A gust of hot wind blows away the golden dirt of Jaisalmer as you sit, perched on the back of a camel. This moment is unlike anything in your travel experience. Located on the fringes of the Thar Desert, Jaisalmer has all the qualities of a desert town.
Go to the fort in a regal fashion as you ride on the back of a camel. Jaisalmer Fort or Sonar Quila (Golden Fort) is where it starts and ends for the city. The beautiful complex holds haveli, shops, and temples like Patwon ki Havel and Jain.
Jailsamer Travel Guide
Without fail, the one thing to do here is to camp in the desert. Take a camel ride to reach one of the base camps at the desert and spend the night there, in the wilderness with just the cold winds blowing and sand seeping through your clothes.
If getting around on a camel is not your cup of tea, take safari jeeps around the desert and witness the red sunset on the golden sands. Go local and camp like a Banjara (nomad).
Things To Do In Jailsamer
The desert camps here are major tourist attractions and offer all modern facilities needed for a stay. Travelers can also enjoy Rajasthani folk music & dance performances, followed by a sumptuous local cuisine buffet dinner.
The most spectacular thing about this fort is that within this fort, lives a whole settlement. People actually live here, and it isn’t just a tourist thing like the other forts where you pay an entry fee and check out the interiors.
You won’t find it hard to end up at a cafe or restaurant on the edge of the fort with an epic view for dinner or sunset drinks. A tour guide rushes you through the structure in 15 minutes. It is better to take in the bustling historical structure by yourself and discover the amazing spots for photography.
Literally translated to a big garden, this is located at about a 20-minute drive from the city center. Essentially Bada Bagh is a cemetery. The Maharajah had a cenotaph built for his father atop the hill and many more cenotaphs more followed after for important figures. A cenotaph is a small temple or tribute statue for a deceased relative.
Khaba Fort is a ruined fort set in the midst of a desolate abandon town. It’s a structurally amazing point of interest brimming with scariness, history and supernatural quality. At some point, amid the 1800s the inhabitants fled the town and abandoned an apparition town.
Kuldhara Village is most prominent for being deserted by each of the villagers in just a night. It is trusted that individuals who attempt to remain in the zone amid the evening time, encounter bizarre paranormal activities so don’t say you haven’t been warned.
Patwon Ki Haveli
The Patwon ki Haveli is one of the most important Havelis of Jaisalmer because not only was it the first Haveli to be ever built in Jaisalmer but is also a cluster of 5 different havelis making it one of the biggest Havelis.
Salim Singh ki Haveli
This Haveli is slightly different from the other Havelis in terms of art and sculpture. The roof of this Haveli has been built in the form of a peacock. At the entrance of the Haveli, there are tuskers made of sandstones guarding the haveli. This haveli has 38 balconies and each balcony has its own artistry.
The Tazia tower is a 5-storied structure where each story has significance in its own. On each floor, there is a balcony that is famous for their individual designs.
This tower was built by Muslim craftsmen and is based on the shape of Tazia, an actual replica of Mausoleum of various Imams.
The desert city has its share of wildlife and nature.
This noteworthy lake is situated towards the south of Jaisalmer city and the entrance to the lake is through Tilon-Ki-Pol, a grand and imaginatively cut yellow sandstone entrance. It can be a good place to take photos of Jaisalmer fort during the early morning.
The fort looks brilliant with the beams of the sun and furthermore, this place is also a famous bird watching site.
Desert National Park
Unlike the other national parks in India, this park lies barren and is formed by sand-dunes, rocky surfaces, and salt lake bottoms. Chinkara, Indian Fox, Hare, and Desert Cat are some of the most commonly found animals in this park. Amongst the birds, the Great Indian Bustard is found in abundance in this park.
Puppets, Rajasthani textile, juttis, decorative items, local handicrafts, camel leather items, yellow sandstone showpieces, wooden items, and ornaments are the most common souvenirs people can buy from Jailsamer.
The best place to shop for the above items are at
- Sadar Bazaar
- Bhatia Bazaar
- Manak Chowk
- Pansari Bazaar (oldest market of Jaisalmer)
- Sonaron ka Baas
- Government-owned Khadi Gramodyog Bhavan in Seema Gram
Tanot Mata Temple
This temple is of historical importance as it is along the India- Pakistan border. It stayed untouched notwithstanding the overwhelming shelling by Pakistan amid Indo-Pak war of 1971. Unexploded bombs now can be found in the Tanot Mata temple’s museum.
The Jain temple is located within the boundaries of the Jaisalmer fort. The temple is rich in architecture and art. The Jain temple still holds the idol of Parshvanath which has been built from black stones.
This is a village around 15 kilometers to the north-west of Jaisalmer. It is famous for the Jain temple which is dedicated to 23rd Tirthankara, Parshvanath destroyed in 1152 AD and reconstructed in 1615 by Seth Tharu Shah and further additions were commissioned.
The temples were rebuilt in the late 1970s, as reminders of the city’s former glory.
The desert city has a lot of activities to do in the dunes. Some of them include
- Jeep Safari
- Dune bashing
- Quad Biking
- Luxury Camping/ Camping at the desert
- Camel Safari
- Ker Sangria
- Kadi Pakora
- Mutton Saag
- Masala Raita
- Dal Bati Choorma
- Mughal Chicken Recipes
- Panchadhari Laddoos
- Local Styled Lassi
- Ghotua – Iconic Dessert Item
- Bhang (only for adults and legal food) – you cannot take it out of the state legally though.
Photo Credit: Niranjan.gohane/WikiCommons
Whereas Jaipur and Udaipur have large civilian airports, Jaisalmer has one runway on an Indian Air Force base. The best way to reach Jaisalmer is by taking a bus. Buses run daily from Delhi to Jaisalmer, Jaipur to Jaisalmer and from many other important tourist sites.
Trains also run daily, but they are not reliably on time. If you want comfort, hire a cab or taxi. You can do so with the help of the Ola or Uber app.
Best Time to Visit
October is the onset of the tourist season. The city gets crowded with sellers, who become the temporary inhabitants of the city. From October to January the weather is nice enough to survive in the desert.
But after that, the temperatures escalate, and the city gets less crowded. Budget travelers can land hotels at dream prices during the summer season.
A camp at the desert/dunes
Where to stay
The city has numerous places to stay. It has places to suit all budgets, from 5-star hotels to budget hostels. Airbnb also is a good option in the city.
How to charge your phone
The standard voltage is 230 V in India; you will need to use a transformer before plugging in your charger. Sockets in Rajasthan are tricky, try to buy a travel adapter that fits Socket Types C, D, and M.
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December 16, 2017 1:29 am