Jaisalmer town in India was founded by Prince Jaisal Bhatti. It is located deep in the heart of the Thar desert. Centuries ago Jaisalmer's strategic position on the camel train routes brought it's townspeople enormous wealth that they spent on building intricately carved palaces and temples in golden-yellow sandstone.
These fortresses of Jaisalmer called as "Havelis of Jaisalmer" are like a mirage from the barren Thar Desert. It feels as if you had travelled back in time - straight into the fairy tale of 1001 nights.
On either side of the narrow lanes are the sandstone havelis, with stone carvings, screen windows, delicate pavilions & balconies. These beautiful Havelis ( mansions ) were built by Jaisalmer's wealthy merchants.
Some of them to count are 'Patwon ki Haveli', the most elaborate and magnificent of all the Jaisalmer havelis and 'Salim Singh ki Haveli' that is about 300 years old and is still partially lived in.
Salem Singh ki Haveli :
It is about 300 years old. Salim Singh was the minister of the state when Jaisalmer when it was the capital of a princely state and his mansion has a beautifully arched roof with superb carved brackets inn the form of peacocks. The mansion is situated just below the hill.
Patwon ki Haveli :
It is the largest and most magnificent haveli in Jaisalmer. There are five Patwon-ki-havelis the first of which was constructed in 1805 by a merchant called Guman Chand Patwa. It is a five-storeyed complex that took 50 years to finish and is the biggest and the most ostentatious haveli. The havelis are built in yellow sandstone with a different design on every window and arch. There are extensive corridors and chambers all supported by exquisitely carved pillars.
Nathmal-ki-Haveli was built in AD 1885. It is characterized by intricate architecture and craftsmanship. The haveli has two wings left and right, which were carved with splendid miniature paintings. The jharokhas are the specialty of the haveli because of the fine stone carvings.
It is not Haveli but a stone garden carved in all flowers and in creeper motifs which has the most interesting workmanship. Their main carvers were Lalu and Hathi who carved front alleviation in their artistic presentation which can be seen clearly on the front side.