If you are Indian and still not visited the jewel city of India that is Jaisalmer than you have missed the many amazing architectural and historical monuments of India. Jaiselmer is considered as the architectural gem due to its Royal Forts and ‘Havelis’ (mansions). It is famous as Golden City as Jaisalmer is located deep inside in the famous Thar Desert in Rajasthan.
The city is known for the magnificent fort that surrounds the city and other tourist attractions. Taking a city excursion tour is one of the most desired things to do in Jaisalmer. It’s the ethnic heart of the nomadic desert culture and besides the sand dunes, it is famous for its Jain temples and the massive Jaisalmer Fort that governs the city landscape.
For you we have listed famous attractions and things to do in Jaisalmer, Let’s have a look.
Symbol of Royalty and Culture- Jaisalmer Fort
Jaisalmer Fort is always on top of the tourist’s itinerary, this Golden Fort of Rajasthan is renowned as the largest fort in the world. It is also popular as Sonar Qila in Jaisalmer. It was constructed by famous Rajput ruler Raja Jaisal in the year 1156 AD. It is the second antiquated fort of Rajasthan after Chittor. The fort was built from yellow and golden sandstones which offers magical look to it.
This 250 feet high fort is rising from the desert sands which looks mesmerising with its 99 towers during the night. The fort consists of five palaces which are- Sarvottam Vilas, Akhai Vilas, Gaj Mahal, Rang Mahal and Moti Mahal. Jaiselmer fort will impress you with its Rajasthani architecture, royal palaces and its ancient history.
- Visiting Time: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
- Entry Fee: ₹ 30/- for Indians, ₹ 70/- for Foreign Tourists, ₹ 50 for Normal camera and ₹ 150 for Videography.
Ride Boat at Gadisar Lake
Gadisar lake is located in the heart of the city about 1 km from Jaisalmer Fort. It is an artificial lake constructed by Raja Rawal Jaiswal in 1400 AD for conserving rainwater. Tourist will find temples, ghats, historic monuments and Chattries near the shore of this lake. The entrance to the lake is created from yellow sandstone which offers a breathtaking view. Riding a boat on the Gadisar lake is one of the best things to do in Jaisalmer.
In winters, the boat rides become even more fascinating as you can locate various species of migratory birds at the lake coming from Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary. Tourists can also visit Tilon Ki Pol gate located near the lake.
- Visiting Time: 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM
- Entry Fee: For 30 mins of boat ride: ₹ 20/- for Row Boat, ₹ 50/- Paddle Boat
Explore Jain Temples of Jaisalmer
One of the major attractions of Jaisalmer is Jain Temples which dates back from the 15th and 16th centuries. These are a stunning series of 7 interconnected Jain temples created from yellow sandstones which are located inside the Jaisalmer Fort. These temples are dedicated to Jain Tirthankaras and are recognised for their notable architectural style modelled after the Dilwara temple of Mount Abu.
- Visiting Time: 7:00 AM – 12:00 PM
- Entry Fee: No fee for Indians, ₹ 10/- for foreign tourists, ₹ 50 per still camera, ₹ 100/- for a camcorder.
Enjoy Pictorial Views of Dessert National Park
Desert national park is one of the largest of its kind in the country stretched in an area of 3162 km² which also covers the area from Jaisalmer/Barmer all the way to the India-Pakistan border. Irrespective of arid, dry and sandy desert, it offers an incredible opportunity for all tourists to witness the plethora of wildlife such as Camels, Desert Fox, Chinkara, Bengal Fox, Wolves, and the Blackbuck.
The best way to discover the majestic wildlife at the Desert National Park is by going for an adventure ride from jeep safari which will give you a new & exciting experience. Dinosaur fossils have been found in this region. Sam Sand Dunes are also located here.
- Visiting Time: 10:00 AM -5:00 PM, Closed on Sunday
- Entry Fee: Travelling from JeepCar will cost ₹ 100/- and if you will hire a guide then you have to pay ₹ 200.
Explore Fairy Tale Like Havelis
Jaisalmer is also known as majestic historic Havelis constructed in fairy-tale architecture. In this area, the 19th century Patwa Haveli is the city’s biggest and most important one due to its breathtaking intricate stonework and artwork. All the main Havelis of Jaisalmer are mentioned below:
1. Patwon Ki Haveli: Guman Chand Patwa and his sons have constructed this haveli which is located in the centre of the city. It is a five-storied building which consists of 5 decorated huge suits, large corridors, fully furnished walls with stone carving. This haveli is a masterpiece of the legendary architectural wealth of Jaisalmer.
Visiting Time: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Entry Fee: ₹ 20/- for Indians, ₹ 100/- for Foreign Tourists, ₹ 50 for Normal camera and ₹ 100 for Videography.
2. Salim Singh Ki Haveli: Among all the Havelis, Salim ki haveli is the most admired one and known for its unique and eye-catching architecture. It is now a part of the national heritage and consists of 38 balconies with their own distinguishing style of architecture and a peacock shaped roof.
Visiting Time: 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Entry Fee: ₹ 10/- for Indians, ₹ 15/- for Foreign Tourists, ₹ 50 for Normal camera and ₹ 150 for Videography.
3. Nathmal Ki Haveli: This haveli is known for its beautiful interior design which is filled with artistic paintings and modern antiques. This Halevi is constructed by two Muslim brothers and designed its outing with extraordinary carvings. This Haveli blend of Rajputana Culture and Islamic architecture.
Visiting Time: 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Entry Fee: No Fees
Experience the Thrill of Desert Safari
Thar desert is one of the beautiful golden sand deserts in India. It is the only desert destination where you can visit for the sand dune dashing experiences. The Thar Desert is also famous for its Jaisalmer desert festival which is organized in the months of February and March. Tourist will love & enjoy the Camelback safari and Jeep safari. Visit the desert during the evening time so that you can watch the scenic sunset on the desert.
At night you also get to experience the Rajasthani style cuisine which is followed by local music and traditional Kalbelia dance. Apart from Desert safari, you can try various adventure activities on the Thar Desert such as parasailing, dune bashing, paramotoring, quad biking and many more.
Walk Through The Bada Bagh
Bada Bagh is the big garden famous for similar lookings Cenotaphs (monuments) which are constructed in the honour of royal rulers of Jaisalmer from 16th to 20th century. The last monument was dedicated to Maharaja Jawahar Singh, however, it remains incomplete due to his death. It is located on a small hilly region which is about 6 km away from Jaisalmer. The tourists can reach the Bada Bagh from the bottom of the hill and stroll to the top where artistic monuments and chhatris are situated.
You can wander inside the garden area, and around the edge of the lake to enjoy scenic views of the water and its surroundings. This place is also considered as an excellent spot for bird watching activities in Jaisalmer.
- Visiting Time: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
- Entry Fee: Indians: ₹ 50 for Indians, ₹ 100 for foreigners, Video Camera – ₹150
Discover Akal Wood Fossil Park
Akal Wood Fossil Park has located around 17 km from the Jaisalmer city. When you will visit this Fossil Park, you will observe 180-million-year old fossils, which are placed on the floor of the Thar Desert. The main attractions of this park are fossilized remains of a huge forest which are submerged into the sea, exposed tree trunks protected by iron grilled cages and tin shade roofing. There are also residues of non-flowering trees such as Redwood, Deodar and Chir. Most of the fossils are secured in cages to prevent them from theft.
It is believed that fossils are lying deep inside the soil. In the year 1972, Akal Wood Fossil Park was declared the National Geological Monument by the Geological Survey of India.
- Visiting Time: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
- Entry Fee: ₹ 5/- for Indians, ₹ 20/- for Foreign Nationals and ₹ 10 for car parking
There are many other tourist spots you can visit in Jaisalmer and understand its culture, local heritage, traditions at Cultural Museum, Jaisalmer War Museum, buy Rajasthani handloom products from Desert Handicraft Emporium, enjoy dining at royal rooftop restaurants, take quad bike tour and try dune bashing at sand dunes of Thar Desert, get unforgettable experience of camping at Sam Sand Dunes, unfold the mysteries of the Abandoned Village of Kuldhara.
Still, after visiting all these places if you are left with some energy then you can attend the Jaiselmer Dessert Festival and go for local bazar for shopping.