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A haveli is a traditional townhouse or mansion in the Indian subcontinent, usually one with historical and architectural significance. Patwon ki Haveli is in fact a combination of five havelis within one complex, and is the largest one of its kind in Jaisalmer. Among these, Kothari’s Patwa Haveli is the most prominent. It was constructed by one Guman Chand Patwa, a jeweller and brocade merchant – thus it came to be known as the Mansion of Brocade Merchants. Each of the five Havelis belonged to one of the five Patwa brothers. Local legends tell of these gold and silver thread dealers who made their money by smuggling opium. The interiors are lavishly adorned with paintings and mirror-work. With its 60 balconies, intricate carvings, jharokas and exquisite latticework, the yellow sandstone Haveli is one of the finest specimens of architecture in Jaisalmer.
Surrounded by the golden sand dunes of the Thar desert is Jaisalmer, the Golden City of Rajasthan. Once a major centre on the trading route between India and the west, today, the majestic honey-gold Jaisalmer Fort stands testament to Jaisalmer’s glorious past. It’s the only living fort in India and houses an entire township within its ramparts. An enchanting web of narrow lanes takes you through five interconnected palaces and numerous havelis. At the center of the fort is Raj-Mahal,…