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Jaisalmer - Town
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The peak of a rising road drops low and the stunning town of Jaisalmer spreads in view. You gaze in awe at the wide-spread Jaisalmer Fort standing atop a hill that rises out of this small civilization established in the Thar Desert. Built entirely in yellow sandstone, the golden city of Jaisalmer is a site to behold.


The yellow-golden houses of Jaisalmer blanket the entire hill right up to the base of the fort. You glimpse the intriguing lifestyle of Jaisalmer as you drive up a steep slope towards the fort. The narrow roads meandering through the plainly built houses reveal the simple residents of Jaisalmer going quietly about their business.


The Jaisalmer Fort is a grand spectacle. Nearly a quarter of Jaisalmer’s population resides inside the fort, making it one of the rare inhabited forts of India, possibly the highest populated. The small township inside the Jaisalmer Fort is formed of regal palaces, artistically built temples and old houses. Cobbled streets weave together these structures to perfectly craft settings of the medieval period. Apart from the motorcycles bustling through the narrow lanes, much of the life inside Jaisalmer Fort is still reminiscent of the olden ways.


The most highly visited place inside Jaisalmer Fort is the Royal Palace, referred to as Rajmahal. Built late in 19th century, the seven-storied palace has a beautiful façade adorned with artistic stonework. From inside, Rajmahal is formed of opulently beautified chambers, which have been turned into an exhibition highlighted by the display of royal items. The display of weapons at Rajmahal, right from the swords to the guns, is particularly impressive.


There are the seven beautiful Jain Temples in Jaisalmer, some of the best in India. The detailed stonework demonstrated by these temples is truly baffling.


The rich traders that thrived in Jaisalmer during the 18th and 19th centuries left behind some spectacular havelis, their luxurious residences. Some of the celebrated havelis in Jaisalmer are Patwon-ki-Haveli, Haveli Shreenath, Nathmalji-ki-Haveli, Salim-Singh-ki-Haveli and Mehra Haveli. The Sheesh-Mahel, a multi-storied palace made of mirror walls and ceilings, is also a must-see place in Jaisalmer.


Gadisar Lake is a good spot to visit during evenings. The picturesque temples on the artistically built ghat of Gadisar Lake cast a glamorous reflection in the water. When water is abundant, the Gadisar Lake offers quite a beautiful view, especially enjoyed on a boat ride.


Jaisalmer is one of those tourist destinations that remain inside your head in form of memories you cherish for a long time. Ideally, you should take out four days to enjoy Jaisalmer completely, including the town and the Thar Desert excursion of Camel Safari. There are hotels of every choice and cost range available in Jaisalmer, including the camps in desert.


To conclude, it will be just fitting to say that your experience of Rajasthan cannot be complete without a visit to the fabulous town of Jaisalmer.


Note: Please visit Jaisalmer Desert Outposts to find out about the famous desert safaris in Jaisalmer.



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Quick Reference

The vivid city of Jaisalmer serves the cultural taste, especially during winters when you can enjoy Desert Safaris followed by folk music, folk dances and puppetry shows. Major tourist attraction of Jaisalmer is Jaisalmer Fort, an extremely interesting place, inside of which there is an entire town. In here, there are some more attractions such as Royal Palace, Jain Temples and grand Havelis. Outside the fort, Jaisalmer has some other interesting site seeing options such as Gadisar Lake and Desert Culture Centre and Museum. Sam and Khuri Sand Dunes is where the tourists go for Desert Safaris and night camping, which can be an experience to be cherished for a long time.


Destination Grade: A (What is this?)
Rating: 8/10
Population: 58,286 (2001)
5 Star Hotels: Hotel Rawalkot jaisalmer,Fort Rajwada Jaisalmer
Luxury Hotels: Jaisal Vilas,Suryagarh
Airport: Jaisalmer Airport (5 km)
Railway Station: Jaisalmer Railway Station
Nearest Major City(s): Jodhpur,Bikaner
How to reach: Well connected to the rest of state by well-maintained roads, the roads are given special attention due to the proximity of the Indo-Pak border
Major Tourist Attraction: Jaisalmer Fort,Jaisalmer Havelies,Gadsisar Sagar Tank,Bara Bagh,Tazia Tower,The Desert National Park,Sam
Speciality(Famous for): Forts,Havelies
Food speciality: Laddoos
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182 votes
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Total Reviews : 4
Reviews by users : (4)
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Jaisalmer - by Mayuri  Dated : 2011-05-02
The Havelis of Jaisalmer, the Jaisalmer Fort, the Gadisar lake, the Jain Temples and the Rajmahal of Jaisalmer really impressed me. I could'nt stop clicking photos of these places. Me and my friends did lots of shopping at Jaisalmer. The city looks golden due to the sand of the Thar desert. The sand dunes are spectacular to see. The houses look old, built before centuries and people live happily in them. The Jaisalmer Fort is a massive structure and has beautiful architecture. One must go and see it. People still live in the Jaisalmer Fort. Jaisalmer town is amazing.
A Brief Trip to Jaisalmer - by Parmeet Singh  Dated : 2011-03-09
It was not the right season to visit Jaisalmer but we were in for a trip, notwithstanding the weather. We were thoroughly roasted after we got down the train. I and my friend Mahesh were the poor fellows who had come to Jaisalmer at an inappropriate time according to the cursed travel book. All the same we wanted to look around the city as much as we could and we did not care what the book said. It was in April that we went to Jaisalmer and the sun was shining on Jaisalmer with all its might.

As we checked in into our hotel, we prayed God that the air conditioning must be in a good condition. Thankfully, as the hotel was newly constructed the A.C was working fine. We sighed in relief. The next morning we decided to visit the Havelis rather than the fort, because the heat was unbearable.

Jaisalmer has great sandstone buildings built by rich and successful merchants of the 19th and 20th century. We observed that the exterior of the Havelis was far more beautiful and the entrances were guarded by elephants, a royal way to welcome the guests. The merchants must have been really rich we concluded.

The biggest Haveli in Jaislamer is Patwa ki Haveli. It has been restored and turned into a museum displaying the daily workings of its makers. I loved the building; it was not only huge and towering but also delicately carved and beautiful.

Later that day we went to the Gadisar Lake. We expected it to be a bit cooler; it was not very different from rest of the town. It is the source of water supply for the town and is also considered holy.

Early next morning we went to visit the fort. Like the forts should be, the Jaisalmer fort was majestic and powerful. The Royal Palace inside the fort is the most visited spot of the fort. It has seven storeys and beautiful chambers that display royal artillery and other items.

We did not dare to take a desert safari as the temperature was building up and thought it was intelligent to head back. But whatever time we spent in Jaisalmer was great.
Touring Jaisalmer All Alone - by Sheetal Pandit Dated : 2011-03-08
Strange to tell but I was alone while I was at Jaisalmer. It was for the first time that I was travelling without a group of mad friends or my family members, these or those cousins with a lot of luggage and beauty kits.

It was a deliberate choice. I was convinced on having a better trip without typical companions. Moreover, after we shifted base to Jaipur, it was not far away that I was going. It was just Jaisalmer. Reluctant at first, my parents gave in after a lot of persuasion.

I was staying at a good hotel in Jaisalmer. I had no fixed plans in mind but I wanted to visit most of the town in my trip. I rose early in the morning, sipped tea at the roof top restaurant of the hotel, looked at the Jaisalmer Fort and geared up for the day. I took my rucksack, put everything necessary in it and started off to explore the city.

Since I was walking towards the fort and I did not know what I was doing, I walked straight into the Jain temples. Only two of them seemed to be open. The temples were carved beautifully almost everywhere. I then went to visit the museum of the fort. This is only operational fort in India. An audio tour was given to us as we passed from rooms and compartments of the fort. I got to know the history of the fort. As I was alone, I requested a guard to take my pictures.

Later that day I went to see the Patwon ki Haveli. This is the largest haveli in Jaisalmer. I did not go inside it though; I enjoyed the architecture from outside, took pictures and then returned to my hotel. It was a great day in short. It’s fun to travel alone.
Jaisalmer - Town - by Pooja Khanna Dated : 2011-01-06
Jaisalmer is known as Golden City, a big ball of fire spreading its magic over the vast stretches of desert and sand dunes. This city is an open air museum where one can choose activities according to their own likings. It serves the taste of all kinds of people. Formidable monuments, rich heritage, colorful culture, thrilling desert safaris and desert camping, golden sand dunes are the entertaining components that make Jaisalmer an attractive tourist destination.
The city of Jaisalmer revolves around the Jaisalmer Fort, also known as Golden Fort, or Sonar Quila as named by Satyajit Ray. Within the fort wall there is a small township in itself, where people have their homes. The lifestyle here is unique and interesting to watch. The people live in historical houses built before one or two centuries, and walk over the narrow lanes constructed in stones running through them.
The fort has a palace that is decorated with beautiful chambers and artifacts hanging on the walls. This palace is beautifully decorated from outside as well. The palace has an interesting museum of royal artifacts and weapons.
At a short distance from fort is the Gadsisar Lake, one of the major tourist attractions. Apart from the maddening crowd of Jaisalmer you can find solace near the lake. There are varieties of temples and shrines surrounding the lake. This place has lately become a pilgrimage spot.
There are village settlements nearby the town in the desert. A barren and bushy path leads to the feast of eyes, Sand Dunes. Here, you can enjoy Camel Safari or Jeep Safari.
After the Desert Safaris, you can enjoy the culture and colors of Jaisalmer.
Cultural and colorful city of Jaisalmer is a beautiful place to visit in winter season. There are many desert festivals in every winter every evening such as music, dance and puppetry. Folk music of Jaisalmer has long history. Folk dances include Ghoomar, Terah Thali. Jaisalmer mainly serves cultural taste. Puppetry, an art form is quite entertaining here, that depicts tales from epics.
Along with the people performing these art forms, the spectators also join them.
This place not only entertains with vivid art forms, but also has amazing forts, havelis and sand dunes. Jaisalmer cuisines are not to miss. It offers traditional Rajasthani food and not to forget their great hospitality.
The climate of Jaisalmer is contrasted, as it is scorching heat in summers and chilling cold in winters. There is a possibility that you might get affected by sun stroke during summers. Despite of harsh living conditions, people here are remarkably hospitable.
Jaisalmer is a delight for shop-a-holics. Speciality of Jaisalmer includes traditional handicraft items, embroidery, mirror work, rugs, blankets, antiques and old stonework.
Places worth visiting near Jaisalmer are Sam Sand Dunes, Amar Sagar Lake, Bada Bagh Jaisalmer, Desert National Park, Wood Fossil Park, Khuri Sand Dunes, Lodurva, Mool Sagar and Phalodi Travel.