jaisalmer camel safari

Exploring Jaisalmer – The Sun City Of Rajasthan

Do you remember those geography classes where we used to mark the whole of Rajasthan as the Thar desert? We always wondered what it’d be like to visit the land of the desert in India. Upon arrival, we realized that it was much more than we ever could have imagined.  Jaisalmer is rich in art, culture, history, and most importantly kind-hearted people.

Here, you can find all the information before you plan a visit to Jaisalmer.

Jaisalmer Travel Guide

The “Golden City of India” is known so, because of the well-distinguished yellow sandstone architecture of the Fort. The city is located in the heart of the Great Indian Desert and is 575 Km West of Jaipur, the state capital. Jaisalmer was named after the founder Rawal Jaisal, meaning the “Hill Fort of Jaisal”. Even though this place is flooded by tourists, it makes you feel that you are in an ancient Indian town.

Best Time To Visit

Jaisalmer is prone to extreme temperatures, as it is located in the desert region. During summer, the temperature ranges between 49 °C and 25 °C, while the winter ranges between 24 °C and 5 °C. Carry appropriate clothes depending on your time of visit.

The best time to visit the place is during the Desert Festival which is celebrated during February every year for three days. This festival exhibits the traditional culture of Rajasthan to its visitors. Numerous events like the remarkable camel race, turban tying, folk dance, and fire dance are organized in the sand dunes of the Thar desert, 42 Km from Jaisalmer city center.

Network Availability

The signal strength of Airtel and Jio is good and widely used here. Expect moderate signals when going deep into the desert.

ATM Availability

Although there are no ATMs inside the fort, you can find many outside to withdraw money. Being one of the top tourist attractions in the state, carry enough cash as the ATMs might run out of money sooner.

How To Reach

By Air

The nearest airport is the Jaisalmer Airport (17 Km, Airport Code: JSA). It has direct flights only to New Delhi and Ahmedabad. The next nearest domestic airport is the Jodhpur Airport (265 Km, Airport Code: JDH) which is connected to several major cities of India.

The Jaipur International Airport (570 Km, Airport Code: JAI) is the only International Airport in the state of Rajasthan. From the airport, you can hire a taxi to the nearby bus or train station from where you can directly reach Jaisalmer.

By Train

The closest Jaisalmer Railway Station (2 Km, Station code: JSM) has daily trains to Jodhpur, Jaipur, and Delhi, and scheduled express trains to Mumbai and Kolkata. Additionally, two luxury tourist trains Palace On Wheels and Majestic Tourist Train cover major destinations across Rajasthan including Jaisalmer.

By Road

Tourism, being a major industry in Jaisalmer, the city is well connected to the rest of Rajasthan by road. State-run buses and private tour buses are available to commute within the city.

Note: Uber and Ola are not available.

Getting Around

To tour the Golden City, auto-rickshaws are the most readily available mode of transport. As there is no fixed price, bargain for cheaper rates. For roaming in the city, you can book a bike or a cab using the local travel agencies.

Where To Eat

Few restaurants like Restaurant Romany offer panoramic views of the Jaisalmer Fort, while the other few like the Palace View Restaurant and The Panorama Restaurant provide surrounding views from the fort. While in Jaisalmer, try Ker Sangri (beans and capers), Laal Maans (Mutton curry), and the famous Bhang and Makhaniya lassi. 

Note: Swiggy and Zomato food services are not available.

Where To Stay

Most of the hotels in the Jaisalmer Fort provide seamless internet connectivity. Our recommendations include Zostal within the fort premises and Pleasant Haveli overlooking the fort. Both have rooftop restaurants that give you the best view. A few other recommendations are,



shopping at manak chowk jaisalmer

Jaisalmer is known for camel leather products and handcrafted embroideries with mirror work. The traditional handicrafts and ethnic wear can be bought at Manak Chowk at the entrance of the fort. A bit pricey though since it’s a major hotspot. One of the interesting things to buy is the multicolor turban and learning how to tie it is all the more fun. You can also buy unique silver jewelry at the Sadar Bazaar

Note: Carry enough cash as most of the locals won’t accept cards or digital payments.

Places To Visit In Jaisalmer

Jaisalmer Fort

jaisalmer fort

The second oldest fort in Rajasthan, situated on the Trikuta Hills was built in 1156 AD by the Bhati Rajput ruler, Jaisal. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the “Living Forts” in the world as about a quarter of the city’s population still lives inside the Fort. At dusk and dawn, the fort’s gigantic sandstone walls camouflage the fort and thus is referred to as the “Golden Fort”. Walking along the alleyways you will be surrounded by the grandeur and royal tradition of Rajasthan.

Canon Point, City Viewpoint, Fort Palace, and the Jain Temples are the main attractions inside the fort.  

  • Timings: Open round the clock
  • Entry Fees: Free
  • Parking: Available outside the Fort

Note: The famous detective novel and film Sonar Killa (The Golden Fortress) is also based on this fort.

Jain Heritage

Jain Temples In Jaisalmer Fort Complex

chandraprabhu jain temple
Chandraprabhu Jain Temple

Within the Jaisalmer Fort, there are seven Jain temples, each dedicated to different Jain Tirthankaras (spiritual teachers). The biggest is the Parshwanath temple and the others are Chandraprabhu temple, Rishabhdev temple, Shitalnath temple, Kunthunath temple, and Shantinath temple. These temples are known for their ethereal work of art and architecture. 

  • Timings: 8 AM to 12 PM for tourists
  • Entry Fee: Free for Indians, Rs. 10 for Foreigners, and Rs. 50 for camera

Lodhruva Jain Temple

lodruva jain temple jaisalmer

The historical Lodhruva (Lodarva) village was the ancient capital of the Bhatti dynasty until Rawal Jaisal founded and moved the capital to Jaisalmer. The original temple was destroyed in 1178 AD when Mohammad Ghori attacked the city and was reconstructed in 1615 by Seth Tharu Shah and restored using state-of-the-art methods in 1970.

Kalpavriksha or the tree of life is found at the center that attracts all the Jain followers. The Jaali or Jali (meaning net) designs or patterns found on the exterior wall help in lowering the temperature. Every small segment in the temple showcases the delicate and detailed craftsmanship of the yellow sandstone. 

  • Distance: 15 Km from Fort
  • Timings: 8 AM to 12 PM for tourists
  • Entry Fee: Free for Indians, Rs. 10 for Foreigners 
  • Parking: Available

Amar Sagar Jain Temple

Located in the middle of the desert, Amar Sagar Jain Temple also known as the Adeshwar Nath Jain Temple is carved quite intricately. Adjacent to the temple is the Amar Singh Lake and oasis. The complex also includes Amar Singh Palace which was built in the 7th century. At sunset, you can go for a boat ride with which you can end the day on a peaceful note. Few food stalls are available nearby for you to grab a bite.

  • Distance: 6 Km from Fort
  • Timings: 8 AM to 12 PM for tourists
  • Entry Fees: Free for Indians, Rs. 10 for Foreigners 
  • Boating: Rs 100 for pedal boats
  • Parking: Available

Haveli In Jaisalmer

The word Haveli is derived from the Arabic “Hawali”, meaning private space. A Haveli is a traditional townhouse or mansion, usually with historical and architectural importance. 

Here are the three most significant and must-visit Haveli in Jaisalmer

Patwon Ki Haveli

patwon ki haveli jaisalmer

Patwon Ki Haveli is the largest haveli in Jaisalmer, built over 50 years ago in the 19th century by Guman Chand Patwa, a rich and renowned trader. It is not a single haveli but a cluster of five small havelis built each for his five sons. This five-story structure is found in the narrow streets of the main city. Patwon Ki Haveli is well known for its wall paintings, mirror artwork, jharokhas (balconies), gateways, and archways. 

  • Distance: 750 m from Fort
  • Timings: 9 AM to 6 PM on all days
  • Entry Fee: Rs. 20 for Indians, Rs. 100 for foreigners and Rs. 50 for a camera
  • Parking: Not available

Nathmal Ki Haveli

nathmal ki haveli jaisalmer

This haveli is on the way to Patwon Ki Haveli and is the private property of the original descendants. Since only one shop is open upstairs to the public, you can admire its beauty from the outside. 

The two architect brothers, Hathi and Lulu built the Haveli in the 19th century. The main significance is that the brothers built the Haveli from opposite sides and combined them to form a symmetrical structure as planned. The Haveli is renowned for its Rajput and Islamic architecture.

  • Distance: 800 m from Fort
  • Timings: 9 AM to 6 PM on all days
  • Entry Fee: Free
  • Parking: Not Available

Salim Singh Ki Haveli

salim singh ki haveli jaisalmer

Built in the 18th century, Salim Singh Ki Haveli’s main significance is the intricately carved balconies, 38 in total. The ground floor is quite narrow while the upper floor is over the city heights and the high arched roof is thoughtfully designed in the shape of a peacock. People say that the two additional storeys built to match the height of Maharaja’s Palace were demolished. Only a part of the Haveli is open to the public and the remaining is still occupied by the original descendants. From here you can also get a good look at the Jaisalmer Fort.

  • Distance: 600 m from Fort
  • Timings: 8 AM to 6 PM on all days
  • Entry Fee: Rs. 10 for Indians, Rs. 100 for foreigners and Rs. 50 for a camera
  • Parking: Not Available

Gandisar Lake

gandisar lake jaisamer

To fulfill the water needs of the city, Gadisar Lake also called Gadsisar Lake was constructed by Maharawal Gadsi Singh in the 14th century. Small temples and shrines were constructed later to attract tourists. Thousands of migratory birds come here every year. You can enjoy a peaceful sunrise or take a boat ride during the sunset for a romantic evening. At the entrance, you can rent the traditional Rajasthani attire to take pictures at a minimal cost.

  • Distance from Fort: 1.5 Km
  • Timings: Open round the clock
  • Entry Fees: Free
  • Parking: Outside the Fort

Bada Bagh

bada bagh jaisalmer

Bada Bagh translates to Big Garden. Situated on a small hill, it houses royal cenotaphs carved out of sandstone in different sizes for the Kings, their Queens, and other royal family members. Each cenotaph has a marble slab with inscriptions about the deceased royals and a symbolic image of a man on a horse. If the horse’s legs are up, it indicates the King died in the battle, or if the horse’s legs are on the ground means, he died a natural death.

The image of the queens who committed Sati is displayed adjacent to the King. Near the complex is a lake (mostly dry)and a series of windmills. Hire a local guide to gather more information at an extra cost. 

  • Distance: 6 Km from Fort
  • Timings: 8 AM to 6 PM
  • Entry Fee: Rs.50 for Indians, Rs. 100 for foreigners and Rs.100 for a camera
  • Parking: Available

Kuldhara Abandoned Village

kuldhara abandoned village jaisalmer

Kuldhara was an ancient prosperous village and a happy place for Paliwal Brahmins in the 13th century. They built 84 villages around Kuldhara but were abandoned overnight in the early 19th century for unknown reasons. Some claim that the reason might be because of the dwindling water supply. Some legends say that it was because of the prosecution of Salim Singh, Jaisalmer state’s minister. A 2017 study reveals that it was because of an earthquake. But over the years, Kuldhara acquired a reputation as a haunted site.

In 2010, the Government of Rajasthan developed it as a tourist spot and is now a protected heritage site under the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). These ruins are used for movie sets and curiosity has driven many tourists around the world to visit this place. Climb the terrace of the temple or any house to see the entire stretch of the village. You can hire a guide at an additional cost at the entrance.

  • Distance: 18 Km from Fort
  • Timings: 8 AM to 5 PM
  • Entry Fee: Rs.20 for adults and Rs.50 for cars
  • Parking: Available

Desert Adventure

jeep safari at thar desert, exploring jaisalmer-the sun city of rajasthan

Bash the dunes with a 4*4 for the most thrilling and memorable trip. Jaisalmer is the only place in the country where you can go for a desert safari. Sam sand dunes and Khuri sand dunes are the most popular in the region. You can spend a day in the desert and dare we say a must to do in Jaisalmer.

To get the most out of it, opt for the package which includes a sunset camel ride, jeep safari, camping, and musical dance night with dinner and breakfast. Few also offer adventure activities like quad bike rides, parasailing, and paramotoring at an additional charge.

  • Fee: Rs. 1000 approximately for the basic package

Tip: Take a detour to visit the Kabha Fort along the way

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Jaisalmer worth visiting?

Absolutely yes. Jaisalmer highlights the uniqueness of Indian history and is the only place that offers desert safari in the country.  Many blockbuster movies have also been shot in Jaisalmer.

How many days are required to visit Jaisalmer?

2 or 3 days is sufficient to explore the desert city of Jaisalmer even at a slow pace.

Is Jaisalmer safe?

Being close to the Pakistan border, the security is very high. It is very safe to travel to Jaisalmer for everyone.

How far is the desert from Jaisalmer City?

The dunes are located in the Jaisalmer Desert National Park about 40 Km away from the main city. The roads are well maintained by the Indian Army.

What clothes to wear in Jaisalmer?

Although you can wear comfortable clothes, cover your body completely to escape sunburn or cold.

Now that you know all the places to visit in Jaisalmer, if you find this article helpful, share it with your friends and colleagues and let us know what you feel in the comments below.

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Jam Jenny 09/18/2023 - 9:28 PM

Good you explained everything in detail it has been a great help. Thanks for sharing the Useful and Informative Blog. Wonderful travel blog along with beautiful pics.

Twins 09/25/2023 - 2:15 PM

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