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A Tryst with Royalty - Bikaner & Jaisalmer - Day 3 - Jaisalmer Saga continues



A wedding invitation in Jaisalmer
An open wedding invitation in Jaisalmer 

A Tryst with Royalty - Bikaner & Jaisalmer - Day 3 - Jaisalmer Saga Continues

                After completing the tour of Patwon Ki Haveli, we started towards Man Mandir Palace. Man Mandir palace is the palace of the Kings of Jaisalmer and is still a private property. The Foundation stone of the Palace was laid by Maharawal Mool Raj ji in 1770. Later generations kept on adding to the beauty of the Palace.
Man Mandir Palace
Man Mandir Palace

                 The Palace is a beautiful piece of art in Indo - Saracenic style of architecture, which is a mix of Rajput architecture having the effect of Islamic patterns due to the styles and information carried by Caravans from Afganistan and Iran.

Darbar hall at Man Mandir Palace
Darbar hall at Man Mandir Palace


                            Presently, the major portion of the palace has been converted into a Welcome Group Heritage Hotel. Visitors can visit only a small portion of the Palace near Darbar Hall, which displays portraits of the royal family, old weapons and a few other artefacts. Another small portion has been converted into a museum, displaying things from old times. It was a very ordinary affair and did not have anything worth mentioning.

Tazia Tower at ManMandir Palace
Tazia Tower at Man Mandir Palace

                       Another attraction is the Tazia Tower. This four-story Tower was built in the shape of Tazia. Tazia is the replica of the tomb of Husain, martyred grandson of Prophet Mohammad and carried during Muharram processions. Evert story in this tomb has a different design.


A beautifully carved balcony at Man Mandir palace
A beautifully carved balcony at Man Mandir Palace


                                 Though the palace is beautifully carved one but failed to impress as we had just seen masterpieces in the form of Patwa Havelis. After a tour of the Palace, we took the lanes of Jaisalmer to our next destination Nathmal ji ki haveli. The narrow lanes of Jaisalmer had a charm of their own. They were made colourful by the various Rajasthani handicrafts and other wares being sold by shops and street vendors.


Beautiful facade of Man Mandir Palace
Beautiful facade of Man Mandir Palace

                     One thing that was unique to Jaisalmer and very interesting one was the wedding invitation. People here do not distribute wedding cards in their neighbourhood, but get it painted on the outer wall of the house. This is considered auspicious as well as is an open invitation to everybody.
A Marriage invitation Painted outside a house
A Marriage invitation Painted outside a house

                         It did not take us much time to reach Nathmal ji ki Haveli. Nathmal was Diwan of Jaisalmer state. This Haveli apart from being as intricate as Pawa haveli is also very interesting. When Diwan Nathmal ji was to award work for the construction of the Haveli, there was competition among two brothers to get the contract. Finally, the contract was awarded to both of them each one building left and right half of the Haveli. Their competitive spirit produced the excellent masterpiece. Both left and right side of the havelis are similar, but not identical.

Nathmal ji Ki Haveli
Nathmal ji Ki Haveli 


                          At first glance, we were not able to identify the differences, however slowly we picked up and soon we all were enjoying " Spot the difference " game.


Spot the difference game at Nathmal Ki Haveli
Spot the difference game at Nathmal Ki Haveli


Let's spot some differences here. Just see on the numbers marked on left and right half of above picture and you can spot the difference

1.  At the points marked 1, the carving on the protruding slab on left and right-hand side is different.

2. At the point marked 2, spot the difference in the pattern on the edge of the slab. The right-hand side has an inverted bell shape flower below the slab and a star like pattern above the slab. Whereas the left-hand side has a ball like flower below the slab and nothing above the slab.

3.  At the points marked 3,  again the patterns and the figures made above and below the slab on the left-hand side and right-hand side are different.

4.  At points marked 4, the style of Jharokhas and the pattern of latticework is totally different, and it is very difficult to decide, which is more beautiful.

5. At points marked 5, the latticework on the left-hand side and right-hand side are different.

6. At points marked 6, the jharokhas though look similar at first glance, but a closer look will reveal a lot of differences in patterns and figures.

An intricately carved Jharokha at Nathmal ji ki Haveli
An intricately carved Jharokha at Nathmal ji ki Haveli

A Balcony at Nathmalji Ki Haveli, Jaisalmer
A Balcony at Nathmalji Ki Haveli, Jaisalmer


Another Balcony at Nathmalji Ki Haveli, Jaisalmer
Another Balcony at Nathmalji Ki Haveli, Jaisalmer

                           The above two balconies are from the left-hand side and right-hand side of the haveli and though looking similar have a lot of differences. Now you may enlarge these pics and find the difference.


                           This haveli is privately owned. After seeing the Haveli, we fixed the time for next day with the guide and said goodbye to him. We had parked our car in Fort parking. We walked to the parking and picked up the car. There were two options now. Either we go back to the hotel and take some rest or just loiter around till its dinner time. Finally, we decided to go to Gadsisar lake and spend the rest of the evening there.

                    Gadsisar lake was built as a water conservation reservoir by Rawal Gadsi Singh. In older days, this lake used to supply water to the entire city of Jaisalmer. We had to park the car in a parking and walk some distance to the lake. The lake gives a very calming effect as it is away from the hustle and bustle of the City. It has a lot of Ghats and Chatris built around it. We spent a very relaxed evening there till the Sun went down. The lake has a lot of Catfish.

Beautiful chatri in Gadsisar lake
Beautiful chatri in Gadsisar lake

Catfish in Gadsisar lake vying with each other to gulp the Chana thrown
Catfish in Gadsisar lake vying with each other to gulp the grams thrown at them


                        Sitting on the banks of the lake the main topic of the discussion was what to have for dinner. After a lot of discussions, we settled for Italian at Jaisal Italy. It was a beautifully located restaurant. It was a rooftop restaurant. Part of it is open air and part covered. Sitting in the open area, on one side we could see beautifully lit Fort Jaisal at an arm's length and the hustle and bustle of Jaisalmer market on another side. The service was pathetic. we waited for nearly 15 minutes for someone to appear to give us the menu. There was only one person serving the entire set of tables. He too was obsessed with white skin. The white guests were being attended very promptly as compared to the Indian Brown Guests. Anyways, the food was served and it was not bad. After having the dinner, we came back to our hotel. That was an end of a beautiful day at Jaisalmer.

View of Fort Jaisal from roof top restaurant Jaisal Italy
View of Fort Jaisal from rooftop restaurant Jaisal Italy
contd.......


A Tryst with Royalty - Bikaner and Jaisalmer - Day 1- Ludhiana to Bikaner
A Tryst with Royalty - Bikaner & Jaisalmer - Day 1 - Karni Mata Mandir
A tryst with Royalty - Bikaner and Jaisalmer - Day 1 - Camel Research Farm , Royal Cenotaps
A Tryst with Royalty - Bikaner & Jaisalmer - Day 2 - Laxmi Niwas Palace
A Tryst with Royalty - Bikaner & Jaisalmer - Day 2 - Junagarh Fort - Part 1

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