Navigating Jaisalmer Streets

Leaving the fort, we took a tuk-tuk towards the inner city.

The streets in this part of town were full of pedestrians, motorbikes and cows and so narrow they were not passable by cars. It was a Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, as the skillful — or crazy — tuk-tuk driver whizzed through the congestion.

Raj said that the streets were narrow by design, for shade.

We finally came to a stop when the streets narrowed to where even the tuk-tuk couldn’t continue.

Our next destination was the famous Patwon Ki Haveli, a short walk down the street.

Jaisalmer Fort Interior

Leaving the Jain Temple inside the Jaisalmer fort, Raj and I made our way through the narrow streets.

This was certainly a great spot from which to see your enemies coming.

A few steps away from the cannon was an open air restaurant where we stopped for a cold drink.

Jaisalmer Fort – Jain Temple, part 1

Inside Jaisalmer Fort is a complex of Jain temples. I saw and entered only one.  There isn’t much reliable information that I could find regarding either the name or when it was built.

In hindsight, this was the most spectacular of all the temples I visited.

Raj, my guide, mentioned that it took 30 years for this temple to be built. Considering all the exquisite carvings in the interior, that seems like an amazingly short amount of time in which to produce these results.

Jaisalmer Fort

Namaste India Tours arranged a local guide to accompany me to the fort. Local guides and touts who hang out near the fort are very aggressive and will hassle unaccompanied tourists. If you already have a guide, they’ll pretty much leave you alone or the guide Namaste hired for me would shoo them away.

Raj, my local guide, was not only good at keeping unwanted hawkers shooed away, but he also was observant about my needs as a photographer and didn’t pound me with endless chatter when I was trying to take pictures.

A small temple inside the Jaisalmer Fort.

Some 30,000 people live inside the fort walls.  Only descendants of the original fort dwellers may live here. No new families may move in.

Everyone who lives in the fort makes their living offering goods or services to tourists.

Much of the interior of the fort looks like any inner city, with narrow, winding alleys and shops.