Joyously jaunting in Jaisalmer (74 Photos!)

Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, India

This is Jaisalmer.

Jaisalmer, nicknamed “The Golden City” is in the state of Rajasthan, 575km west of the state capital Jaipur.  With a population of around 60,000 residents, Jailsamer’s main source of income stems from the tourists that come from all over India and the world to experience the rich desert culture.  I spent a week here staying inside the walls of the fort Jaisalmer at Hotel Siddhartha.

In the bottom right corner of this photo is the famous bhang shop.  Simply referred to as government shops, they sell bhang, a concoction made from the leaves and flowers of the marijuana plant.  Cannabis is deeply ingrained in the ancient culture here and has been used in ayurvedic medicine and as an aid for mediation and reaching closer to the divine.

jaisalmer-rajasthan-india-sunset_cafe

I was married to them briefly.

One day, the world famous painter Eva Ullrich said to me, “my friend and I are going to Jaisalmer. You should come with us.”  So I did, and three of us, along with someone else who was staying at the hostel in Bikaner would head off to Jaisalmer.  I acted as a kind of protector for them.  It can be difficult for women travelers in India having to deal with the constant staring, the random photos, and the men asking if they’re married.  Yes, they’re all married.  To me.  Jao!

creepy_indian_man

One of many creepy Indian men.

This man thought he could take a photo of one of my wives.  He, like many other Indian people have no shame in pulling out their camera and snapping away at people without permission.  I get it.  I’m a photographer and I do it too when the time it’s called for.  But when you’re standing right there and looking at someone while they do it, it’s rude.  So, to make them understand what it is like, I return the rude gestures.  Anytime someone stares, I will stare back until they get uncomfortable.  Anytime they stick a camera in some girl’s face, I stick my camera in their face.  If someone asks me for a pen, 10 rupees, or anything else, I will follow them and ask the same until they understand what it feels like to be followed by a stranger asking you for stuff you’re not going to give them.

Note to Indians:  It’s very difficult for us to travel in your country.  Your culture is incredibly unique and your mannerisms can be overwhelming for those not ready for it.  I’ve seen police have to fight people off with sticks for swarming tourists.  Show us some respect, and I’ll spend all day with you taking photos, telling you which country I’m from, and doing my best to allow you to practice your English with me.

fort_jaisalmer-rajasthan-india

Inside Fort Jaisalmer

Built in 1156 AD, Fort Jaisalmer is one of the largest forts in the world.  It’s the tourist hub of Jaisalmer with over 500,000 people visiting it annually.  The interior is filled with temples, eateries, shops, and guest houses.  There are also many full time residents that stay within the fort’s walls.

Bada Bagh - Jaisalmer District - Rajasthan - India

Bada Bagh – Jaisalmer District – Rajasthan – India

This is Bada Bagh, or  big garden.  In the 16th century a dam was created near this site that caused the desert to become green with life.  These cenotaphs were constructed up until the 20th century when India got independence from Britain.  They remain largely neglected and many in various states of disrepair.

jaisalmer_dunes-rajasthan-india

Majestic sand dunes!

One of the popular things to do in Jailsamer is to go on a camel safari.  I’ve learned that I don’t really like riding camels and in my famous words I responded to the prospect of going on another camel safari by saying, “I’m not riding a camel.  Fuck that.”  So we opted to hire a jeep and ride into the desert for the sunset.  The dunes pictured above are quite picture perfect, but what the image doesn’t show is that just over those sand hills in the visible distance is boring desert without beautiful rolling dunes.  I’m glad I didn’t ride a camel, but wish we would have stayed the night out there.

camel_poop-sunset-rajasthan-india

So long Jaisalmer!

From Jaisalmer, the road led on the Udaipur, but that’s for another day.  Until then enjoy the rest of this set.

Photos from Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, India!

  • HeyThereD

    LMAO another pack-yer-bag Westerner preaching to the downtrodden. I was actually enjoying your blog until I read your tone. You are no traveller, go back to the dumps of South Carolina.

    Your tone is haughty and disrespectful. Get to fuck.

    Oh the white man’s burden.