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Life and Culture of the Indian Desert by: Oki Morihiro , Masatoshi A. Konishi , Kodai Konishi

This volume on the “Golden City in Desert” is focused on the history and life of the people of Jaisalmer, and their cultural, ethnic, religious, and social mores. This connoisseur’s collection portrays how the Jaisalmeris celebrate their life in “colour” and the charm of the fort, palaces and temples as well.



ISBN: 9788124606599
Year Of Publication: 2013
Edition: 1st
Pages : vi, 154p.
Bibliographic Details : Glossary; Bibliography
Language : English
Binding : Hardcover
Publisher: D.K. Printworld Pvt. Ltd.
Size: 29
Weight: 950


This volume juxtaposes the history, culture, occupation and the lifestyle of people in the desert district of Jaisalmer of western Rajasthan, bordering Pakistan. Popularly called the “Golden City in Desert”, the city has much more to say beyond its popular fort and palaces. Jaisalmer was an old city of commercial magnitude for centuries till the onset of British rule in India. It was en route connecting the East and West in trade. It has now been transformed to a tourist destination, enticing people from India and abroad.
The book details its past glory, lost significance and the regained charm through centuries of developments. It also accounts for the brief history of Marwar, its rajas of valor, and their heroic struggle for existence and survival against foreign attacks. The picturesque portrayal of the fort, the people of Jaisalmer, their cultural, ethnic and religious mores, and the “must see” spots in the city are the quintessential focus of the book.
Moving away from the city life, the book also focuses on the village life, exploring the mysteries and charm of the desert life. It unearths the hidden charms and the warmth of village life in this desert region, alongwith a brief account of occupation of people around.
This connoisseur’s collection would motivate also researchers of ancient monuments and history, and enthuse tourists who would like to visit the Golden City in Desert.


History and Culture of Jaisalmer —
The “Golden City” in Desert
— M.A. Konishi
* An Overview of Jaisalmer
* Rajasthan or Rajputana, the Land of the Rajputs
* Geographical Setting of Jaisalmer
* Historical Background of Jaisalmer
* Town Planning of the Fortified City
* Jaisalmer Fort, Citadel, Palaces and Temples
* Haveli — The Typical Structure of Jaisalmer
* Some Important Places in and around Jaisalmer
* Jaisalmer as the Cultural Centre — Religion,
Literature and Art

Village Life of the Thar Desert
— Kodai Konishi
* The Living Site
* Social Structure
* Religious Life
* Festivals and Fairs
* Diversity of Religion
* The World of “Folk” Art and Performances
* Changing Mode of Life

Plates by OKI Morihiro
Description of the Plates M.A. Konishi

Meet the Author
OKI Morihiro, born in 1929 in Kyoto Prefecture, Japan is a member of Japan Professional Photographer’s Society. He has made more than 100 visits to India as a freelance photographer, focusing on Mother Teresa’s life, and the folk life and cultures of India. Oki officially participated in the Festival of India held in Japan in 1988 and also held many exhibitions to his credit in major cities in Italy, Spain, Portugal and other European countries since 1998. His major publications include: Mother Teresa and Her Sisters (1978); Mother Teresa - Affluent Love (1981); Mother Teresa - Love Without Limit (1987); India - Fairs and Festivals (1988); Ancient Buddhist Sites of Sanchi and Barhut(1992); International editions of Mother Teresa in English, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese (1998-99); Folk Paintings from the Indian Earth (with Konishi, 2001); Unknown India: Ritual Performance and the Crafts (with Konishi, in press); and many others.
Books of Oki Morihiro
KONISHI Masatoshi, born in 1938 in Akita Prefecture, Japan is Ex-fellow of Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla and Professor Emeritus, Rikkyo University, Tokyo. Konishi studied in Graduate Schools of University of Calcutta (MA in Archaeology) and University of Tokyo (Ph.D course in South Asian Cultural Anthropology and Cultural History) and has conducted extensive fieldworks in archaeology and anthropology in India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Iran, UAE, Qatar and Bahrain. Konishi’s major publications include: Afghanistan (1968); Arts and Crafts of India (1977); Indus Civilization: Fountainhead of the Civilization of India (1980); Diverse World of India (1981); Aspects of the Indian Folk Culture (1986); History and Culture of Bengal (1986); Cultural History of Roads in India (1995); Primordial World of India: Life, Beliefs and Art (1995); Folk Performances of India (2002); and many other edited works.
Books of Masatoshi A. Konishi
Kodai Konishi: Born in 1975 in Chiba Prefecture, Japan. Research Fellow formerly at Oriental Research Institute, University of Tokyo, now at Centre for Contemporary Indian Area Studies, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. Graduated from Tokyo Metropolitan University, Tokyo, obtaining Ph.D degree in social anthropology. Also studied at J.N. University, New Delhi under the Government of India Scholarship. Has conducted extensive fieldworks in social anthropology among the Bhils in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, India, also in Bali Island, Indonesia, as well. Contributed many essays in major academic journals and the relevant publications, often as a co-author.
Books of Kodai Konishi