Jaisalmer is one of the most beautiful cities in the state of Rajasthan. There are so many enchanting places to visit in Jaisalmer. It is also popularly known as Golden city and a famous tourist attraction. Millions of tourists across the world visit Jaisalmer every year to explore its golden sand dune, fossil park, historical forts and temples of the Rajput era, Camel Rides, desert Safaris and the list goes on.
The city is blessed with beautiful hilly surroundings and lakes which make the tourists sink in its natural beauty. So let’s have a look at some of the popular tourist attractions of Jaisalmer before we plan for our trip.
Popular Places To Visit in Jaisalmer
Best Places To Visit in Jaisalmer (Forts & Palaces)
Located in the city of Jaisalmer in Rajasthan, it is one of the very rare living forts in India where one-fourth of the city’s population still resides. It is also popularly known by the name of ‘Sonar Quila’. The fort stands high on the desert sands with the sun’s reflection on the Fort adding breathtaking golden hues shrouded with mystique.
Also read Jaisalmer Fort History, Timings, Entry Fee, Nearby Attractions and more
The fort has the perfect blend of Islamic and Rajput style. It has four entrances leading to the downwards. The crest of the Fort’s walls consists of an individual device which was believed to be used for the weather detection. It is definitely one of the best places to visit in Jaisalmer.
Patwon Ki Haveli
The haveli is located near the Patwa complex of Jaisalmer in Rajasthan. It is the largest haveli of Rajasthan with a cluster of five small havelis. The construction of this haveli was started by Guman Chand Patwa who was a wealthy banker and it took 55 years to complete the entire structure.
The shade of Golden color in the Haveli makes it so fascinating that it immediately attracts you to its intricate architecture. The beautiful attraction of the haveli is its amazing wall paintings, Beautiful balconies or Jharokas, gateways, and archways. An hour is enough to explore the beautiful creation.
A Must Read Patwon Ki Haveli Entry Fee, Timings, History, Nearby Attractions
Salim Singh-ki Haveli
It was built by Salim Singh in the year of 1815 who was the former prime minister of the kingdom while Jaisalmer was the capital city. It is situated near Jaisalmer Fort. The entire mansion is built of stones connected with strong iron rods without any usage of cement and mortar. It had its inspiration from the dancing peacock.
The haveli is built in a distinct architecture with 38 beautifully carved Jharokas and an amazing roof carved in the form of a peacock. The architecture was of one of the envious construction during that time and a famous tourist attraction.
Experience the joy of shopping in Jaisalmer and explore the markets that are extremely colorful with gorgeous ancient settings.
Nathmal ki Haveli
The Nathmal Haveli as the name suggests was the residence of Diwan Mohata Nathmal who was the prime minister of Jaisalmer during the era of the Rajputs. It was built by the two brothers Hathi and Lulu with different facets and has an irregular shape as during that time there were no instruments to track the continuity of work.
The architecture is best in terms of grandeur among the other ones in Jaisalmer. It consists of two beautiful yellow stone elephants at the entrance which adds a royal feeling to the haveli. The walls are engraved in different pictures of flowers, cattle, horses and various other things.
The fort lies at a distance of 30 minutes drive from Jaisalmer and one of the enchanting tourist attractions of Jaisalmer. It was said to be constructed overnight under mysterious circumstances and was believed to be the native place of Paliwal Brahmins. The fort has a ruined structure now which once used to be the home of 80 families around two centuries ago.
The fort has a crumbling structure with a small museum for the visitors. The surroundings of the fort will give you an abandoned feeling with peacocks and peahens roaming around containing very little population around the area.
Mandir Palace is a prominent landmark in the historical city of Jaisalmer. It had been the residential site for the rulers of Jaisalmer for two centuries or even more. The stone for this palace was founded by Maharawal Moolrajji while building temples of Shri Ram and Giridharji in its complex.
The Palace has an extremely royal architecture with ornate balconies carved exquisitely from marvel, canopies and delicately carved screens exemplifying awe-inspiring craftwork in its finest and purest form. The main attraction of the palace is the “Badal Vilas” which is one of the tallest structures after the Jaisalmer hilltop city, Fort.
The Maharaja’s Palace is a fascinating structure inside the Jaisalmer Fort. The Palace has a very impressive architecture with beautiful intricate designs. It is a five-storeyed structure consisting of the Maharaja’s marble throne, Silver coronation throne, royal bed, banknotes, some local stamps, and sculptures.
The main attraction of this palace is the rooftop which gives a stunning view of the Jaisalmer city and the golden desert. This is one of the most visited places by the tourists on their trip to Jaisalmer fort. The palace rooftop is also ideal for photography with a gorgeous view of the city in the backdrop.
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Popular Places To Visit in Jaisalmer (Temples)
It is one among the seven Jain temples belonging to the Jaisalmer Fort. The Temple follows Dilwara style architecture having exquisite carvings. The temple belongs to the 16th century and dedicated to Sri Shantinath who was a Jain saint. Being close to the Jaisalmer fort the temple attracts thousands of devotees every year.
It has the perfect ambiance for peace and meditation reflecting a spectacular structure of the medieval period. It is believed those who pray fervently in the temple saint Shantinath grants all their wishes. The temple organizes feast in bulk every year for the Jain tourists and visitors.
Chandraprabhu Temple in Jaisalmer
Among the seven Jain temples located in Jaisalmer Chandraprabhu temple was the earliest one. It was built during the period of 15th to 16th century. The temple is dedicated to Chandraprabhuji who was a Jain prophet and the 8th Tirthankara. The structure is built on the courtyard of Jaisalmer fort unlike the other temples connected by corridors.
The temple follows old Rajput architecture built in red sandstone. The temple’s corridors, walkways, curved facades and open space are made of marvels. The temple consists of pillars and stone carvings of well-calculated geometrical shapes which makes it a specimen of excellent craftwork.
Tanot Mata Temple
It is a major tourist attraction on the way to the Thar Desert in Rajasthan. The temple is located in Tanot Village lying in the district of Jaisalmer. It is dedicated to Tanot Mata who is believed to be an incarnation of Hinglaj Mata.
History says the temple got its significance from the Indo-Pak war of 1965 when militants across the border launched almost 1000 bombs to destroy the village but by the blessing of Tanot Mata none of them got diffused and the entire village along with the Indian soldiers got saved. Since then the temple holds high religious importance.
The Jain temples in Jaisalmer are located inside the Jaisalmer fort built during the period of 12th to 15th century. The group of temples is dedicated to different Jain Tirthankaras. The temples are very old known for the best pilgrimage site and architectural works. All the Jain temples are built in world famous architecture of Dilwara style.
The temples are dedicated to Rikhabdev Ji and Shambhavdev Ji and the Tirthankaras. The temples are constructed from yellow sandstone with beautiful stone carvings on the walls. It holds a perfect ambiance of peace. The temples are open for the visitors till 12 noon.
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Famous Places To Visit in Jaisalmer (Museums)
The Thar Heritage Museum
The museum is a small one but definitely a treat for the eyes of the history lovers. It has a huge collection of artifacts from the Rajput era like coins, photographs, manuscripts, weapons, kitchen equipment, and displays on birth, marriage, death and ancient musical instruments.
The owner of the museum is an amazing personality greeting and welcoming the visitors to explore the collections. He guides the tourists to the museum tour explaining the stories associated with the historical collections. The place is very entertaining followed by games of snakes and ladder after the museum tour. The evenings are famous for the puppet shows.
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Desert Culture Centre and Museum
This is another important landmark of Jaisalmer. It is a small museum located near Gadsisar Lake run by NK Sharma. The museum is famous for its collection of local musical instruments, ancient currency, and coins, Traditional jewelry from the Rajput era, Hunting Gear, historical pictures of different rulers, artillery, and armors of the ancient era.
The museum contains rare coins depicting Jailsamer’s history and the entire past of Rajasthan together. It also showcases the desert life with beautiful craftwork, camel decorations, and a mysterious opium mixing box. The evenings are hosted with Puppet shows for entertaining the visitors and tourists.
Jaisalmer War Museum
It is the first museum of India showing the bravery and tales of soldiers in Indo-Pak war through a light and sound show. The Museum has an Indian flag located in the center which attracts thousands of tourists to visit the place. The light and sound show is the star attraction of the museum. The show has been inaugurated by Lt Gen DR Soni and other officers in 1st June 2018.
The light and sound show runs for a duration of 40 minutes narrating the tale of Indo-Pak war during the period between 1965 and 1971 through laser lights, visual effects, and sound. I would highly recommend to add this museum to your list of best places to visit in Jaisalmer.
Longewala War Memorial
Longewala war memorial is another popular tourist attraction in Jaisalmer showing aftermath of the 1971 Indo-Pak war. It consists on an exclusive collection of military items like Giant Battle tanks, Indian and Pakistani army jeeps, weapons like pistols and canons with a glimpse of the battle and an audio narration of historical incidents playing in the background.
The war memorial also consists of bunkers which on descending showcases a heavy atmosphere of the darkest moments in Indian history. The walls of the memorial are covered with photographs from the war period and each of the exhibits showcases the history behind it.
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Best Places To Visit in Jaisalmer for Nature Lovers
Khuri Sand Dunes
It is a small beautiful village situated on the outskirts of Jaisalmer at a distance of 40 km from the main city. The village has a majestic beauty with very less population. It is the best place to enjoy the traditional Rajasthani lifestyle and some beautiful folklore.
The surroundings are covered with mud houses depicting the simple lifestyle of the Rajasthani locals. The best attraction here is the camel rides with takes you to an amazing exploration of the sand dunes giving a closer view of the narrow streets, colorful local market and the thatched straw roofs of the native huts.
Amar Sagar Lake
The lake is located near the Amar Singh Palace built during the 17th century. The location was built by Maharawal Akhai Singh which was dedicated to his predecessor Amar Singh. The Palace consists of a pavilion with stairs to reach the lake. The palace has a 5 storeyed structure built in the form of Apartments and well known for its murals.
The area is surrounded by many ponds and lakes and also houses an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The lake is surrounded by stone carved animal heads which were believed to be the protectors of the royal family.
It is a famous tourist attraction in Jaisalmer. The lake was built by Raja Rawal Jaisal who was the first ruler of Jaisalmer. Later on, the lake was revamped by Maharaja Garisisar Singh. The lake has its entrance through Tilon-Ki-Pol which is an artistic yellow sandstone archway. It is surrounded by artistic temples, Chhatris, shrines, and Ghats.
It is also a home to different migratory birds due to its close proximity to Bharatpur. It is the perfect place to take pictures of Jaisalmer Fort which glitters in golden color in the early morning with the first rays of the sun.
Also read Gadisar Lake Timings, Entry Fee, Boating and Nearby Attractions
Desert National park
It is a fascinating park covering a total area of 3162 sq.km of sands and scrubs and lies close to the border of Pakistan. The area is a major tourist attraction with its start collection of Great Indian Bustard which is bird having 4ft. height. It is one of the extinct species with 1000 remaining in number and mostly found in this area.
The other wildlife species in the park include Sandgrouse, Chinkara which is also a star attraction here like Great Indian bustard, falcons, vultures, desert fox etc. The best time to visit the park is between October to February.
Bada Bagh as the name suggests is a huge garden located in the same distance from Jaisalmer and Lodhruva. The Garden consists of a series of Royal chhatris belonging to the Jaisalmer maharajas including the one of Jai Singh II. The Chhatri of Jai Singh was the first one to be built in this region by his son Lunkaran in the 16th century.
Also read Bada Bagh Entry Fee, Timings, History, Nearby Attractions and more
All the Chhatris here have beautifully carved ceiling with elegant statues of their rulers. Jai Singh II was dedicated to making the city green so to honor him his son constructed this big Park near the dam.
Akal Wood Fossil Park
It is a must visit tourist attraction in Jaisalmer for all age groups. The area reflects the prehistoric era with its fossilized tree trunks of different sizes and the seashells. It houses 25 numb trees and some 200 years old fossils. The hot and humid climate of the place helps in preserving these fossils over the years.
The location used to have a forest once which got immersed into the sea later and the tree trunks have been preserved as fossils since then. The park covers a total area of 21 hectares surrounded by natural beauty and the archaeological stuff. It is one of the best places to visit in Jaisalmer for nature lovers.
Sam Sand Dunes
It is located at a distance of 42km on the outskirts of Jaisalmer. It is a very popular tourist attraction of Jaisalmer. The place is covered by the sand dunes of Thar Desert and exploring the same riding on a camel’s back is a must activity. The location is famous for the day excursions on camel safaris during the months of October to March when the place bustles with tourist activities.
It holds a vibrant and energetic ambiance. The location also hosts the Desert Festival in the month of February which is a 3 days event showcasing the Rajasthani culture.
Other Important Places To Visit in Jaisalmer
Kuldhara Abandoned Village
It lies in western Rajasthan at distance of 15km west of Jaisalmer. The village was established in 1921 and belonged to the Paliwal Brahmins. The place is believed to be reportedly haunted with crumbling incomplete brick structures spanning all around with a deadly silence.
History says the chief’s of the 84 villages one night mysteriously disappeared in the dark when an evil minister threatened to marry a chief’s daughter forcefully by taking her from the village when he didn’t gain permission from the chief. The place since then has the curse of anyone’s death trying to inhabit it leaving it abandoned.
It is a beautiful architecture in Rajasthan dedicated to sage Vyas who was the writer of Mahabharata-The epic. The destination is an assemblage of chhatris build in golden sandstone located to the northwest edge of the town in an old Brahmin cemetery. The location is known as the famous sunset point of Jaisalmer.
It holds a breathtaking view of the Jaisalmer city during the sunset time. The chhatris hold the significance as a mark of respect to the ones who were cremated in the area. The afternoon light on the Chattris shows its delicate carving and a sight to behold.
It is a gate from the 12th century located inside the famous Jaisalmer Fort. The fort has four successive gates visitor need to pass to enter the palaces. These are Akhai gate, Surya gate, Ganesh gate and Hawa gate. Surya gate comes in the second position which has a narrow structure and built of stone carvings.
None of the gates are aligned in the straight line so that enemies had difficulty while entering. There are also small shops selling various items between the Akhai gate and Surya gate. The best time to visit this location is between October to March.
It is situated in the Badal palace complex inside Jaisalmer Fort with 2km distance from Railway station of Jaisalmer. The tower was named as such due to its structure constructed in the form of Muslim Tazia. The tower was built in 1886 as a gift to Rajput king Maharawal Berisal Singh by some Muslim carvers.
It is a five-storeyed structure with a unique balcony in each story having exclusive designs. Each floor of the tower has intricate designs of stone carvings in the ceilings and walls which reflects the extreme talent and creativity of the craftsmen in the ancient days. It is one of the most unique places to visit in Jaisalmer.
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How to Reach Jaisalmer
Jaisalmer can be reached from different cities of India in the following ways:-
Jaisalmer doesn’t have an airport of its own. So it is connected to Jodhpur airport at a distance of 300km which connects Rajasthan to all major Indian cities. Cabs can be hired from Jodhpur to reach Jaisalmer.
There are many deluxe and private buses connecting Jaisalmer to the major cities like Jodhpur, Jaipur, Bikaner, Mount Abu, Ahmedabad etc.
It is well connected to broad gauge and meter gauge railways. Direct trains are available to from Delhi, Jaipur, and Jodhpur to Jaisalmer.
What is the best time to visit Jaisalmer?
November to march is the best time to visit Jaisalmer for sightseeing and other fun activities like camel ride, desert safari as the temperature in winters do not rise beyond 24 degrees. Evenings are chilled with temperature from 7 to 8 degrees.
April to August has the highest temperature of 42 degrees with extreme hot climate. Not an ideal time to visit but since it’s an offseason the hotels offer different deals to the tourists.
September to October has little rainfall. The day times are humid but the evenings are cooler with pleasant weather.
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