Jaisalmer, the 'Golden City', epitomises the charm of a sandy desert, along with the royal palaces and fighting camels of Rajasthan. This world famous tourist destination is situated in the middle of the great Thar Desert. Also, serving as the administrative headquarters of the Jaisalmer District it shares its borders with Pakistan, Bikaner, Barmer and Jodhpur. This golden city is just 575 km away from the State Capital, Jaipur. Tourism is the major sector playing a key role in the economy of the district. The city has been named after its founder Rao Jaisal who ruled Jaisalmer during the 12th century.
This Golden City is famous for Rajasthani folk music and dance forms which are highly appreciated in the global forum. The most sensual dance form 'Kalbeliya' is performed by the indigenous tribes on the occasion of the Desert Festival at Sam Sand Dunes. This is a three-day annual festival held in the month of February. The camel races, turban tying, and the best moustache competitions attract tourists from far flung areas. Besides, camping, bonfire, and camel safari in the great Thar Desert are sure to give an unforgettable experience to travellers visiting Jaisalmer.
Its more than just sightseeing...Tourist Places in and around Jaisalmer
Like any other desert city of Rajasthan, Jaisalmer is also renowned for royal forts, havelis, palaces, museums and temples. Also considered as 'The Pride of Jaisalmer', the Jaisalmer Fort is the most famous tourist attraction of the Golden City. Sunset paints this yellow sandstone fort with golden colour. Therefore, it is also known as the ‘Sonar Quila’ or the ‘Golden Fort’. This fort has various gateways known as Akhai Pol, Hawa Pol, Suraj Pol and Ganesh Pol. The fort's fusion style of Rajput and Mughal architecture attract tourist attention. Visitors can see here various royal palaces, seven Jain temples, and numerous wells. Among the seven Jain Temples, the Shantinath Temple, the Chandraprabhu Temple and, the Shitalnath Temple are the most popular shrines.
The Maharaja’s Palace or Jaisalmer Fort Palace Museum and Heritage Centre, located inside the Jaisalmer Fort complex are also renowned tourist attractions of the city. Tourists can enjoy a bird's eye view of the city from the rooftop of the palace. The silver coronation throne, bed, dish, local stamps, banknotes, and sculptures of the royal family are main attractions of this palace.
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The 180 year old Akal Wood Fossil Park is also a famous site to see while visiting Jaisalmer. The huge fossilised tree trunks and antique sea shells are the prime attractions of this park. Tourists can see harriers, buzzards, spotted eagles and short-toed eagles, tawny eagles, vultures, kestrel, lager falcons and sand grouse inside the Desert National Park of Jaisalmer. This unique park is a natural habitat of the endangered State Bird of Rajasthan the Great Indian Bustard. The best time to visit the park is between the months of November and January.
Nathmalji-ki-Haveli, Salim Singh-ki-Haveli, Patwon-ki-Haveli, Haveli Shreenath, Manak Chowk and Havelis are famous for their unique architectural style. Travellers visiting Jaisalmer also see Mool Sagar, Gopa Chowk, Jaisalmer Folklore Museum, Tazia Tower, Gadsisar Lake, Bada Bagh, Khuri Sand Dunes, Sam Sand Dunes, and Kuldhara.
Amar Singh Palace is a beautiful royal building located on the banks of the Amar Singh Lake in Jaisalmer. This palace was constructed during the 17th century by the King Maharawal Akhai Singh. The beautiful murals on the walls enhance the beauty of the palace. Apart from enchanting palaces, there are few museums located in the Jaisalmer City. The Desert Cultural Centre and Museum exhibits a rare collection of ethnic instruments, rare fossils, ancient scriptures, medieval coins and traditional artefacts. Besides, the Government Museum offers an opportunity to see historic household items, rock-cut crockery and jewellery.
Lip smacking ethnic cuisine
Tourists planning a holiday to Jaisalmer can try the scrumptious ethnic cuisine of Rajasthan. The mouth-watering Murgh-e-Subz (succulent, boneless strips of chicken stir-fried with shredded vegetables) is the most popular dish among tourists here. The delicious Ker Sangri (desert beans and capers) is unique to Jaisalmer. Interested tourists can also try Bhanon aloo (stuffed potatoes with mint paste and simmered in gravy) and Kadi Pakora (flour dumplings cooked in yogurt sauce) which are available in the restaurants of Jaisalmer.
Reaching Jaisalmer - How to reach Jaisalmer
Jaisalmer is easily accessible by air, rail, and road. The Jodhpur Airport is the nearest domestic airbase to the city. This airport is well connected to the Indira Gandhi International Airport of New Delhi by frequent flights. It is connected to major Indian destinations like Kolkata, Chennai, Mumbai and Bengaluru by daily flights. Pre-paid taxis are available from the Jodhpur Airport to Jaisalmer. Travellers can also reach the destination by trains. The railway station of Jaisalmer is connected to Jodhpur and other major Indian cities by frequent trains. Deluxe and semi-deluxe buses are also available from Jaipur, Ajmer, Bikaner, and Delhi to Jaisalmer.
The Golden City of Jaisalmer enjoys dry and hot climate throughout the year. Summer, monsoon and winter are the primary seasons here. The ideal time to visit this destination is the period between the months of October and March.