The golden city of Jaisalmer, in the Thar Desert of Rajasthan, captures images of an Arabian knight. A former medieval trading center, the city’s most notable feature is the abundance of structures built using distinctive yellow sandstone – making any location a picture-perfect location. To avoid the desert heat of summer, it is best to travel between September and mid-March.
The best time to experience the full splendor of the city is if you visit during the annual Jaisalmer Desert Festival, which is usually held in late February or late January.
Top Things to Do in Jaisalmer
The Ethereal Sandstone Fort of Jaisalmer, which resembles a huge sandcastle rising from the desert, is the focal point of the city. The fort was built in 1156 by the Rajput ruler Jaisal, who also established the city at the same time. It is indeed unusual that it is one of the few surviving forts in the world. Thousands of people live inside its walls. It also houses several hotels, guesthouses, temples, handicraft stores, restaurants, and the palace of the former Maharaja’s palace.
Tickets cost Rs 250 for foreigners, including an audio guide. You will have to pay an extra 50 rupees for taking 100 rupees for your camera or video camera. Jaisalmer runs a daily, three-hour heritage journey through the Magic Fort. Unfortunately, the fort’s condition is deteriorating, as drain water is seeping into its foundations. Therefore, many people choose to stay outside the fort in hotels with suggestive views of the structure.
One of the main attractions inside the fort is a stunning series of seven Jain temples dating back to the 15th and 16th centuries.
Carved in sandstone, they are described in detail in the marble Jain temple complex in Ranakpur. You must remove your shoes and all the leather items before entering. The temples are open daily from 8 am to 12 pm, however, there is a danger of changing the time, so check first. The ticket price for foreigners is Rs 10, and locals do not have to pay, there is a camera fee for everyone (Rs 50 for the camera and Rs 100 for the video camera).
Jaisalmer is known for its fairy tale of magnificent historical Havelis (Havelis) located both inside and outside the fort. About 10 minutes walk north of the fort can be found in several narrow streets. In this region, the 19th-century Patwa Haveli is the largest and most important of the city. It is actually a group of five temples built by a wealthy Jain merchant and his sons. Kothari’s Patwa Haveli is particularly impressive, with its breathtakingly intricate stonework and artwork, and has been transformed into a museum.
The entry fee is 100 rupees for foreigners and 50 rupees for Indians. In the same area, the uniquely shaped Salim Singh Haveli and the extraordinary Nathmal Haveli are worth visiting. Inside the Nathmal mansion, beautiful paintings of gold are an attraction.
Most tourists take camel safaris – this is the quintessential Jaisalmer experience. A camel safari will offer you the opportunity to witness the rustic, rural desert life of India. It is possible to go on a one-day safari or hardcore safari for 30 days. However, choose the provider carefully as the safari business is exceptionally competitive and tourists definitely get what they pay for.
A crowd of people from the famous and picturesque Sam Sand Dunes at sunset, about 50 minutes from Jaisalmer. Cultural performances and camel rides create an atmosphere of carnival. It is also possible to stay overnight for a unique, non-touristy experience near Sam Dunes while sparkling for bumping into a luxurious camp. En route to the dunes, the Kuldhara abandoned village is a scary but interesting place to visit.
If you prefer a more peaceful desert, the mounds around the village of Khuri in Desert National Park are more suitable an hour southwest of Jaisalmer. Accommodation is available in traditional-style huts (Badal House is recommended for an authentic local experience) and smaller resorts. You can also go on a camel safari there.
Vyas Chhatri, on the banks of Jaisalmer in the north of the fort, is dedicated to the great sage Vyasa who wrote the Hindu epic Mahabharata. This haunted place is used as a cremation ground for Pushkarana Brahmins and many cenotaphs (empty graves) are erected in honor of notable people. The cenotaph is referred to as chhatris because of its domes, which look like chhatris (chhatris). Go there for a spectacular sunset in the city.
Gadsisar Lake, also known as Gadisar Lake, is a large artificial reservoir built by Maharawal Gadsi Singh in the 14th century and located at the southeast end of the city. It provided the only water supply to the town till 1965. Several small temples and temples around the lake make it an inviting place to relax and spend some time. Migratory waterfowlers are an added attraction in winter, with many catfish in the water that prefers to be fed. Boats are also available to rent nearby.
Jaisalmer’s atmospheric rooftop restaurants are ideal for a special meal for a view of the fort and the market. If you want to sample some delectable local food, head to The Treeo at Gandhi Chowk. The adjacent, idyllic Haveli Hotel Rooftop Restaurant is recommended for its refreshing North Indian cuisine and view. The Jazz Restaurant, a few minutes walk north, is the only place in Jaisalmer to serve Korean food, although it is also good Indian food.
Cafe Kaku on Patwa Haveli Road is an attractive restaurant to enjoy the sunset. It offers fine global cuisine. Jaisal Italy is located on the fort’s boundary wall inside the First Fort Gate and specializes in scrumptious Italian food (and coffee). Nearby restaurants also excel at the boutique hotel First Gate Home Fusion. The cuisine is a fusion of Italian and Indian vegetarian food. The hotel also has a cocktail bar with live music. Alternatively, on the outskirts of the city, Marriott Resort & Spa has an attraction for the Viera Rooftop Restaurant Grill. Reservations are required, and it is open for dinner only.