Jaisalmer, Rajasthan is a city that is shrouded in the rich colours of its culture, the valiant tales of every war fought on its lands and the luxury that Jaisalmer royalty lived in. The bygone eras of Jaisalmer sing of the heritage the city still carries with it and proudly so. Jaisalmer is called the Golden City; thanks to the desert around it, casting an exotic shade on the city and the sandstone that has been used to build the many historic monuments the city possesses. Famous for its forts, grand temples, ornate havelis and other glowing monuments of Indian history, the city saw extensive use of sandstone as the building material for all these stunning monuments. There are many places to see in Jaisalmer that will help you learn all about this remarkable city.
Places to visit in Jaisalmer to know more about its extraordinary history
1. Jaisalmer Fort
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Jaisalmer Fort is one of the largest forts in the world. In fact, calling it just a fort would be unfair. As good as a complex, the fort houses several shops, restaurants and even has people living inside the fort premises. As many as three thousand people are said to be living on the fort lands. Standing proudly atop a hilly terrain, the fort offers some mind-blowing views of the city below. One of the most famous places to visit in Jaisalmer, the Jaisalmer Fort is a labyrinth of several pathways, walls, gateways and corridors. The fort also has many splendid temples built in and around its premises, some of such the Chandraprabhu Temple among several others, built in the fort complex. A magnificent historical monument, the walls carved with beautiful sculptures are a sight to behold. All these beautiful monuments add up to the grandeur of the Jaisalmer Fort.
Timings: 9 am – 5 am
Entry fee: Rs 30 (Indian nationals) and Rs 70 (foreign nationals)
2.Gadi Sagar Lake
Gadi Sagar Lake, an oasis of water on the very outskirts of Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, is a beautiful lake that adds to the mystic feel that surrounds the city. The lake was originally built to function as a reservoir for the locals of the city by the ruler at the time, Raja Rawal Jaisal. Now, the lake acts as a beautiful spot where they can unwind or just spend time with their family relaxing in the beautiful surroundings of the lake. You can also opt to go boating on the lake waters. If visiting in the winter months, visitors might even catch a glimpse of beautiful migratory birds. The Gadi Sagar Lake even makes the nearby Jaisalmer Fort glimmer in its beauty by reflecting the shining sun rays on the fort walls. This beautiful scenario makes the lake one of the most enchanting places to see in Jaisalmer.
Boating timings: 8 am – 8 pm
Boating fee: Rs 10 (rowing boats), Rs 50 (paddle boats) and Rs 100 (shikara rides)
3. Bada Bagh
One of the most popular places to visit in Jaisalmer, Bada Bagh is a garden that houses magnificent cenotaphs built by several kings that ruled Jaisalmer over the years back in the time of rulers and princely states. Bada Bagh, the garden complex is famously known to give off a look resembling a desert mirage. This is due to the shades of the garden and the landscape resembling each other and blending seamlessly. The iconic cenotaphs can be seen from the tiny hilltop they stand on within the gardens. Going back six centuries, these cenotaphs are beautifully preserved and include information about every ruler every cenotaph signifies. All these interesting facts certainly make Bada Bagh one of the most interesting places to see in Jaisalmer.
Timings: 9 am – 6 pm
Entry fee: Rs 20 – 50 (Indian nationals) and Rs 50-100 (foreign nationals)
4. Patwon Ki Haveli
Patwon Ki Haveli, a cluster of five gorgeous havelis meshed into one complex, was built by a man called Guman Chand Patwa in the early 1800s. It is a breathtakingly ornate historical monument, spread across five different floors. The intricacy that went into building the monument still makes visitors speechless. A smattering of elaborate windows and balconies on the outside of the haveli complex gives way to the grand hallways and premises of the Patwon ki Haveli. The Haveli is built in traditional Jaisalmer architecture using yellow sandstone. The majestic monument, complemented by its alluring wall paintings, mirror work, murals, latticework and so many other impressive techniques that went into its creation, is justifiably one of the most attractive places to see in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, especially with its spectacular views and remarkably history and culture.
Timings: 9 am – 5 pm
Entry fee: Rs 20 (Indian nationals) and Rs 100 (foreign nationals)
5. Jain Temples of Jaisalmer
The Jain Temples of Jaisalmer, Rajasthan have been built in and around the premises of the Jaisalmer fort. Comprising seven temples in total, every temple is a beautiful structure of worship. Built in the famous Dilwara style, every temple is a beautiful spectacle with magnificent carvings, historic significance and religious importance in the chapters of Jaisalmer, Rajasthan and are still important places of worship for Jain devotees. Of the seven temples, the Chandraprabhu, Parsvnath, Rishabhnath and Sambhavnath temples are the most stunning. With beautiful carvings on their walls depicting animals, humans and celestial beings, these temples are just ethereal.
Timings: 8 am – 12 pm
Entry fee: Free (Indian nationals) and Rs 10 (foreign nationals)
6. Nathmal Ki Haveli
Built in 1885 for the Prime Minister of Jaisalmer at the time, Mohata Nathmal, this grand Haveli was built by the Prime Minister’s brothers. A unique amalgamation of symmetry and irregularity at the same time, this interesting result came into being because the brothers started work on the Haveli simultaneously from opposite ends. Thus, Nathmal ki Haveli is an interesting as well as a marvellous historic monument. The architecture of the Haveli is typical of the detailed Jaisalmer style of architecture prevalent at the time. Therefore, you will find brilliant windows with elaborate carvings around them, latticework, courtyards and other beautiful elements all through the premises.
Timings: 8 am – 6 pm
Entry fee: Free entry
7. Salim Singh Ki Haveli
An approximately three-hundred years old beautiful Haveli, it is also famously called the ‘Jahaz Mahal’, for the likelihood between the part of the Haveli and the stern of a ship. Built on the foundations of a pre-existing Haveli from the 17th century, Salim Singh ki Haveli is a true architectural and cultural gem. The Haveli differs from other historical monuments in the fact that the building is supported by sturdy iron rods, as compared to the traditional cement pillars which were more prevalent at the time. Possessing a massive number of rooms, hallways, and courtyards, the most distinctive feature of the Haveli remains its impressive thirty-eight windows, jharokhas as they were traditionally called. The Haveli also houses a beautiful Moti Mahal, which was used to host dances and other entertainment for guests.
Timings: 8 am – 6 pm
Entry fee: Rs 50 (Indian nationals) and Rs 100 (foreign nationals)
8. Desert National Park
One of the largest national parks of its kind, the Desert National Park in Jaisalmer is home to several wildlife species. A perfectly balanced desert ecosystem, the park has the typical landscape consisting of dunes, salt lake bottoms, etc. The national park also offers visitors the option of a jeep safari, which is the best way to explore the huge lands. Desert National Park, despite being near the Thar desert, has managed to hold on to its unique and personal ecosystem. Migratory birds, animals, and reptiles can all be witnessed existing within the parklands as well as a few flora species. Wildlife such as the desert fox, Bengals fox, Blackbucks, chinkaras, etc., and reptiles like Russell’s viper, monitor lizards, and common kraits can be found living in the park along with migratory and permanent birds species such as Great Indian Bustard, Falcons, Vultures, Eagles, Larks, etc., making the park a must-visit site for bird lovers.
Timings: 10 am – 5 pm
Entry fee: Rs 100