Jaisalmer edit

Live the romanticism of Arabian Nights

Rajasthan's "Golden City" is a little gem in the middle of the Thar desert, once the site of several important battles and sieges that, today, continues to channel its former glory. Nowhere is Jaisalmer's former grandeur more apparent than in its enormous fort - like a sandcastle conceived by a giant with too much time on his hands, Jaisalmer's fort is so large that a quarter of its population actually lives within its walls. Unsurprisingly, most travelers choose to stay in a guesthouse inside the fort, but be warned: overcrowding is taking its toll on the fort and not only is its structure deteriorating by the year, but it's also sinking into Trikuta Hill.

But gigantic fort aside, Jaisalmer allures with a magic that could be straight out of Arabian Nights - indeed, the camel caravans linking India with Central Asia, Egypt, Arabia and Persia all stopped here. Aging havelis evoke the grace of a bygone era, while the uniformity of the desert seems to accentuate the warm, bright colors of the women's saris. You can also live out all of your Lawrence of Arabia fantasies in the middle of the desert - hawks and touts abound, and none of them will let you forget that this is a major base for camel treks.

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