Travelling to the farthest city of Rajasthan excited me. We started pretty early from Jodhpur and took the NH that had nothing but just a long stretch of barren land and desert sand on both the sides.At one point it became depressing and the sight of the imaginary pool of water appearing and disappearing played tricks in my mind. We stopped at a few places to click some pictures thinking that will keep me distracted from the sadness that was getting in me. No. That did not help. I tried shutting my eyes to get some sleep and I miserably failed.But..the moment I entered the Golden city,I completely fell in love with it. The small desert city and its beautiful sandstone havelis vibrated so much positivity and cheered me up. Jaisalmer happens to be my favorite city in Rajasthan.
So here is a list of things you just can’t miss in Jaisalmer.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Fort of Jaisalmer
The huge fort sitting on top of a hill, right in the center of the town tops the list of must do things in Jaisalmer.
Unlike other forts, there is no entry fee and no open & closing timings to the fort. There is very much life and activities inside the fort with shops selling eye catchy crafts and souvenirs, cafes with rustic decors and ‘desi’ vibe, haveli houses and Jain temples.There a re a few museums you can step in to know more about the Royals of Jaisalmer.
The Jain temple complex inside the fort is a confluence of art and spirituality. The surface of the temples are sculptured that narrates a cluster of stories.Entry fee for Indians is Rs50 and Rs 100 for international tourists
A day can fully be spent exploring the fort, walking through the cobbled streets and pathways and soaking yourself in the beauty. The vivid colors and the buzzing life will kindle the good vibes and so much happiness.
City View cafe in the fort is a super cool place for some yummy food and a great view of the golden city
Havelis are so common in Jaisalmer that you will one in every single street. There are few inside the fort which are converted as guesthouses for tourists to stay. Havelis are basically the mansion of the rich and the business men. The havelis are built using the yellow sandstone and intricate carvings adorned with glass work. Words can’t justify its beauty and the architecture.
Make sure to visit Patwon – ki- haveli , which is a few minutes walk able from the fort.This happens to be our favorite among the havelis of Jaisalmer. The Jharokhas and the balconies are quite a sight.
Patwon -ki-haveli is a complex combination of mansions and a unique one in Jaisalmer. Entry fee to the haveli is Rs 50 for Indians and Rs100 for international tourists. The streets leading to the haveli are narrow.So best to be explored on foot
Sunrise or sunset, Lake Gadisar is the best place to go in Jaisalmer. Its a man made lake with temples and ghats around . One of the most photographed location of Jaisalmer, this lake and its surroundings brings in that sense of tranquility and soothing your mind.
We loved watching a sunset and feeding the cat eye fishes that flock and gather near the banks, and some beautiful moments captured through the lens , all away from the noisy traffic of the town.
Sam Dessert Safari
A trip to Jaisalmer is incomplete without vising the Sam sand dunes. Sam(pronounced as “sum”) is a village 40 kms from Jaisalmer that’s a part of the Indian Thar dessert with rolling sand dunes and clear blue skies.
Buses and tourist vehicles starts plying between Jaisalmer and Sam after 4 in the evening. Watching the sunset and a night camp in the desert is not to be missed. Take a ride in the camel . Go dune bashing if you have a 4 wheel drive car or you can rent a SUV or a jeep .There are also dune bashing trips arranged . There are a plenty of Desert Safari operators available in Jaisalmer and you can choose the best.
Travel Tip – The Golden city calls for some nice pictures and don’t you want to look the best in your pictures.? So here’s a photo tip – dress in blue or white to stand contrast against the yellow sand stones.
Jaisalmer war museum
The war museum located approx 15 kms from Jaisalmer is a tribute to the soldiers who fought the Indo-Pak war at Longewla in the 70s.
There is an open museum displaying the vehicles captured during the war and an indoor museum housing artifacts, weapons and machinery related to the Battle of Longewala. There is a small souvenir shop before you exit where the purchases you make goes as contributions to the BSF. Totally run by the BSF , this a place to visit to know the history of the war.
Entry fee to the war museum is INR30 and is open between 9 Am- 5PM. Do not miss the 30 minutes video film that gives an insight about the war
15 kms to the west of Jaisalmer is a village that is haunted and abandoned by the Paliwal clan a few 100 years ago. The village is maintained by the Archaeological society of India. Plan a trip to this haunted place as this place is extremely dry . Suggested time to visit will be after 4 in the evening to avoid the extreme heat and this could also be a perfect sunset spot.
What to buy in Jaisalmer
Shopping in Jaisalmer offers a unique experience to the tourists. Shopping inside the fort takes you through the rustic charms of the old city , with countless shops selling all things artistic and colorful. To buy authentic pieces of crafts and souvenirs, we’d suggest you to visit the following places:
- National Hand-loom Emporium
- Khadi Gramodyog Emporium
- Silk Route Art Gallery
After a week long travel in Rajasthan, as we boarded the flight to Chennai,I recollected the welcome song “Padharo Mhare Des” that goes as the tag line to Rajasthan Tourism and how the people and the cities of Rajasthan resonate and epitomize the heritage from the past and give every traveler a taste of their culture.The flavors, colors and the history of the land is sure to take me there yet another time!
How about adding these picture to your pintrest boards?