Top 4 Places in Jaisalmer, Temperature, Best Time to Visit, Hotels etc. – A Complete Guide
A complete guide to Jaisalmer- the golden city
Like a mysterious oasis rising tall in the desert, Jaisalmer rises proudly in the distance. It was once a city meant for the royals of Indian heritage and history. Discover all this beautiful, historic city has to offer. The city is known for Desert Safari for travelers across the globe It is the definition of Rajasthan and simply cannot be missed out on itinerary.
While Jaisalmer may always have been remote, it is filled with many artistic structures and monuments of local historical importance. Jaisalmer’s medieval mud fortress and walled township make it a popular tourist destination. The surrounding desolate landscape provides a peaceful, untouched landscape with a sense of quiet beauty.
Almost 120km from the city comes to the border of India and Pakistan. Some 50km from the city are the beautiful sand dunes of the Thar Desert. The lifestyle is equally laid back and slow. The town of Jaisalmer is characterized by beautiful small houses.
Named after its founder Maharawal Jaisal Singh, Jaisalmer means “The Hill Fort of Jaisal”. Once the seat of Bhatti Rajputs has been nicknamed “Golden City” owing to yellow sandstone structures and the gold-colored desert surrounding it. Situated in the westernmost region of Rajasthan, the town is known for its location right in the middle of the Thar Desert.
In the 12th century, Jaisalmer state reached the height of its power. After the sack of the capital by the Muslim Delhi sultan Alaud-Dīn Khaljī early in the 14th century, its fortunes declined. It subsequently became a Mughal fiefdom and entered into political relations with the British in 1818.
How to reach?
Jaisalmer is the furthest tourist stop on the West side of Rajasthan near the bordering country of Pakistan. However, reaching Jaisalmer is not a problem as this beautiful city is well-connected with the rest of India. You can reach the land-locked desert city via all air, rail, or road.
1. By Air: Jaisalmer Airport is a military airport and supports only chartered flights, hence is sparingly used by travelers. The closest and active domestic airport here is Jodhpur Airport, which is the best way to reach Jaisalmer by air. There are regular flights to Jodhpur from cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, and Udaipur.
2.By Train: Jaisalmer is well connected with a wide network of trains covering most of the Indian cities like Delhi, Jodhpur, Kolkata Jaipur, Mumbai, and others. Some of the popular trains are Delhi Jaisalmer Express, Jodhpur Jaisalmer Express, Howrah Jaisalmer Express, and Lalgarh Jaisalmer Special.
3. By road: Jaisalmer enjoys excellent connectivity with several cities in Gujarat and Rajasthan. The western city is 555 km away from Jaipur, 280 km away from Jodhpur, 760 km away from New Delhi, 540 Km away from Ahmedabad.
The golden city has several well-maintained state and private buses. There are two major bus stands in Jaisalmer, namely Golden Bus Terminal and Roadways main bus stand. All the major buses operate from here only. Self-driven cars or buses will take about a similar time to reach the magnificent city of Jaisalmer.
Places to visit
The city of Jaisalmer itself is nothing less than a heritage. The golden houses over the golden sand, shining in the bright daylight give the whole city a golden glow. Here are some of the key places:
1. Jaisalmer Fort: The magnificent complex, also known as Sonar Quila (Golden Fort) for its gleaming golden sandstone walls and buildings. The walls, of rich yellow sandstone unique to Rajasthan’s quarries, shimmer like a mirage. It has seen many Rajput rulers, Jaisalmer Fort still houses some 2,000 residents, which makes it India’s last living fort’.
For this reason, it is also known as the Sonar Quila or Golden Fort. The fort has four entrances to the downside, one of which used to be guarded by cannon. The Fort of Jaisalmer survived several attacks by Muslim rulers like Ala-Uddin-Khilji and Mughal Emperor Humayun.
2. Gadisar Lake: This manmade lake built around the 12th-13th century is now a popular spot with visitors. Located on the outskirts of Jaisalmer, visiting Gadisar Lake would be rated as one of the best things to do in Jaisalmer for watching the sunrise. Built amidst the arid region of Rajasthan, this lake impersonates the beauty of an oasis.
3. Sam Sand Dunes: Sam Sand Dunes, a perfect place for desert camping, are situated at a distance of approximately 42 km from the city of Jaisalmer. Located in the midst of the Thar Desert. As many travelers love to attend the evening musical program at Sam, you won’t be able to attend them in the summer and monsoon months.
Nestled cozily in between an Oasis surrounded by golden sands of a desert in Jaisalmer. The campsite offers mesmerizing views of the dunes and features a rejuvenating stay amidst the vivid cactus vegetation embraced by the unique flora and fauna of Jaisalmer.
4. Bada Bagh: Bada Bagh might surprise you with its greenery in the arid desert landscape of Jaisalmer. This was in fact the very idea when it was built back in the 16th century, to build a beautiful green oasis in the desert region. Wonderfully sculpted cenotaphs and chhatris of former rulers are the special attraction of Bada Bagh.
Things To Do
One can stay overnight in one of the several desert camps located in the middle of the desert some 50 km from the main city center. This is indeed a unique experience. The entire package would not cost you beyond Rs 2000 per headcount.
Most of the desert camps provide packages that include evening snacks, cultural shows organized towards the late evening, bonfire, buffet dinner, stay in a camp with attached bath, morning breakfast, safari to the sand dunes either in the morning or the evening before and a lot more.
Dune safaris and camel safari tours in the desert are also frequently arranged by various service providers from the town of Jaisalmer and one can do that over a day trip. One can also do parasailing in the desert.
Try not to miss the world-renowned Desert Festival of Jaisalmer that takes place in February, and is marked by cultural events, camel races, camel polo, turban tying competitions, and the famous Mr. Desert Competition. It is the peak tourist season to visit Jaisalmer where everything takes an exotic makeover in the Thar Desert. Plan well in advance.
Where to Eat?
Do not forget to dine in one of the rooftop restaurants inside the Jaisalmer fort. The restaurants just set the right mood with amazing lighting, traditional seating, authentic food, and some folk music and songs.
There is so much to try in Jaisalmer. Right from the street food to the authentic recipes like dal-baati-choorma, gatte ki sabji, papad ki sabji and at some places even roti ki sabji! Some restaurants offer accommodation with amazing food.
Almost everywhere you will find the traditional food of Rajasthan, the “thalis” (unlimited platters at a fixed price) loaded with local dishes. However, you can fetch dishes from all dishes across the country.
if you are into shopping, camel leather bags and footwear, particularly the traditional Mojaris are the main attractions in Jaisalmer. Hand block print fabrics, Katha work bed linen and quilts, oxidized silver and silver jewelry, colorful bags, fine wool shawls are other key things that you can purchase from the local market.
The prices are mostly reasonable even in the main tourist areas. Last but not the least, don’t forget to try some ‘henna’ art on your hands. You will find henna artists both inside the fort in the main tourist area as well as on the streets of Jaisalmer.
When to visit?
Like most Indian vacation spots, the ideal time to visit the sand dunes in Jaisalmer is during the winter season. Months of November to March constitute the winter season in Jaisalmer. It is also an ideal time to visit Jaisalmer.
Sightseeing and other outdoor activities like camel riding, a desert safari is more enjoyable during this time as the maximum temperature does not go beyond 24-degree celsius.
August to October constitute the monsoon season in Jaisalmer. There is very little rain in some parts of the city, and many areas receive no rainfall at all. This little rainfall only contributes to humidity, but still, this is a pleasant time to explore Jaisalmer tourist places as the evenings become cooler even if the afternoons are humid.
There is no better time than from the months of November to February to explore Jaisalmer. The skies are crystal clear and you will have very pleasant weather.
Things to Remember
Keep clothing according to the time you are visiting. Light, comfortable and bright clothes in summers but jackets and thermals in winters are advisable. Do not forget an umbrella or raincoat for untimely showers. Since you are likely to be out all day exploring, mostly on foot, it is better to pack your bag with comfortable walking shoes along with a sun hat and sunscreen lotion.
Keep your body hydrated to overcome heat waves. Avoid eating too much-fried food in summers, but winters are a foodie paradise. Do Carry with you a necessary first aid kit. Always carry with you a copy of your necessary documents like ID, passport, or license.