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Salim Singh Ki Haveli

Salim Singh ki haveli is one of the well-known palaces in Jaisalmer, and one of the destinations on the top of lists. The haveli is an architectural wonder and have 35 balconies.

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One of India’s biggest tourist destinations in Rajasthan and it is not difficult to understand why. Rajasthan is one of India’s most culturally rich states, with different cities having their own distinctive cultures. All these distinctive cultures come together and showcase themselves in a beautiful, cultural light. This is well-known all over the world and millions of people flock to see different cities in Rajasthan, every year. In this wiki, we’re going to tell you a little about the Rajasthani city of Jaisalmer and then go into detail about one of Jaisalmer’s main attractions, Salim Singh Ki Haveli. 


When and where Salim Singh Ki Haveli was built?


Salim Singh ki haveli is located in the heart of Jaisalmer city in the western Indian state of Rajasthan. It is situated beside the hills near the Jaisalmer Fort. Salim Singh ki haveli is one of the well-known palaces in Jaisalmer, and one of the destinations on the top of lists. The haveli is an architectural wonder and has 35 balconies. The haveli is 300 years old. When it was ahead of its time for its unique structure.


Salim Singh ki haveli was built in the location of an older haveli. The old haveli was built in the late 17th century; the new haveli was built in the year 1815. The Mehta family of Jaisalmer occupied Salim Singh ki haveli, as they were the most powerful family of their time. When Jaisalmer was the capital, Salim Singh, the Prime Minister of the kingdom back then, commissioned the haveli. It is claimed that Salim Singh built two additional floors to make the palace as high as the Jaisalmer fort, but then he ordered them to be torn down.


In which city does Salim Singh Ki Haveli locate?


in Jaisalmer, known as the Golden City, for being built majorly out of yellow sandstone and its golden sand-dunes, the city of Jaisalmer was a medieval trading hub and a formerly princely state. The city is situated within the Thar Desert and you can experience the attractions on camel-back too. An exotic desert city, Jaisalmer has a lot to offer to culture enthusiasts. One of the major attractions in the city is the Salim Singh Ki Haveli. 


Historical Background about Salim Singh Ki Haveli


At one point, Jaisalmer was the capital of Rajasthan, and the prime minister in 1815 was Salim Singh. He created a mansion with distinctive architecture, making the haveli a must-visit place. Interestingly, the legend has it that Salim Singh was not a very nice person. Having gone through childhood trauma, where he watched his father being killed by royal officials, he grew up hating the royals and wanted to avenge his father’s death by overthrowing the king.


When he became the prime minister, he was vicious and cruel in his dealings with the people of the city, making him notorious for not being a nice person. In his quest for vengeance, he set out to build himself a structure, the haveli, which looked even grander than the King’s residence. He also ordered two extra stories to be built so that his haveli was taller than that of the king’s - which did not go down well at all with the king.


The royals were treated with great reverence and it was not heard of for people to try to slow them down - so the king ordered the demolition of the top two stories. This ended up making Salim Singh hate the king even more. Interestingly though, the structure is so beautiful, it seems almost strange that it could be built as a sign of vengeance! 

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Unique architecture and building style 


The structure itself is famous for its construction, made of huge chunks of sandstone held together with iron rods. Its distinct shape and 38 balconies make it a place that tourists marvel over. The blue-colored dome atop the haveli is designed in the shape of a dancing peacock, and the entrance of the mansion is guarded by two massive stone-carved elephants. Also known as the Jahaz Mahal, which translates to the Ship Palace, the structure’s front is shaped like the stern of a ship, and is ornately designed to resemble the same.


Imperial paintings cover the walls and ceilings of the mansion and the windows are exquisitely carved. The grandeur of the rooms and the halls within the mansion showcase a rich beauty that is said to be unimitable. In fact, it is said that the structure was built magnificently and was way ahead of its time and is a great example of the craftsmanship of the architects and builders of the time. 


Best ways to visit Salim Singh Ki Haveli

Getting to Jaisalmer by air is not possible, but getting there by road and rail is! You can take a flight to the city of Jodhpur (or any major city with an airport in Rajasthan) and then hire a cab to drive you to Jaisalmer or take a train. The structure itself is just about 1.5 km away from the railway station. 


what is the best time to visit Salim Singh Ki Haveli?

This structure is definitely one that you should plan on visiting if you travel to Jaisalmer. A good time to visit it is during the winter seasons of October to February. While it is extremely cold during these months, it is unbearably hot during the rest of the year! The monument itself is open every day for visitors to see. 


Where to stay? 

Jaisalmer has a lot of pretty little hotels and hostels you can stay in, each reflecting the arts and culture of the Rajasthanis. The cheapest of the hotels is literally so cheap that you can stay there for about INR 40 ($0.56) a night, and the most expensive ones are about $70. Finding a nice room to stay in, from where you can see the sights of the cityscape are not difficult, and a lot of these hotels are located close to the Jaisalmer Fort, giving you access to a stupendous view!


Although it is a little difficult to access, considering you can’t reach Jaisalmer by air, it’s one of the most phenomenal places in India, with its distinct desert environment and its tribute to ancient and medieval history. Definitely something we’d recommend for you to see!