Top attractions in Jaisalmer
Jaisalmer, located in the Indian state of Rajasthan, is a beautiful city known for its rich history, stunning architecture, and unique cultural heritage. Here are some of the top attractions to visit in Jaisalmer:
Also known as Sonar Quila or the Golden Fort, Jaisalmer Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the largest fully preserved fortified cities in the world. The fort offers panoramic views of the city and houses several magnificent havelis (mansions), temples, and shops.
Patwon Ki Haveli
This cluster of five havelis is a significant architectural marvel in Jaisalmer. Adorned with intricate carvings and ornamental work, Patwon Ki Haveli is a prime example of the city’s historic craftsmanship.
Sam Sand Dunes
Located about 42 kilometers from Jaisalmer, Sam Sand Dunes offer a captivating desert experience. Visitors can enjoy camel rides, witness mesmerizing sunsets over the dunes, and immerse themselves in the vibrant Rajasthani folk music and dance performances.
Built as a water conservation tank, Gadisar Lake is a serene and picturesque spot in Jaisalmer. Surrounded by temples, ghats, and beautiful archways, it is an ideal place for boating and peaceful walks.
Desert National Park
Spread across an area of over 3,000 square kilometers, the Desert National Park is home to diverse flora and fauna, including endangered species like the Great Indian Bustard. It offers opportunities for wildlife spotting, birdwatching, and nature walks.
Jaisalmer is renowned for its intricate Jain temples, particularly the 15th-century Jain Temples inside the Jaisalmer Fort. These temples showcase exquisite architecture and showcase the artistic brilliance of the Jain community.
Salim Singh Ki Haveli
Built in the 18th century, Salim Singh Ki Haveli is known for its unique architecture. The mansion features a peacock-shaped roof and elaborate carvings, making it a popular attraction among visitors.
Bada Bagh is a garden complex located on the outskirts of Jaisalmer. It houses a collection of cenotaphs (chhatris) dedicated to the rulers of Jaisalmer. The site offers stunning views of the desert landscape and is a great spot for photography.
Kuldhara Abandoned Village
Located around 20 kilometers from Jaisalmer, Kuldhara is an abandoned village known for its eerie and mysterious atmosphere. Legend has it that the entire village was deserted overnight due to a curse, and it has since become a popular tourist destination.
Jaisalmer War Museum
This military museum provides insights into the valor and sacrifices of the Indian armed forces. It exhibits weapons, artifacts, and displays that showcase the history and achievements of the Indian Army.
These are just a few of the top attractions in Jaisalmer. The city offers a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty, making it a must-visit destination for travelers.
Things to do in Jaisalmer
There are plenty of exciting things to do in Jaisalmer. Here are some popular activities and experiences you can enjoy in the city:
Embark on a camel safari and explore the stunning sand dunes of Jaisalmer. You can ride a camel through the Thar Desert, witness breathtaking sunsets, and spend a night in a desert camp under the starry sky.
If you prefer a faster-paced desert adventure, opt for a thrilling jeep safari. Drive through the sandy terrain, visit remote villages, and discover the rustic charm of the desert landscape.
Explore the Markets
Visit the bustling markets in Jaisalmer, such as Sadar Bazar and Manak Chowk, to indulge in shopping for traditional Rajasthani handicrafts, textiles, jewelry, and souvenirs. Bargaining is a common practice here, so be prepared to negotiate for the best prices.
Attend Cultural Performances
Immerse yourself in the vibrant Rajasthani culture by attending cultural performances. Enjoy folk music, dance shows, and puppet shows that showcase the region’s rich artistic traditions.
Visit Local Havelis
Explore the exquisite havelis (mansions) in Jaisalmer, such as Patwon Ki Haveli, Salim Singh Ki Haveli, and Nathmal Ki Haveli. Admire their intricate architecture, beautiful carvings, and learn about the history and stories associated with these grand structures.
Take a Hot Air Balloon Ride
Experience Jaisalmer from a different perspective by taking a hot air balloon ride. Soar above the city and get a bird’s-eye view of the forts, palaces, and golden sand dunes.
Visit Gadisar Lake
Spend a peaceful morning or evening at Gadisar Lake. Enjoy boating on the calm waters, stroll along the picturesque banks, and visit the temples and ghats surrounding the lake.
Enjoy Rajasthani Cuisine
Indulge in the flavors of Rajasthani cuisine at local restaurants and street food stalls. Try popular dishes like Dal Bati Churma, Ker Sangri, Gatte Ki Sabzi, and Rajasthani sweets like Ghewar and Malpua.
Take a Heritage Walk
Join a guided heritage walk through the narrow lanes of the old city of Jaisalmer. Explore the historic architecture, learn about the city’s heritage, and interact with locals to get a deeper understanding of the local way of life.
Attend the Jaisalmer Desert Festival
If you happen to visit during the Jaisalmer Desert Festival, don’t miss the opportunity to witness the vibrant celebrations. The festival showcases Rajasthani folk music, dance performances, camel races, turban tying competitions, and much more.
These are just a few of the many things to do in Jaisalmer. The city offers a rich tapestry of cultural experiences, desert adventures, and historical wonders that will leave you with lasting memories.
Jaisalmer Tour Packages
FAQs on Jaisalmer Tourism
The best time to visit Jaisalmer is during the winter season, from October to March, when the weather is pleasant and ideal for exploring the city and enjoying desert activities. Summers in Jaisalmer can be extremely hot, so it’s best to avoid visiting between April and June.
Jaisalmer is well-connected by road, rail, and air. The nearest airport is Jaisalmer Airport, which has limited flight connectivity. The most convenient way to reach Jaisalmer is by train or road. The city has direct train connections with major cities like Delhi, Jaipur, and Jodhpur. Several buses and taxis also operate from nearby cities and towns to Jaisalmer.
A 2 to 3-day trip is usually sufficient to explore the major attractions in Jaisalmer, including the fort, havelis, desert activities, and local markets. However, if you wish to have a more relaxed and immersive experience, you can extend your stay by a day or two.
Jaisalmer is generally a safe destination for tourists. Like any other place, it is advisable to take common safety precautions, such as keeping your belongings secure and being cautious of your surroundings. It’s also recommended to follow the local customs and traditions while visiting religious places.
Jaisalmer offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit various budgets and preferences. You can find luxury hotels, heritage havelis converted into hotels, guesthouses, and desert camps for a unique experience. It’s advisable to book your accommodation in advance, especially during the peak tourist season.
Yes, Jaisalmer is a family-friendly destination, and there are plenty of activities suitable for children. They can enjoy camel rides, exploring the forts and havelis, and witnessing cultural performances. It’s important to ensure their comfort and safety, especially during desert activities.
Jaisalmer is known for its vibrant handicrafts and textiles. Popular souvenirs include embroidered textiles, mirror work items, camel leather products, Rajasthani puppets, silver jewelry, and traditional Rajasthani artwork. The local markets in Jaisalmer are excellent places to shop for these items.
Jaisalmer Fort is a living fort, and there are no specific restrictions for visiting it. However, it’s advisable to respect the cultural and historical significance of the fort and follow any guidelines provided by the authorities. Certain areas within the fort may have separate entry fees or specific visiting hours.
While it’s possible to visit Jaisalmer on a day trip from Jodhpur, it would be quite rushed, considering the distance and the number of attractions to explore in Jaisalmer. It’s recommended to plan an overnight stay in Jaisalmer to fully experience the city’s charm and enjoy the desert activities.
Yes, Jaisalmer has several ATMs and internet facilities available throughout the city. However, it’s advisable to carry sufficient cash, especially when visiting remote areas or during desert activities, as there might be limited access to ATMs in such locations.