Jaisalmer, otherwise known as the golden city, is best known for having the only living fort left in Asia. Built in the 12th Century, it was run by the king right up until the start of democracy in 1947. Today 3,000 people continue to live in the fort which attracts thousands of tourist everyday. Tourism has now become 80% of the city’s income. Originally, however, the city is known for its silver.
Time to buy some rings. Avoiding the tourist traps, we were taken through the many back streets, passing the locals and a cow in labour to the house of a local silver merchant. This trade has been passed down to him from generations, along with a tut stone which when you rub, only real silver will create a white line upon it.
Walking around and speaking to people you realise how many of the families in the region still work within the family profession, accepting this as their inheritance to grow and pass on. This was the same the owner of the local Bhang lassi shop. Bhang, ground cannabis buds and leaves, is legal in India and can be found in cookies and mixed into lassi shakes. Back in the day the Brahmins, who were of the highest cast and priests (advisors) of the city, were not allowed to drink. However, smoking Bhang is allowed, as the god Shiva was seen with a pipe and believed to smoke it to open the mind, helping the spirit to escape.
On choosing between a “baby lassi, medium, strong, super sexy strong or full power 24hrs no toilet, no shower”, we were shown a photo book of the generations who had owned the shop. Following this we were guided to their restaurants, Jaisal pizza to sit on the rooftop across from the fort for some food. A great spot to appreciate the epic nature of the fort. Looking at the holders they pushed to kills their enemy’s and the gaps under the fort bridge where hot oil was poured to ‘welcome’ the Warriors, you start to see how real those epic over produced fight scenes where once a reality.