Jaisalmer – A short trip to the Golden city

Jaisalmer is located in the heart of the Thar Desert in Rajasthan. Known as the “Golden City,” it’s distinguished by its yellow sandstone architecture. Jaisalmer is a sublime amalgam of exotic Indian desert culture, heritage and architecture. Summers can be very harsh in the desert so prefer to visit in the colder months when the temperature are on the lower side.

Must visit places in Jaisalmer –

1. Jaisalmer Fort
2. Gadisar Lake
3. Desert safari at Sam sand dunes
4. Patwon ki haweli
5. Jain temples
6. Mandir Palace

Suggested itinerary for 2N/3D-

Day 1:

After checking in at the hotel and having a full lunch, leave in the evening for sightseeing at the Patwon ki haweliAn architectural wonder of the bygone era, Patwon Ki Haveli is one of the main attractions that one can look for in the city of Jaisalmer. The Patwon Ki Haveli is a cluster of five small Havelis, the exteriors of which are dipped in an enchanting shade of gold. These are made of yellow sandstone with exquisite architecture and mirror work on the walls inside. The entry fees to the haveli is Rs.100 per person and extra if you want to hire a guide. Nearby there is another haveli known as Nathmal ki haveli which also has similar architecture and heritage appeal associated with it.

Later, enjoy a calm shikara ride (for around Rs.300) along with a beautiful sunset at Gadisar lake. The place is quite picturesque. Then there is Desert Cultural Museum nearby where one can see the puppet show (show timings 6.30pm and 7.30pm). Whether with friends or family, a candlelight dinner at a rooftop restaurant is must in Jaisalmer if one is visiting during colder months.

Two of my favourite rooftop restaurants that I enjoyed dining at were Pleasant Haveli and The Trio, both located near Gandhi Chowk. I stayed at Hotel Pleasant Haveli and was really impressed by the cleanliness and hospitality of the hotel staff. Also the hotel has a great location with most of the sightseeing places at a walking distance.

Day 2:

Start the day by visiting the majestic Jaisalmer Fort. There are many tourist guides available at the fort entrance asking for Rs.100 – Rs.150 for their service. It is good to know the history of the place and roam around the narrow streets inside the fort. Yes, the fort is huge! It is believed to be one of the very few (perhaps the only) “living forts” in the world, as nearly one fourth of the old city’s population still resides within the fort. It is honeycombed with narrow winding lanes, lined with houses and temples – along with a large number of handicraft shops, guesthouses and gourmet rooftop restaurants. The fort’s massive yellow sandstone walls are a tawny lion colour during the day, fading to honey-gold as the sun sets, thereby camouflaging the fort in the yellow desert. For this reason it is also known as the Sonar Quila or Golden Fort. The Jain temples are located right inside the Jaisalmer fort and are another piece of must see marvelous architecture.

In the evening at around 3 or 4pm, leave for Sam Sand dunes. These are located at around 40 kms from the city. On the way there is suspiciously haunted Kuldhara village. Kuldhara is an abandoned village which was established around 13th century. It was once a prosperous village inhabited by Paliwal Brahmins but was abandoned by the early 19th century for unknown reasons. Then there is Amar sagar Jain temple which is another place for sightseeing on the way. Taxi driver may charge anything from Rs.1000 to Rs.1500 for a to and fro trip to the sand dunes. More details about the Sam sand dunes are published in my earlier blog post here.

Day 3:

Checkout from the hotel or your desert camp to visit Mandir Palace before you leave the city. Mandir Palace has been the residence of the rulers of Jaisalmer for more than two centuries now. It is an exquisitely carved architectural marvel of ornate balconies, canopies and delicately carved screens that represent a high point of local craftsmanship in its finest and purest form. It also hosts a restaurant and luxurious hotel rooms for accommodation which are fairly priced given the prominence of this place. We also visited Bada Bagh but the places wasn’t worth it except for the windmills view by the road. Bid goodbye to the golden city later in the evening or spend rest of the day at leisure.

How to reach Jaisalmer from Delhi?

Dli Jsm Express (14659) is the best train that runs everyday from Delhi to Jaisalmer via Jaipur and Jodhpur.

SpiceJet has a direct flight from Delhi to Jaisalmer airport.

Best time to visit?

Winters lasts from November to March and is the best season to visit the otherwise hot Jaisalmer. Weather is pleasant during the day in winters. However it is advisable to carry a jacket for the cooler evenings past sunset.

Please leave a comment below if you want more details to plan your next trip to Jaisalmer or want to share your itinerary/pictures/etc.

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Love to travel and capture moments. This blog will help me share some of life's beautiful experiences that make memories.

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