Stunningly set amidst the great Thar Desert, Top 12 Places to visit in Jaisalmer Rajasthan India incessantly glows to the eyes of its beholder. Indeed so, since the glory of its cultural affluence adds up to its corporal glamor, accentuating the appeal of the city manifolds.

Introducing Jaisalmer

Heritage Places / Sightseeing in Jaisalmer

  • Jaisalmer Fort in the heart of the city is a huge fort with 99 bastions and a 30 feet tall wall surrounding it. Hailed as “the pride of Jaisalmer”- the fort is well known as “Sonar Quila”, which literally means “the Golden Fort”. The yellow sandstones used to build the fort perpetually radiate golden hues, particularly during sunsets. The 360 degree view from the top of the fort is equally beguiling, as the entire city in bird eye view appears as if painted in golden yellow owing to pervasive use of yellow sandstone and  yellow sand across its structures. The mansions, temples and residential complexes within the fort are said to depict a fusion of Mughal and Rajput architectural styles.
  • Maharaja’s palace inside the fort complex is worthy of particular mention in terms of tourism quotient. Now turned a museum, it showcases a rich collection of relics from the royal reign,  including silver coronation throne, the bedroom of the Maharaja, his sedan chair, decorative sculptures of the arena and so on. Among temples, the 15th century Chandraprabhu Jain temple is  a must visit for its absolutely stunning intricate and delicate carvings across pillars, arches, ceilings and walls on red sandstone, in Rajput architectural style.
  • About a kilometer of walk towards the South East of the fort leads you to an artificial lake by the name “Gadisisar”. The lake dates back to 14th century when it was created at the behest of King Maharwal Gadsi to harvest rain water to source water for the surrounding areas. Now the lake is only a tourist spot thriving with thousands of catfishes and flocks of various birds.  The heritage structures bordering the lake include several small temples and cenotaphs, again made up of yellow sandstone. It is advisable to catch the serenity of the lake at dawn or at  or dusk.
  • Barely 6 km from the city lays Bada Bagh, which is a huge park of royal cenotaphs standing gorgeously on the top of a hillock. The view of the cenotaphs against the backdrop of lofty windmills in the far distance is hands down picturesque and photographer’s delight dusk and dawn.
  • The ancient mansions in the city are also a sight to behold with the intricate and delicate carvings on their façade, pillars, doors and windows.  Patwon Ji Ki Haveli is the largest  mansion in Jaisalmer, which is actually a group of five smaller havelis (mansions). The mansion belonged to the richest man in Jaisalmer in the past and every bit of grandeur inside out of the place speaks of the lifestyle of the ultra-rich in Jaisalmer during the bygone era.  Nathmalji ki Haveli used to be the residence of the Prime Minister of the Jaisalmer city. 
    The carvings and artifacts on this building are done by a jeweler and not a stone carver. SalimJi Ki Haveli, located near Jaisalmer Railway Station, belongs to 17th century  and is built on the remains of an even older mansion.
  • The 15th century Haveli Shreenath is partly occupied by the heirs of the royal family who once occupied it. The other half has been converted into a heritage hotel.
  • About 8 kilometers from the city, Mool Sagar is an 18th-century complex located on the road that leads to Sam Sand Dunes. An erstwhile summer retreat for the royal family, now the complex is open for public to relish an experience in the quiet far away from the city – amidst a beautiful garden, several wells, a Raj Mahal, three Jain temples and one Shiva temple.  The place is also worth a check out for the Mool Sagar camps held here.
  • Akal Wood Fossil Park may particularly interest you if you are a geologist or a conservationist. The place is located 17 kilometers from Jaisalmer city at Barmer Road and showcases 25 petrified tree trunks belonging to the Jurassic era (about 130 million years ago).
  • Among other places, worth a visit include Jaisalmer Folklore Museum, Jaisalmer Government Museum and Amar Sagar Palace on the bank of Amar Sagar Lake.
  • Other tourist activities – A must do in Jaisalmer!
  • In the middle of the desert, being in Jaisalmer grants you the opportunity to experience desert safari and desert camping as few of the adventurous activities. To spend the nights camping on sand dunes while relishing folk songs and dances of Rajasthan and waking up to the melodious music of “Sarangi” (a local musical instrument) promises to be a unique experience. 
    It is highly recommended to plan your visit to fall between September and February so that you can visit the desert during one of the on-going fairs and festivals.
    Besides, desert safari on a jeep or a camel is also an amazing adventure awaiting tourists in Jaisalmer.   While a tour of a desert on a camel is slow-paced, a trip of the desert on a  jeep promises larger coverage from exploring tribal villages to relics of old forts and gorgeous temples on the way.
  • Not to forget an excursion to the Desert National Park in Jaisalmer is an attractive tourism activity, extending hands-on introduction to the ecosystem of the Thar Desert. Visit to the park entails enriching bird-watching of  a host of endangered bird species typically found in desert habitat, including the Great Indian Bustard, tawny eagles, vultures, falcons, grouse, spotted eagles, buzzards, harriers and so on.
  • In addition, there are a plenty of shopping opportunities spread across Jaisalmer city. You can fathom buying items such as tie-dye fabrics, mirror work items, antiques, silver rings/ bracelets, old stonework, blankets, khadi carpets/ shawls, embroidered garments, paintings by local artists as well as fashionable accessories including scarves at  Jaisalmer for the sake of souvenir. You could especially check out the Government operated Khadi Gramodyog Bhavan located in the premises of the Jaisalmer Fort.

How to reach Jaisalmer

One of the largest districts in India, Jaisalmer shares border with Jodhpur and Barmer on the South, Bikaner on the North and Pakistan on the South-West. The city is well connected by road to all major cities in India, including Delhi by a crew of State Government buses. Jaisalmer Railway Station is one of the important railway stations in Rajasthan. The nearest airport to the city is Jodhpur airport (about 285 kilometers).

What is the best time to visit Jaisalmer?

The city witnesses hot and dry summer months. As such, monsoon and winters are the only seasons when Jaisalmer weather is rather enjoyable. Though the best time to visit the city is between October and March, it is recommended to plan your tour to Jaisalmer between September and February when most of the local fairs and festivals tend to take place in the city.