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Jaisalmer Travel Essentials


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Ideal duration: 2-3 days

Best Time: October to March Read More

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"The Golden City"

Jaisalmer Tourism

Jaisalmer, a mesmerizing destination nestled in the heart of the Thar Desert, is a jewel in the crown of Rajasthan. Often referred to as the "Golden City," Jaisalmer captivates visitors with its sandstone architecture, picturesque landscapes, and rich cultural heritage. The city is adorned with lakes, ornate Jain temples and havelis.

One of the standout attractions in Jaisalmer is the magnificent Jaisalmer Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the largest fully preserved fortified cities in the world. Constructed using golden-yellow sandstone, the fort seems to blend seamlessly with the surrounding desert, earning it the moniker "Sonar Quila" or the Golden Fort. Inside, visitors can explore narrow winding lanes, intricately carved havelis, and the imposing Maharaja's Palace.

The havelis of Jaisalmer, such as Patwon Ki Haveli and Salim Singh Ki Haveli, showcase the city's opulent architectural heritage. These grand mansions boast exquisite carvings, delicate balconies, and intricate facades, providing a glimpse into the affluent lifestyle of the merchants who once inhabited them. The Gadisar Lake, a historic water reservoir surrounded by temples and ghats, adds a tranquil touch to the vibrant city. The Jain Temples within the fort premises showcase stunning architecture and intricate marble work. 

A camel safari in the vast expanses of the Thar Desert is an essential Jaisalmer experience. The golden dunes, changing hues during sunrise and sunset, create a magical setting for an unforgettable adventure. Camping under the star-studded desert sky adds to the allure of the desert safari. Jaisalmer, like other cities in Rajasthan, celebrates its cultural vibrancy through festivals like the Desert Festival. This three-day extravaganza showcases the rich folk culture of Rajasthan, featuring traditional music, dance, camel races, and vibrant processions.

Jaisalmer is not just a city; it's a living testament to the resilience of desert communities and their ability to create a thriving oasis in the midst of arid landscapes. The best time to visit Jaisalmer is during the winter months, from October to March, when the weather is pleasant for exploring the city and enjoying desert activities.

Must Know Before You Travel to Jaisalmer

  • Permits: Permits are needed to visit certain border areas like the Tanot Mata Temple and Longewala. These can be obtained from the local police station or military office in Jaisalmer.
  • Pre-Booking: Desert safaris and stays in desert camps often require pre-booking, especially during peak tourist season (October to March).
  • Seasonal Accessibility: The best time to visit Jaisalmer is from October to March when the weather is cooler. Summer months (April to June) can be extremely hot, with temperatures soaring above 40°C.
  • Network Connectivity: Mobile network connectivity is generally good in Jaisalmer, but can be spotty in remote desert areas. Major operators like Airtel and Jio offer the best coverage.
  • Local Transport: Auto-rickshaws and taxis are common modes of transport within Jaisalmer. Walking is feasible within the city center and near major attractions.
  • Language: English is widely understood in tourist areas. For better communication in rural areas, basic Hindi phrases can be useful.
  • Cash Dependency: ATMs are available, but it's advisable to carry sufficient cash, as card payments may not be accepted everywhere, especially in remote desert camps.
  • Dress Code: While there are no strict dress codes, it’s advisable to dress modestly when visiting religious sites.
  • Health and Safety: Ensure you stay hydrated and wear sunscreen to protect against the harsh sun. Carry necessary medications and a basic first aid kit.
  • Festivals: Plan your visit around the Desert Festival in February for a unique cultural experience featuring folk music, dance, and camel races.
  • Parking: Parking can be limited in the narrow streets of Jaisalmer. It's best to use public transport or stay in accommodations that offer parking facilities.

Top Hotels In Jaisalmer

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Desert Festival

The Jaisalmer Desert Festival is an event organized by the Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation each February. It celebrated in the Thar Desert and the locals dress up in traditional and colorful attires. There is a lot of singing and dancing, gymnastic acts, camel races, tug of war, turban tying and a march from the Fort to the desert.

History of Jaisalmer

Jaisalmer was founded by Raja Rawal Jaiswal (of the Bhatti clan), in the year 1156 A.D. Raja Rawal Jaiswal, was on the lookout for a new place to build a new capital, as he did not find the one in Lodhruva a safe one. Thus, while inspecting a hill known as the Trikut Hill, he got acquainted with a lone sage, Eesul. When Eesul got to know that Jaiswal was descendent of the Yaduvanshi clan, he narrated a myth to the latter, according to which, Lord Krishna had made a prophecy stating that one day a descendant of his clan would establish a kingdom here. Encouraged by this, Rawal Jaiswal established a kingdom here, which eventually came to be known as Jaisalmer (which means "The Hill Fort of Jaisal"). Jaisalmer became a prime spot because of its location. It fell in between the major trade routes which connected India with Persia, Egypt and Africa. In the medieval times, when the Bhattis raided a caravan of Allauddin Khalji, it resulted in a siege conducted by the latter on Jaisalmer, which lasted for eight long years. Eventually, when it became certain that the Bhattis would be defeated, about 24,000 women of Jaisalmer committed Jauhar. Jaisalmer was finally reoccupied by the Bhattis in the 15th century.

Shopping in Jaisalmer

Jaisalmer is extremely popular for the curious that it offers. A trip to Jaisalmer would mean a compulsory trip to its famous "bazaars". This beautiful city has a wide range of products to offer like carpets, blankets, garments and bangles embroidered with mirrors, stonework products, oil lamps, and most importantly, silver jewellery! "Sadar Bazaar", being the most popular market of Jaisalmer, offers a mouth-watering variety of shawls, dupattas with mirror work, jewellery, and products of stonework. Other such markets are: Manak Chowk, Seema Gram (has all of the government shops like "Khado Gramodyog Bhandar", which will save you a lot of money as the products are sold at government-approved rates), Pansari Bazaar (the oldest bazaar of Jaisalmer which specialise in the selling of puppets), and Bhatia Bazaar. If you are looking for a delightful jewellery shopping experience, the best place to visit is "Sonaron ka Baas". As the name suggests, this market offers a wide variety of jewellery in gold and silver, as well as semi-precious stones. So, Jaisalmer is surely a place to whet the appetite of all the shopaholics (and definitely the non-shopaholics as well)! Read more about Shopping in Jaisalmer

Restaurants and Local Food in Jaisalmer

Add just a tiny hint of rich non-vegetarian food in a typical Rajasthani cuisine and subtle influences of North India, and the rich and mouth watering menu that you will get will be Jaisalmer's cuisine. Murgh-e-subz is a chicken delicacy that you must not miss while in Jaisalmer. Along with this are other non-vegetarian preparations such as Tikkas and kebabs. Other than these Ker Sangri, Banon Aloo and Kadi Pakora are popular and almost define the food here.
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Suggested Itinerary for Jaisalmer

Day 1 - Visit "The Palace" (a nickname for Jaisalmer Fort Palace Museum and Heritage Centre) is in the winter season. The palace opens at around 9:00 A.M. and the entry fee is around INR 250. Built out of golden stone, the fort has intricate designs carved on its walls. You can also avail an option featuring a self-guided audio tour. It usually takes one and a half hours to two hours to properly cover the entire fort and museum. Later, you can explore the famous local markets of Jaisalmer to get to know the culture.

Day 2 - Jaisalmer is extremely popular for its desert safaris. On the second day book a full-day safari. Some of the safari packages include a pick-up, an amazing camel ride, a beautiful view of the sunrise/sunset, a resting place by the oasis, and a lovely meal by the dunes. Some packages are for the entire day, and some are for half a day. The packages can cost between INR 500 to INR 2000. The best part of these tours is the fact that you get to visit the villages nearby and get to meet the locals and see Rajasthan through their eyes.

Day 3 - If you are in a mood to splurge, visit the local specialised markets like the Sadar Bazaar, Sonaron Ka Baas, Seema Gram, and Bhatia Bazaar. You will get to buy the most popular products of Jaisalmer like ornaments, mirror products (dupattas and bangles embroidered with mirrors, for example), stonework products, and puppets. Explore the local culture and cuisine of Rajasthan, and have a nice relaxed day.

Day 4 - Visit the Jaina Temples which are inside the Jaisalmer Fort. The temples are open in the morning hours until 12 noon. The architectural style of these temples is known as the "Dilwara" style of architecture and date back to the 12th and 15th century. Later visit the Amar Sagar Lake which is situated beside the Amar Singh Palace. It is open from 9 A.M. to 5 P.M.

Best Time to Visit Jaisalmer

Jaisalmer Photos

Jaisalmer, Rajasthan
Jaisalmer Fort
Il Forte di Jaisalmer
Patwaon Ki haveli, Jaisalmer

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FAQs on Jaisalmer

What is famous about Jaisalmer?

Amazing sand dunes. Beautiful heritage monuments. Culturally rich. Grand palaces and Jain temples.

What is not so good about Jaisalmer?

Summers can be harsh. Expensive accommodation and commute. Slightly difficult to reach.

Who should visit Jaisalmer?

Jaisalmer is for everyone who loves cultural events and a trip through rich heritage. It is a beautiful city and is a spectacle of visiting during the Desert Festival.

What is the best time to visit Jaisalmer?

October to March is the best time to visit Jaisalmer. The weather during this time is pleasant and breezy and the best time to enjoy the colourful sandy terrain. Situated in the heart of Thar Desert, the summers are extremely dry and hot and must be avoided. The heat will definitely take a toll on your body and you will not be able to enjoy your trip to the fullest. During winters, the temperatures fall upto 1 or 2 degree Celsius, especially during the night, so warm clothing is necessary. The monsoon season is also a good time to travel to Jaisalmer. During this time you might get a glimpse of some greenery growing on the arid turf. Jaisalmer is a colourful and vibrant place with an even more beautiful culture that should be a must visit.

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What is the local food in Jaisalmer?

Add just a tiny hint of rich non-vegetarian food in a typical Rajasthani cuisine and subtle influences of North India, and the rich and mouth watering menu that you will get will be Jaisalmer's cuisine. Murgh-e-subz is a chicken delicacy that you must not miss while in Jaisalmer. Along with this are other non-vegetarian preparations such as Tikkas and kebabs. Other than these Ker Sangri, Banon Aloo and Kadi Pakora are popular and almost define the food here.
Read More

What is the best way to reach Jaisalmer?

Jodhpur is the nearest airport, about 300km. From there, one can take the train. Jaisalmer is connected well via railways to all major cities. One can also reach Jaisalmer by the famous 'Palace on Wheels'. The city is well connected to rest of the cities in the state by well maintained roads too.
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How much does a package cost for Jaisalmer?

The packages for Jaisalmer start at INR 12000 which can be further customized based on number of people, days, hotel category, vehicle type and customizations. You can have a look at all packages here

What are the top hotels in Jaisalmer?

There are 259 in Jaisalmer which can be booked through Holidify. The most popular hotels in Jaisalmer are Hotel Jessulkot Jaisalmer, Payal Safari Camp, Lion guest house, Hamari Haveli by Moustache, Desert pearl Resort, Hotel Dev Villa. You can see all the hotels in Jaisalmer here

What are the things to do in Jaisalmer?

The top things to do in Jaisalmer are Jaisalmer Fort, Desert Safari in Jaisalmer, Kuldhara Village, Jain Temples in Jaisalmer, Desert National Park, Gadisar Lake. You can see all the places to visit in Jaisalmer here

What are the places near Jaisalmer?

The top places near to Jaisalmer are Mount abu which is 315 km from Jaisalmer, Udaipur which is located 381 km from Jaisalmer, Jaipur which is located 483 km from Jaisalmer, Jodhpur which is located 223 km from Jaisalmer, Goa which is located 1305 km from Jaisalmer

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Popular Questions And Answers on Jaisalmer

Q. How many night we need to spend to cover Jaisalmer??

Jodhpur Blue City Kumar

3 years ago
atleast 3 days, 1 day for city visit, one day for sam sand dunes and night programme , and one day for some more sights like- Tanot Mata Mandir, bada bagh, kuldhara etc you can choose anything from t (Read More)hem.

Q. How many days will it take me to do all the site seeings in details..?? Where can i find cheap fooding and hotels? And what will transportation cost me..to cover all the main places in jaiselmer?

Kamal Kishor

6 years ago
In jaisalmer 2 night is enough for visiting. there in one night for stay in jaisalmer and one night in desert with under the stars and moon In jaisalmer find a good hotel so you can oyo room and for (Read More)food you can search on TripAdvisor so they can make a good trip for you .
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Q. Is December ( 24th) right time to visit Jaisalmer? I'll just have 3 to 4 days , so will it make sense to cover Jodhpur as well?

Prabhat Sharma

6 years ago
No its not.... December 25 would be more like it!
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Jaisalmer Reviews

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दिलीप सोनी

5 years ago
Jaisalmer is a very nice city to visit. "Link Hidden"

Anjali Vij

5 years ago
Jaisalmer, also known as the Golden City, seems as if old fairytale dessert towns have come to life. The city is oriented around the Jaisalmer Fort, which is in itself one of the only living forts in (Read More) India. Apart from the fort, the desert around the city offer activities such as dune bashing, parasailing, desert camping and so on. The city itself has very little to offer but the various experiences etched around the city are worth it. I visited Jaisalmer at the last during my tour around Rajasthan largely because Jaisalmer has limited connectivity from major cities Jaipur and Udaipur. The autorickshaw prices are also high in Jaisalmer such that walking is much preferred as the city itself is not that widely spread at all.

Ushni Dasgupta

6 years ago
If you're a history aficionado and Satyajit Ray fan like me, the hidden lanes of the Fort may seem like a treasure hunter's fantasy realised! I would recommend stopping and listening to the sarangi-b (Read More)earing musician's rendition of Kesariya Balam. When you're back home, the rustic notes will help you find your way back to the land of golden sands!
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