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Stay in the fort?

Miami
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Stay in the fort?

Would you advise staying in the fort (Monsoon guest house) or outside to view the fort at night when it is lit up in lights?

Sydney
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1. Re: Stay in the fort?

Outside. That's not just my advice, it's the advice -- call it a plea if you like -- of all the conservationists who view the accelerating destruction of the Jaisalmer fort with alarm, and which place the blame for this largely on tourism and the demands on plumbing which result from guest houses operating inside the fort area. The Jaisalmer Fort is now on the list of endangered heritage sites. Here's a quote from the Smithsonian Institute:

"During the past 20 years, the sandstone blocks of Jaisalmer Fort, immune to the elements for nearly a millennia, have begun to shift and crumble. And no one can agree why it's happening or who is to blame.

"The basic problem is the sewage system in the fort," says Luca Borella, who moved to Jaisalmer from France in 1994 and now owns a nine-room heritage hotel here. "The government built it quickly and without study." Borella says the sewage system leaks water directly into the fort's foundations. He and other residents have called upon the Indian government to repair it.

Jaisalmer's tourist boom has only made matters worse. According to local government estimates, the hotels, restaurants and shops that dot the historic ridges import nearly 50,000 gallons of water daily. This water then flows into the sewage system's already-overstressed open drains. Some international heritage foundations, such as the World Monuments Fund, are urging both tourists and residents to scale back their water use—especially public taps that dispense running water—if they want the fort to survive the next 1,000 years."

I have been to Jaisalmer twice -- 2004 and 2008 -- and viewed the fort from outside, from the same balcony in the same hotel, both times, and was appalled at the pace of the destruction... even in that short time, the plumbing "stains" on the sandstone, and the cracks (birds now fly into them without even slowing down) seem to have grown a dozen times worse. I know the city council has outlawed new tourist hotels inside the fort, and some years ago they even offered to subsidize the relocation of :inside: hotels to the outside.... but the tourist dollar speaks louder than the council, and their rules, regulations, and exhortations have been widely ignored in the name of a quick profit.

You can walk into the fort very easily from the outside, and spend a day looking at the view of the "new" town..... the only benefit in sleeping inside is so that you can say that you've done it! However, we found the view from the outside, looking up, quite breathtaking, and some of our photos taken from the Shahi Palace Hotel balcony -- and even from our bedroom window -- are among the most amazing we took anywhere in India. So there's really little to gain -- but a lot to lose -- in staying inside. Last time I went there I took my children to experience what I believe was the most rewarding destination in India; I wonder, however, whether their children will ever get to see it, and that, I think, is a great loss which it is within our power to delay, if not to prevent.

Finally, here's Lonely Planet's 'take' on this issue (if I'm not breaking any rules by quoting the opposition!):

"One of the world's most endangered monuments, Jaisalmer Fort is slowly self-destructing due to pressure on the city's ancient drainage system. Staying within the fort is no longer a sustainable practice, as increased water consumption has left the fort infrastructure in danger of collapse. For this reason Lonely Planet has taken the decision not to recommend any hotels or restaurants within the fort in our guidebooks or on lonelyplanet.com. We encourage travellers to make an ethical decision when visiting Jaisalmer."

For another Tripadvisor thread on staying inside the fort, check tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g297667-i9848-k308…

Edited: 26 August 2010, 04:27
Jaipur, Rajasthan
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2. Re: Stay in the fort?

Outside and I 100% agree with the post above. The second simple reason it you get so much flexibility when you stay outside in terms of moving around, eating out etc. You can always go to the fort to view it at nights. Auto service is quite good at Jaisalmer.

India
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for Shimla, Manali, Kashmir, Shillong, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Puri, Darjeeling, Kolkata (Calcutta), Himachal Pradesh, Srinagar, Dalhousie, India, Ladakh, Leh
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3. Re: Stay in the fort?

I would suggest to stay outside the Fort. There are some sewarage problem inside the fort. Moreover,the ambience is not suitable for the tourist. rather, enjoy the view of the Fort from a hotel, which is located nearby the Fort.

Washington
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4. Re: Stay in the fort?

i also advise you stay out side the fort there also many good hotels.

Lincoln, United...
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5. Re: Stay in the fort?

Stay outside. You can sit and eat your dinner from a rooftop terrace with one of the most interesting views in the world.

New Delhi, India
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6. Re: Stay in the fort?

Hotel Desert Moon is a good hotel in Jaisalmer.

New Delhi, India
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7. Re: Stay in the fort?

Outside, at least for the fort's sake. Fully second the posts above.

Vivek

Edited: 26 August 2010, 17:58
Mumbai, India
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8. Re: Stay in the fort?

I just got back from Jaisalmer. Stay outside, all hotels have a view of the Fort so you need not worry on that front. Also, the sewage is a huge problem, highly ranked hotels just outside the Fort also are in terrible conditions. The points raised by the others and the lonely planet are all true. I've also written about the conditions of the Fort tripadvisor.in/ShowTopic-g297667-i9848-k3889…

Hope this helps.

Miami
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9. Re: Stay in the fort?

I had no idea. Thank you for enlightening me. Makes my decision a lot easier!

10. Re: Stay in the fort?

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