Nathmal Ji Ki Haveli
architect brothers built it in the 19th century. Interestingly, while one
concentrated on the right, the other concentrated on the left and the result
is a symphony epitomising the side by side symmetry during construction. Paintings
in miniature style monopolise the walls in the interior. Mighty tuskers carved
out of yellow sandstone stand guard to the haveli.
Its like straight out of an Arabian Nights fable. The name Jaisalmer induces
a dramatic picture of utter magic and brilliance of the desert. The hostile
terrain not with standing the warmth and colour of people is simply over whelming.
One of the main draws is the daunting 12th century Jaisalmer Fort. The beautiful
havelis which were built by wealthy merchants of Jaisalmer are yet another
interesting aspect of the desert city.
And you can let your eyes caress the sloppy sand dunes while you ramble your
way in a camel safari. The desert citadel is truly a golden fantasy in Thar
Desert. Bhatti Rajput ruler Rawal Jaisal, after whom the city finds its name,
founded Jaisalmer in 1156. On advice of a local hermit Eesaal he chose the
Tricut Hills as his new abode abandoning his vulnerable old fort at Luderwa
just 16 kilometres northwest.
In Medieval times, its prosperity was due to its location on the main trade
route linking India to Egypt, Arabia, Persia, Africa and the West. The Bhatti
Rajput rulers lined their coffer with gains from traditional taxes on passing
by caravans and sometimes through illicit gains by rustling cattle.
Over the years the remote location of Jaisalmer kept it almost untouched by
outside influences. In the 13th century Ala-ud-din Khilji Emperor of Delhi
besieged the fort for nine years in an effort to take back the treasure taken
by the Bhatti Rajput from his imperial caravan train.
When the fall of the fort was imminent the women of the fort committed Jauhar,
an act of mass self-immolation, while men donned saffron robes and rode to
their certain death. Duda son of Jaitasimha, a Bhatti hero also perished in
the battle. Dudas descendants continued to rule Jaisalmer.
In 1541 they even fought Mughal Emperor Himayun. Though their relations with
Mugshal was not always hostile. Sabala Simha won the patronage of Mughal Emperor
Shaha Jahan for battle distinctions in Peshawar and the right to rule Jaisalmer.
In the days of Raj, Jaisalmer was the last to sign the Instrument of Agreement
with the British.