Jaisalmer Is Named After Its Founder Maharawal Jaisal Singh, A Rajput King In 1156 AD. "Jaisalmer" Means "The Hill Fort Of Jaisal". Jaisalmer Is Sometimes Called The "Golden City Of India" Because The Yellow Sand And The Yellow Sandstone Used In Every Architecture Of The City Gives A Yellowish-Golden Tinge To The City And Its Surrounding Area.
The Majority Of The Inhabitants Of Jaisalmer Are Bhati Rajputs, Named For Bhati, Who Was Renowned As A Warrior. This Area Was Part Of Gurjar - Pratihara Empire And Until The 11th Century Was Ruled By A Powerful Bargujar King. Deoraj, A Famous Prince Of The Bhati Family, Is Esteemed The Real Founder Of The Jaisalmer Dynasty, And With Him The Title Of Rawal Commenced. In 1156 Rawal Jaisal, The Sixth In Succession From Deoraj, Founded The Fort And City Of Jaisalmer, And Made It His Capital As He Moved From His Former Capital At Lodhruva (Which Is Situated About 15 Km To The North-West Of Jaisalmer). In 1293, The Bhattis So Enraged The Emperor Ala-Ud-Din Khilji That His Army Captured And Sacked The Fort And City Of Jaisalmer, So That For Some Time It Was Quite Deserted. Some Bhatti's Migrated To Talwandi, Now Nankana Sahib In Distt. Nankana Sahib (Punjab, Pakistan) And Others Settled In Larkana (In Sind, Pakistan) Under The Name Of Bhutto. In Nankana Sahib, The Bhatti Clan Can Be Traced From The Lineage Of Rai Bhoe And Rai Bular Bhatti. After This There Is Nothing To Record Until The Time Of Rawal Sahal Singh, Whose Reign Marks An Epoch In Bhatti History In That He Acknowledged The Supremacy Of The Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. The Jaisalmer Princes Had Now Arrived At The Height Of Their Power, But From This Time Till The Accession Of Rawal Mulraj In 1762 The Fortunes Of The State Rapidly Declined, And Most Of Its Outlying Provinces Were Lost. In 1818 Mulraj Entered Into Political Relations With The British. Maharawal Salivahan, Born In 1887, Succeeded To The Chiefship In 1891.
The Maharajas Of Jaisalmer Trace Their Lineage Back To Jaitsimha, A Ruler Of The Bhatti Rajput Clan. The Major Opponents Of The Bhati Rajputs Were The Powerful Rathor Clans Of Jodhpur And Bikaner. They Used To Fight Battles For The Possession Of Forts, Waterholes Or Cattle. Jaisalmer Was Positioned Strategically And Was A Halting Point Along A Traditional Trade Route Traversed By The Camel Caravans Of Indian And Asian Merchants. The Route Linked India To Central Asia, Egypt, Arabia, Persia, Africa And The West.
Jaisalmer Fort - Rising like a sunbeam from the golden sands of the desert, Jaisalmer Fort is the second oldest fort of Rajasthan. A sight to behold, this living fort is one of the marvels of Rajasthani Architecture, especially of the stone carver's art.
Patwon ki Haveli - Patwaon Ki Haveli is another dimension to the Jaisalmer havelis. It is a five storey edifice which was constructed in 1800 AD and 1860 AD. This is the largest of its kind and is one of the grandest mansion in Jaisalmer.
Desert Festival - The Desert Festival is one of the most popular cultural events on the annual festival calendar of Rajasthan. The colorful event is held every year at Jaisalmer in the months of January/February. The festival is a showcase of the performing arts and crafts of Rajasthan. The melodious tunes and rhythms of the folk musicians and amazing folk dance performances by renowned artists create a spellbound effect on spectators. The event is organized on the famous golden sand dunes at Sam near Jaisalmer. Colorful craft bazaars set up for the occasion are an added attraction of the festival.