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Rajasthan - Jaisalmer - The Land of the Golden Fort
Jaisalmer, the delightful destination, is a must visit place to watch the façade of the astounding Thar Desert. About 17 km away from Jaisalmer, the ancient capital of Rajasthan, would be an additional enticement for all the tourists who drives to the Thar Desert. To watch different corners of the city thoroughly and comfortably you should hire an auto.
If you visit Jaisalmer during November then you would be fascinated to witness the splendor of the National Dessert Safari Tour. Youth Hostel Association- Bengal Unit and Netaji Indoor Stadium are other noteworthy destinations around.
The meaning of Thar is “Home of death”. Stand on the well spread out sands of the desert to watch the windswept sand dunes to feel the joy and ecstasy. The city of Jaisalmer, located amidst the lingering sand dunes and surrounded by a stretched out fortification, was built long back in 1750. The entire city is also delimited by 4 poles around- Malka is in the north, Amar Sagar is in the west, Gadi Sagar and Baran ki pole are in the south- eastern sides of the city. Doorways of two other poles are closed now. The wall around the city is also in ruins.
Badal Mahal, the palace of 20th century, can be accessed through the Amar Sagar pole. The yellowish shades on the temple, forts and palaces, erected by sandstones, match the magnificence of the golden sands. If you want to watch the changing spectacle of the color of the sands then Jaisalmer is the best place for you to visit. The color of the sands around looks pink just before the beguiling sunset. The golden color of the sands also would be a treat to your eyes during sunset. This is why the city is popularly known as the golden city.
The Jali architectures, shown on the walls of the various edifices, would encourage the spirited holiday makers to visit Jaisalmer. Watching the well ornamented buildings, homes and palaces would be a charming experience for you all.
Hordes to tourists throng to the land of astonishment, Jaisalmer, to watch one of the impressive creations of the whole world, the Jaisalmer fort which is also popularly known as the Golden Fort, owing to its pale yellow color. The golden walls of the fort and prolonged sand dunes have been attracting throng of tourists from far away destinations all throughout the year. The scorching sun and irritating sandstorm would create problems for you in summers. The best time to enjoy the agreeable city is during October- March. The temperature hovers around 3 degrees to 45 degrees Celsius throughout the year. Lack of rainfall in the city causes a bit of worry for the city dwellers.
The yellow sandstones of the Jaisalmer Fort look marvelous when it takes a bath in the sunlight. The Jaisalmer is spread completely around the fort, the royal apartment of the city. The fort, atop the Trikuta hill, at the southern side of the fort (457 * 129 meters), is situated at an elevation of 76 meters. The security measures taken to make the fort a safe place are laudable. There is no moat around though. 99 bulwarks and war shooters on few of these bulwarks in the middle of the fort premise can be seen. Akshay pole, Ganesh pole, Suraj pole and Hawa pole have laid the foundation of the fort. A snake shaped tract would take you to a higher elevation crossing the Hawa pole or the gateway. The second gateway is known as “death well”. Prisoners were thrown to death from this place earlier. The premise where Johar was observed can be reached crossing the 4th gateway in the vicinity.
Tourists would be able to access the Panch Mahal, right at the entrance of the Jaisalmer fort. Holiday makers, however, have to spend 30 rupees to watch the excellent grandeur of the umbrella shaped 7 storied Maharawal or the city palace. The palace museum and heritage centre, built in the rooms of the Jaisalmer fort, would enthrall one and all. The soothing Jali architecture, displayed on the walls of the Juna Mahal, built in 1500, is still known as a priceless Indian fine art. Simple looking Zenana Mahal, at the western side of the fort and Mardana Mahal are prime allurements of the fort.
Glittering glasses and Mural portraits are put on display on the walls of the Rang Mahal, built atop the Hawa Mahal. Blue tiles and mosaic on glasses are decorating Sarvottam Vilas, constructed on an elevated foundation. The adjoining Gaja Vilas and Moti Mahal are truly beautiful for the ornamentation. The old Aam Darbar of the primeval emperor used to take place right in front of the Jaisalmer Fort. People used to participate in the entertainment programs, organized to honor respected people around the fort premise. Another foremost attraction of the fort terrain is the Megh Darbar or the tower of clouds inside the Badal Mahal palace. The Taija Minar, atop the palace, displays the true essence of the Muslim architectures. The throne, made up of stones, in the Dewan-E-Aam is impressive as well. Both the Narayana and Shakti pillars are the other historical monuments in the close proximity.
7 Jain temples and 4 Hindu temples on the premise of the Rawal Fort, erected during 14th- 15th centuries, are still recalling the primeval memories of many Hindu kings of Surya dynasty. Idols of deities, dancing idols and imprinted mythological tales decorate these impressive temples. The pearls which adorn the idols of the Jain Tirthankars and Mahavir are truly stunning. A number of Jain idols (6666) can also be seen in the same premise. The divine Parasnath temple, built long back in 1417, deserves a visit for its architectural excellences. The artistic paintings on the ceiling of the conference room and the grand gateway of the temple are magnificent. Rishabnath (1479), Shantinath (1479) and Sambhavnath (1431) showcase majestic carvings as well. Tourists are not allowed to get into the temple with leather goods. Capturing images are also not permitted.
A road, at the opposite side of the Surya temple, would take you to an elevated land where from you would take the delight in the panoramic view of the city and Desert. The museum on the premise of the Parasvnath temple complex has a huge collection of valuable books. 1126 books of thatch and 2257 books of paper are maintained on the shelves of the rich museum. Some of these books were printed long back in 12th century. The largest book of thatch has a length of 0.9 meters. The cover of the book, made up of wood, has a historical value as well. The fort, nevertheless, has a captivating palace and innumerable homes on its well drawn out premise. Everybody has to purchase a ticket of 30 rupees to watch the rich anthology of the museum. Various countries of the world are lending a helping hand to the authority of the Jaisalmer Fort for restructuring the Fort.
The carvings of the fort display the artistic touch of the adroit architects. The influential architectures on the stones are appealing. The colorful ornamentation, displayed on the ceiling, are worth watching. Plenty of homes and Havelis, scattered outside the fort premise, prove that huge amount of money of the rich businessmen were spent to build these astounding structures. Spare times of countless architects were utilized in giving these historical monuments nice shapes. The famous 5 storied Patwon Ki Haveli, built in 1805 by the textile and metal businessman Guman Chand, is the biggest ostentatious Haveli in the propinquity. The Jafri architectures are put on display artistically on the time honored walls of this pretty Haveli. The wonderful ceiling, floating window, mural pictures on the walls and balcony can be watched if you climb up the roof of the five storied magical Haveli. The Government had stepped up to occupy and claim the ownership of this historic memorial. Willing tourists have to spend 40 rupees each to watch one of the prime historical commemorative of the city of Jaisalmer.
The expert hands of two architect brothers namely Lalu and Hati had showcased their talents on the Nathmalji Ki Haveli, built in 1885, the home of the prime minister of that period. Jharokha and Jali architectures on the stones of this Haveli demonstrate the preciseness of the architects and artists. Engraved pictures are worthy of mention as well. Two elephant idols, right at the entrance of the Haveli, increase the splendor of the Haveli. Watching the doorway of the Haveli is a pleasing experience as well. General people, however, are not allowed to get into the Haveli.
A considerable amount of money had also been spent in decorating the Salim Singh Ji Ki Haveli, the home of another prime minister. Built in 1800, the monument is adorned with Jafri architectures. The roof on the vault and peacock shaped bracket are the best parts of the monument. Previously the Haveli used to display 2 more wooden floors. These two floors, however, were demolished by the proud emperor as the height of Haveli was more than that of the nearby palace. Ancestors of Salim Singh are still living in this Haveli. You can enjoy the bird’s eye view of the Haveli if you climb up Nataraj Restaurant, crossing the Malka pole.
The Jafri architecture and magnificence of the Raja Ka Mahal can be seen during 10:30 a.m. - 17:00 p.m. But, don’t forget to purchase a ticket for that.
Gadi Sagar, nestled amidst the Desert, located at the south- eastern side of the city, acts as an oasis. Stand on the banks of the Gadi Sagar to watch the chattis, placed right in the middle of the Lake. A number of sanctified temples are dotted around the beautiful Lake. While accessing the territory of the Gadi Sagar, you would be able to catch a glimpse of the well decorated entrance. The holy Krishna temple had been erected atop the chief doorway. Most of the tourists don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy a boat ride on the water surface of Gadi Sagar. Cool winter is the best time to visit the place. Especially, the bird watchers would have an agreeable time while watching the batch of the animated birds. Many wait to listen to the melodious tunes of these vivacious birds in winters.
The Folklore museum, on the prolonged banks of Gadi Sagar, showcases a good collection of objects. These are the own assortments of N K Sharma. Engrossed tourists can access the museum spending 5 rupees each during 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and during 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Enjoy the beautiful puppet show in the Desert Cultural Centre, situated at the opposite side of the Folklore Museum.
The 5 storied Tajia Tower, situated adjacent to the Gadi Sagar was constructed using marbles by few Muslim architects. It was given to the emperor as a gift.
Barabag Fall Kheti and Bhatiyani Sati Rani Chattis are other nearby coveted destinations.
Glasses on the colorful ornaments, attires, items of stones, woolen blankets and many more handicrafts are found in scattered shops of the city. Situated at the foothill of Trikuta, the central market is the best place for the tourists who are interested to buy some handicrafts from Jaisalmer.
Rajasthani Emporium is located at the western side of the city, at the entrance of the Amar Sagar. Cross the nearby wall to visit the Tourist Office.
Amar Sagar, about 6 km away from Jaisalmer towards Lodurwa, is almost destroyed with time. The pleasure palace and the Jain temple are there on the banks of the Lake. The fine arts shown on the walls of the Jain temple are commendable.
About 16 km towards the north- west side of Jaisalmir, the palace of Lodurwa, built in 12th century, recollects the historical memories of the ancient era. It, however, is in ruins now.
The Parasnath Jain temple, constructed in 1970, atop the tila, depicts excellent architectural touch. The color of the edifice is like honey. Jali architectures on the temple walls make the temple even more beautiful. The contiguous Kalpataru tree is divine. Tourists flock to the premise to fulfill their worldly desires. It is believed that a hallowed snake comes out of his shack during every evening to savor the taste of milk but some of the lucky people among you would be able to witness the holy sight.
Besides Panihar Resort, a number of other hotels are also scattered in and around Lodurwa. The Rupashi village, about 5 km away from Lodurwa, has soaring mountains around. The gripping greeneries of the village would mesmerize nature lovers.
Tourists flock to the fruit orchard, about 6 km away from Jaisalmer, in numbers. Take a look at the chattis in Badabagh.
Covering rambling 3025 square km, the Desert National Park, about 9 km away from the city of Jaisalmer, has innumerable leaf less trees. Great Indian Bastards, Chinkara, Black Buck, Gazelles and foxes are living in the Park. The best time to visit the Park is during October- March. The Sudhasree Forest Post is a nice place where tourists can stare at the wildlife animals from. Interested tourists have to purchase tickets and take permission to get into the Park.
The Mool Sagar, built by Maharawal in 18th century, is located at a distance of 9 km towards the western side of Jaisalmer. Orchards and water bodies are dotted around the sand dunes. The golden sands form waves. The crevasse in the middle of the waves of sands is dangerous. This is the nearest sand dune of the city. Tourists would be fascinated to watch the panoramic sunset here.
Sam Sand Dunes, about 40 km towards the western side of Jaisalmer, is located on the same way. The Sam Sand Dunes are spread across 3 km of land. Small tilas are scattered around the sand dunes. Sand storms are quite common in the close proximity. Tourists have to take precautions as the dwellers experience scorching heat during day where as its really cold during night. It’s said to be a photographers’ paradise of Jaisalmer. The camel safari starts from the Sam Sand Dunes. Explore the Desert life once from the Sam Sand Dunes. To watch the celebration of the folk culture, you have to visit the place in February. Stand quietly on the Sam Sand Dunes to watch the colorful sunset.
A temporary shade for the tourists is arranged by RTDC during the festive season. Only one bus travels to the Sam Sand Dunes from Jaisalmer. Hiring a jeep to the Sam Sand Dunes would be the best option for the tourists, especially who visit Jaisalmer with family members. Hotel Sam Dhani of RTDC is the hotel where tourists can stay at if they book it well before the journey date.
About 18 km away from Jaisalmer, Kuldhara, is popularly known as the museum town. The architectural taste and brilliance of Paliwals are significantly visible on the structure of their Haveli. The excellent architectural evidences of the town had been destroyed. But it deservedly had got the crown of the heritage village. The shooting of Rudali (Hindi film) had taken place in this village. The set, formed at that time, can be watched.
Khuri: The oasis Khuri, about 40 km towards the south- western side of Jaisalmer, amidst the Thar Desert, is located at the border of India and Pakistan. Situated at an elevation of 80 meters, the well stretched golden sand dune is the prime and foremost attraction of Khuri. Watching the well spread out color of the sunlight during sunset on the golden sands is a romantic and charming experience. This was the homeland of Sodha Rajputs. The ancient cultures and traditions of Rajputs are still momentously visible on their very own lifestyles. They had ruled the places around for more than 4 centuries. They are experts in making handicrafts. Catch a glimpse of their elegant touches on the embroidered items and objects made up of soil. Homes with colorful decorations, the cremation ground (atop the tila) and golden colored shrines decorate the entire village.
The Shanichara temple is a holy abode of both Shiva and Shani. You should not miss the opportunity to enjoy a camel safari in Khuri village. As it is located right at the border of India and Pakistan, everyone has to be a little careful. The entire tour of the Khuri village can be completed within 5 hours.
Khuri can be accessed by bus from Jaisalmer thrice every day. It’s a 1 ½ hour’s journey to Khuri village from Jaisalmer through NH-15.
Khuri Guest House, Moonlight Khuri Resort, Mama’s Guest House, Laxmi Resort, Chandra Hotel and Phiphu Desert Resort are noteworthy places where the batch of holiday makers can stay at comfortably in Khuri village. Interested tourists can even enjoy a stay at the homes of local people. If you hire a jeep, spending 800 rupees, then you can travel to the best place of Khuri where from you can witness the grandeur of the nature during sunset. It’s a magical experience for all the nature lovers.
Cross the fascinating Sand Dunes of Khari to hit the Dhani village.
About 16 km away from khuri village is the Desert National Park. The Sam Sand Dune is also not very far away (17 km) from the National Park. If you are interested then you can avail a package tour of any reputed travel agent to visit all these adjoining places quickly.
How to reach: Jaisalmer is connected to Jodhpur both by bus and by train. Jaisalmer can be accessed from Delhi and Jaipur by train as well. Buses also travel from Jaisalmer to Ajmer and Udaipur.
Where to stay: Hotel Moomal, Hotel Neeraj, Hotel Akash Deep, Hotel Mandir Palace, Hotel Pleasure, Hotel Fort Rajwada, Hotel Sri Narayan Vilas, Hotel Rama, Hotel Samrat, Hotel Swastika, Hotel Moonlight, Hotel Anand Vilash, Hotel Haveli, Hotel Mangalam, Hotel Pooja, Taj Palace, Hotel Heritage Inn and Hotel Jaisal Castle.
Check our hotel booking links below for photos, rates, options and online bookings.
Jaisalmer Fort Patwa Palace