In this ninety-eight archive story by Kristian Bertel, we are visiting Jaisalmer, which is one of the most exotic and extraordinary cities of India. Read the background story of this archive photo by the photographer.
Jaisalmer is one of the most exotic and extraordinary cities in Rajasthan, if not all of India and this city is so remote that few tourists visit it at all. But nobody was disappointed when the photographer was there, because Jaisalmer has a medieval appearance and looks like a place from the legends of the Arabian Nights and it is often called a living museum or a golden city.
Jaisalmer is one of the most exotic and extraordinary cities in Rajasthan, if not all of India and this city is so remote that few tourists visit it at all. But nobody was disappointed when the photographer was there, because Jaisalmer has a medieval appearance and looks like a place from the legends of the Arabian Nights and it is often called a living museum or a golden city.

Jaisalmer – The city of sand

Jaisalmer nicknamed 'The Golden city', is a city in the Indian state of Rajasthan, located 575 kilometres west of the state capital Jaipur. The town stands on a ridge of yellowish sandstone and is crowned by the ancient Jaisalmer Fort and this fort contains a royal palace and several ornate Jain temples and the city lies in the heart of the Thar Desert also known as the Great Indian Desert and has a population, including the residents of the fort of about 78,000.

Jaisalmer, India
Jaisalmer was once the capital of Jaisalmer State. From the smallest cell to the palace and temples in the fort, the whole city is in the same golden mood. Even modern new buildings have to adapt. Emerging maritime trade and the emergence of the port of Bombay then brought the descent for Jaisalmer and the associated separation of trade routes to Pakistan, together with the shortage of drinking water, seemed to mean the end. In the Indian-Pakistani wars of 1965 and 1971, however, Jaisalmer's strategic position became topical again such as paved roads, railways and electricity now connect the city with the rest of Rajasthan. However, the fascination of the city is slowly attracting more and more travelers because the very beautiful mansions of the merchants of Jaisalmer are called 'Havelis'. and some of these sandstone buildings are still in very good condition and the showpiece of the Havelis from Jaisalmer is the very finely crafted Patwon ki Haveli. located in its very narrow alley. One of his rooms is decorated with beautiful wall paintings and this mansion can be visited, but is unfortunately not in a good condition and another one is the Salim Singh ki Haveli was built about 300 years ago and is still partially inhabited today. Salim Singh was the prime minister when Jaisalmer was the capital of a prince state the house stands directly below the hill and is said to have once had two more wooden floors and the aim was to make this manor house higher than the palace of the Maharaja. However, this was opposed to the Maharaja and he had the two upper floors demolished without further ado and the Nathmal ki Haveli was also the home of a prime minister and it was built in the late nineteenth century and yellow sandstone elephants guard the building and the front door alone is a work of art and sandstone has been used for domestic construction and housewares since prehistoric times and continues to be used.

"Jaisalmer is advancing in the Thar desert and centuries ago, the city gained its great wealth through its strategic location on the caravan route between India and Central Asia. Merchants and residents built impressive houses and residences, which all are made of golden yellow sandstone"

An important trade route in India
A caravan is a group of people traveling together, often on a trade expedition. Caravans were used mainly in desert areas and throughout the Silk Road, where traveling in groups aided in defense against bandits as well as helping to improve economies of scale in trade. In historical times, caravans connecting East Asia and Europe often carried luxurious and lucrative goods, such as silks or jewelry and caravans could therefore require considerable investment and the profits from a successfully undertaken journey could be enormous, comparable to the later European spice trade. The luxurious goods brought by caravans attracted many rulers along important trade routes. Many of the houses and temples of both the fort and of the town below, are built of finely sculptured sandstone and sandstone was a popular building material from ancient times. It is relatively soft, making it easy to carve and it has been widely used around the world in constructing temples, homes and other buildings and it has also been used for artistic purposes to create ornamental fountains and statues. All sandstones are composed of the same general minerals and these minerals make up the framework components of the sandstones.

The population of Jaisalmer
Unlike Jaipur and Jodhpur, with populations in the millions, Jaisalmer is very much a tourist town, with a population of about 80,000. In fact, a significant portion of the population is only there in the tourist season, four months out of the year. The rest of the time they go off to find work in larger towns in Rajasthan. Thus you can expect to see that the inhabitants are very intent on selling you things. "- As anywhere in India, try to stay calm and not get irritated, as getting angry never helps the situation and keep in mind that they can also be extremely friendly, chatty, and genuinely helpful, so be positive when being in the city and have a good time", the photographer says.

Read also:  Sweeping man in Jaipur

More archive stories

India is a land full of stories. On every street, on every corner and in the many places in India, life is rushing by you as a photographer with millions of stories to be told. In the archive story above, you hopefully had a readable insight in the story that was behind the photo of Jaisalmer. On this website of Kristian Bertel | Photography you can find numerous travel pictures from the photographer. Stories and moments that tell the travel stories of how the photographer captured the specific scene that you see in the picture. The photographer's images have a story behind them, images that all are taken from around India throughout his photo journeys. The archive stories delve into Kristian's personal archive to reveal never-before-seen, including portraits and landscapes beautifully produced snapshots from various travel assignments. The archive is so-far organized into photo stories, this one included, each brought to life by narrative text and full-color photos. Together, these fascinating stories tell a story about the life in India. India, the motherland to many people around the world, a land of unforgetable travel moments. The archive takes viewers on a spectacular visual journey through some of the most stunning photographs to be found in the photographer's archive collection. The photographer culled the images to reflect the many variations on the universal theme of beauty and everyday life in India. By adding these back stories the photographer's work might immensely enhanced the understanding of the photographs.