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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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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 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.
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-bearing 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!
I have visited Jaisalmer twice, and fell absolutely in love with the desert each time. For me, the main attraction in Jaisalmer are the sand dunes and the tents which offer accommodation for the nights, situated close by. We once went to Khuri, and once to Sam Sand Dunes. Both the times were equally exhilarating. The cultural evening that takes place at the tents is very enjoyable, and worth every penny you spend. Jaisalmer also boasts of a grand fort, which is also a must visit. Apart from that, there are many havelis and mahals in and around the city. Indeed, Jaisalmer is the true Rajasthan experience.
- 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.
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.