Monday

The Living Museum, Jaisalmer







A city so exotic. Unusual

Located very close to the Thar Desert and about 100km away from the Pakistan border

Dominated by the Jaisalmer Fort. A fort that is alive with shops, hotels, havelis, roads, animals inside the fort area.

I could write so much about the many things we saw and did in Jaisalmer but would like to limit my focus on the tearing need for sensitivity towards Jaisalmer Fort.

Tourists can indeed stay inside the Fort itself. However, eco-conscious tourists might want to consider staying outside the Fort to avoid putting additional pressure on the Fort's ancient sewage system (3 of the 99 bastions have already crumbled because of water seepage into the foundations). In the past year, there have been hotels and residents inside the Fort taking initiatives to help with restoration to avoid displacement of the locals. Visitors may want to check with the local hotels inside the Fort and ask what they are doing to contribute towards the Forts preservation. This could lead to greater efforts through awareness and action.

This Fort is the only Fort in the world in use, Carcassonne being the only other one I know of, which is witnessing many problems. While in earlier times, water used in the Fort had to be carried in buckets; the introduction of taps has changed the blueprint of this magnificent Fort, causing the structure to start sinking. Being made of sand, water is literally washing away its foundations; an issue that will be quite difficult to tackle in the times to come, if not addressed on an immediate basis.

If you travel next time to Jaisalmer, pls do your bit. Stay conscious to the needs of the locals. Love the sights and sounds of Jaisalmer; for the city will ensure you leave your heart behind:) Its honey colored golden stone will cast an eternal spell around you. You will wish to carry it back home in your travel bag.

It’s a gorgeous city, in need of much nurturing. Treat it with love and respect, as many many more centuries of civilizations, must indeed enjoy the raw energy called Jaisalmer, Rajasthan.

15 comments:

melinda said...

I said this before and I will say it again, your writing is getting richer and even more meaningful. More power to you girl!:)

john said...

Only if tourist life could be massively impacted by the desire to maintain history in their lives!

sanjiv said...

I am proud of the fact that I have never eaten at McD's, or drunk coffee at a vending machine. Nor have I ever carried a styro-cup around the streets, or eaten bhel from a printed news-print cone!!!

I'm also pretty safe in saying that I never will.

Neeraj said...

Beautiful pictures!
I like what you said in the end. We all need to do our bit in preserving what is left of our heritage, which could be something as simple as not littering.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful. Hope to visit one day :)

Faizah

sheila said...

Its true we rarely seek more indepth info when we go on a holiday- we are happy to have good food/stay + lovely pictures and get back home. You are right the conscience must be made aware.

Jim said...

Jaisalmer is laid back, friendly, steeped in history and totally unpretentious. It is living culture. A living Fort. A sun kissed Fort with multitude jharokas peeping out from its bastions greeting visitors coming in from all parts of the world. In return all we say is Dear Visitors love us and respect our history. And more importantly the inhabitants too must realize their greed for more dollars is indeed attracting the wrong tourists to its home.

RavneetSingh said...

How gorgeous is this Fort, a rare site to the hungry devouring traveler looking for new finds. Keep it safe and secure people!!

Mike said...

A living fort. Living History right in front of our eyes. And not just the Fort- every place we visit as tourists or travelers - we absolutely have a duty towards ensuring we help and assist such places. And if we cant then the least we can do is not damage or worsen it.

ashish said...

I love the pics Mee. And love the sincerity with which you pursue your beliefs. Well done!

Dr. Sohrab Arora said...

Again, a beautiful post with amazing pictures!
the boy playing cricket remind me of the coca cola advert in 96 world cup (the one with a background score of dum mast kalandar).
History is something we preserve and make at the same time.. We as Indians are finally getting aware on preserving rather than destroying, and its a good trend, lest we are too late.

Mee said...

@Mel - *blushhh* such massive compliments I cannot handle

@john - Tourists are largely speaking, not bothered or concerned - the bigger ownership lies with the residents of the Fort...

@sanjiv - more power to you for your consciousness

@Neeraj - Ty. Preservation comes when there is sensitivity- and right now, it wld be a fair assessment to say Indians are not sensitive beyond "I, mem myself":(

@Faizah - I sincerely wish, you do

@Sheila - yep

@Jim- it is like a fairy tale from Arabian Nights, no?:)

@Mike- yea, absolutely

@RavneetSingh - ditto that:)

@Ashish - why TY:)

@Dr. Sohrab Arora: that coke ad was a stunner! Made by a foreigner with Indian origins.
You really think Indians are getting more aware?

जाट देवता (संदीप पवाँर) said...

जोरदार है भाई,

Mee said...

@Sandeep pawar:) Hain na!!:)

nkitt said...

Nice writeup about this place!!!! I feel you :D :D :D