One of Rajasthan’s biggest tourist destinations and certainly one of the mesmerizing cities of this regal state, Jaisalmer has carved a niche among the travel thirty minds. The fort of Jaisalmer is the focal point of this city; as you absorb the royal connection, you cannot miss the quaint little shops which represent today’s Jaisalmer. And the golden-honey sandstone which has been used to create the beautiful desert citadel adds more beauty of this place. As you read through the travel guide for Jaisalmer, you will feel that it is the combination of the grandeur and the vibrancy that marks Jaisalmer among other cities of Rajasthan. The city needs to be experienced and when you come to the end of the journey, you will realize that you have created enough memories to cherish a lifetime.
Know what our travel guide for Jaisalmer recommends
Like many other fort cities, Jaisalmer too surprises you with a host of attractions. Begin your journey with the best. And when you talk about the best, it has to be Jaisalmer fort. Sightseeing in Jaisalmer will be incomplete without a trip to this grand structure. After Chittorgarh, it is known as one of the oldest forts of the state. Rising above the ground to an imposing 250 feet, this fort on three hills is a sight to remember. Made out of golden sandstone available locally, this fort is a magnificent sight at the break of dawn. Almost 1000 families stay there; their forefathers have been settled by Maharwals of the Bhati clan. From antique shops, to restaurants to hotels, you will literally find everything inside the fort. A museum housing some of the fine artifacts of the yesteryears will take you back to the pages of history. But it is the view from the rooftop which is worth cherishing. Take a mental snapshot of the entire surroundings, and it will be etched in your memory forever.
Want to see the first haveli that was built in Jaisalmer? As you prepare your travel guide for Jaisalmer, you cannot simply miss to visit Patwon ki Haveli. Here you will find five different structures which make one big house. Patwon ki haveli is known as one of the largest havelis in Jaisalmer. Today this place is maintained by Rajasthan government. The merchants who used to stay there used to deal in silver and gold. Made by the characteristic yellow sandstone, this place is known for its fine architecture.
Salim Singh ki haveli is another masterpiece in Jaisalmer. The roof is fashioned like a peacock, and at the entrance you will note tuskers who are made of yellow sandstone. The tuskers symbolize power and protection and seem as if they are guarding the house. There are 38 balconies in this haveli, each designed and shaped differently. Another popular name of this haveli is ‘jajaaz mahal’, because the front of the haveli is designed like the stern of a ship.
Far away from the madding crowd, the Gadsisar Lake is one place which allows you to experience peace and quietude. This place served as one of the water reservoirs for Rajasthan. But today it is known more for the migratory birds that come to visit the water body. And the temples surrounding this water body are simply beautiful. Pilgrims throng these temples every year from all over India. The combination of religion, nature and calm make it worthwhile a visit.
The Nathmal-ki-haveli is built in the 19th century and is partially inhabited. The exterior is simply stupendous; and the carvings of this place are intricate and beautiful. There are some amazing pictures in the 1st floor which has been painted by using a gold leaf of 1.5 kgs. As for the right and the left wings, they are made by two brothers who competed against each other to produce a fine masterpiece. The best thing about these two sides is that both of them are similar in many ways, but not really identical. And here lies the beauty of this masterpiece.
Things to do in Jaisalmer
When you are in Rajasthan, a ride on the ship of the desert is a must. It is a rare privilege to experience the beauty of the magnetic Thar Desert on a full-moon light. And if your travel to Jaisalmer coincides with the event, you will experience something that will be your favourite memory for the rest of your life. The desert truly transforms into a living soul on a moonlight night. The entire experience is ethereal, as you will be transported into the magical world. Not a soul is to be seen anywhere. And the entire landscape is devoid of any vegetation. And if you are planning for a two to three day trip on the sands, you will be meeting nomadic people. Their rustic lifestyle, their simplicity and their music will entice you.
If you are a foodie, you will have quite a few things to do in Jaisalmer. Chalk out a list of eateries and restaurants where you can sample the local delicacies. The desert shrub ker sengri is cooked with perfection, and the vegetarian dish is quite a treat. The dal baati choorma or the panchkoota (five vegetables cooked with spices and yogurt) are the other two dishes which cannot be missed at any cost. The non-vegetarians should not be disappointed as they sample the lal maas or meat cooked with different spices. To gulp down the delicacies, you can simply order a glass or lassi or milkshake; but do not forget to add fresh dollops of cream inside the glass. And if you are looking for something truly exotic, check out the bhang chocolates or chocolates made with bhang (to be in high spirit!).
You may not be spiritual, not even remotely religionist. But a visit to the mystical Tanot Mata Mandir can be quite an experience. It is positioned 150 kilometres away from Jaisalmer and is currently managed by BSF or Border Security Force. If rumours are to be believed this temple survived unscathed from the ravages of the Indo-Pakistan war in 1965. It is said that none of the bombs that were dropped near the Tanot Mata Mandir exploded in the vicinity of the temple. There is a museum in the temple which stores the unexploded bombs.
Among the many things that you may want to do while you prepare your travel guide for Jaisalmer, you simply cannot miss shopping. The narrow lanes lined with shops selling the most beautiful and colourful artefacts add up the charm of Jaisalmer. Check out joothies or local chappals. They are nice souvenirs which can be taken back home. Jaisalmer is famous for its mirror-work embroidered clothes and dupattas. You can even check the carpets made by the artisans. The trinkets, wooden boxes, camel leather jackets, ornaments and puppets are displayed for you. Take a look at the lovely items, and you may find something to your liking.
Tips to remember
- Travelling to Jaisalmer from Delhi is easy, so if you are preparing your travel guide for Jaisalmer, you can choose Delhi as your first destination.
- When you are preparing your itinerary, plan your visit to Jaisalmer between October and February. The months are relatively cool.
- If you are planning a camel safari, check the weather details. A desert sandstorm is quite common, and being stuck in one is not a pleasant experience.
- When it comes to street food, check it before you eat. It is probably quite tasty to resist, but may not be very healthy for you.
- Always carry sunscreen lotions, hats, shades and other protective gears. The sun is harsh in the desert even during winters, so protecting your body from the cruel sun rays is a must.
- Jaisalmer is an old city, and may not be quite planned like the other metropolises. So, check watchful steps when you are shopping in bazaars.
Jaisalmer will remind you of many colours. They are vibrant hues which represent many aspects of the lives of the people living there. Along with it, you will have a tinge of history. The combination is too good to be true. But once you visit Jaisalmer, you know that even in the midst of the desert, there are pages of history and culture waiting to be opened and explored. Contact us if you want to visit Jaisalmer soon.
Also read about our Travel Expert’s experience in Jaisalmer: Jaisalmer- A Trip to the Door of the Thar Desert