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Nestled in the quaint village of Tanot in Jaisalmer, Tanot Mata temple is a blend of legends, miracles, and religion. This temple is bound with the faith and utmost devotion of local people.
According to the oldest Charan literature, this revered temple is an incarnation of Goddess Hinglaj Mata. This heritage site is a major attraction for tourists who visit the Thar Desert in Rajasthan.
This miraculous temple is located close to Longewala, the battle site of the intense Indo-Pak War of 1965 and 1971. The Jawans present near the temple have a lot of incredible stories to share with the visitors. This is perhaps the best way to learn about one of the many legends of the temple.
The BSF has also established a museum near the temple that tells the glory of this temple associated with the Indian Army.
Another reason to visit this old temple is the incredulous road which connects it with Jaisalmer. According to the visitors, the route is brimming with the vistas brimming with beautiful landscapes.
You will witness beautiful landscapes that are dotted with yellow sand dunes, camels, goats, camps, and local people in colorful Rajasthani clothes, dhabas serving delectable food, and spectacular wind mills.
Once you reach the temple, you will be mesmerized with the divinity and purity of the temple. There is a unique aura surrounding its premises, which often turns the non-believer of the divine power into a devotee.
There have been a lot of anecdotes where people visited this place as tourists but the uniqueness of this temple left them mesmerized. There have been many instances of divine intervention in and around this temple as well. No wonder many people re-visit this temple quite often.
This highly revered temple was established in 847 AD. The idol of the deity was installed in the same time period as well. The construction of this temple started after Bhati Rajput King Tanu Rao made Tanot as the capital of his kingdom.
Later, it was maintained by RAC before BSF took over the temple’s responsibility, in 1965. There are a lot of unique stories related to this temple. However, the most talked-about legend of the temple is the occurring of a miraculous event during the Indo-Pak Wars of 1965.
According to this anecdote, Pakistan dropped more than 3,000 bombs on the temple to destroy it, along with the Indian Army. While the Pakistani Army was at it, none of the 3,000 bombs could touch the temple or the Indian soldiers!
The same happened in the War of 1971 when only one coy of BSF repulsed the sudden attack from Pakistan Army.
Known as the golden city of India, Jaisalmer is a beautiful city in Rajasthan. Among all the things that make this city popular, “Patwon Ki Haveli,” also known as the Mansion of Brocade Merchants tops the list.Patwon Ki Haveli is a cluster of five large havelis in Jaisalmer. Built in 1805 by Guman Chand Patwa, it took the workers almost 55 years to complete the first haveli. With an interesting history, Patwon Ki Haveli is actually the first and the largest haveli to be constructed in Jaisalmer. History says that Patwa was an extremely wealthy man and a well-known trader of his time.
Due to his riches, he could afford to build a luxurious palace and thus ordered the construction of separate stories – one for each of his five sons. The entire family dealt in gold and silver threads that were used in embroidering clothes and so, there was no dearth of money in the family.
Once home to the Patwa family, today the cluster of havelis is occupied by the Rajasthan government’s art and craft department. Its beautiful architecture, creative mirror work, intricate carvings, lovely paintings, and its rich goldish yellow color is what makes this cluster of havelis a favorite among tourists and locals alike.
One of the grandest of all memorials, the Vyas Chhatri presents exquisitely crafted cenotaphs presenting it as a wonderful tourist attraction.
This commemorative plaque is built in the memory of Sage Vyas who had written the epic Mahabharata and is a formal cremation ground for the Brahmins located in Jaisalmer.
The cenotaph dedicated to the Sage is situated north of the entire structure. These cenotaphs were made as a symbol of respect to the clans of the royal family after their death.
The cenotaphs are built of yellow sandstone with intricately designed chhatris placed on top of these pillars.
The grandeur and opulence of the chhatris and the pillars testify the evergreen Rajasthani architecture. The best architectural minds will be forced to think about how these structures were built?
The fine detailing, statistics and the material used must have been top-notch. The Chhatri is also popularly known as the sun-set point giving a one-shot view of the beautiful city of Jaisalmer. Vyas Chhatri is one of the most popular tourist attractions and landmarks in the city and is placed in another structure called Bada Bagh.
Talking about the structure, the intricate carvings of dome-shaped pavilions are mesmerizing in their appearance. A visit here will give you an enduring peace and calmness especially during sunsets.
Vyas Chhatri is a photographer’s delight and the perfect place to pose for your best shots especially in the evening.
If you are visiting Jaisalmer, then you should surely visit the Vyas Chhatri which is a place enveloped in calm and tranquillity.
The Vyas Chhatri is a strong reminder of the bravest souls who walked on this soil and is a proud reminder of India's culture and rich craftsmanship.
The yellow sandstone Cenotaphs or chhatris are dome-shaped and will sway you the first time you see it.
The memorial structure was built for the fond remembrance of Rajput rulers and their families from the local garden sandstone. The place's traditional Bhatti Rajput rulers built these cenotaphs to honour the contributions of their ancestors.
The delicate carvings on these cenotaphs are the best example of the true potential of Rajasthan architecture.
The umbrella-shaped dome is an excellent example of giving a rightful memorial to the Rajput war heroes, and esteemed members of the rich and wealthy Hindu Brahmin families.
The Indian state of Rajasthan is widely known for its rich forts and palaces. Among its uncountable number of forts, one Khaba Fort is very popular for being one of a kind. Located near the town of Jaisalmer, Khaba Fort is situated in the Khaba village amid the giant Thar Desert.
This ruined fort once housed a kingdom in it and was the epicenter of the Kuldhara village. Many tourists visit the place to unearth its history and several mysteries that haunt the village to date. The abandoned houses near the fort are a popular spot for adventure seekers and myth-busters.
The broken entrance for the Khaba fort starts near the spooky Kuldhara village. One can see the entire village and the nearby areas from the top of the fort.
You’ll always see some peacocks mingling around the fort with their wings wide open. Though the Khaba Fort is majorly ruined, one can still find some beautiful walls and a few windows. Among the other remaining structures, one would also find a small temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.
Khaba fort has a museum in it that is loaded with ancient vestiges and a few age-old rocks.
Inside the fort, there is a staircase that leads to an underground hallway that has around 70 to 80 stranded houses.
Before any visitor leaves the fort, the locals and a few former residents cast an incantation to restrict any visitor to settle in the village. Call it blind faith, superstition or something else, the locals have been practicing this to prevent any other epidemic.
The village of Khaba was home to the Paliwal Brahmins from the late 13th century. Around 80-90 families were residing in various huts and small houses scattered around the village. The mysterious story of Khaba starts in 1825 when in one night, all the villagers deserted the village and went to some other place.
To date, nobody knows where the villagers went and this remains an unsolved story. Some possible tales that explain the sudden disappearance are
- An earthquake shook the village
- Dwindling water supply in the village
- Forceful marriage of the King (Kshatriya) with a Brahmin girl
Situated amidst the Thar Desert, the Khaba fort’s museum consists of many sand formations that have flourished in the area for years. The visitors can witness some of the geological artifacts that are native to the Thar desert.
One can also see some different fossils which were found in the region.
Other than this, the visitors can also see varied rock formations with each of the formation having in-detailed information about it inscribed on a board. The spooky village is quite famous and attracts a lot of visitors from many states.
Ghost stories have a very different kind of charm to lure readers with old forts, ruins of castles, deserted alleys, sinister houses and abandoned spirits.
Lying 21 Km from Jaisalmer in Rajasthan, Kuldhara village has a similar story to tell.
At present Kuldhara Village is a heritage site and is maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
As you enter the premises of this ancient village you can feel as if time has stood still in Kuldhara since the last 200 years.
Straight dusty roads with intermittent rows of mud houses, cul-de-sac lanes and sandstone walls and a temple once visited by the Paliwals stand as a living testimony of some sad past.
To the east of the village lies the parched river bed of Kakni which is a warning to the impossibility of sustenance of life in this place.
An erstwhile flourishing village of North-Western India whose history dates back to the 13th century was abandoned overnight in 1825 for some reason unknown. As you walk along the ruins of Kuldhara village you can witness the ravages of time on its soil.
However, the place does not have any supernatural fact behind its myth but a veil of sadness rends the air narrating the unfortunate past of its natives who were forced to leave their ancestral place under the cover of darkness.
Kuldhara village was founded in 1156 by Jaisel Bhati atop the Trikuta Hill in Jaisalmer in Rajasthan.
The purpose of building a settlement in such a place was due to the reason that the original capital Lodarva was under the threat of attacks by the enemies.
The place around the Trikuta Hill had a smooth trade route with Persia and Arabia in the Middle East by land and also through the ports of Gujarat.
As a result, they used to earn handsome revenues due to levied taxes from the caravans who used to travel from these places to Rajasthan.
Subsequently, the invaders travelled from Afghanistan and used this route to plunder the wealth from Gujarat and the Somnath Temple in particular, that was known for its assets.
For protecting themselves from the attacks of the invaders, the villagers abandoned Kuldhara and its adjacent villages as men, women and children were being held captive by the intruders and enslaved thereafter.
Located in the Thar Desert and almost 30 km away from Pakistan border, The Golden City of India, Jaisalmer houses plenty of historical monuments at present.
Among the most striking man-made features of Jaisalmer is the Gadisar Lake. Built amidst the arid region of Rajasthan, this lake impersonates the beauty of an oasis.
Located on the outskirts of Jaisalmer, visiting Gadisar Lake would be rated as one of the best things to do in Jaisalmer for watching the sunrise.
This manmade lake built around the 12th-13th century is now a popular spot with visitors. It is an ideal getaway for architecture lovers, culture enthusiasts, and peace seekers. For a relaxing experience in Jaisalmer, visit this place while you are entitled to soak in the mesmerizing view of the sun setting down in the evening.
Whether you like to spend some quiet time by yourself or have fun with your family and friends, Gadisar Lake has a handful of experiences to offer. You might want to begin with taking a tour around Gadisar Lake.
Explore the beauty of the lake while you take a walk and watch some migratory birds flying around it. Moreover, you can visit the Desert Culture Centre and Museum for indulging into the historical aspects of Jaisalmer.
With intricately carved temples and Tilon ki Pol, the city welcomes you into the beautiful Gadisar Lake. It is situated close to Jaisalmer fort and temples.
Mention below is a rundown of the perfect options for a blissful experience of Gadisar Lake.
Imagine yourself amidst the desert, the yellow sandstone buildings surrounded by the glorious dunes, and further enhanced by the golden rays of the sun.
This is what a trip to Sam Sand Dunes feels like. This marvellous beauty of Rajasthan is an amazing cultural hub. Stretched across the Thar desert, Sam Sand Dunes is a prominent part of Jaisalmer.
One of the most idyllic places to wind down and get in touch with nature, you can explore here the plant and animal life too. Take a camel ride and go on a remarkable trip to tour the dunes. Or, rent a quad bike for a thrilling experience across the local villages.
Many desert campsites organise cultural programs for visitors to witness the Rajasthani culture. There, you can witness musical nights, folk dance, puppet shows, and a chance to taste the aromatic Rajasthani cuisine.
Indulge in stargazing, stay at the beautiful desert camps, and explore the vivid desert life. With all this and more, the Sam Sand Dunes are one of the most popular sites for offering a worthwhile experience to its visitors.
If you take a keen interest in exploring the Desert National Park, you will come across some remnants dating back to the era of Jurassic times. So, be ready to stare at the remnants of the dinosaurs dating back to around 6 million years.
Situated at a distance of around 40 km from Jaisalmer (Rajasthan), Desert National Park is counted amongst the largest parks of India. Geographically, this park covers an area of 3162 sq. km extending from the borders of Jaisalmer, the park boundary reaches close to the Indo-Pak border.
You can expect everything here that a Desert ecosystem has to offer you. There are craggy rocks, intermedial areas, compact salt lake bottoms, and fixed dunes. In fact, the dunes makeup to almost 20% of the area under this park.
Amongst the wild flora of the Desert region, you get to see Desert plants, cacti, and other thorny bushes. An adventure-filled safari will be the best way to take a 360-degree tour of the Desert ecosystem here.
Besides jeep drive, if you are really adventurous, you can indulge in camping and bonfire activities here.
Being located within the close proximity of the Thar Desert, the park re-defines all parameters of stereotypical transitions exhibited by flora and fauna there. Even though the Desert ecosystem at the Desert National Park is harsh and fragile, it shelters a plethora of wildlife.
In fact, bird researchers tag this place as a haven for migratory birds. If you are an avid lover of the rare bird species, get your binoculars and DSLRs on as you have The Great Indian Bustard to spot here.
Excited to know more about the Desert National Park? Let’s peep into its flora and fauna first –
1. Animals –
Desert monitors, deadly vipers, spiny-tailed lizards, Krait, and sandfish are the prominent members of the wildlife family.
If you are fortunate enough to be there on time, you can even spot on Desert and Bengal foxes munching on some fresh berries. Apart from these key animals, the Desert National Park also shelters Vulpes, Blackbuck Antelope, Gazelle gazelle, Desert Cat Felis Libyes, and Cervicapra Rajputana Chinkara.
2. Birds –
As stated early, this park is never-ending heaven for all bird lovers. Desert National Park of Jaisalmer is known to house 150 different varieties of residential and migratory birds. It is a common phenomenon to locate endangered species of The Great Indian Bustard.
Amongst the other common species you have – Demoiselle, Eagles, Falcons, Partridges, Bee-Eaters, Vultures, Larks, Shrikes, Macqueen’s Bustard. As you move on to the next section of the park, you will come across some ponds and waterholes. Larks and wheatears are common species to be located here.
3. Reptiles –
Not all, but Desert National Park has surely got several reptile species to exhibit before you. Monitor lizard, Spiny-tailed lizard, Russell’s viper, Saw-scaled viper, common krait are few of the reptile species to be traced here.
4. Vegetation –
Although a sparse one, you still can find a variety in the vegetative species at the Desert National Park. Prominent amongst the vegetative species are aak shrub, sewan grass, and cacti.
It has got a well-diversified desert type of landscape where you have small salt lake bottom, fixed and shifting dunes, and craggy rocks.
While strolling through the park, do not forget to raise your head high above the sky. You will be surprised by the number of vultures soaring high to present a delightful sight.
The Khuri Sand Dunes are situated at a distance of 40 Km to the southwest of Jaisalmer, Rajasthan. It is one of the most acknowledged and pristine beauty in the middle of the vast Thar Desert, which offers many ideal locations for tourists to get an experience of dunes in India.
The Thar desert is home to numerous sand dunes which offer tourists with options for camping and desert safari. The Khuri Sand Dunes welcomes all the visitors to the ocean of sand. It entices solo travellers to spend some time in solitude.
The best way to travel through the dunes would be to sit atop a colorfully dressed camel and start your journey in a convoy over the shifting dunes. The dunes will let you set off in the early morning to watch the amazing sun, when it casts a truly magical spell over the desert lands.
Khuri Sand Dunes lets you camp in the middle of the desert, ride on the back of the camel, relish the local way of living and shop souvenirs in the emerging local bazaars.
However, if you want to make the most out of the Sand Dunes, you can absolutely sit beside a campfire, listen to the traditional songs of Kalbeliyas, and relish some of the authentic Rajasthani delicacies.
Last but not the least; you should on no occasion miss the amazing sunsets behind the sandhills. A trip to this place will surely be a break from the busy and chaotic daily life.
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Jaisalmer is famous for its long stretch of never-ending deserts. Tourists here can enjoy a variety of activities including Safari. The desert safari at Jaisalmer includes hopping on a camel and travelling across the desert discovering various flora and fauna. Tourists also get to spot a number of rural villages that depict the old traditions and cultures of the place. Cherry on top of the safari is an evening encapsulated with a picturesque sunset along a scenic landscape. If you don't enjoy camel rides, you can also go for Jeep Safari. The safari travels through Desert National Park, Sam Sand Dunes and Padholi Sanctuary.
2 days at Jaisalmer is enough to enjoy the city and its surrounding beauty. You can start your first day by visiting various places of heritage like Golden Fort, Patwon Ki Haveli and Nathmal Ki Haveli. You can bask in the architecture and the lush history of these places. On the second day start with some local shopping followed by visiting the deserts for Safari. Through the safari visit places like Desert National Park and Padoli Sanctuary. When the sun starts to go down, enjoy a beautiful desert sunset followed by camping. Indulge in entertainments like folk dance and music among others at camp.