Jaisalmer, the Golden City of India, is unquestionably one of the most spectacular places in the state that deserves full attention of the tourists. Sharing its border with Pakistan, and located in close proximity to the Thar Desert, the city’s history dates back to the 12th century. It’s believed that Rawal Jaisal constructed a mud fort and named it Jaisalmer after his own name and declared it as his capital.
The city is endowed with various historical and religious sites that attract a large number of tourists, especially in the winters. It has forts, temples, palaces, lakes, and also desert areas creating a whole package for the tourists.
Let’s explore the major places to visit in Jaisalmer with a compilation of its prominent tourist spots:
Timings: 9 am to 5 pm
Duration: 2 to 2.5 hrs
Ticket cost: INR 30 (Indians) and INR 70 (other nationalities)
Jaisalmer Fort, also known by the name Sonar Quila or Golden Fort is a mesmerizing sight to capture, especially during sunset. It appears like the fort rises from the desert and merges with the golden hues of sand. Unlike usual forts, it includes various shops, houses, and havelis within the premises where people still reside.
Recognized as a world heritage site, the fort is also bejeweled with monuments like Raj Mahal, Laxminath Shrine, and gateways seeking tourists’ attention. Elevated to 60 feet above the ground, the fort is mentioned among the largest forts in the world.
Timings: 8 am to 8 pm
Duration: 2 hours
Ticket cost: Free Entry (boating charges apply)
Gadisar Lake is a man-made reservoir which was constructed by Raja Rawal and then re-constructed by Maharawal Garsi in 1367 AD. It is surrounded by holy shrines, temples, chattris, and ghats on the banks. Back in that time, it was the only source of water for the native people.
The artistic entrance built of yellow sandstone and magnificent carving offers a captivating view. Tourists can either sit back and enjoy the beautiful, picturesque view or enjoy boating in the lake.
Timings: 8 am to 7 pm
Duration: 1 to 1.5 hrs
Ticket cost: INR 30 (Indians)
Located in the main city, this Haveli was constructed by a famous trader named Guman Chand Patwa and later on completed by his sons. It took 55 years for the complete construction to take place. It has a five-story layout having five intricate suites. One of the five suites has been transformed into a museum while another one displays works of the local craftsmen of the ancient times.
The walls and corridors are decorated with an excellent art form that was prevalent at that time. The Haveli is entirely built of yellow sandstone and the architecture adds even more value to the heritage. It’s famous for wall paintings, jharokhas, archways, and gateways.
Timings: 8 am to 6 pm
Duration: 1 hour
Ticket cost: INR 20 (Indians)
This Haveli was constructed by the formidable minister Salim Singh in the first half of the 18th century. He wanted to make it as high as the king’s palace for which two additional wooden storeys were added. However, they were ordered to be demolished later.
It is known for its high arched roof supported by carved brackets that render the shape of a peacock. Besides, it has 38 balconies with a unique, distinctive style of architecture. A part of the haveli is still occupied by the descendants of the original residents.
Timings: 7 am to 12 noon
Duration: 1-2 hours
Ticket: no entry fee
The Jain temples are located within the campus of Jaisalmer Fort and date back to the 12th century. The distinctive architecture of these temples is inspired by the Dilwara temples located in Mount Abu.
Showcasing beautiful carvings and interconnectivity, the temples are completely constructed of yellow sandstone. The temples are dedicated to famous Jain hermits Rikhhabdevji and Shambhavdeji, who taught people how to attain nirvana.
Timings: 10am to 5pm
Ticket Cost: INR 100
It’s a protected sanctuary and is counted among one of the biggest national parks in India. A major portion of this national park contains extinct salt lakes and thorny shrubs. It’s quite interesting to spot migratory birds and animals despite the harsh and bleak weather conditions.
One major highlight of the park is the great Indian Bustard. It’s a 4 feet tall bird which is on the verge of extinction with just 1,000 of them remaining. Other animals that can be spotted here include Chinkara, desert fox and birds like falcon and vulture.
Timings: 8 am to 6 pm
Duration: 1 hour or less
Ticket cost: INR 50
It’s an abandoned village in Jaisalmer that is known for spooky, haunted tales attracting a large number of tourists. It’s said that 200 years ago, the inhabitants of the village were under the cruel ruler Diwan Salim Singh. On fearing the rage of the Diwan, the villagers fled and left it abandoned. Since then no sign of human existence has been found in the village.
Intrigued by the story, many investigated and explored the site. Even the Indian Paranormal Society claims to have observed certain unnatural activities in the village. The roads of the village are wide and every house is connected to a drainage system and the walls are inscribed with Devnagari script.
Timings: 9 am to 6 pm
Duration: 1-2 hours
Ticket Cot: INR 5 (Indians) and INR 20 (other nationalities)
Akal Wood Fossil Park is spread across an area of 21 hectares of land that is located 17kms away from Jaisalmer city. 180 million years ago there was a forest at this site. Over the time, the area was submerged in the sea and the trunks turned into fossils. The park offers an insight into Jurassic era whereby large fossilized tree trunks have been placed under corrugated iron shelters. There are 25 numb trees, centuries-old fossils and an ancient redwood tree trunk at the entrance. It’s a great place to visit for people who are fond of History and fossils.