is 209.5 millimetres (8.25 in). Highest ever recorded temperature was48.0 °C (118.4 °F) and the lowest ever recorded temperature being −5.9 °C (21.4 °F).

Jaisalmer is almost entirely a sandy waste, forming a part of the Thar desert (great Indian desert). The general aspect of the area is that of an interminable sea of sand hills, of all shapes and sizes, some rising to a height of 150 feet (46 m). Those in the west are covered with log bushes, those in the east with tufts of long grass. Water is scarce, and generally brackish; the average depth of the wells is said to be about 250 feet (76 m). There are no perennial streams, and only one small river, the Kakni, which, after flowing a distance of 48 kilometres (30 mi), spreads over a large surface of flat ground, and forms Lake Orjhil (“The Bhuj-Jhil”). The climate is dry and healthy. Throughout Jaisalmer only raincrops, such as bajrajawar, motif,, etc., are grown; spring crops of wheat,barley, etc., are very rare. Owing to the scant rainfall, irrigation is almost unknown.

Climate

Climate data for Jaisalmer
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 23.7
(74.7)
27.2
(81)
32.8
(91)
38.4
(101.1)
41.7
(107.1)
40.9
(105.6)
37.7
(99.9)
36.0
(96.8)
36.5
(97.7)
36.1
(97)
31.1
(88)
25.4
(77.7)
34.05
(93.29)
Average low °C (°F) 7.9
(46.2)
10.9
(51.6)
16.8
(62.2)
22.2
(72)
25.7
(78.3)
27.1
(80.8)
26.5
(79.7)
25.4
(77.7)
24.3
(75.7)
20.5
(68.9)
13.8
(56.8)
8.9
(48)
19.17
(66.51)
Precipitationmm (inches) 1.3
(0.051)
4.0
(0.157)
3.2
(0.126)
18.1
(0.713)
9.2
(0.362)
16.1
(0.634)
56.1
(2.209)
79.0
(3.11)
16.2
(0.638)
2.5
(0.098)
1.3
(0.051)
2.5
(0.098)
209.5
(8.247)
Avg.precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 0.6 1.0 0.9 0.4 0.8 1.1 3.9 3.9 2.1 0.4 1.1 0.5 16.7
Source: WMO

Distances: Bikaner (330 km), Barmer (150 km), Jodhpur (293 km), Jaipur (568 km), Ahmedabad(636 km), Agra (802 km), New Delhi (874 km), Mumbai (1177 km).

Economy

Bada Bagh Panorama in the afternoon

Tourism is a major industry in Jaisalmer.

The Government of India initiated departmental exploration for oil in 1955-56 in the Jaisalmer area. Oil India Limited discoverednatural gas in 1988 in the Jaisalmer basin.

Musicians and dancers are also a major cultural export from Jaisalmer to the rest of the world. Manganyar musicians have played the world over, and Queen Harish, the dancing desert drag queen, is touring the world and has featured in international movies.

Jaisalmer is also known for its leather messenger bags, made from wild camels native to the area.

Education

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Transport

Road sign to Bikaner (right) and Jaisalmer (left)

Jaisalmer is the terminus of a Broad gauge branch railway of Indian Railways, which joins with the main system atJodhpur. The Palace on Wheels has a scheduled stop at Jaisalmer. During Desert Festival which is held during the month of January and February Kingfisher flights are also available.Jaisalmer is highly connected by road also. Many sleeper and sitting buses ply between Jaisalmer andJodhpurJaipurBarmerBikaner throughout the year.

Demographics

As of the 2001 India census,Jaisalmer had a population of 58,286. Males constitute 57% of the population and females 43%. Jaisalmer has an average literacy rate of 64%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 73%, and female literacy is 50%. In Jaisalmer, 16% of the population is under 6 years of age.

Religions in Jaisalmer
Religion Percent
Hindus 71%
Muslims 23%
Jains 4.7%
Others† 1.3%
Distribution of religions
Includes Sikhs (0.2%), Buddhists (<0.2%).

 

Occupation

The main part of the population lead a wandering life, grazing their flocks and herds. Large herds of camels, horned cattle, sheep and goats are kept. The principal trade is in wool, ghee, camels, cattle and sheep. The chief imports are grain, sugar, foreign cloth, piece-goods. It suffered from famine in 1897, 1900 and other years, to such an extent that it has had to incur a heavy debt for extraordinary expenditure.

Tourism

While Jaisalmer may always have been remote, it is filled with many artistic structures and monuments of local historical importance. Jaisalmer’s medieval mud fortress and walled township make it a popular tourist destination. The surrounding desolate landscape evidences a stark, austere beauty. Camel safaris through the nearby desert dunes are popular with tourists; competition for business is fierce. Though prices range wildly and one has to bargain like for everything all at this place. Hotel rates included. Jaisalmer is known for huge mark-ups which range between 400% to 500%. Depending on the product. So buying shalls, carpets, jewellery etc. can be a very time consuming and nerve rattling experience. A few quiet days spent wandering around the town and the surrounding desert can be a wonderful way of unwinding from the chaos of larger Indian cities.

Visitor attractions

Jaisalmer Fort

Sign in Jaisalmer Fort in Rajasthan

Built in 1156 by the Bhati Rajput ruler Jaisal, Jaisalmer Fort is situated on Meru Hill and Named as Trikoot Garhhad seen the scene of many battles. Its massivesandstone walls are a tawny lion colour during the day, turning to a magical honey-gold as the sun sets. The famous Indian film director Satyajit Ray wrote a detective novel and later turned it into a film – Sonar Kella (The Golden Fortress) which was based on this fort. This is a living fort and about a quarter of city’s population still live inside the fort. The main attractions inside the fort are: Raj Mahal (Royal palace), Jain temples and the Laxminath temple.

Jain heritage of Jaisalmer

Jaisalmer has been enriched by its Jain community, which has adorned the city with beautifultemples, notably the temples dedicated to the 16th TirthankaraShantinath, and 23rd Tirthankara,Parshva.

Jaisalmer boasts some of the oldest libraries of India which contain rarest of the manuscripts and artefacts of Jain tradition. There are many pilgrimage centres around Jaisalmer such as Lodarva(Lodhruva), Amarsagar, Brahmsar and Pokharan.

  • Jaisalmer Jain Temple 6.jpg
  • Jaisalmer Jain Temple 11.jpg
  • Jaisalmer Jain Temple 3.jpg
  • Jaisalmer Jain Temple 4.jpg
  • Jaisalmer Jain Temple 5.jpg
  • Jaisalmer Jain Temple 1.jpg
  • Jaisalmer Jain Temple 7.jpg
  • Jaisalmer Jain Temple 8.jpg
  • Jaisalmer Jain Temple 9.jpg
  • Jaisalmer Jain Temple 10.jpg
  • Jaisalmer Jain Temple 2.jpg
  • Jaisalmer Jain Temple 12.jpg

Museums

  • Desert Culture Centre & Museum
  • Jaisalmer Folklore Museum
  • Government Museum
  • jaisalmer fort palace museum

Other

Gadsisar Lake

  • Gadsisar Lake – Excavated in 1367 by Rawal Gadsi Singh, it is a scenic rainwater lake surrounded by small temples and shrines. Earlier, this lake was used to be the main water source of Jaisalmer.

In neighbourhood

Amar Sagar

remains of houses in Kuldhara – The deserted village of Rajasthan

Desert Festival

This is held over three days in January/February every year. This is the best time to visit Jaisalmer to witness performing arts like Kalbelia dances and folk songs and music.

See also

Cultural References

  • Sonar Kella (1974) (Golden Fortress) Satyajit Ray‘s Bengali film, based on his eponymous novel featuring his creation, the detective Feluda, was based in Jaisalmer and surrounding areas.[12]

 

Further reading

  • Bhati, Hari Singh. 2002. ANNALS OF JAISALMER: A Pre-Mediaeval History. Kavi Prakashan, Bikaner.
  • Gahlot, Sukhvirsingh. 1992. RAJASTHAN: Historical & Cultural. J. S. Gahlot Research Institute, Jodhpur.
  • Somani, Ram Vallabh. 1993. History of Rajasthan. Jain Pustak Mandir, Jaipur.
  • Tod, James & Crooke, William. 1829. Annals & Antiquities of Rajasthan or the Central and Western Rajput States of India. 3 Vols. Reprint: Low Price Publications, Delhi. 1990. ISBN 81-85395-68-3 (set of 3 vols.)

How to reach

By Air:
Jaisalmer is located 300 km from Jodhpur airport.
By Rail:
Jaisalmer has its own railway station.
By Road:
Jaisalmer town lies on Highway No. 15. Many buses of RSRTC and also many private Bus Operators ply between Jaisalmer and Jodhpur, Jaipur, Barmer, Bikaner, Ahmadabad, Jalore and other cities of India

References

  1. a b Balfour, Edward (1885). The cyclopædia of India and of Eastern and Southern Asia:. Original from Oxford University: B. Quaritch. p. 406.
  2. ^ http://books.google.co.in/books?id=9apJp9hzy1cC&pg=PA7681&lpg=PA7681&dq=jaisalmer+yadu&source=bl&ots=jdXg0sSyJf&sig=btg3DZqkwwnE1uHYBhKgo_K2SrQ&hl=en&sa=X&ei=nVRxUa7TBMmGrAfAk4GQBg&ved=0CFMQ6AEwBg#v=onepage&q=jaisalmer%20yadu&f=false
  3. ^ http://jaisalmer.nic.in/History.htm
  4. ^ “India Meteorological Department – Weather Information for Jaisalmer”. Retrieved 12 October 2012.
  5. ^ “Heat wave across north, Sriganganagar at 49 degrees”. Zeenews.india.com. 2010-05-27. Retrieved 2012-08-19.
  6. ^ http://www.imd.gov.in/section/climate/jaisalmer2.htm
  7. ^ http://planningcommission.nic.in/plans/planrel/fiveyr/2nd/2planch18.html
  8. ^ [1][dead link]
  9. ^ Sandip Roy, Special to The Chronicle (2008-07-05). “Queen H A R I S H”. Queen-harish.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2012-08-19.
  10. ^ “Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)”. Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 2004-06-16. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
  11. ^ “Show Map The Sun City – Jaisalmer”The Indian Backpacker. December 2012. Retrieved 2 January 2013.
  12. ^ “Sonar Qila”Financial Express. Jan 09, 2004.
  13. ^ Jaisalmer Photos

Bhati Gate during British raj

Bhati Gate Today

The Bhati Gate is located within Walled City of Lahore in LahorePunjabPakistan. Bhati Gate entrance is located on the Western wall of the Old City. It is one of the two oldest entry points into the Walled City which controlled the only major north-south thoroughfare during Ghaznavid period. When the Emperor Akbar expanded the city eastward and divided it into nine districts or Guzars, Bhati Gate and its bazar marked the boundary between Guzar Mubarak Khan (east) and Guzar Talwarra (west).It was called Bhati gate because it opens in the direction of Sandal Bar named after Rai Sandal Khan a Bhatti Rajput who lived there in ancient times.The area inside the gate is well known throughout the city for its food. Just outside of Bhati Gate is Data Durbar, the mausoleum of the Sufi saint Ali Hajweri (also known as Data Sahib Ganjbaksh). Every Thursday evening musicians used to gather here to performQawwali music, but these days qawalies have been replaced with Naats and religious sermons.

 

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