The Jaisalmer Fort stands as a crown atop the city and provides a beautiful contrast to the landscape. It also has a lake and many magnificent temples, all made of sandstone. The narrow alleys surrounding the fort are inhabited by people residing there for generations. Jaisalmer is a sublime amalgam of exotic Indian desert culture, heritage and adventure.
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Amazing sand dunes. Beautiful heritage monuments. Culturally rich. Grand palaces and Jain temples.
Summers can be harsh. Expensive accommodation and commute. Slightly difficult to reach.
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.
Here, you will find all kinds of accommodation facilities. Lavish places as well as those that will suit your budget.
Mud huts or tents are some of the options to stay outside the city. Tents are well equipped with all the facilities. RTDC (Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation) has a guest house and a few huts available at affordable prices inclusive of all meals.
You can also pitch a tent or just take your sleeping bag, mattress or cot and lie under the stars. As a precautionary measure, it is better to go with a group
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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.
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)!
Jaisalmer is a desert town covered in golden sand and having camels in abundance. The Jaisalmer Fort stands as a crown atop the city and provides a beautiful contrast to the landscape. It also has a lake and many beautiful temples, all made of sandstone. Jaisalmer is the most important tourist attraction in Rajasthan.
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.
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.
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.
- Keep you sunscreen and sunglasses handy. The Deser Safari would obviously be quite dusty, so go prepared for that. Evening and nights might be very cool.
By Rohit Shroff
I am planning to visit Jaisalmer around New Years. Would it be very crowded at that time? Also, are there cafes to just sit and chill?