Jaisalmer or as popularly called “the golden city” is on the westernmost part of India and within close proximity to the Thar Desert (hence the name) in Rajasthan. The city is full of forts and palaces of Rajput dynasty. The magnificently built havelis amidst the sand dunes in the desert are quite a treat to the eyes. The camel safari and the desert music festival in the month of February are a must see.
Best time to visit Jaisalmer:
The best time to visit Jaisalmer is during the winters from November- March when the temperature is cool. The average temperature at this time is 12-15 degrees which are pleasant.
Ways to reach Jaisalmer:
- By air – Jaisalmer airport is newly built and thus has a limited number of flights to major cities of India only. There are direct flights to Jodhpur, Kolkata, Ahmedabad and Bhopal.
- By train – Most popular mode of travel is by train. There are trains available to almost all prime cities of the country. Jodhpur to Jaisalmer trains run every day, once in the morning (a slow one) and once at night (express train).
- By bus – There is frequent bus connectivity as well to all cities of Rajasthan. Jodhpur is 300 km, Jaipur is 570 km and Udaipur is 575 km.
- By road – Roads are somewhat connected to other cities. The desert area has no roads. Various car service agencies provide chauffeured cars and charge per kilometre or per day basis (based on the plan that you take).
Places to stay in Jaisalmer:
Jaisalmer has some amazing hotels and guesthouses to stay. Some of the top stays are-
- Hotel LaVie
- Hotel Desert Pilgrim
- Mystic Dervish
- Swan Hotel
- Zostel Jaisalmer
- Hotel Jaisalmer Palace
- Star View Guest House
Places to visit in Jaisalmer:
- Jaisalmer Fort or Sonar Qila- This is the top tourist attraction of the city and this is a living fort. There are shops and hotels inside the fort where you can buy food and handicrafts and can also relax for a while in the havelis. It has amazing stone carvings on the walls and you get the most photogenic shots of the forts with the golden sand and the setting sun in the background.
- Ghadsisar Lake- This is an artificial lake that has been built by King Ghadisa to quench the needs of his people. There are boat rides available which take you across the lake and you can even feed the catfish.
- Vyas Chhatri- Vyas Chhatri is in Bada Bagh and you get to see beautiful shots of the city from here. Don’t miss the sunsets here as they are too good to be explained. Take your camera and shoot some memorable clicks.
- Some notable havelis are-
- Salim Singh ki Haveli
- Patwaon ki Haveli
Festivals at Jaisalmer:
Famous festivals celebrated here are-
- Desert festival is held in February where you get to ride on camels for as long as 14 days.
- GanGaur Festival is a traditional festival held here in the month of April.
- Teej Festival is celebrated with great fervour and enthusiasm in the month of August.
Must eat foods in Jaisalmer:
Rajasthani food is famous for its spice and sweetness (from jaggery) in the same dish. Some must-try food specialities here are-
- Dal Baati Churma
- Ker Sangri
- Gatte ki sabzi
- Gotua Ladoo and Panchdhari ladoo (best is at Dhanraj Ranmal Bhatia Sweet House)
Shopping and local markets in Jaisalmer:
From handloom sarees and handicrafts to brass items, you can shop for all your needs at the Sadar Bazaar which is the most famous market here. There is another market by the name Sonoran ka bass where you will find pretty good antique jewellery for very cheap prices. If you are looking for some leather items, you can buy them at Bhatia Bazaar. They also sell silk and cotton embroidered suits and sarees that you may buy for yourself or your family members.
Tips for travelling in Jaisalmer:
- Don’t miss desert safari and camel rides. You will not get this in most other places in India
- Stay hydrated at all times. Carry a water bottle with you and drink lassi or juices whenever you can. There are juice shops all around.
- Carry and apply frequently some good amount of sunscreen.
- Shopkeepers and localities might force you into buying things near havelis and other tourist places. Don’t fall in their trap.
- Don’t miss the sunset at Vyas Chhatri.
- There will be a lot of walking to do on a daily basis so pack some comfortable sneakers.
Festival Calendar of Jaisalmer
|Feb||Desert Festival |
|Apr||GanGaur Festival(Rajasthani Folk Festival)|