Have you been to Jaisalmer- The Golden City? Travelling is fascinating and enthralling to those who want to explore the world and enjoy the beauty of nature. On the one hand, it broadens horizon, builds new perspective; and on the other hand, it helps to discover the history attached to the monuments, places, and people.
While traveling, one gets to experience the magnificent culture which is interestingly different in each state and each city of India. About India, there is a very famous saying, ‘Kos-kos par paani badle, char kos par baani’, which means the taste of water changes after every four kilometers and the language changes after twenty kilometers.
During the Christmas break, I visited The Golden City with my family. Jaisalmer is a beautiful tourist destination with forts, palaces, hawelis, lakes, dunes, desert safari, shopping and not to miss, mouth-watering Rajasthan food!
Best Time to visit Jaisalmer – The Golden City
The best time to visit the Golden City is November to March as this constitutes the winter season. The temperature is generally high during the rest of the year.
I visited the city in December and the temperature was 26 degree Celsius during the afternoon and 6 degree Celsius during morning and night. The winter season is most favorable for sightseeing.
In winters one can also relish the other outdoor activities like desert safari, camel ride and adventure sports like parasailing, quad-biking, sand-dune bashing etc.
How to reach Jaisalmer
Train, Road, and Air all options are available for reaching Jaisalmer
- By Train: Jaisalmer Station is approx 2 kilometers from the city. If one has to arrive at Jaisalmer, there are trains available from Delhi, Mumbai, Howrah, Jaipur, Ramnagar, and Kathgodam. A luxury train known as Palaces on wheels, in India gives you significant destinations to explore. For details, you can refer here.
- By Road: There are no direct buses from Delhi to Jaisalmer. However, there are buses from Delhi to Jaisalmer via Jaipur which is approximately 850 kilometers.
- By Air: Jaisalmer Airport connects with Delhi, Jodhpur, and Jaipur. It is just 5 kilometers away from the city.
Jaisalmer Tourist Package
Tourist Packages depends on the number of days you plan to spend in the Golden City. Since I was short of days, I stayed for one night and one day and covered only a few famous destinations.
The average package for a middle-class family may vary from Rs. 15,000 to Rs. 25,000 depending upon the type of hotel you book, the mode of transportation, etc.
Jaisalmer Desert Safari – SAM
Sam is located 50 kilometers from The Golden City. It is one of the most prominent destinations to witness the dunes. The sunset and sunrise are aesthetic.
You may take camel or Jeep Safari to feel ‘The Thar Desert.’ Camel Safari is mostly included in the package and may cost about 100 rupees. Jeep Safari cost approx 1500 rupees for four people. It’s advisable to carry snacks and water bottle at the time of desert safari.
Camp in Jaisalmer
There are a lot of camps available in The Golden City to experience sunrise over the dunes. I booked my night-stay at The Royal Camps.
The Camp had a pleasant atmosphere full of traditional music, songs, dance, and last but not the least Rajasthan food (Daal, Batti, Churma with lots of Ghee).
One night stay at The Royal Camp amounted to Rupees 7,500 including evening snacks, dinner and morning breakfast. Three adults and one infant can stay in a camp. For more details, you may refer to http://royalcamps.com/.
Shopping in Jaisalmer
Jaisalmer is famous for its patchwork, paintings, bags, handicrafts, cushion covers, embroidery, silver jewelry, mirror work, cushions, and dupattas. You may visit Sadar bazaar, Bhatia bazaar, and Pansari bazaar in Jaisalmer.
If you don’t want to bargain and have a limited time you can visit Gandhi Darshan Emporium which is a fixed price shop for handicrafts items.
Parasailing in Jaisalmer
I witnessed many adventure sports’ camps while I was on my way to Jaisalmer. These camps organize adventure sports like parasailing and para-motoring.
Parasailing blew my mind and I wished to go ahead with it. I went at the field and waited for my turn. Soon my number came. After adjusting the helmet on my head and tightening of the safety belts, I was asked to run initially.
After running for few seconds the parachute took me up. As I was going up in the air, I could see the beauty of the Thar Desert with a bird’s eye view. This adventure sport made my dream of flying up in the air come true.
Places To Visit In Jaisalmer
#1 Patwon Ki Haweli
There are a lot of Hawelis in Jaisalmer but Patwon Ki Haweli is unique for its architecture and balconies.
Patwon Ki Haweli is located near the Patwa Complex. The road is very small therefore it’s advisable to take an Auto-rikshaw, or it would be great if you can walk.
Haweli has a ticket of 100 rupees, and if you plan to take a guide, it will also charge you 100 rupees. It is open from 10 AM to 5 PM.
#2 Jaisalmer Fort
Jaisalmer fort is the second oldest fort in Rajasthan. It is also known as Sonar Quila (Golden Fort).There are more than 2,800 people still residing in this fort.
Jaisalmer Fort is a house of many Jain Temples, full of intricate carvings. It is a perfect destination for people who love to watch the multi-level temples, multi-roomed unique architecture with minute details.
The entrance fee is 100 rupees per person, and the fort constitutes museum, handicrafts shops, hotels, houses, etc. It is open from 10 AM to 5 PM.
#3 Gadsisar Lake
Gadsisar Lake is one of the famous tourist locations in The Golden City. The lake gives you a calm, serene and pleasant view. The entrance of the lake is through the magnificently carved gateway known as the Tilon-ki-Pol.
It was built by Maharaja Gadsi to solve the problem of water, and it was the only source of water in Jaisalmer.
The lake is at a distance of 2 kilometers from the Jaisalmer Railway Station. There are no entry fees to visit the lake, but you have to pay a fee of 20/50/100 rupees for boating depending on the type of boat. The lake is open from 9 am to 7 pm.
During winters, Gadsisar lake is also a spot for various migratory birds which come from Bharatpur. You can also dress up in Rajasthan attire just for 150 rupees and get clicked as many numbers of times as you want. There are quite some stalls on the roadside displaying silver jewelry. I just loved it and could not resist myself from buying.
#4 Kuldhara Village
Kuldhara Village is at a distance of approximately 18 kilometers from The Golden City. It is commonly known as the mysterious and haunted village as its people abandoned the town.
Almost 200 years ago, Paliwal Brahmins resided in this village. The Dewaan of the Jaisalmer (Salim Singh) levied huge taxes on the villagers. One fine day he came to the village and decided to marry the daughter of the village head.
It was during this time that the entire village along with 84 nearby villages absconded in the night. The villagers cursed the village when they left- saying no one would be able to settle down in Kuldhara.
Presently, Kuldhara is under the custody of the Archaeological Survey of India. The ticket per person is 10 rupees, and parking cost is 50 rupees. It is open from 10 to 5 pm.
I recently read about Kuldhara being converted into tourist overnight stay destination in future.
#5 War Museum – Jaisalmer
It is located in Jaisalmer- Jodhpur Highway and is about 12 kilometers from Jaisalmer. It also captures the evolution of the Indian Army.
Jaisalmer War Museum was set up in 2015 by the Indian Army to honor and remember our martyr of the Indo –Pak war (1965) and Longewala battle (1971).
The War Museum includes:
- A display hall where there are war trophies, tanks, guns, military vehicles and vintage equipment. The display halls also contain murals of comrades.
- A separate Audio Visual Theatre room in which the screening of the movie The War of Longewala (1971) takes place. The film is for about twelve minutes. It is a tribute to the soldiers who fought and lost their lives in the war.
- A memorial shop
- A canteen
- Lush green area spread over 10 acres
The War Museum is open from 10 AM to 6 PM. The entry fee for the War Museum and war movie are for 25 rupees each.
Summing It Up
The Golden City is a beautiful place with lots of palaces, forts, and temples. During your visit to Jaisalmer, I would recommend you to visit the places mentioned above for having a captivating experience. If you plan to holiday in the desert city during February, it will be an added advantage as the famous desert festival takes place during that month.
I had a limited time in Jaisalmer, so these are the places I chose to visit. However, there are a lot of temples, Havelis and the Indo-Pak Border which I could not visit and is on my list the next time I visit The Golden City. I am sure there are many other famous destinations which are not listed above. Please consider adding them in the Comments section below. Also, read my article 10+ New Year Resolution Ideas You Should Consider In 2018.
Photo courtesy – Jyoti and Ayushi