The mesmerizing charm of this city creates
a special place in the hearts of tourist. The lustrous glow
of city by its honey coloured stone ramparts, makes it the
golden city. Deep in the Thar desert the peaceful atmosphere
of this town has been safe from influences, including the
British influence, leaving it still pristine. Atop the majestic
Tri Kuta hill, Jaisalmer was founded in 1156 A.D., by Rawal
The splendid ancient palaces, temples and settlements can
be found in other towns of Rajasthan but not exotic as in
Jaisalmer giving it, its special grandeur giving out an aura
of magic and mystery, the yellow sand stoned walls of this
desert fortress glow in the setting sunlight, endorsing its
name Sonar Kila or Golden Fort.
Places to visit
In the heart of the city, is this breathtaking
fort, amidst the golden sand of the desert. Built in the 12th
century, it looks untouched and reflects the colour of the
golden deserts. The charm of this place leaves a person under
spell. The cobbled lanes and pin-blends are a reminder of
the defensive approach. The mahals within its precincts are
the Janai mahal, moti-mahal and phool Mahal. The imperial
symbols of the Bhatti clan's lunar lineage are displayed in
the Megh Durbar and Jawahar Mahal which are guarded by several
entrances called 'pols'. The popular, intricately carved havelis
lead to Manek Chowk, the main market place in Jaisalmer. The
fort was well-protected with four gateways and several tower
like buildings which served for guarding. On the highest point
of Tricuta Hill, in the fort, is a palace, well protected
by walls. The 5 main mahals of this fort are the Sarvottam
Vilas, Akhai Vela, Gaj Mahal, Rang Mahal and Moti Mahal.
The Havelis Of Jaisalmer
The intricately designed Havelis of the wealthy merchants
are mansions still in beautiful condition, adding to the glory
Salim Singh ki Haveli
The hereditary ministers of Jaisalmer rulers resided in this
Haveli, built about 300 yrs ago. The mansion displays a splendidly
arched root with beautifully carved peacocks. The story holds
an exquisite projecting balcony, part of the haveli is still
Patwon ki Haveli
The most elaborate and most magnificent haveli in Jaisalmer
stands five storeys high situated in a narrow lane exquisite
murals ornate the rooms of this haveli.
Nathmalji ki Haveli
This haveli was carved by two brother on two different sides.
The predominant idea used by each brother differed. But still
the Haveli looks as if carved in perfect harmony. Dissimilarities
are difficult to find. The Haveli displays fantastic craftsmanship
of the carver. The front door is ornated with an exquisite
piece of art and the building is guarded by yellow sandstone
The tower stands five storey tall tower houses exquisitely
carved balconies on each tier. Set in the Badal Mahal (palace
of clouds) this tower is a reminder of Pagodas. This tower
was a gift by Muslim craftsmen to their royal patron.
Beautifully carved with animal and human figures, this temple
is the oldest and the most splendid of the Jain Temples. The
Shikara is crowned by an amalak and a waterpot containing
a lotus flower.
Lodurva Jain Temple
An important centre of Jain pilgrimage, this town lies 15
km from Jaisalmer. The temple evinces intricate craftsmanship
on yellow stone. The entrance is decorated by carved arches
and inside is the Divine tree of Kalputra. In the temple,
is a hole from which, a snake is said to emerge every evening,
to drink an offering of milk. Only the ' blessed' can actually
see it, it is said.
An ideal picnic spot, this rainwater lake offers boating.
The Sam sand dunes offer a fascinating sight. The winds carve
brilliant patterns in the golden sands. The Camel rides are
a unique experience.
Wood Fossil Park, Aakal
An impressive fossil park, bearing witness to the geologic
cataclysms, that have taken place in the Thar.
Desert National Park
The desert avifauna in this National Park ranging from birds
of prey to sandgrouse, doves, shrikes, bee-eaters, warblers
and desert coursers. The Great Indian Bustard is the major
attraction. The desert fox, wolf, blackbuck, Chinkara, nilgai
and the crusted porcupine are the animals spotted here.
A small desert town, Barmer is famous for its carved wooden
furniture and handlock printing industry. Barmer is best visited
during the fairs that are held in nearby places. This is time
to gain an insight into the desert life and also see the simple
village folk as they come together to do business in the Tilwara
Cattle fair. Yes, like we mentioned earlier, this is a land
where festivals and fairs are a way of life.
The Desert Festival is a colourful extravaganza of music and
gaiety. The grand finale is a trip to the sand dunes at Sam,
where one can enjoy a camel ride and, simultaneously, view
the troupes of musicians and dancers performing on the dunes.
The camel safaris, the prime attraction of the desert is a
thrilling experience. It is an interesting way of exploring
the vast desert around Jaisalmer. The Safaris which take you
through Amar Sagar, Ludharva, Mool Sagar, Bada Bagh and Sam
last for about 3-4 days. The best time for safari is October
How to Get There
Air: Jodhpur (285 km) is
the nearest airport.
Road: Regular bus services link Jaisalmer to Jodhpur,
Ramdeora and Bikaner.
Where to Stay
RTDC Hotel, Moomal; Hotel Heritage Inn, Gorbandh Palace, Jaisal
Castle, Narain Niwas, Dhola Maru.