The name of the city means The Hill Fort of Jaisal. The Golden City of India is known mainly for the beautiful sand dunes, marvelous palaces and old bungalows, the tranquility of the Jain Temples and of course the view of the Thar Desert. The state is full of color and is enriched with the love of art and culture. Not just the camel safaris, but sitting with the folk singers and enjoying their music about everyday life in Rajasthan is sheer bliss. The music of Jaisalmer is a mixture of folk and Indian Classical. Their language is influenced from Sindh and is a bit different from typical Rajasthani. The Gadisar Lake, Jaisalmer Fort and the Desert National Park are among the many attractions in the beautiful city. The climate is extreme so cover your body whenever you are out to escape from the heat of the sun.
Best Time To Visit
Best time to visit Jaisalmer is from October to March
How To Reach
Book a Package Tour
This is an 800 year old fort and is also known as the Golden Fort of Rajasthan. This is one of the most magnificent fortifications of the state and is the second oldest also after the Chittorgarh Palace. The title given to this fairytale fort complex is because of its light color which almost merges with the color of the desert sand like a mirage coming out of it. Jaisalmer City is located in the interiors of the Thar Desert and the King Jaisal planned to make this place his capital. The intricate designs on the sandstone base of the fort buildings make them look even more heavenly. It is also the only living fort of the country. This means almost half of the whole city resides inside the fort complex even today. This includes rich merchants, artisans and other common people as well. Earlier, the whole population of the kingdom lived inside but a part had to move out given the constraint of increasing population. From earlier times onwards, Jaisalmer has been a very important trade connection especially with the Muslim kingdom. Till today you will find a number of Muslim merchants dwelling here. An interesting legend about the history of this fort complex says that Lord Krishna, the leader of the Yadav clan once dreamt of setting up his kingdom in this area and his wish was fulfilled by King Jaisal, who also belonged to the Yadav clan. The fort crowning the Trikut Hills looks no less than a dreamland. You can come here in the month of February and enjoy the famous Annual Camel Fair and other festivals too.
The original purpose of creating this lake in the city of Jaisalmer was to meet the water requirements of the increasing population. It was built by King Gadi Singh and thus the name Gadisar Lake. The lake being so beautiful, had to be accepted as a pious place of worship and so were built a number of temples in the precincts of the lake. Out of the all the temples the most popular is the Krishna Temple alsodo known as the Tilon ki Pol. This was built by an officer of the king known as Tila in spite of the kings contempt. He later placed the idol of Satyanarayan or Lord Vishnu inside this temple. The temple could be caused no harm even after a number of trials. At present the lake does not serve the original purpose, but is one of the primary attractions of the city. Also during the winter season, many migratory birds come here and serve as a visual treat for all those who visit the lake.
Yet another beautiful mansion in Jaisalmer, it was started by Guman Chand Patwa. The mansion took 55 years to be completed. Gumans sons completed it later. The most beautiful features of this mansion are the archways, gateways and especially the balconies, known as jharokhas. The golden color of the mansion catches the eye of every visitor at once. The tour of the whole mansion will take not more than 45 minutes. This is no doubt one of the most splendid residences in the beautiful city.
Salim Singh-ki Haveli
Another beautiful gem of Jaisalmer, this mansion was built by Salim Singh in the year 1815 when Jaisalmer was the capital of the Rajput Kingdom. Salim Singh was the Prime Minister of the court at that time and this was his residence. The specialty of this mansion that makes it stand out from others is the fact that the bricks and stones of this are not joined with cement and mortar. They are joined with long and strong iron rods. The mansion is so huge that it is said the king was also jealous of it. It is also one of the most innovative buildings of that era. The theme from which the design of the mansion was inspired is a dancing peacock. The 38 balconies projecting out resembles a peacock dancing. The intricate designs of the walls and pillars are also remarkable.
Nathmal Ji Ki Haveli
This mansion in the heart of Jaisalmer is rated as the best in the city in terms of splendor. This mansion was the residence of Diwan Nathmal ji Mohta, who was the Prime Minister of the Maharaja of Jaisalmer at that time. The construction credit goes to a Muslim brother duo, Hathu and Lulu. The light color sandstone and the beautiful life size statues made in the mansion are remarkable. The pair of huge elephants on both the sides of the entrance seems like they are guarding the mansion as well as welcoming the guests inside. Inside the mansion the walls are filled with beautiful paintings and carvings of various incidents from daily lives, floral motifs and also modern equipments such as cars and fans. It is said that the builders had not seen these things ever but they made them with mere imagination of what they had heard from other people.
We then visited the museum in the in Patwa-ki-Haveli in which history spoke for itself. The first floor of the palace was lined up with incredibly engaging paintings which we were told were painted using 1.5 kilograms of gold!India sure was rich – once upon a time!!After a lively day we went to the quite of our own private haveli (hotel, I mean!) ;). We wrapped up the day with the most simple yet most amazing dinner (“fired” daal – roti, literally!) on the rooftop overlooking the alluring golden fort!While the days sparkled with bright & warm sunlight, the evenings were cool & angelic glittering under the silver moonlight.Our dinners were long and slow. Post dinner we would watch the pigeons doze off to sleep in the alcoves of the haveli – head down – neck pulled back – feet tucked under. On hearing our footfalls some of them would occasionally tremor and lift their heads, their soft feathery necks heaving up and down – breathing! However, lost in themselves, they would doze back again.This was one of the best experiences I have ever had!Next day, after yet another delightful breakfast, we walked over to Gadisar Lake – the scenic rainwater lake surrounded by the small temples & shrines of Amar Sagar. For a long time, we were told, this lake was the only source of water for the inhabitants of Jaisalmer.There were so many pigeons at the lake - & hence in the introduction I had called Jaisalmer also a city of pigeons! I have never seen so many pigeons together at one time! It was amazing & also a little scary!! Humans were suddenly in minority.They would keep swirling around us as if trying to scare us away for having intruded in their space!
AMAR SAGAR JAIN TEMPLE
We reached Hotel and we were ready for our venture at 3'O clock. After having our delicious lunch we started the journey at 4 for the Sam dunes (Part of Thar desert).It is almost 42 km away from the main city. Started our venture with a visit to Amar Sagar Jain Temple, followed by Kuldhara Village and then went straight to Sam Sand Dunes.
Our Rajasthan diaries began at Mystic Dervish in Jaisalmer. The owner himself is an avid backpacker, a down-to-earth fellow who will make all arrangements for you to go backpacking in Rajasthan. At Mystic Dervish, the hostel for backpackers, we received a warm welcome even in the frigid winter of Rajasthan.
So, Surja Palace was by far the best place I've stayed in. We reached Jaisalmer fort at about 11 o'clock in the night and apparently everything pretty much shuts down at that hour of the day. And what appeared to us at first was this place that was dingy, unsafe and not something we should go ahead with. Strangely every member of the staff was fast asleep except one of the guys who showed us two rooms, out of which we chose to stay in the one which luckily was on the top floor and thats the only thing we thought could save us. We somehow managed to get sleep at about 2, until what we saw the next morning that took our breath away. I've never a prettier sunrise and a view of the entire city, the way it looked from our window. We quickly went on the cafe on the roof-top as we were starving and picked up the basic items to order as we were skeptical about the food. But turns out, they had the best breakfast!! We ended up hogging so much that we weren't able to move!!! And all of this was totally under budget. Before i forget, this place had free wifi for all the guests! Hotel Surja is a place for the ones who aren't very finicky about luxury. This place is magical because it will give you something you might take with you and always cherish. Like I did. You're on your own. You will not have room service, but the best service from the cooks. They will make you fall in love with the place!
Saalam Singh Ki Haweli (Moti Mahal)
After appreciating the fort’s splendor for almost half the day, we walked over to – Salim Singh-ki-Haveli and Patwa-ki-Haveli. Salim Singh-ki-Haveli is famous for its sophisticated etched architecture and Patwa-ki-Haveli has this fascinating honey-colored lace stone work all over it.
Sam Sand Dunes
This is an area a little out of the main city of Jaisalmer and is one of the most beautiful attractions of the city. The sand dunes are a visual treat and camping is what attracts most of the tourists till this place. This is a unique experience as you have a tent right on the sand and the whole night gets more colorful with the traditional music and dance programs. There are a number of camel tour agencies which try to force you to pay more. You should be able to tackle them skillfully. A trip to Rajasthan cannot be completed if you miss this.
This is a perfect home away from home in the Sun City of Jaisalmer. This is a no star hotel with an interesting name and equally friendly staff inside. Mr. Polu, the manager is simply and rightly termed as a Magic Man because of his behavior. The other people working here are also very friendly and the rooms and services are all very good.