Explore vast stretch of the Thar Desert, marvel at the elegant palaces and forts and spend the evening on the sand dunes under the star-lit sky; the list of top things to in Jaisalmer includes all these and much more for an unforgettable experience. Titled as the ‘Golden City’, the charming town of Rajasthan never fails to grab the attention of holidaymakers seeking for partaking in something unusual.
Undoubtedly, a tour to Jaisalmer offers a remarkable introduction to India in a nutshell. The vibrant culture, age-old traditions, intriguing desert festivals are nothing less than a magical charm which leaves a long-lasting impression. Here are the best things to in Jaisalmer which will leave you spoilt for choice for a memorable holiday.
Camping in Jaisalmer
Nothing beats the experience of camping in Jaisalmer. It is a unique experience that is cherished by both, first timers and frequent visitors traveling to the majestic city. Gaze at the Arabian fantasy come true amidst the vast stretch of the shimmering sand.
Delight-in spending time while watching the locals performing traditional Kalbelia dances and playing folk music. You will be pampered with world-class hospitality and the amicable people with charismatic smiles will make their way to your heart forever. Satiating your hunger with scrumptious Rajasthani dinner is an added plus. Desert camps in Jaisalmer offer you all these and much more.
Explore the Jaisalmer Fort
Resembling a huge sandcastle emerging from the desert, the Jaisalmer Fort exudes sublime beauty. The yellow-sandstone fort is open to the public and exploring it is surely one of the best things to do in Jaisalmer. The ethereal sandstone fort is reckoned as the largest living fort in India. Named among the Hill Forts of Rajasthan, it is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Heritage walking tours and guided audio tours are the highlights of the magnificent edifice. Besides being a home to nearly 2,500 people, the fort also comprises of handicraft stores, guesthouses, temples, restaurants, hotels and the palatial palace of the former rulers. Also known as the Golden Fort or the Sonar Quila, the fort presents a sight to behold at sunset.
Visit the Patwon Ki Haveli
Noted as one of the most important Havelis of Jaisalmer, the Patwon ki Haveli flaunts remarkable arches and gateways. Made up of yellow sandstone, the impressive mansion is nothing less than an architectural wonder.
Gazing at the amazing interiors and exteriors of the haveli is one of the things to not misswhile on a trip to Jaisalmer. A set of 5 houses team up to form this huge haveli and thus is known as one of the biggest mansions in Jaisalmer. Lavishly carved wooden ceilings, airy courtyards and sixty balconies, each carved distinctively make the haveli look even more spellbinding.
Explore the Khuri Sand Dunes
Khuri is a small village well-known for its sand dunes. Spending some relaxing time at the not so overcrowded Khuri Sam dunes is a must thing to do in Jaisalmer. Stargazing from the desert seem so magical and is admired by many. Bonfires and Kalbelia dance performances – an Intangible Cultural Heritage from UNESCO’s Representative List, make it a unique spectacle to behold.
It is a secret yet that these sand dunes do exist in Jaisalmer and are paradise for solitude seekers. Sunsets appear truly magical when they paint the sand hills in crimson shades. Don’t forget to spend a day or two in the mud houses for enjoying the pristine feel of the deserts.
Pay homage at the Jain Temples
Dating back to the 15th – 16th century, the Jain Temples are a stunning series of seven interconnected temples. Nestled within the fort, these sacred shrines are carved out of the sandstone and are one of the popular attractions of Jaisalmer. Soak-in the spiritual vibe that prevails at these temples. The intricate carvings on the temple give a neck to neck competition to those at the famous Ranakpur Jain Temples. The idol of Parshvanath which has been built of the black stones is a head turner and is carefully preserved at the sanctum sanctorum.
Marvel at the Salim Singh ki Haveli
No other haveli can be as enchanting as the Salim Singh ki Haveli which features a roof, designed like a peacock. 38 balconies with distinctive carvings on each of them will leave you awestruck. The art and sculpture of the mansion is what makes it outstanding from the rest.
Considered as one of the must-visit places in Jaisalmer, the haveli can make anyone envy its beauty. The architectural brilliance was way ahead of its times and has also earned haveli the title of ‘Jahazmahal’. History buffs can find the desired respite after visiting the haveli.
Shopping at the Jaisalmer markets
Markets of Jaisalmer are must-visit places for all the shopaholics. An outstanding market is the Bhatia Bazaar. Housing a unique collection of the souvenirs and traditional items of Rajasthan, the Bazaar is one of the oldest markets in Jaisalmer. Beside this, there are other markets which are perfect for shopping of silk fabrics, cotton embroideries, antique jewelry and leather goods. Carpets, oil lamps, mirrors and designer wooden boxes are worth buying.
Umpteen choices will urge you to visit the market frequently and shop till you drop. The best way to carry the memories of this amazing destination in India is by taking along with you some the beautiful mementoes from here.
Boating at the Gadsisar Lake
Luring scores of tourists, the Gadsisar Lake is reckoned as one of the beautiful lakes in Rajasthan. The entrance to the lake is as intriguing as the lake itself. Named as the Tilon the Pol, the gateway that leads to this top tourist attraction in Jaisalmer is made up of a grand and meticulously cut yellow sandstone. Aesthetically crafted temples, chattris and ghats adorn the banks of the lake.
Winter is the best time to visit Jaisalmer for bird watching from this place. Marveling at the sunrise or sunset while enjoying a boat ride will complete your trip to the ‘Golden City’.
Savor the flavors of the city
Sadar Bazaar is the place to be for relishing the flavors of the city. The unique traditional flavors offered by the market is liked by all. Not only the flavors but also the way of presenting things and guise of the shopkeepers is traditional. Also, the market it famous for its leather products, puppets, carpets made up of camel’s hair, oil lamps and so much more.
Apart from this market, the foodies can satiate their hunger at the various eateries, top-class restaurants and many other places to eat in Jaisalmer. When here, do roam in and around the lanes and taste lip-smacking street food.
Desert Safari at Sam Sand Dunes
As the sun bids adieu for the day, Sam Sand Dunes become alive with lots of tourists. Coming to Jaisalmer and not visiting these picturesque sand dunes is a big mistake. A carnival-like ambiance is created with cultural performances and camel rides. Desert Safari at Sam Sand Dunes is one of the unforgettable things to do in Jaisalmer.
For the extra pampered souls, glamping is an exciting option available here. Slow-paced trekking trail makes the site so epic. There is no other place which seems isolated yet is filled with so many activities. A small stopover at Khaba Fort en route to Sam Dunes raises the fun quotient. Extend your trip to Desert National Park which lies in close proximity to the dunes. Visit the park is a must thing to do for all those interested in the ecosystem of the desert.
Worship at the Jain Temple in Lodurva
Lodurva is a village in Jaisalmer. The quaint town is famous for a Jain Temple which is the holy abode of the 23rd Tirthankara Parshvanath. The sacred shrine has faced many tests of the time and still managed to stand as a reminder of the city’s glorious past. Owning a unique ornate ceiling, the temple gathers all the praises for its splendid architecture and intricate carvings.
Strolling in the temple is one of the best things to in Jaisalmer as it takes you on a spiritual sojourn. The eight-cornered shrine has slanting walls which give to the temple an impression of pagoda style architecture. From a distance, it looks like just another temple, but as you enter within the sanctum sanctorum, you will be fascinated by its beauty.
Excursion to the museums
The best way to know about the history of a place is by visiting its museums. The same can be done at Jaisalmer which is home to a number of museums. The Thar Heritage Museum offers informative and entertaining guided tours. Puppet shows in the evening are the major drawcards. The Folklore Museum has a collection of objects with artistic, historic and cultural significance. The Tanot Mata Temple Museum is another popular place where you will be rendered speechless after watching the bombs which were dropped around the temple during the Indo-Pak war. These bombs were unexploded and thus, are carefully preserved at the museum. The Government Museum holds a great historical significance.
Know the legend behind the Tazia Tower
A 5-storied structure, each having its own significance, the Tazia Tower is a top tourist attraction. Well-planned itineraries of the Jaisalmer tours include an excursion to the tower. A trip to the tower will give you a chance to observe that all the five balconies are designed differently. Build by the Muslim craftsmen, the edifice imitates the structure of the Tazia, a tomb which is carried during Muharram. The tower was bestowed to the imperial rulers by the architects.
Try your hands at the Dune Bashing
What’s better than conquering the sand dunes of the Thar? Dune Bashing gives you a chance to aboard an SUV and ride over the golden sands. One of the exciting things to do in Jaisalmer urges numerous adventure lovers to be a part of this nerve-wracking activity. Conducted under the strict supervision, it is better enjoyed when clubbed with off-roading. Tighten your seatbelts as you will be experiencing a memorable ride in the desert. Feel the thrill as you hover up and down and confront sharp turns.
Be daring and try adventure activities
Delight in an aerial view of the desert by Parasailing. Get over the fear of height as you fly high in the sky while being tied up to a jeep. If not this, you can also try Paramotoring which will make your Jaisalmer trip daring. Click selfies or capture amazing pictures of the surroundings. Quad Biking will cast a spell on you as you move in the ATV’s creating a dusty whirlpool. The famous adventure activities are a must include on the list of things to do in Jaisalmer.
You will surely return with a bag full of memories after enjoying these top things to do in Jaisalmer.