Top 10 things to do in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan

The golden city of Jaisalmer springs like an oasis in the heart of Thar desert in the Rajasthan state of India. The city of Jaisalmer built in the golden sandstone lures tourists and travelers to experience the magic of the perpetual golden deserts. The rich cultural heritage of Jaisalmer is evident from the architectural treasures the city has to offer to its guests.

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Join us as we take you on a virtual tour of the city of Jaisalmer:

Gadisagar Lake

The artificial lake built by Maharawal Gadsi Singh in the 14th-century was once the only source of water to this arid land of Jaisalmer. The lake is frequented by the people seeking for a tranquil aura away from the bustling city. The lake is dotted with numerous beautiful temples, cenotaphs, and monuments. One can go boating on the calm waters of the lake and do look for some exotic migratory birds that flock to the lake in winter.

Top 10 things Jaisalmer Rajasthany

Fortified City of Jaisalmer Fort

The majestic Jaisalmer fort also known as the ‘Sonar Quila’ or the ‘Golden Fort’ was built by the King Rao Jaisal in the year 1156 AD. The city within the fort’s ramparts is home to around 4000 people and houses several restaurants, palaces, museums and handicraft shops. The palaces within the fort premises have some of the remarkable architectural marvels with intricate stone carvings and fine latticework.

Top 10 things Jaisalmer Rajasthan

Jain Temple

The stunning Jain temples are situated within the ramparts of the Jaisalmer fort. The group of temples built between 12th and 15th centuries are outstanding examples of Dilwara style architecture. The temples built with yellow ssandstones are embellished with intricate carvings on wall and pillars and several beautiful statues.

Top 10 things Jaisalmer Rajasthany

Patwon ki Haveli

Patwon ki haveli is a group of five havelis and is truly an architectural wonder of Jailsamer. The walls of the haveli built in the golden sandstone have stunning intricate carvings on the archways, balconies, and gates. The first haveli is the most ornate of all with some of the exquisite mirror work and an exhibit of important artifacts from the bygone era. The haveli also has a shop for authentic Rajasthani handicrafts.

Top 10 things Jaisalmer Rajasthan

Shopping

The Sardar bazaar close to the Jaisalmer fort is a busy market with an assortment of locally produced products. One can shop for the leather products like bags, wallets and jackets, embroidered handicrafts, carpets, bedsheets, puppets, and tapestries. These items also make for a great take away souvenirs or mementos from golden city of Rajasthan.

Top 10 things Jaisalmer Rajasthan

Bada Bagh

Located six km off the city of Jaisalmer the Bada Bagh has some of the beautiful cenotaphs of the royal family of Bhatti Dynasty. Bada Bagh literally means ‘big garden’ which was built by Jai Singh II in his effort to make some space for greenery in the barren land of Jaisalmer. It is here in 16th-century the first cenotaph was built by Lunkarani to commemorate his father Jai Singh II contribution. The garden is visited by the travelers for the stunning sunset it offers.

Top 10 things Jaisalmer Rajasthan

Vyas Chatri

The cenotaphs at Vyas Chhatri are quite similar in structure to those at Bada Bagh but fewer in number. Unlike that of Bada Bagh, the Vyas Chhatri is still used as a cremation ground for the brahmin community. Vyas Chatri is also a well-known sunset point.

Top 10 things Jaisalmer Rajasthany

Haunted Kuldhara Village

The cursed village of Kuldhara once inhabited by Paliwal Brahmins today houses ruins of temples and houses. Located 18 km away from Jaisalmer the Kuldhara village exudes a sense of mystery around the villagers who evacuated the village overnight. The villagers cursed the land of Kuldhara Village which even to this day remains uninhabited and deserted. The haunted village is visited by enthusiasts to learn about the legend.

Top 10 things Jaisalmer Rajasthany

Desert Safari at Sam Sand Dunes

Located around 40 km from the city of Jailsamer are the golden stretches of the Sam sand dunes of the Thar Desert. The Sam sand dunes entice tourists and travelers with a wide array of desert activities like camel ride, Jeep safari, desert camping and dune bashing. Several of the desert camps arrange for folk programs like folk dance, puppet shows, and other cultural event shows for their guests followed by a scrumptious traditional Rajasthani dinner.

Top 10 things Jaisalmer Rajasthan

Tanot Mata Mandir

Tanot Mata temple located around 120 km from the city of Jaisalmer is maintained by the Indian army and is close to the Indo-Pak border. The temple has an interesting mystery surrounding it as it is believed that during the Indo-Pakistan War of 1965 all the bombs dropped by the Pakistani Army on the temple failed to explode. The temple interior exhibits a collection of the unexploded bombs that were dropped by Pakistan and details of the historical events. One can also visit the war memorial at Longewala built to commemorate the valiant Indian soldiers who fought the battle of Longewala in December 1971. The memorial has a small cafe and an audio-visual theater for a short film on the battle.

Top 10 things Jaisalmer Rajasthan

The best time to visit Jaisalmer is from November to March but do keep in mind that winters may turn freezing cold in the desert at night so appropriate warm clothing items need to be carried. Plan to visit the Jaisalmer Desert Festival held in February to witness the explosion of vibrant colors and folk events in the arid desert land of Jailsamer.

Have you been to these popular attractions in Jaisalmer? Do you think we are missing something? Let us know in comments.

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18 Comment

  1. Fatima says: Reply

    Wow, sounds interesting and I think the place is also popular for buying gifts and handmade things.

  2. It would be awesome to travel to India! I’d love to experience their rich culture and travel their cities and temples. I have not been to any country in Asia yet, and I am hoping 2017 will be the year this dream comes to fruition.

  3. Wow! I love this city of Jaisalmer. The architecture of the buildings is stunning. The temple breathtaking. I love the bazaar also and those leather bags would probably be a lot cheaper than in the shops.

    1. GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Yes Kathryn the items here would be a bit cheaper as they are locally produced.

  4. I went to only Jaipur for work quite a few years ago but never got an opportunity to explore Rajasthan! It’s on my bucket list. Hope to visit soon someday in my life and explore its rich cultural heritages, gems and food!

  5. This looks like such a mysterious place! The architecture mazes me, never seen something like this. Thank you for this post…. now Rajastan is in my To do list!

  6. I love the unique architecture of those temples. I would love to visit Jaisalmer one day and explore its culture. 🙂

  7. Rajasthan is my favourite part of India. I was lucky when I visited Gadisagar Lake that the water was completely still giving a perfect reflection. What I didn’t visit were the cenotaphs at Vyas Chhatri and Bada Bagh, you Mumbaikars made me jeolous! I’ll have to go back and visit these!

  8. Even though it’s a little unfair to the other states Rajasthan is among the very few that stand out for the culture and heritage that is wonderfully preserved. Haven’t been to Jaiselmer so the list is definitely a help for whenever that happens. I’ve always been fascinated with Rajasthani history and the architecture and Jaiselmer is no differ adding to the charm of the state

  9. I always found the rajasthan culture fascinating, there a few restaurants in London that are inspired and they are pretty cool. Would love to visit the bazaar.

  10. Such beautiful area! The facades of Patwon ki haveli look amazing.
    Impressive also how all the birds are resting there at Gadisagar Lake 🙂
    But most beautiful for me here looks the Jain Temple. I love these countless details on the columns and everywhere around, great art!

  11. I’ve never heard of Jaisalmer before but it sounds like it is worth it a visit. Indian culture is fascinating and these buildings tho!
    Another place to add to the list, it would never stop growing! haha 😛

  12. finja says: Reply

    This place looks so magical. I can’t believe they have formed the foundations out of sandstone, so impressive and makes me wonder about all the ingredients of our earth. Really want to go see India! 🙂

  13. That village on a hill top looks incredible! It always amazes me how the ancient people were able to build those! The amount of detail and the work – I can’t wrap my head around it!

  14. Ling says: Reply

    I’ve never been to India, but hopefully one day. Jaisalmer looks like an interesting place to visit, especially the architecture for me since I do architectural photography. There are some Indian structures we’ve visited near where we live, and although a different style, there are similarities and they are stunning.

  15. So much to do in Jaisalmer. I need to go there next time I am in India as it looks absolutely stunning. I do love a market too. Thanks for sharing.

  16. I have never been to India but have been reading a lot about it lately. Jaisalmer looks lovely. I’ll be sure to keep your list of things to do in mind if I make it there.

  17. Wow! This is amazing. I’m in the process of a travel expedition as well, so I’m now understanding how traveling can open one’s perception/vision. I love the view of the Jain Temple. So delicate. Sacred.

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