RAJASTHAN. The land of Royals, never fails to impress with its vibrancy, architecture and natural beauty and our personal favourite here is Jaisalmer The Golden City.
There is so much to do in Rajasthan. The forts, Palaces, temples, various wildlife sanctuaries, vibrant festivals and of course the great Indian desert all make it a perfect holiday destination.
The Intricate Artwork on the Jharoka
We love to explore Rajasthan. The best part about travelling to Rajasthan is its proximity to Delhi and the beautiful roads so we often end up travelling to this exotic state for many planned and unplanned holidays. This post is about our one such beautiful holiday in the wonderful city of Jaisalmer.
Table of Contents
- 1 Jaisalmer The Golden City
- 2 How to reach Jaisalmer
- 3 Places to Visit in Jaisalmer
- 4 Where to Stay in Jaisalmer?
Jaisalmer The Golden City
Jaisalmer, Rajasthan is a panoramic beauty. The Golden City is located at the heart of the Thar Desert. The huge ocean of yellow sand looks like the folds of a smooth silk cloth wrapped all around it. The same golden sandstone defines the architecture of this place.
The stunning sunset captured from the sand dunes
We visited Jaisalmer in the month of November. Delhi to Jaisalmer distance is around 800 Kms and it took us about 15 hours to drive there. Our kiddo also starts getting restless in the confines of the car after a few hours so we have to take regular stops, which extend our travel time further. Also we, being laid back travellers, always try to break long journeys midway by taking a stopover at a place for the night so that we can hit the road fresh and alert first thing in the morning. This time while going to Jaisalmer we took a pit stop at Jodhpur.
He too is enjoying the view
The first thing that hits you when you are nearing Jaisalmer is the dry, arid landscape. There is wide expanse of land with hardly any vegetation and civilization but with awesome roads.
How to reach Jaisalmer
Jaisalmer City as seen from the Fort
Jaisalmer is at the heart of the Thar desert but still its easy to reach. It’s connected to the major cities of Rajasthan by Road, Rail and Air.
The roads to Jaisalmer are very well maintained hence its convenient to self drive or hire a taxi. It’s well-connected to all of Rajasthan by buses too.
Jaisalmer is well-connected by trail, to all major cities of India like Mumbai, Delhi, and to Jodhpur. The railway station is just 2 Km east of the main city.
Jaisalmer Airport, managed by the Indian Air Force, is operational only from September to March. However, Jodhpur, which is 285 km from Jaisalmer is the closest domestic airport and its connected to all major cities of India. The closest International airport is New Delhi.
Places to Visit in Jaisalmer
Jaisalmer Fort (“Sonar Quila”)
The mighty Jaisalmer Fort
This massive fort made of yellow sandstone, built by Rajput Rawal Jaisal in 1156 AD, boasts of a rich history. The gold of the sandstone shines brightly during the day giving the fort its popular name “Sonar Quila”. What makes this fort different is that there are people living in this fort. The fort gives an amazing view of the city and is also great for some street shopping.
Jaisalmer War Museum
The entrance to the museum
Just when you are nearing the city from Jodhpur, you come across the Jaisalmer War Museum. Established by the Indian army , this war museum commemorates the bravery and sacrifice of soldiers. Jaisalmer is shares its border with Pakistan in the South and South west so it has a seen a considerable amount of war and conflict. This museum serves as a remembrance of the bravery and sacrifices of Indians unsung heroes.
This museum houses various war memorabilia including weapons, trophies, Murals of Indian soldiers and an aircraft and also captured enemy tanks. The auditorium in the museum screens a movie about the Longewala Battle. While visiting Jaisalmer make sure to visit this museum, it will definite stir up the patriotism in you.
The barren isolated village
Kuldhara, is a former village located 18 kilometers from Jaisalmer city. This barren village has ruins of around 400 houses centered on the remains of a temple. But what makes it shocking is that it became deserted overnight.
Sam Sand Dunes
The bub enjoying her gigantic sand box
It’s hard to realize that absence of landscape, flora and fauna can still make a place look so captivating. The sea of sand with ever-changing dunes make it a must visit place in Jaisalmer. “Sam sand dunes” is in the outskirts of Jaisalmer and the best time to visit is during sunset. The view of the feisty orange sun sinking into the horizon makes it a worthwhile visit.
Make sure you catch the sunset from the dunes
But make sure that you reach there well in advance to experience this view at the best points since the place is thronged by tourists. Haggle your way with the pesky camel owners and demand a fair charge for the desert safari.
The sand was surprisingly cool and relaxing
Tanot Mata Temple
The Temple premise
Tanot, a small town located 150 Kms from the city Jaisalmer in the Western most point of Rajasthan is very close to Pakistan. It’s also close to the epic battle site of Longewala of 1971. Tanot Mata temple is widely visited by tourists as the temple speaks of the heroics of our soldiers. It is believed that during the Indo-Pak wars of 1965 and 1971, Pakistan tried to attack the temple by dropping many bombs but none exploded. These unexplored bombs can be seen in the museum inside the temple premises. The temple is managed by the BSF.
The drive to the temple from Jaisalmer is arguably one of our finest drives. The roads are in splendid conditions and the vast expanse of the scenic Thar desert makes this a must-visit destination.
Patwaon Ki Haveli
The exquisitely carved haveli
Patwaon ki Haveli built by the rich merchants of Rajasthan, is the first haveli built-in Jaisalmer and it’s not one but a cluster of 5 small havelis; making it an important fort in Jaisalmer. This Haveli has some of the best detailing stone and inlay work on the doors and exquisitely carved jharokas.
Where to Stay in Jaisalmer?
Suryagarh, Jaisalmer is a stunning property. It’s just perfect for those looking for a luxurious heritage stay in Jaisalmer. The staff is attentive to detail and passionately takes care of guests needs. Even if you decide not to stay here, you MUST visit this place just for the food which is among the best we ever had. They have an amazing breakfast and their laal maas is to die for. The evening folk music performances are magical. We loved every bit of our stay here and it is worth every penny.
With luxurious air-conditioned tents-like rooms, The Serai, Jaisalmer offers outstanding accommodation which even has a private heated swimming pool. The resort is so amazingly lit up with lamps in the evening, its just mesmerizing!
Another hotel where we loved our stay is the Taj Gateway (Hotel Rawalkot). It’s a beautiful hotel with great location away from the city’s hustle bustle. Our kiddo loved the children play area and of course, the pool. What appealed to us most is the courteous staff and the cleanliness of the hotel.
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