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iXiGOers Dec 09 2012

What is the history and culture of Jaisalmer?

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Lazing in the far west of the country, sheltering the astounding 12th century Jaisalmer Fort, this enticing city of Rajasthan is one of the most popular tourist spots in the state. It needs no saying that the city holds great prominence in the history of India with its rich cultural heritage and ethnicity.

Established in the 12th century by Rawal Jaisal atop a small hill (meru), it was only natural that Jaisalmer acquired its present name. Passing hands from Mughal rulers to Rajputs and finally to the British over the turns of its history, Jaisalmer continued to flourish as a major centre of trade despite all its political instability. Following the shutting down of trade routes between India and Central Asia after the partition, Jaisalmer’s prosperity started to decline and a draught during this period did nothing to help this situation.

Rising slowly and gradually from these grave times, Jaisalmer soon acquired the spot of an exotic tourist spot and paved its way to better financial stability. Today the city is a hub of activity, but tourism remains the main industry. Culturally, the place sticks to its former customs and traditions, with local artefacts and performative arts being preserved thanks to the tourism industry. Aside from all its multi ethnic celebrations, the place also holds the
 Desert Festival annually, which unleashes an all new life on the city.

A land of harsh sun and pleasant surprises, Jaisalmer welcomes you to its folds with the unadulterated warmth of Rajasthan.

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