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Explore Jaisalmer – The Golden City of India

While Explore Jaisalmer we find Jaisalmer is located in the Indian state of Rajasthan in the middle of the Thar Desert and is also called the “Golden City” because of its houses made of golden sandstone. Jaisalmer was founded in 1156 in a strategically favorable location on an oasis on the camel route of the merchants who traded between India and the Near East. On the 120-meter-long and 500-meter-wide Trikuta Rock, the city’s founder, the Rajput king Rawal Jaisal, built a well-protected fort to protect him against attacks by the Muslim conquerors. Jaisalmer was a thriving trading city for a long time. Only when Mumbai became a port city did the city lose its importance.

Today Jaisalmer only has around 60,000 inhabitants – a very small city by Indian standards – but attracts tourists from all over the world. The shimmering dunes and the bright turbans of the city dwellers, the graceful girls with their transparent veils over their faces and their blouses interwoven with small mirrors, the decorated camels and the mighty fort that towers majestically over the landscape – Jaisalmer in the desert state of Rajasthan fulfills all the clichés and Fantasies from 1001 Nights. Here are ten tips on how you can experience the city while explore Jaisalmer:


What to visit in Jaisalmer? What to do in Jaisalmer?
Explore Jaisalmer Fort and Palace Museum
Visit the Jain Temples
Walk between the “Havelis”
The dunes of “Sam”
Visit “Bada Bagh”
Gadsisar Lake
Visiting Jaisalmer and its desert: our practical advice
A dinner in a restaurant on the terrace
Kuldhara, the mysterious ghost village
Explore a local village in the desert.
How to get to Jaisalmer
By plane:
By the road:
By train:

What to visit in Jaisalmer? What to do in Jaisalmer?

While planning a trip to a destination like Jaisalmer, often a question comes to the traveler’s mind: what to visit in Jaisalmer? To make our trip a memorable experience. In this blog, we have answered this question by collecting all the information about the best places to visit in Jaisalmer. The golden city of Jaisalmer, in Rajasthan’s Thar Desert. A former medieval trading center, the city’s most notable feature is the abundance of structures built using distinctive yellow sandstone, thus it is called the “Golden City”. In this majestic place, there is a huge fort on top of a hill in the center of the city, overlooking the sunny houses. The dunes not far from the town are a tourist hotspot for camel safaris and jeep tours. There are so many places to discover and great things to do in Jaisalmer, the “golden city” of India.

When is the best time to visit Jaisalmer?

The best time to visit Jaisalmer, where the weather is pleasant, is between October to March. Situated in the heart of the Thar Desert, summer in this part of the world occurs between the months of April and June, the climate is extremely dry and hot, so it should be avoided. During winter, temperatures drop by as much as 1 or 2 degrees Celsius, especially at night, so warm clothing is necessary. The monsoon season, between July and September, is also a good time to travel to Jaisalmer. During this time, you might spot some greenery growing on the barren land.

Explore Jaisalmer Fort and Palace Museum

The ethereal sandstone fort of Jaisalmer, which resembles a massive sandcastle rising out of the desert, forms the focal point of the city. This was built in 1156 by the Rajput ruler Jaisal, who also founded the city at the same time. What makes it truly exceptional is that it is one of the few inhabited forts that exist in the world. Thousands of people reside within its walls. It is also home to many hotels, guesthouses, temples, handicraft shops, restaurants as well as the ancient Maharaja’s palace.

Visit the Jain Temples

One of the main attractions inside the fort is an impressive series of seven interconnected Jain temples that date back to the 15th and 16th centuries.

Carved from sandstone, their architectural details rival those of the marble Jain temple complex at Ranakpur. You will need to remove your shoes and all leather items before entering. The temples are open daily from 8 a.m. to noon, although times are subject to change, so check first.

Walk between the “Havelis”

Jaisalmer is also known for the fairytale architecture of its magnificent historic Havelis (mansions), located inside and outside the fort. Many are found in narrow lanes about a 10-minute walk north of the fort. In this district, the 19th-century Patwa Haveli is the largest and most important in the city. It is actually a group of five mansions built by a wealthy Jain merchant and his sons. Kothari’s Patwa Haveli is particularly impressive, with its breathtaking stone carvings and artwork. This has been converted into a museum. In the same region, the Salim Singh Haveli and the extraordinary Nathmal Haveli are also worth a visit. Inside Nathmal Haveli, the beautiful golden paintings are a highlight.

The sand dunes of “Sam”

As the sun sets, hordes of visitor’s head to the famous “Sam” sand dunes, which are about 50 minutes west of Jaisalmer. Cultural performances and camel rides at this site create a carnival atmosphere.

It is also possible to spend the night near the Sam Dunes in a unique, non-touristy experience by staying in a glamping desert camp. On the way to the dunes, the abandoned village of Kuldhara is a spooky but interesting place to visit.

If you prefer a more peaceful stay in the desert, the dunes around the village of Khuri in the Desert National Park an hour southwest of Jaisalmer are more suitable. Accommodations are available in traditional-style huts and small tourist resorts. You can also go on a camel safari there.

Visit “Bada Bagh”

Built by Maharawal Jait Singh, ‘Bada Bagh’ is a memorial to the nobles who fought for the city. The cremation of their families also took place there. The heritage stories that the site brings together make it an interesting place to visit in Jaisalmer. It is simply charming to walk around this immense space and observe the royal buildings surrounded by greenery.

In Jaisalmer, there is another group of cenotaphs similar to Bada Bagh, in a large, poorly maintained garden, which is about five kilometers away. It was erected in honor of the city’s royal rulers from the 16th to the 20th century.

The last cenotaph to be built is dedicated to Maharaja Jawahar Singh, who reigned for a short time after India’s independence. However, it remains incomplete due to his death a year after independence, this fact was considered a bad omen by the family.

Some plaques on the cenotaphs are particularly intriguing. Those showing both maharaja and maharani together indicate that the queen committed sati (threw herself onto her husband’s funeral pyre).

Currently, modern wind turbines populate the windy hillside to produce electricity.

Lake Gadsisar

Gadisar Lake, is a huge artificial reservoir built by Maharawal Gadsi Singh in the 14th century, it is located on the southeast side of the city. It was the only source of water for the city until 1965.

The many small temples and shrines surrounding the lake make it a great place to relax and stroll.

In winter, you may encounter migratory waterfowl and catfish in the water waiting for you to feed them. Boats are also available for rental nearby.

Sleeping in the desert: a contrasting experience?

There is a lot to say about our experience we had in the Jaisalmer desert. We have good memories of it but our feelings are mixed for several reasons.

First, not all tricks are created equal. Thus, it is entirely possible to have a return completely different from ours. We chose to take a little-known local tour which took us to absolutely non-touristy regions. But on the other hand, comfort is much less interesting than elsewhere. This is a choice to make when booking your tour.

Second, we need to tell you about something that has completely ruined our experience on several occasions. The Thar Desert is full of wind turbines. Unfortunately, this contrasts sharply with the landscape and reminds us that we are never far from civilization. We have experienced better in terms of change of scenery. Finally, riding on the backs of camels when we did not know the real operating conditions bothered us. Some agencies even hide from tourists the fact that there are camels to ride.

Despite this, this experience remains significant thanks to the numerous meetings we had. The guides taught us lots of things about Indian life and India in general. It is this proximity that made this journey significant.

Visiting Jaisalmer and its desert: our practical advice

There is plenty of information to know before embarking on an excursion in the Thar Desert. This region of India is very touristy and there are many anarchs (chaos). India has many surprises in store, including this one unfortunately.

The best advice we can give you is to take your time to compare and accept the different offers that the Indians will make to you. You will see it very quickly, but you will be spoiled for choice in terms of proposals.

Reservation and price of the night in the desert
It is very easy to book a tour in the That Desert. When you visit Jaisalmer, the locals will flock to you to offer you their service. Going to this desert is the number 1 attraction of this city.

It is possible to find all prices. As said previously, the price will depend on the level of comfort and the activities offered. For our part, we paid 2500 INR (around 30 euros) per person all inclusive (jeep, camel, local taxes and meals).

You can easily find a more attractive price by looking around town. We trusted the wrong person because 30 euros per person is relatively high.

How long in the desert?
During your visit to Jaisalmer, you will easily come across agencies or locals who will offer you a trip to the That desert. However, no two are alike. The two days and 1 night formula is the most interesting for us. Especially if you have a busy itinerary in India.

Many tourists go to sleep two nights to have time to fully enjoy the atmosphere of the desert. However, the prices are much less accessible. It’s up to you to choose what suits you best. Just know that there is not much to discover in the Thar Desert and some activities are very similar.

Visit Jaisalmer and its desert: what period?
The best time to visit Jaisalmer and its desert is between November and April. It is at this time of year that precipitation is lowest and temperatures are pleasant.

The climate in a desert can be capricious so it is important to choose your period carefully. You should not go there during the summer months, that is to say from May to July.

Don’t be afraid to bring relatively warm clothes because, after dark, temperatures drop in the Thar Desert and it can quickly get cold. The guides will give you something to warm up if you don’t have suitable equipment.

A dinner in a restaurant on the terrace

In Jaisalmer, there are several terraces with restaurants. They have a magnificent view of the fort and the market. This is what makes it among the interesting experiences that must be part of the list of answers to your question “what to do in Jaisalmer?” », we suggest you plan a dinner in one of the following places:

If you want to taste delicious local cuisine, head to “Trio” at Gandhi Chowk. Nearby, there is also the pleasant terrace restaurant of the “Pleasant Haveli Hotel”, it is recommended for its cuisine and its panoramic view towards northern India. Next to it, there is another interesting terrace, that of “Gaj’s”, a restaurant which is a few minutes’ walk towards the north. It is the only place serving Korean food in Jaisalmer.

To watch the sunset, go to “Café Kaku” on Patwa Haveli Road. This restaurant specializes in fine international cuisine. If you want to have a good Italian coffee or even eat Italian, there is “Jaisal Italy” which is located on the border wall of the fort just after its first gate. Nearby, there is also the restaurant at the top of the boutique hotel “First Gate Home Fusion” which is also excellent. Its cuisine is a fusion of Italian and Indian vegetarian gastronomy. The hotel has a cocktail bar with live music.

For a luxurious atmosphere, on the outskirts of the city there is the “Wyra Rooftop”, the restaurant of the “Mariott Resort and Spa”. Reservations are required to access it, and it is only open for dinner

Kuldhara, the mysterious ghost village

Located just 18 km from Jaisalmer, Kuldhara is a village abandoned for a few centuries, since then there has been no sign of human life.
Due to the ‘haunted’ tag attached to this village, it has become one of the most important tourist attractions that one explores near Jaisalmer. Consisting of more than 85 villages in the past, Kuldhara was home to the Paliwal Brahmins.

It is said that the owners of the place took their belongings and left the village in a single night due to some unfavorable (perhaps even paranormal) events. It is not known where the villagers went when they left the area, but we can only assume that they were accommodated in neighboring villages. It is also believed that the ancient inhabitants placed a curse on the village before leaving, due to which it was not repopulated and even no one was able to stay there for a night.

Explore a local village in the desert.

At the end of the day, and after having sore legs and buttocks from the camel trek, we arrived at the place that had the most impact on us during the two days in the Thar desert. This small village is not even on the map and it is made up of a few houses which are surrounded by sand.

The locals live in complete self-sufficiency, are not used to seeing tourists and it shows. They come out to see us and the children ask us for photos. For some, it’s the first time they’ve seen themselves in photos. It’s a good moment of sharing and just for this precise moment, we are happy to have come this far.

How to get to Jaisalmer

Jaisalmer city is well connected to other major cities like Jaipur, Jodhpur, and Udaipur…. You can go there either by plane, train, or car. Ask with Delighted Journey for Explore Jaisalmer – The Golden City of India. and check our page –Rajasthan Travel Guide & Tourism.

By plane:
Jaisalmer has a military airport which has been providing a direct flight from Delhi to Jaisalmer and from Jaipur to Jaisalmer for the last two years.

By the road:
Jaisalmer is accessible through a well-maintained road network. Travelers have many options, one can take the bus, private or shared taxi. Jodhpur, Jaipur, Bikaner, Barmer, Mount Abu, Jalore and Ahemdabad are the neighboring cities to which Jaisalmer is connected.

By train:
Jaisalmer railway station is connected to several cities by the railway network. This means that there are direct trains serving Jaisalmer from several cities in Rajasthan, there are also many options for traveling from any region of India.


To conclude, visiting Jaisalmer and more particularly the Thar Desert will not leave anyone indifferent. Indeed, the latter juggles between unforgettable encounters and a perpetual feeling of unease in the face of certain scenes that we have seen. It’s a unique adventure that we don’t regret.

We hope that our article will give you more details about this experience in the Thar Desert in the Rajasthan region. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to leave us a comment below or send us a message by mail at info@delightedjoureny.com. We will be happy to help you.

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