Jaisalmer is a former medieval trading center and a princely state in the western Indian state of Rajasthan, in the heart of the Thar Desert. Known as the "Golden City," it's distinguished by its yellow sandstone architecture. Dominating the skyline is Jaisalmer Fort, a sprawling hilltop citadel buttressed by 99 bastions. Behind its massive walls stand the ornate Maharaja's Palace and intricately carved Jain temples.
Jaisalmer Fort, nestled on the golden sands of Thar Desert, is not just a fort but a mini-town with houses, temples, shops, and restaurants. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it falls under the category of 'Hill Forts of India'. Built in 1156, Jaisalmer Fort gets its name from the former Bhati Rajput ruler Rao Jaisal. More than three thousand people live within the fort walls with multiple entrance gates on the path up top, the last of which directs you to the popular public square named Dashera Chowk. The fort stands at an impressive height of 250 ft. and is surrounded by a 30 ft. tall walls. Owing to its altitude, it offers a stunning and panoramic view of Jaisalmer city draped in golden yellow!
Jaisalmerin Rajasthan is frequented by tourists for its large stretches of desert sand. Popular Desert Safaris in Jaisalmer takes place in Sam Sand Dunes. A Jeep takes you to a point near Sam Sand Dunes (around 45km from the city) from where the camel ride starts and lasts for around 90 minutes. You will also stop by at a few attractions on your way.
The safaris can be done in the morning or in the evening followed a delicious meal alongside a musical dance program that showcases the local culture of Rajasthan. If you don't wish to indulge in this experience and want to go for a off-beat experience, there are a few operators like Trotters that will take you to Khuri Sand Dunes. The meal will be modest and the tent will be pitched for you making it perfect for stargazing (also because there is no light pollution in this part).
Kuldhara Village, located around 20 kilometres from the Golden City Jaisalmer is one of the most interesting and intriguing attraction sites that you should absolutely include in your itinerary. The village, rich with its fair share of legends and myths, is said to be a spooky and haunted village. The abandoned and eerily beautiful appearance of it, standing solitary amidst the vast stretches of desert, lives up to its reputation. There have been stories of ghostly and paranormal activities in and around the village, but like always no one could provide any solid proof of it. Visit it, if you wish to be surrounded by an air of mystery.
Legend says that the residents of the entire area left the place overnight altogether to save their honour and lives from the hands of the tyrannical minister.
Situated near the town of Jaisalmer, Desert national park is among the largest of its kind in the country, encompassing an area of 3162 sq kms. The park covers a huge area extending from Jaisalmer/Barmer all the way to the India-Pakistan border. In spite of being right in the middle of an arid, dry, and sandy desert, the desert national park presents a wonderful opportunity to see the wildlife such as camels, desert fox, Bengal fox, chinkara, wolves, desert cat, and the Blackbuck. The intriguing landmark offers everything one can expect from a desert ecosystem, craggy rocks and compact salt lake bottoms, intermedial areas and fixed dunes. The dunes consist of about 20% of the park. The entire area is covered with thorny bushes, cacti and a few desert plants. If you want to explore the majestic wildlife at the Desert National Park, then the best way to do so is by going for an adventure-filled jeep safari which will be an entirely new exciting experience.
On the outskirts of Jaisalmer in the arid state of Rajasthan lies the beautiful Gadisar Lake, which sits like an oasis in the heart of a desert. Back in the middle ages, there were no canals or irrigation system or other scientific methods to bring water to the arid regions of Rajasthan. This reservoir was built by Raja Rawal Jaisal keeping in mind the need of his people. Located close to the fort of Jaisalmer, the lake is an easy respite from the hot and dry desert climate. Gadisar Lake offers scenic and picturesque views of the lake and the adjacent fort, especially when the eastern sky is blood red and the sun rises, striking its rays on the top floors of Jaisalmer Fort.
Sam Sand Dunes in Jaisalmer is an offbeat natural tourist destination in Rajasthan right in the middle of the Thar Desert. Right in the middle of the historical forts and colourful markets, Sam Sand Dunes are among the best and most authentic in the country, some rising as tall as 30-60 metres tall. Lying around 40-42 kilometres from the golden city of Jaisalmer, the dunes are located over calm and undulating stretches of golden yellow sand stretching for around 2 kilometres along the borders of the Jaisalmer Desert National Park. Travellers often come here to witness the dramatic and sunrise and sunsets. You can also gain a close insight into the culture and tradition of Rajasthan with dances and musicals that are staged around the campfires at night.
Also known as the Mansion of Brocade Merchants, Patwon Ki Haveli is a famous tourist attraction in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan. At first glance from the narrow street it faces, one would see several windows and balconies with intricate carvings, and once inside, they would get to witness the grandeur of the Haveli. It is a cluster of five small havelis built by a rich trader in the 19th Century. Locals also refer the haveli as Kothari’s Patwa Haveli. The five havelis were built for the family and together, the entire complex forms the largest mansion in the city. It still possesses an ample number of artefacts and stonework that give a glimpse into the regal lifestyle of the Patwa family. It is one of three havelis that are deemed impressive in the city. The building comes under the Archaeological Survey of India, and it is recognized as a renowned architectural as well as a historical site.
One of the relics of Rajasthan's illustrious past, Bada Bagh in Jaisalmer is primarily a series of cenotaphs set amidst a garden. The glorious golden cenotaphs gleam in the deserts of Jaisalmer and the adjoining garden. It is located about 6 kms north of Jaisalmer, on the way to Ramgarh. Bada Bagh, translated literally as 'Big Garden', is a garden complex nestled between Jaisalmer and Lodhruva in Rajasthan. This is a popular site because it is a garden that has the cenotaphs of all the Maharajas and other prestigious family members of Jaisalmer; all royal Rajputs kings of 6 centuries!