The approach to Jaisalmer is magical as the city rises out of the vast barren desert like an approaching ship.
With its crenellated sandstone walls and narrow streets lined with exquisitely carved buildings, through which camel carts trundle leisurely, Jaisalmer has an extraordinarily medieval feel and an incredible atmosphere. One of the top places to visit in Jaisalmer is the Jaisalmer fort, perched on a hilltop, which contains some gems of Jain temple building. Unlike the other forts in Rajasthan, Jaisalmer fort is fully alive with shops, restaurants and guesthouses inside its walls and labyrinthine alleyways. It’s beautiful to wander the tiny streets always finding a new nook or a great view. Other Jaisalmer tourist places worth visiting are the beautifully decorated merchants’ havelis scattered through the town.
One of the top things to do in Jaisalmer and the reason why most tourists come here is to take a camel safari and venture into the romantic desolation of the Thar Desert, easily accessible beyond the edge of the city. It is also possible to visit other Jaisalmer attractions such as the remarkable ghost city of Khuldera as part of the Jaisalmer tour. Competition to get your bum into a camel saddle can be fierce, with some operators adopting unpleasant hard-sell tactics. But by following a few basic guidelines you can fix yourself an enjoyable ride.
Getting around Jaisalmer is easy as all hotels, restaurants, tour operators, and major tourist attractions are located in and around Jaisalmer fort and within walking distance. The main market area, Bhatia Market, straggles along winding lanes not far north of the fort.
Most accommodation in Jaisalmer is located within beautiful havelis, and it is also possible to stay in a haveli within the Jaisalmer fort. Be aware that the development of guesthouses and businesses within the walls has put pressure on the sewage, drainage and foundations of the fort which has caused it to crumble in recent years.
Below is a list of popular places to visit in Jaisalmer.
1. Jaisalmer Fort
Jaisalmer Fort is the only fort with living quarters for the townsfolk. Royal palaces, a cluster of Jain temples, mansions and shops are all contained within its walls.
See our Jaisalmer Fort article for more information.
2. Jaisalmer Camel Safari
If you’re looking for a genuine Jaisalmer camel safari into the Thar Desert, Arya Tours should be on top of the list. Our Jaisalmer camel safari experience with them was exceptionally great. We got to live like a desert nomad for two days and one night – riding on a camel in the hot desert sun and sleeping under the stars at night.
See our Jaisalmer Camel Safari article for more information.
3. Jaisalmer Haveli
Jaisalmer is well known for its beautiful havelis both inside the fort and in the walled area of the city. The most impressive and popular havelis are Patwa-ki-Haveli, Nathmal-ki-Haveli and Salim Singh-ki-Haveli. Made of yellow sandstone, a Jaisalmer haveli has intricately carved windows, balconies and doorways.
See our Jaisalmer Haveli article for more information.
Tell us what you think. Which attractions are you planning to visit in Jaisalmer? If you’ve been here before, what places did you visit? Please share with us your experiences.
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