A Silk Route caravanserai of yore

Once upon a time, Jaisalmer was a bustling caravanserai along the Silk Route, and the royal Rajput clan grew wealthy collecting taxes from merchants en route from India to Afghanistan. As with all trade, in due course of time, ransacking and pilfering led to feuds between the royals clans and the Delhi Sultanate, and the Jaisalmer fort was captured, forcing its people to flee to nearby areas that fall within present-day Pakistan. After regimes of the Mughal and Maratha Empires, and an annexe by the British colony, Jaisalmer’s trading glory faded with the establishment of seaports. Today, Jaisalmer is preserved as a World Heritage Site, its pale yellow sandstone structures resemble a shimmering mirage in the desert, and it has the whimsical exoticism of a by-gone, fairytale era.

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