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Jaisalmer Tourism And Travel Guide
11° C / 51.7° F
October to March
3 to 4 Days
Jodhpur Airport (300 kms)
Jaisalmer Station (1 kms)
Popularly called the golden city of India, Jaisalmer is home to India's only living fort. The desert city of Jaisalmer is bound to be every traveller's delight. Among the last big towns in Rajasthan and located very close to the Indo-Pak border, Jaisalmer stands in the heart of the Thar Desert. The majestic Jaisalmer Fort forms the centre of all tourism activities in Jaisalmer. Listed as a UNESCO’s World Heritage Site in 2013, the fort attracts thousands of tourists every year. Jaisalmer is famous for its camel back safaris, and overnight desert camps too of course, as listed in this travel guide to Jaisalmer.
How To Reach
Jaisalmer does not have an airport; the closest airport, Jodhpur, is located 300 kms away. Jaisalmer however, is well connected to other parts of the country via India’s extensive rail network. There are direct trains connecting New Delhi and Jaisalmer on a weekly basis while trains connecting Jaisalmer to other cities in the state run on a daily basis.
The Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation runs buses and Volvos connecting Jaisalmer to other nearby cities in Rajasthan. Some private bus operators also have inter-state buses plying daily from Gujarat, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and New Delhi.
Best Time To Visit
Situated in the Thar Desert, Jaisalmer has a semi-arid climate all year round and faces extremes of temperatures during winter and summer. Monsoons are short and the city experiences very little rainfall during this season. While temperatures may rise above 40 degrees in summers, rains bring it down to around 30 degrees during monsoon giving some much needed respite. Winters can be bitter with temperatures ranging between 1 to 5 C at night. The ideal time to visit Jaisalmer is between October to March when it is neither too hot or nor humid.
Things To Do
The Living Sonar Quilla:
Arguably the only fort in India that is still thriving. The Sonar Quilla gets its name from the yellow sandstone that it is made from. The fort shines a lovely golden Hue in all its majestic glory as the sun shines upon it. The fort houses merchants and traders whose families who have been residing within the fort complex in the numerous havelis for generations. While at the fort, do see the Patwon ki Haveli, Nathmal Haveli and Salim Singh ki Haveli. Also visit the Jain temples dating back to the 15th and 16th century located within the fort complex.
Not very popular among tourists, the abandoned village is surely gaining popularity as people are discovering its spooky history. Legend has it that the diwan, Salim Singh, had a roving eye which fell on the daughter of one of the Paliwal Brahmins residing in the village of Kuldhara. The Brahmins had no stand against the cruel Salim Singh and his forces, thus the entire community decided to abandon the village overnight to save their daughter as well as their lives. They cursed it to remain abandoned for eternity as they left Kuldhara. It is believed that the girl was the victim of honour killing and her spirit still haunts this cursed village.
In case you’re visiting in January or February, we suggest planning your itinerary around the annual desert Festival. The riot of colours and activities will surely leave you enthralled.
Do enrol for an overnight camel back safari and dune bashing. Also, make sure you pick up some of their local handloom bed sheets and kurtas. The adventurous may even try the bhaang (cannabis) lassi available near the fort; however, let us warn you, the potent drink will surely leave you buzzed for the night.
Milaap Restaurant: Highly recommended by the locals for its Rajasthani thoroughfare, the restaurant does not have a menu. Instead, it has fixed meals planned each day with thalis served at a nominal price. You can always pre-order the rajasthani delicacy, ‘Dal Bati Churma’ before coming in for your meal. Their hospitality deserves a special mention.