Every old city has facts to declare, tales to impress, uniqueness to wonder and spirit to live. Jaisalmer in Rajasthan is one such city, which offers facts about the courageous rulers and citizens of the bygone era, tales of unequalled valor, unique in its beauty and undaunted spirit to keep us alive and kicking. The city is located deep inside in the famous Thar Desert. If your next tourist destination is Jaisalmer, ensure that you visit the following 10 tourist places in Jaisalmer.
Jaisalmer Fort is famously known as Golden Fort of Rajasthan. It was constructed by Raja Jaisal, Rajput ruler in the year 1156 AD. It ranks amongst the largest forts in the world. The golden and yellow mixed sandstone offer magical look to the Fort. Rising from the desert sands like a mirage, the fort is a real sight with its 99 turrets during night. The Fort stands tall and proud displaying the magic of Rajasthani architecture.
Bada Bagh means ‘Huge Garden’. Maharawal Jait Singh’s period saw its construction, which was in the beginning of 16th century. His son Lunakaran completed the construction after the death of his father. The garden served as a memorial where the nobles and their families were cremated. The garden offers a stunning view. The place is isolated. If you visit the place during sunrise and sunset, you are guaranteed of beautiful moments, which you cannot avoid clicking.
Patwon-Ki-Haveli is located in the main city. It was built by a famous trader named Guman Chand and his sons. This massive five-storied construction has five intricately decorated huge suites. The large corridors and the decorated walls are excellent representations of the art form that prevailed. The entire construction is made of yellow sandstone. The grandeur and the architecture of the monument add immense value to the cultural heritage of the city. Out of the five havelis, one is converted into a museum. The third haveli houses the works of local craftsmen of the bygone era.
To have a feel of the desert, you need to undertake Desert Safari. Sam Sand Dunes is the ideal location to set off for the Desert Safari. You will love the safari on camelback that would take you along crests and troughs and you could watch the picturesque sunset on the desert. Jeep safaris are available as well. Desert festival is organized in the months of February and March. If you are around this time, you would not want to miss the folk dances, camel races and other cultural events conducted here.
Paragliding and other adventure sports.
A visit to the nearby Desert National Park and Sanctuary.
Thar Heritage Museum is located at the main market of the city. Laxmi Narayan Khatri was the founder of this museum. The museum presents you the history, culture, art and architecture of the famous Thar Desert. Sea fossils aging over million years let us in on how the sea eventually became the Thar Desert. The museum houses unique ornaments of the ship of the desert and horses. Documents and coins of Jaisalmer, ancient manuscripts and weapons are some of the collections found in this museum.
Gadisar Lake is located a kilometer away from the fort. It was constructed by the first ruler of the land, Raja Rawal Jaisal and later reconstructed by Maharawal Garsi in the year 1367 AD. The people of the desert city depended on this tank for their water needs. You will find temples, Holy shrines and Chattris around the banks of this lake. The artistically carved entrance made of yellow sandstone offers breathtaking view.
Nathmal Ki Haveli was built by two Muslim jeweller brothers not stone carvers on the order of the then prime minister. The brothers started working on the opposite sides of the building which lead to a similar but non identical left and right side. Apart from its extraordinary outer carvings, this haveli is known for its beautiful interiors filled with paintings and equipped with modern facilities. An amalgamation of Islamic and Rajputana architecture, Nathmal Ki Haveli is well justified as being one of the most beautiful haveli in Jaisalmer.
Located inside Jaisalmer Fort, Jain temples are a series of temples dedicated to Jain Tirthankaras and can be traced back to the 12th century. The temples are are known for their distinctive architectural style modelled after the Dilwara temple of Mt. Abu. Beautifully carved and well interconnected, these temples are a vision to behold and are completely made up of yellow sandstone.
Among all the havelis in Jaisalmer, Salim Singh Ki Haveli is known for its distinctive and eye catching architecture. It was built by the then minister, Salim Singh who wanted to make as high as the fort but was prohibited by the king. It has 38 balconies with their own distinctive style of architecture and a peacock shaped roof. This haveli provides a good glimpse in the past and the photographs taken here would be awe inspiring.
An abandoned ghost town, Kuldhara was once a prosperous town occupied by Paliwal Brahmins. The reasons for why a whole city was abandoned within a night is not clear but the popular belief holds the then state minister Salim Singh responsible for the same. The minister wanted to marry the village chief's daughter and therefore delivered an ultimatum to the village chief to accept his demands or let the whole community face dire consequences. Rather than giving in to the minister's demands, the whole village decided to move away. Before leaving, they cursed this place to never have any kind of human settlement and this has been proven true to this date. Visit Kuldhara to get a glimpse of the past and get spooked by its tales.
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Other attractions include Akal Wood Fossil Park, Badal Mahal, Raja ka Mahal, Desert National Park and Sanctuary , Silk Route Art Gallery and Jaisalmer War Museum.
Popular Places to Visit Near Jaisalmer
Take a trip down to the following places to complete your trip to Jaisalmer. These places are located at a short distance from Jaisalmer and would be even perfect for time strapped visitors.
Distance from Jaisalmer: 56 min (49.8 km).
A small village famous for its sand dunes, Khuri has scenic sunset viewpoints and offers a good look in Thar’s ecosystem due to its location. This is an affordable substitute to Sam Sand dunes and would be ideal for people looking forward to relaxing among lesser crowds. Camel riding, Desert camping are some of the activities that can be done here.
Distance from Jaisalmer: 1 hr (56.0 km).
An ancient city, Lodhurva was once the capital of Bhati Rajputs before they shifted to Jaisalmer. It is the setting for a romantic folklore and is famous for its Jain temple which was destroyed by Muhammad Ghori but rebuilt in 1615 by Seth Tharu Shah. Tourists flock this place to see the architectural ruins and sand dunes. Some ancient hindu temples like Rishabh Nath Temple and Sambhavnath Temple can also be visited here.
Barmer is dotted with ancient buildings and old temples. The Barmer Fort, Chintamani Parasnath Jain Temple, Kiradu Temples, Rani Bhatiani Temple are some of the places that are famed for their architectural marvel. The Mahabar Sand Dunes is another place here that is perfect for an outing with your family and offers nice sunset views.
The city may be in the heart of a desert but the heart of the city is vibrant and pleasant. Go ahead and enjoy these 9 places to visit in Jaisalmer. You are sure to love every minute of your stay. Check out other popular places in Rajasthan to learn more about this magical land of kings and forts.