This morning, March 10, we went into the fort proper of Jaisalmer. Jaisalmer is sometimes called the golden city because of the color of the sandstone which is the primary building used in the town. It is quarried locally and has a beautiful, warm golden hue when the sun hits it. The fort is referred to as a “living” fort because there are many homes and shops within its walls. It is also a tourist destination and we encountered more tourists here than we have been up until this point.
The fort contains beautiful havelis and elaborately carved Jain temples of which we visited three. It sometimes seems as if we are seeing SO VERY MANY temples but, in fact, as one of our co-travelers said, “with each temple one more piece of the puzzle fits into place.” So, yes, we do see a lot of temples but each is a learning moment.
The fort and buildings within the fort are constantly being maintained and there are still a fairly large number of families who know how to dress and carve the stone in order to repair or replace with the same type of carvings.
We have noticed as we have been traveling, both in Delhi and now in Rajasthan, that you see little garlands hanging over the doors of homes and shops and even, once, on the windshield wiper of our bus. The purpose of these is to keep the evil eye away and the garlands are replaced each Saturday, which is considered a particularly inauspicious day.
At one of the Jain temples, there was a bright orange object protruding out of a wall. We discovered that it is a fierce, protective form of Shiva to which oil and vermillion are regularly applied. To me, it looked like a particularly angry orange M&M.