Jaisalmer’s dreamy citadel, now a World Heritage site, emerges from the sandy desert like a mesmerising mirage. Made of honey coloured yellow sandstone, it’s 99 barrel-shaped bastions and ramparts turns golden as the sunlight falls on it. Inside the living fort, with its brightly painted houses on cobbled streets, men in colourful turbans proudly twirling their thick moustaches, women’s mirror embroidered dresses catching the sun, life goes on as it has for centuries.

Jaisalmer’s wealthy merchants commissioned some of the most ornate residences in India. These havelis were built in the 18th/19th centuries when trade was most lucrative. The havelis are adorned with elaborate facades, including ‘jaali’ screens and carved balconies.

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