Like all the towns in northern Rajasthan, Jaisalmer became prosperous as a result of its location on the caravan route linking Asia with the Middle East. From the 17C onwards, the town began to extend outside the walls of the fort, developing into the citadel or lower town. Merchants, bankers and councillors built splendid havelis here, some of which are among the most beautiful in the region; construction was particularly intense during the 19C, a period of peace and prosperity. Three of thesehavelis are open to the public.
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