Beautiful Nathmal ki Haveli in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan || See this before you see Patwon ki haveli if you want to appreciate it

We made a mistake when we went out on a tour of the havelis of Jaisalmer. We saw Patwon ki Haveli before we saw Nathmal ki haveli. And after you have seen Patwon ki haveli, every other haveli appears rather modest. Which is not really fair because Nathmal ki haveli in itself is a beautiful building.   This is a 19th century haveli that was built by two architect brothers. Even today a part of the haveli is occupied by the family. The family has opened a shop here that sells antiques and other knick-knacks.

We made a mistake when we went out on a tour of the havelis of Jaisalmer. We saw Patwon ki Haveli before we saw Nathmal ki haveli. And after you have seen Patwon ki haveli, every other haveli appears rather modest. Which is not really fair because Nathmal ki haveli in itself is a beautiful building. 

This is a 19th century haveli that was built by two architect brothers. Even today a part of the haveli is occupied by the family. The family has opened a shop here that sells antiques and other knick-knacks. 

The entrance to the haveli is guarded by two elephants built with yellow sandstone. These majestic elephants are stationed on either side of the entrance. The haveli too is built of yellow sandstone as is much of Jaisalmer. Unfortunately this also means that some of the historically important buildings become very difficult to find.

The entrance to the haveli is guarded by two elephants built with yellow sandstone. These majestic elephants are stationed on either side of the entrance. The haveli too is built of yellow sandstone as is much of Jaisalmer. Unfortunately this also means that some of the historically important buildings become very difficult to find.  

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Gadisar lake was initially built by the founding king of Jaisalmer, Rawal Jaisal in the 12th century. At that point in time, it was known as Jaisalsar. It was later rebuilt by Maharawal Gadsi Singh in the 14th century and then came to be known as Gadisar or Gadsisar or Gadaria Lake.


When you search for places to visit enroute from Bikaner to Jaisalmer, the Internet would throw you many options - one of which is Akal (pronounced "aakal") Wood Fossil Park. While most of them will exalt the place, we would like to highlight that it may not be the right place for everyone.


After Khichan Bird Sanctuary, we had decided to stop at Pokaran Fort. It was about 68 kilometers from the bird sanctuary and we would reach it within an hour. Most of us in our generation only found out about Pokaran after India conducted their second successful nuclear test in this region.


On our way from Bikaner to Jaisalmer, Khichan Bird Sanctuary was our second scheduled stop after Bap Village. And we were really excited about it. Both of us love watching and Photographing birds and we never miss a chance to visit a bird sanctuary. So this would be the ideal spot for us to take a break and stretch our legs.


Demoiselle Cranes (grus virgo) are a species of crane that breed in central Eurosiberia, ranging from Black Sea and Mangolia to North Eastern China, plus a small breeding population in Turkey. The birds fly south to Africa and Indian subcontinent to spend the winter months.

>> Demoiselle cranes of Khichan, Jodhpur District, Rajasthan || Beautiful Birds that fly to and fro Mangolia and have found a mention in Indian mythological texts 


The locals in Bikaner refer to themselves as being "saral, sukh, and sust". One of my good friends from Bikaner shared that people in Bikaner take pride in acknowledging that they are content. So I guess it is true. The state of the traffic on the roads does reflect the pace of life.


However, we did spot some migratory birds flying around and were sure that there is probably a water body around. We decided to explore that. After asking around a little we reached a lake of humungous proportions and there was a temple on the shore. There was a man offering prayers in the temple and while we were roaming around, he caught up to us and started asking us some questions.


Even though we had been warned against booking a hotel in old Bikaner, because the roads are congested, we managed to find the perfect hotel - Hotel Jaswant Bhawan - which is perfectly located at the edge of old Bikaner with approach via wide roads and a spacious parking. And it was just walking distance from most of the places in old Bikaner.


Rampuria havelis are a group of 15th century opulent havelis that stand out in the labyrinthine roads of old Bikaner. While these havelis are symbols of wealth and luxurious lifestyles of rich merchants of Bikaner, they are surrounded by the comparatively modest homes of the middle class business people.

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