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Published: September 19th 2018
This morning we headed back into the fort to see the 7 Jain temples inside. Despite not being as early as planned we got there before 10am and I was surprised by how quiet it still was, with many of the stalls not yet open.
The opening times of the temples seem to change a lot. At present the first 3 are open from 8am and the rest from 11am. They all close to tourists at 2pm.
Ticket purchased we wondered around the first 3, enjoying the intricate carvings and shady balconies before heading into the rest of the complex at 11am. These temples were made in the 1500s with the same type of sandstone as the rest of the fort.
I was surprised to see some very seductive women carved and some warriors holding the heads of their enemies (based on the fact Janism teaches non-violence and sexual abstinence). Stephen then reminded me of all the western Christian art work full of naked women...
In the last temples there’s an underground library containing old examples of religious art work. The door is locked but if you ask they will open it for you. Although very small we found this part
interesting and would recommend having a look.
As usual we got distracted by bats in the temple as they’re so cute and let us get really close (to take a pic) without flying off.
Jain temples seen we headed over to the 2 Hindu temples in the complex. On the way we saw some more of the city walls and canon. The temples are fairly simple compared to the others we’ve seen.
Temples visited we headed into a tiny coffee shop at the back of a book shop and enjoyed some milkshakes. They are very friendly, have reasonable free WiFi and yummy drinks. I was surprised to find that new books here cost about the same as at home which must make them extremely expensive for the locals (this was the printed price, not the shop charging more).
After wondering about some more and getting some lunch we headed out of the fort to a cultural museum. On entering the museum we woke up an elderly gentlemen having a nap who was very happy to serve us. This place was very cheap,
at just 50 rupees each. The elderly gentleman then explained that he’s a retired history
teacher and the museum is all his own work. He’s happy to answer any questions you may have.
Going into the museum it has the feel of a school project. All the information is either beautifully hand written or printed out and stuck onto card. Despite its amateurish look we found it very interesting. It covers the history of the Jaisalmer (including its geology), the royal families of Rajasthan and a range of cultural aspects of the area.
I think the experience was made better knowing that it was a labour of love.
Leaving the museum we walked over to Gary Sagar lake. This pretty little man made lake on the edge of the city is a good place just to sit in the shade and watch the view. As the sun went down the swifts all started to come back to nest for the night. People then appeared to feed the fish - this lake is full of huge cat fish. The water was teeming with them, it was quite a sight.
We walked up to a raised point to watch the sunset over the city. This was slightly disappointing as the sky didn’t really change colour and
we were joined by a very friendly but loud local.
Walking back to the main city we had a delicious Italian meal on a rooftop overlooking the fort.
Jaisalmer is a really small city, you can easily walk around it (you can see the desert beyond the edge of the city when anywhere high). Because it’s so small it’s really quiet compared to many of the other cities we’ve been to. It also means there’s less rubbish. Unfortunately it’s terrible sewage system means that much of it is pretty smelly.
Being a touristy place it’s hard to find reasonably priced food but the plus point is that they make good (English) tea 😊
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