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Photographer's Note

Gadsisar Lake and Jaisal Fort, both are very popular tourist places in Jaisalmer. I have tried to cover both the places in one shot.

For Gadsisar Lake, just leave the madding crowd behind and venture towards the outskirts and you will find yourself next to the famous Gadsisar Lake. Contrary to the popular belief, it is not an oasis but a water conservation tank made around 1400 A.D. by the then maharaja of Jaisalmer, Maharwal Gadsi Singh. Can you believe this structure just outside the city walls once acted as a reservoir that controlled the entire supply of water to the arid city!

This place was selected because it had a certain amount of declivity already and it automatically retained some of the rainwater. You will find whole varieties of temples and shrines surrounding the lake. In later years it became more of a pilgrimage spot. The beautiful gateway that arches across the road down to the Lake was built by royal courtesan named Tillon in the end of 19th century, known as Tillon Ki prol (Gate of Tillon). Lord Vishnu's statue was installed in the year 1908 A.D. or the gate by the courtesan & declared Krishna Temple to save it from demolition by the then Maharawal.

Jaisalmer Fort is a monument worth visiting and worth retaining in your conscious mind. Like various other cities of Rajasthan, in Jaisalmer too you will find different facets of its own glorious heritage. Though you can find historical monuments scattered all over the city, the Jaisalmer Fort will immediately command your attention. Made of sand stones and locally known as Sonar Quila, the Jaisalmer Fort is a dominating structure amidst sands.

The city is said to be founded by one Raja Rawal Jaisal, a Bhatti Rajput ruler, in approximately 1156 A D. Legends go by that he did it on the behest of a local hermit named Eesaal. The raja choose Trikuta hill as the new site for his fort as his earlier adobe at Luderwa(16 k.m from present Jaisalmer) was too vulnerable to his comfort. But it should always be kept in mind that these legends are most of the time product of conscious minds that are very vulnerable to the oriental exaggeration.

Jaisalmer fort is the second oldest in Rajasthan. Two hundred and fifty feet tall and reinforced by imposing crenellated sandstone wall 30 feet high; it has 99 bastions, 92 of which were built between 1633 and 1647. Wells within the fort still provide a regular source of water. Even today, you will find that nearly one fourth of the old city's population resides within the fort. If you are a student of cross-cultural merging, the subtle fusion of Rajput and Islamic architectural styles, visible in this fort, will catch your fancy. Ganesh Pol, Akshya Pol, Suraj Pol and Hawa Pol are a must see.

I hope you will like it.

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Additional Photos by Mahendra Kumar Goyal (mkgoyal2004) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 94 W: 0 N: 150] (837)
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