Here’s some of what the Lonely Planet – India chapter Rajasthan has to say about Jaisalmer’s Fort:
“Jaisalmer’s fort is a living urban centre, with about 3,000 people residing within its walls. It is honeycombed with narrow winding lanes, lined with houses and temples – along with a large number of handicraft shops, guesthouses and restaurants. You enter the fort from the east, and pass through four massive gates on the zig- zagging route to the upper section. The final gate opens into the square that forms the fort’s centre, Dashera Chowk.
Founded in 1156 by the Rajput ruler Jaisal, and reinforced by subsequent rulers, Jaisalmer Fort was the focus of a number of battles between the Bhatis, the Mughals of Delhi and the Rathores of Jodhpur. In recent years, the fabric of the fort has faced increasing conservation problems due to unrestricted water use caused, in the most part, by high tourist numbers.”
KAPOORS ON THE ROAD
I had very fond memories of our visit to the Jaisalmer Fort back in 2008 and I was keen to show its charms to my sister Donna and her husband Duncan. It’s clearly and almost timeless fort, dating back to the 12th century, but I was surprised to see how many little things had changed in the intervening twelve years. They were small changes, many wouldn’t notice, but I remember particular little shops and cafés that were inside the fort then, and are gone now.
I shouldn’t be surprised I guess; retail and food businesses are notoriously difficult to maintain for long. I’m glad I took the photos I did when we visited for the first time, and now it was time to look for the positive changes that have developed and amass a new collection of photographic memories to enjoy when I can no longer travel. As I write this, we’re just completing week eight of self-isolation in our home in Canada, because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Things are looking pretty good here in British Columbia, we’ve had relatively few cases reported and a limited number of deaths. Vancouver Island has done even better than the mainland, another of the many benefits of living on an island, I guess. Still, who knows when we will be able to travel internationally again. We’re both doubly glad that we retired early, before either of us turned sixty, and managed to see a vast majority of the world’s most famous places in the past fourteen years.
We don’t often return to places we’ve visited before, but India is a little different because of most of my husband’s extended family live here. Rajasthan is almost right next door to Delhi so we’ve visited with family once, come on our own once, and brought friends and Canadian family members twice. This may well be our last trip to Rajasthan, and most likely our last to Jaisalmer; so, I wanted to enjoy it to the fullest.