A Travel Guide to Jaisalmer

Jaisalmer Airport Directory (JSA)
Baggage Allowance
15Kg
7Kg
Min °
Max °

If you want the breeze of the Thar deserts of Rajasthan to touch your soul or try the authentic Rajasthani thali and Dal Bati Churma, Jaisalmer is the destination to explore all of that.The spectacular havelis, Rajput history, aesthetic architecture of the Jaisalmer Fort, and the thriving culture all contribute to the evolution of this city. The Marwari culture and lakes are a sight to behold during your trip. This city is visited by explorers from all around the world who want to experience these and more.

Read more - Touch down to Jaisalmer: IndiGo announces the historic golden city as the 81st domestic destination in the 6E network

Best time to visit: Winter is the perfect time to visit Jaisalmer if you want to enjoy pleasant weather as the temperature remains below 25 degrees celsius and drops below 7 degrees at night. Consider planning your trip between the months of November and March.

How to reach?

By air: Jaisalmer Airport (JSA) is about 13 km from the city centre. It is undoubtedly the quickest way to reach the city. Consider booking your flights to Jaisalmer with IndiGo well in advance for reasonable rates.

By train: Trains from around the country regularly arrive at the Jaisalmer railway station. 

By bus: Private and public buses conveniently connect Jaisalmer with the surrounding cities and states.

Getting around/Transport in Jaisalmer: You can hire a private car, take a cab, or use auto rickshaws to get around the city. You can also consider hiring a bike or walking for short distances.

Baggage Allowance
15Kg
7Kg
Min °
Max °

Places to visit

  • Jaisalmer Fort: Don’t miss the crown jewel of the city, the Jaisalmer Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The fort's golden sandstone walls give it a mesmerising appearance, especially during sunset. Explore its narrow alleys, intricately carved Jain temples, royal palaces, and panoramic views from the top. It is undoubtedly a unique experience.
  • Patwon ki Haveli: This collection of five grand havelis is a testament to Jaisalmer's architectural heritage. It is decorated with elaborate facades, carefully carved balconies, and ornate windows. Patwon ki Haveli symbolises the craftsmanship of the medieval and pre-medieval eras of Rajasthan.
  • Sam Sand Dunes: Jaisalmer’s heart lies in the mighty deserts. Experience the desert's allure, watch the endless skies, and head to the Sam Sand Dunes. It is around 40 km from Jaisalmer. Book your taxis in advance to reach here in time. The sweeping dunes are a mesmerising sight during the sunrise and sunset. Engage in camel rides, jeep safaris, and cultural performances showcasing traditional Rajasthani folk arts.
  • Gadisar Lake: An oasis in the desert, Gadisar Lake is a serene spot that once served as a water reservoir for the city. The lake is surrounded by temples, shrines, and cenotaphs. You can enjoy boat rides while admiring the surrounding architectural beauty.
  • Salim Singh ki Haveli: This unique haveli stands out with its distinctive peacock-shaped roof and stunning architecture. Marvel at the detailed structure and architectural elements that make this haveli a true gem of Jaisalmer.
  • Nathmal ki Haveli: Nathmal ki Haveli is a masterpiece of architectural finesse that showcases the skill of two brothers who constructed its different sides. The detailed carvings, delicate latticework, and unique blend of Rajput and Islamic architectural styles make this haveli a visual delight. It's a perfect example of the city's rich artistic heritage.
  • Kuldhara Village: Just a short drive from Jaisalmer, Kuldhara is an abandoned village with a haunting history. Legend has it that the village was abandoned overnight by its residents due to a curse. The eerie atmosphere and the well-preserved ruins of houses and structures make Kuldhara a fascinating destination if you are interested in the mystery surrounding it.

Places to eat

  • The Trio Restaurant: This restaurant, located near the Jaisalmer Fort, offers a mix of Indian, Continental, and Chinese cuisine. With a rooftop setting, you can enjoy stunning views of the fort while relishing dishes prepared with local ingredients. Don’t miss their Rajasthani thali and try different regional specialities.
  • Gaji's Restaurant: This cosy restaurant is known for its warm hospitality and mouth-watering Rajasthani cuisine. From dal baati churma to traditional laal maas (spicy mutton curry), Gaji's Restaurant presents an authentic culinary journey. The rooftop seating provides a scenic backdrop as you indulge in the flavours of Rajasthan.
  • Cafe The Kaku: For a more international culinary experience, head to Cafe The Kaku. This cafe offers a diverse menu featuring Italian, Continental, and Indian dishes. The ambience is inviting, and a great place to enjoy a hearty breakfast or a leisurely meal. Don't miss their wood-fired pizzas and freshly baked goods. It is a great place to catch up with other fellow travellers.
  • Desert Boy's Dhani: If you're looking for an immersive cultural experience along with your meal, Desert Boy's Dhani is a fantastic choice. This rustic dining spot provides a taste of traditional Rajasthani village life. Embrace the true desert experience while you are enjoying authentic Rajasthani dishes.

Shopping

  • Sadar Bazaar: As one of the primary shopping areas in Jaisalmer, Sadar Bazaar is a market where you can find a wide range of items. The market offers a glimpse into the local way of life. You can check out the traditional touch, spanning from textiles and handicrafts to jewellery and hand-made goods. Don't miss the exquisitely embroidered textiles, mirror-worked fabrics, and traditional Rajasthani juttis (footwear).
  • Manak Chowk: Located in the heart of Jaisalmer, Manak Chowk is another vibrant market where you can explore a diverse range of Rajasthani products. The market is famous for its local textiles. They include block-printed fabrics and intricately embroidered textiles. You'll also find antique items, colourful puppets, and ornate jewellery.
  • Pansari Bazaar: If you're interested in textiles and fabrics, Pansari Bazaar is the place to be. This market is known for its variety of fabrics. You can look out for the famous Bandhani (tie-dye) and vibrant Rajasthani prints. Go ahead and purchase your favourite sarees, turbans, and scarves. You'll have a plethora of options to choose from.
  • Bhatia Bazaar: Bhatia Bazaar is the place to shop from if you want jewellery. You'll find an array of silver jewellery like necklaces, earrings, rings, and bracelets. The unique designs showcase the craftsmanship of local artisans. Take home the vintage Rajasthani aesthetic look with you.

Nightlife

  • Desert Campfire: Experience the magic of the desert by joining an evening campfire. Many desert camps organise cultural performances around a bonfire. Sit under the starlit sky, listen to traditional Rajasthani music, enjoy folk dance, and engage in conversations with fellow travellers. 
  • Sunset views from Bada Bagh: Bada Bagh is a historic site that offers spectacular sunset views over the desert landscape. As the sun dips below the horizon, the fading light paints the sky with hues of orange and pink. The calm and peaceful atmosphere makes it a serene spot for an evening visit.
  • Rooftop dining: Many restaurants and cafes in Jaisalmer offer rooftop dining experiences that are perfect for enjoying the city's nighttime ambience. Choose a place with views of the illuminated Jaisalmer Fort or the surrounding cityscape. You can savour traditional Rajasthani dishes or other cuisines under the starlit sky. Some establishments even host cultural performances on their rooftops. 

Where to stay

  • Suryagarh: Suryagarh is a luxurious heritage hotel that promises the grandeur of Rajasthani culture. Its opulent architecture, intricate decor, and warm hospitality offer a royal experience. The hotel boasts spacious rooms, a spa, pool, and range of dining options that serve both local and international cuisines.
  • Gorbandh Palace: If you are seeking a blend of comfort and traditional charm, then Gorbandh Palace is an excellent choice. The hotel features Rajasthani architecture and offers well-appointed rooms and suites. It has a beautiful pool area, lush gardens, and an on-site restaurant that serves authentic Rajasthani dishes. Its location offers easy access to the city's attractions while providing a peaceful retreat.
  • Hotel Nachana Haveli: Hotel Nachana Haveli provides a glimpse into the architectural splendour of Jaisalmer. This heritage hotel is housed in a restored haveli. You will be stunned by the delicate carvings, ornate balconies, and timeless ambience. The rooms are comfortable and adorned with traditional decor. You can enjoy views of the Jaisalmer Fort from the rooftop terrace, and the hotel's restaurant serves delectable Rajasthani cuisine.
  • Desert Tulip Hotel & Resort: Desert Tulip Hotel & Resort is a modern and elegant property that offers both comfort and convenience. The hotel features spacious rooms, a swimming pool, and a spa. It's designed with contemporary aesthetics while incorporating traditional elements. Its central location is a great base for exploring Jaisalmer's attractions.

More reasons to visit

  • Living history: The city is blessed with golden sandstone architecture and well-preserved historical sites. Walking through the narrow streets feels like stepping back in time.
  • Exquisite handicrafts: The city is a haven for shoppers interested in handicrafts. You will find textiles with intricate mirror-work that tells the tale of the local artistry. Jaisalmer offers an array of exquisite souvenirs that reflect local craftsmanship.
  • Hospitality and warmth: Jaisalmer is known for its warm and welcoming locals. The city's hospitality extends beyond its hotels and restaurants.
  • Photographer's paradise: If you are a photographer, then this is the perfect place for you. Jaisalmer's landscapes and natural settings are nothing less than magical. They provide endless opportunities for photography. Capture the essence of Rajasthan through your lens.

Festivals

  • Jaisalmer Desert Festival: This is one of the most anticipated events in Jaisalmer's calendar. Held in February, the Desert Festival is a three-day extravaganza showcasing Rajasthan's rich cultural heritage. It features traditional music, dance performances, camel races, puppet shows, and turban-tying competitions. The festival takes place against the stunning Sam Sand Dunes backdrop.
  • Teej Festival: Celebrated during the monsoon season (July-August), the Teej Festival is dedicated to Goddess Parvati. Women dress in vibrant Rajasthani clothes, and the city comes alive with colourful processions, folk dances, and rituals. 
  • Gangaur Festival: This spring festival is dedicated to Goddess Gauri, an incarnation of Goddess Parvati. Celebrated with great enthusiasm in March-April, the festival involves women adorning themselves with traditional jewellery and dressing in their finest attire. Colourful processions and traditional dances make this festival a visual treat.
  • Diwali: Just like the rest of India, Jaisalmer celebrates Diwali with great enthusiasm. The city adorns itself with oil lamps, candles, and decorative lights. Markets bustle with shoppers buying sweets, clothing, and gifts. The Jaisalmer Fort and havelis are illuminated.

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