Destinations

Best 12 Things To Do In Jaisalmer: Unveiling the Delights

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Pawan Khatri
Things To Do In Jaisalmer

Jaisalmer, the magnificent “Golden City” nestled in the heart of Rajasthan, India, is a treasure trove of history, culture, and natural beauty. This enchanting destination offers a plethora of exciting activities and attractions that cater to every traveler’s interests. Whether you are a history enthusiast, an adventure seeker, a nature lover, or someone in search of authentic cultural experiences, Jaisalmer has something special in store for you. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the top things to do in Jaisalmer, ensuring you make the most of your visit to this magical city.

Best Time To Visit Jaisalmer

The best time to visit Jaisalmer is during the winter season, between the months of October and March. The weather is cooler and pleasant, and you can enjoy various activities in the city and the desert. You can also experience the cultural festivals and sports that take place in this season. The summer season (April-June) is very hot and dry, and the monsoon season (July-September) is humid and rainy, and should be avoided. Winter is when Jaisalmer comes alive with all its vibrancy and charm.

Things To Do In Jaisalmer

1. Discover the Majestic Jaisalmer Fort

Overview

Standing tall in the heart of the city, the Jaisalmer Fort, also known as Sonar Quila or the Golden Fort, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most iconic landmarks of Jaisalmer. Built in the 12th century, this massive sandstone fort with its intricate carvings and stunning architecture is a testament to the city’s rich history.

Exploration

Embark on a journey through time as you explore the narrow lanes, ancient havelis (mansions), and ornate Jain temples within the fort’s walls. Admire the stunning views of the cityscape from the fort’s ramparts and immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the bustling marketplaces within the fort.

2. Visit the Exquisite Havelis of Jaisalmer

Overview

Jaisalmer is renowned for its opulent havelis, showcasing the intricate craftsmanship and architectural brilliance of the bygone era. These grand mansions once belonged to wealthy merchants and nobles, and each haveli tells a unique story of the city’s rich heritage.

Must-visit Havelis

  • Patwon Ki Haveli: This cluster of five havelis is a true architectural marvel, adorned with elaborate carvings, mirror work, and exquisite murals. Explore the various sections of the havelis, including the private chambers, courtyards, and balconies, to get a glimpse into the lavish lifestyles of the past.
  • Salim Singh Ki Haveli: Known for its distinct peacock-shaped roof and intricate balconies, Salim Singh Ki Haveli offers a captivating blend of Rajput and Islamic architectural styles. The haveli’s unique features and historical significance make it a must-visit attraction in Jaisalmer.
  • Nathmal Ji Ki Haveli: A masterpiece of artistry, Nathmal Ji Ki Haveli is renowned for its splendid facade adorned with delicate carvings. The haveli is divided into two sections, each built by different brothers, showcasing their individual artistic interpretations.

3. Explore the Enigmatic Kuldhara Village

Overview

Kuldhara, a deserted village located just outside Jaisalmer, holds a mysterious charm that has intrigued visitors for centuries. Legend has it that the village was abandoned overnight by its residents, leaving behind an air of suspense and intrigue.

Unveiling the Mystery

Explore the ruins of Kuldhara and delve into the enigmatic tales surrounding the village’s abandonment. Learn about the fascinating folklore and paranormal beliefs associated with this ghost town. The eerie ambiance, crumbling structures, and haunting silence make for a unique and memorable experience.

4. Experience Desert Adventures in the Thar

Overview

The vast Thar Desert surrounding Jaisalmer presents endless opportunities for thrilling adventures and immersive experiences.

Activities

  • Camel Safari: Embark on a camel safari and traverse the golden sands of the desert like a true nomad. Witness the mesmerizing sunset or sunrise as you ride atop these gentle creatures, immersing yourself in the tranquility and beauty of the desert.
  • Jeep Safari: For a more adventurous exploration, opt for a thrilling jeep safari. Traverse the rugged terrain, maneuvering through the sand dunes and experiencing the adrenaline rush as you navigate through the vast desert landscape.
  • Desert Camping: Spend a night under the starry sky in the desert camps of Jaisalmer. Experience the magic of the desert as you gather around a bonfire, indulge in delicious Rajasthani cuisine, and enjoy cultural performances by local artists.
  • Dune Bashing: For the adrenaline junkies, dune bashing offers an exhilarating experience. Hop onto a powerful 4×4 vehicle and navigate the challenging sand dunes, feeling the rush as you conquer the undulating terrain.
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5. Revel in Cultural Extravaganza

Overview

Jaisalmer is a cultural haven, where vibrant traditions and artistic expressions thrive. Immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of Rajasthani culture through various activities.

Cultural Experiences

  • Folk Performances: Witness enthralling folk music and dance performances that bring alive the vibrant heritage of Rajasthan. From captivating Kalbelia dance to soul-stirring Manganiyar music, the cultural performances in Jaisalmer are a true treat for the senses.
  • Rajasthani Cuisine: Indulge in the delectable flavors of Rajasthani cuisine, known for its rich spices and royal influences. Savor signature dishes like Dal Bati Churma, Laal Maas, and Gatte ki Sabzi, and immerse yourself in the gastronomic delights of the region.
  • Shopping for Handicrafts: Explore the bustling markets of Jaisalmer, such as Sadar Bazaar and Manak Chowk, to discover a wide array of handicrafts and souvenirs. From intricately embroidered textiles and leather goods to exquisite jewelry and camel leather items, the markets offer a treasure trove of traditional Rajasthani craftsmanship.

6. Ghadisar Lake: Tranquility Amidst the Desert

Overview

Ghadisar Lake is a serene oasis in the desert city of Jaisalmer. It was originally constructed as a water conservation tank to fulfill the water needs of the arid region. Today, it has become a popular tourist spot known for its picturesque surroundings and the variety of bird species that can be spotted here.

Activities

  • Boat Ride: Enjoy a peaceful boat ride on the tranquil waters of Ghadisar Lake. Marvel at the reflections of the surrounding temples and ghats on the shimmering surface of the lake as you glide through its calm waters.
  • Temple Visits: Explore the beautiful temples and shrines that dot the banks of Ghadisar Lake. The Tilon Ki Pol Temple and the Krishna Temple are notable attractions that showcase stunning architecture and religious significance.
  • Photography: Ghadisar Lake provides ample opportunities for photography enthusiasts. Capture the ethereal beauty of the lake, the migratory birds, and the mesmerizing sunset views for a memorable photographic experience.

7. Discover the Splendor of Jain Temples

Overview

Jaisalmer is home to several exquisite Jain temples that are revered for their architectural brilliance and spiritual significance. These temples showcase intricate carvings, delicate craftsmanship, and a tranquil ambiance.

Must-visit Jain Temples

  • Jain Temples inside Jaisalmer Fort: Pay a visit to the seven beautifully crafted Jain temples inside the Jaisalmer Fort. The temples, dedicated to various Jain Tirthankaras (spiritual leaders), are adorned with intricate sculptures and divine artwork.
  • Parsvanath Temple: Located near the Patwon Ki Haveli, the Parsvanath Temple is an architectural masterpiece. Admire the fine details of the sculptures and marvel at the spiritual aura that permeates the temple.
  • Shantinath Temple: Situated in the serene surroundings of the Khuri Sand Dunes, the Shantinath Temple offers a peaceful retreat. The temple’s serene atmosphere and intricate designs make it a must-visit for spiritual seekers and architecture enthusiasts alike.

8. Indulge in the Vibrant Handicrafts and Souvenirs of Jaisalmer

Overview

Jaisalmer is a haven for art and craft lovers, with a rich tradition of skilled artisans creating exquisite handicrafts and souvenirs that reflect the city’s cultural heritage. And shopping should be one of the Things To Do In Jaisalmer

Shopping Delights

  • Leather Goods: Jaisalmer is famous for its high-quality leather products, including bags, wallets, shoes, and belts. Explore the markets to find beautifully crafted items made from camel leather, which is a specialty of the region.
  • Textiles and Embroidery: Jaisalmer is known for its vibrant textiles, including intricately embroidered garments, bedspreads, and cushion covers. The colorful mirror work and delicate threadwork are a testament to the skilled craftsmanship of the local artisans.
  • Rajasthani Jewelry: Adorn yourself with exquisite Rajasthani jewelry, featuring intricate designs and semi-precious stones. From silver jhumkas (earrings) to chunky tribal necklaces, the markets of Jaisalmer offer a wide range of options to suit every taste.
  • Stone Carvings: Witness the artistry of stone carvers as you explore the markets of Jaisalmer. From delicate figurines to intricately carved decorative items, the stone carvings make for unique and memorable souvenirs.

9. Relish the Flavors of Jaisalmer Cuisine and Bhang

Overview

Jaisalmer is a culinary delight, offering a rich tapestry of flavors influenced by the royal Rajput heritage and the arid desert environment.

Culinary Delights

  • Rajasthani Thali: Treat yourself to a traditional Rajasthani thali, a platter that showcases a variety of mouthwatering dishes such as Dal Bati Churma (lentils with baked bread and sweet crumble), Gatte ki Sabzi (gram flour dumplings in spicy gravy), and Ker Sangri (a unique desert vegetable preparation).
  • Bhang: Bhang, a cannabis-infused drink, is a popular local specialty in Jaisalmer. It is consumed during the colorful Holi festival and is believed to have medicinal properties. Experience the cultural significance of bhang by trying this traditional beverage.
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10. Culinary Delights at Famous Restaurants

Overview

Jaisalmer is home to several renowned restaurants that offer a delightful culinary experience, combining the flavors of Rajasthan with unique dining settings.

Famous Restaurants

  • The Trio: Located near the Jaisalmer Fort, The Trio offers a rooftop dining experience with stunning views of the fort and the city. Indulge in a range of Indian and international dishes while enjoying the lively ambiance.
  • Saffron: Situated in the heart of Jaisalmer, Saffron is known for its authentic Rajasthani cuisine. From delectable Laal Maas (spicy lamb curry) to flavorful vegetarian dishes, the restaurant offers a memorable dining experience.
  • Desert Boy’s Dhani: Experience the rustic charm of a traditional Rajasthani village at Desert Boy’s Dhani. Enjoy a traditional Rajasthani meal in a cozy setting accompanied by live folk music and dance performances.

11. Desert Festival: A Cultural Extravaganza

Overview

One of the More Amazing Things To Do In Jaisalmer can be The Desert Festival of Jaisalmer is an annual extravaganza that celebrates the rich cultural heritage of the region. Held in February, the festival showcases traditional music, dance performances, camel races, and various competitions.

Festival Highlights

  • Cultural Performances: Witness captivating folk music and dance performances by local artists. From energetic Kalbelia dance to soul-stirring Manganiyar music, the cultural performances transport you to the vibrant world of Rajasthan.
  • Camel Races and Polo: Experience the thrill of camel races and polo matches, where skilled riders showcase their equestrian expertise. The exciting competitions amidst the golden sands of Jaisalmer are a sight to behold.
  • Turban Tying and Moustache Competitions: Engage in the festive spirit by participating in turban tying competitions and moustache contests. These lively events celebrate the quintessential Rajasthani attire and traditions.

How to Reach Jaisalmer

By Air

Jaisalmer has its own domestic airport, Jaisalmer Airport (JSA), which is well-connected to major cities like Delhi, Jaipur, and Mumbai. Several airlines operate regular flights to and from Jaisalmer, making it convenient for travelers to reach the city.

By Train

Jaisalmer Railway Station is connected to major cities like Delhi, Jaipur, Jodhpur, and Ahmedabad by regular train services. The Palace on Wheels, a luxury train, also includes Jaisalmer in its itinerary, offering a memorable rail journey experience.

By Road

Jaisalmer is well-connected to various cities in Rajasthan and neighboring states by a network of well-maintained roads. State transport buses, private taxis, and self-drive options are available for travelers who prefer road journeys.

Jodhpur To Jaisalmer

  • Fly from Jodhpur to Jaisalmer airport in 45 minutes.
  • Take a train from Jodhpur Junction to Jaisalmer Railway Station in 6 hours.
  • Take a bus or drive from Jodhpur to Jaisalmer in 7 hours or 5 hours respectively.

Jaipur To Jaisalmer

  • To reach Jaipur to Jaisalmer by flight, you need to Fly first to Jodhpur airport and then take another flight to Jaisalmer airport in 4 hours.
  • Take a train from Jaipur Junction to Jaisalmer Railway Station in 12 hours.
  • Take a bus or drive from Jaipur to Jaisalmer in 13 hours or 10 hours respectively.

Conclusion

Jaisalmer, with its timeless charm and rich cultural heritage, promises an unforgettable journey through history, adventure, and vibrant traditions. From exploring the grandeur of the Jaisalmer Fort to venturing into the mystical Kuldhara Village, from thrilling desert adventures to indulging in the flavors of Rajasthani cuisine, the list of things to do in Jaisalmer is as diverse as it is enchanting. Plan your visit to this captivating city and immerse yourself in the wonders that await, creating memories that will last a lifetime. Reach out to me in case you have a query.

FAQs

What are the main attractions of Jaisalmer?

The main attractions of Jaisalmer are the Jaisalmer Fort, the havelis (mansions), the Jain temples, the Kuldhara Village, the Thar Desert, and the Ghadisar Lake.

How can I reach Jaisalmer by air?

Jaisalmer has its own domestic airport, which is connected to major cities like Delhi, Jaipur, and Mumbai12. You can also fly to Jodhpur airport, which is about 275 km away from Jaisalmer, and then take a taxi or a bus to Jaisalmer.

What are the best things to do in Jaisalmer?

The best things to do in Jaisalmer are camel safari, jeep safari, desert camping, dune bashing, folk performances, Rajasthani cuisine, shopping for handicrafts, and bhang.

When is the Desert Festival of Jaisalmer held?

The Desert Festival of Jaisalmer is an annual extravaganza that celebrates the rich cultural heritage of the region3. It is held in February, and showcases traditional music, dance performances, camel races, and various competitions4.

What are the best places to stay in Jaisalmer?

Jaisalmer offers a range of accommodation options to suit every budget and preference. You can choose from luxury hotels, heritage havelis, desert camps, or budget guesthouses. Some of the popular places to stay in Jaisalmer are The Trio, Saffron, Desert Boy’s Dhani, and Palace on Wheels.