Top must visit places in Jaisalmer: A 2-day trip
For more than a month I had travelled to different regions of India. Each region is known for its own culture and traditions. Each region has its own charming historical sites and monuments, photogenic hills and landscapes, places of religious interests and challenging myths. So, exploring such variety is what I wanted or what we all travellers like to experience. Apart from this, if I talk about what kind of trips I had during the last two months then it includes 3 kinds; sponsored trip, solo trip and family trip.
My trip was started from the mid of December’17 when I got a chance to see Jaisalmer. Most importantly it was a sponsored trip without which this journey was not possible. I had some different plans on my bucket list for the Demeber. Anyway, Jaisalmer was my dream place and the Anand Hotels and resorts had made it possible. I already shared a sponsored review post on Anand (Golden Tower) hotel and resort. Here, this post is dedicated to top must-visit places in Jaisalmer.
Top must-visit places in Jaisalmer:
Jaisalmer got its name after the Rajput king “Maharawal Jaisal Singh”, who founded this city in 1156 AD and the foothill “Meru”. Jaisalmer is also known as “The golden city” because the whole city is known for its yellow/golden architecture. The forts and houses are made up of yellow sandstones. Also, the city is established on yellow sand as it is surrounded by the Great Indian Desert – “Thar Desert”. Hence, this city is further known to be the driest city in India and is considered in the list of world heritage sites.
Here is the list of Top must visit places in Jaisalmer which bring tourist to this dry city…
1- Jaisalmer Fort – The Golden Fort
What to say about Jaisalmer Fort, the use of a few mere words will not be enough to justify the magnificence of this fort. Yet I would like to utter a few words about the fort.
Jaisalmer fort is one of the beautiful forts of India and is counted amongst the largest forts in the world. The fort is also labelled as “The golden fort” and “The living fort“. By the term living fort, I actually mean living as it houses more than 2000 people inside its periphery. The fort was built in 1156 by Bhati Rajput under the reign of Maharawal Jaiswal Singh.
Also, the reason for considering Jaisalmer fort as the golden fort (Sone ka Kila) is because it is made up of yellow sandstone. The architecture resembles the fusion of Mughal and Rajputana style. Some major attractions to see in the fort are Raj Mahal (Royal Palace), Rani Mahal, Jain temples, the Laxminath temple and 4 major gateways or poles. Furthermore, I have realised that the fort resembles the palace in fairytales like “Arabian nights“.
Timings of the fort: 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Entry ticket to the Palace: Rs 50/- for Indian tourists and Rs 250/- for Foreigners
Best time to visit: November-February
2- Boating in Gadisar lake:
Gadisar Lake is the most popular spot of Jaisalmer after “The Golden Fort”. Gadisar Lake is a man-made reservoir which I think was made to fulfil the water needs. That’s why it is the only source of water in Jaisalmer. However, I am still surprised to see that how the lake is surviving in this dry city. Also, the lake carries a lot of heritage with it as the banks of the lake encompass beautiful Chattris (Cenotaphs), shrine temples and peaceful ghats.
The lake has boating options which can turn your evening into a lovely outing. Here you can spend quality time with your loved ones and with the environment. Moreover, if you are travelling in December like I had travelled then you can spot some migratory birds as well. The boating charges vary from Rs. 50/- to Rs. 150-/ depending on the type of boat (paddle boat, shikara) you choose.
At last, the entrance gate to the lake is surrounded by many glittering shops where you will find the Rajasthani items.
Entrance ticket: Free
Boating charges: Rs. 50/- to Rs.150/-
Timings: 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM
3- Experience the royalty in luxurious HAVELIS
There are a lot of havelis in Jaisalmer which depicts the glimpse of Rajasthan’s Royal families especially the Maharaja of Jaisalmer such as Patwaon ki Haveli, Salim Singh Haveli and Nathmal ki Haveli. These havelis show the masterpiece of design and architecture. These havelis are home to the life of royal families, merchants and ministers of Jaisalmer. Therefore, for tourists and travellers, these havelis are converted into museums and shops.
Out of these havelis, the Patwaon ki Haveli is the largest one in Jaisalmer. The Haveli was owned by Guman Chand Patwa. Its stunning architecture and the unique interior has caught my eyes. The Patwaon ki Haveli encompasses many rooms depicting the royal culture of Jaisalmer. It also encompasses various paintings, beautiful jharokhas (balconies) and archways.
The next Haveli is Nathmal ki haveli which was constructed by Maharawal Bairisal. The haveli is triple story building in which you are not allowed to enter now. Today the ground floor of Haveli has different shops where you can get a nice souvenir of Rajasthan. Yet we can do one thing: we can see the haveli from outside and click pictures of its carvings. Sad…
The last one is Salim Singh ki Haveli. It was built by minister Salim Singh. The Haveli is also known by the name peacock haveli because the roof of the haveli is designed in the shape of a peacock. This haveli has 38 attractive balconies.
So what are you waiting for…just go and visit these havelis.
4- Desert cultural centre and museum:
If someone wants to see the tradition Rajasthani art, craft, puppet shows, music and jugaldanis than Desert Cultural Centre and Museum is the one. The centre is at about 1.5 km from the bus stand on the Gadisar lake road. The museum is known to be a heritage which preserves the work of past.
This place became more interesting when I came to know that it is developed and maintained by a single person “ Mr N.K. Sharma”. It is his 40 years of hard work and contribution that we see today in the Desert cultural centre and museum. He himself has collected loads of puppets, craftwork, coins, books and other artwork and put into this museum on display. The main motive behind his collection is to preserve the lost culture and tradition of Rajasthan and show it to the coming generations.
Entry ticket: Rs. 100/- for museum + puppet show
Museum Timing: 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM
Puppet show: 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
5- Jaisalmer War Museum:
Jaisalmer war museum was my pick of the day, my favourite one. The reason being is that it exhibits the work of our Indian army. It exhibits the bravery and sacrifices of soldiers during the Indo-Pak war in 1965 and Laungewala battle in 1971. The museum was inaugurated by the Lieutenant General Ashok Singh in the celebration of Golden Jubilee commemoration year of the 1965-Indo-Pak war.
Jaisalmer war museum is located at a distance of 10 km from Jaisalmer and in the military station of Jaisalmer. The museum has a large periphery having two main halls, 1 audio-visual room and a souvenir shop. Outside these halls, there are tanks, army vehicle, Hunter-fighter-plane and much more on display. However, the catch of the museum was the tanks and trucks India has won from Pakistan. So it is definitely a worth visit spot of Jaisalmer.
Entry ticket: 50 per person
Museum timing: 9:00 AM to 6:30 PM
6- Serene Jain Temples:
The most religious part of Jaisalmer is the group of serene Jain temples. These temples are perfectly nestled inside the Jaisalmer fort. SO if you have to visit the temples go straight to the fort from where you will a small street leading to the temples. These temples are dedicated to the Jain Tirthankaras and were dated back to the 12th-15th-century temples. The architecture of these temples resembles similar to the Dilwara Jain temple, Mount Abu. However, if you want to see how the temples look from the top, jump up to the top of the fort and see the whole landscape view of the temples.
Don’t miss a chance to visit Rajasthan’s sole hill station: Mount Abu.
7- Experience the camel safari and sunset/sunrise on Sam Desert:
The Jaisalmer is very well known for its shifting sand dunes i.e. Sam Sand Dunes. The Sam sand dunes are approximately 40 km away from the main city. And in order to do certain activities for which the desert is known, it is recommended to stay for a night in the desert. That’s why Jaisalmer has a lot of tour operators offering various desert camping packages involving different activities. These activities majorly include camel safari, jeep safari, sunset/sunrise view and cultural night. Therefore, Sam desert is the popular outskirt destination of Jaisalmer.
To have a glimpse of how all the activities go on, visit my blog: Camping in Sam sand dunes.
8- The Thar Heritage Museum
Are you a history enthusiast? Thar heritage museum can be your pick up like Desert cultural centre was. The museum houses some of the preserved ancient items like coins, turbans, music, early kitchen fossils and much more. Therefore, it is another fascinating museum, however, quite similar to Desert cultural centre.
But on the contrary, I had a bad experience out there. I waited for 45min to find a person on ticket window. Nobody was there to look for, bad. Finally, I went on without seeing the museum.
Entry ticket: Rs. 30/- for Indians Rs. 70/- for foreigners.
Museum Timings: 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM
These are the Top must visit places in Jaisalmer, and this is how I spend my 48 hours in exploring of Jaisalmer.
However, I’ll say that it is slightly difficult to explore the entire city in merely 2 days. In this post, I have included all the top pick things that one can do in 48 hours like I did. And except the sam sand dunes, everything is located in the circumference of Jaisalmer. Furthermore, Jaisalmer has certain outstanding spots which lie near to it. I had covered few of these spots in my next 2 days of my trip and on a rented bike. I’ll share those spots also but in my next post.