Jaisalmer Travel Guide
Jaisalmer Travel Guide: Like all desert cities of Rajasthan, Jaisalmer hides within, a glorious past of valour, chivalry and a peculiar joie de vivre that emanates out of triumphing over the relentless desert. The battle scarred forts stand mute testimony to the numerous battles and sacrifices that saved the trading out post. Yet, the gentle, poetic side is also reflected in the artistic havelis that teem with exquisite facades with sculptural filigree, screen windows, delicate pavilions and beautiful balconies. Wander around its palaces for breathtaking grandeur and whimsical charm, its riotous colors and even its romantic sense of pride and honor. And you will come face to face with the living masterpieces of havelis –which families inhabit even now.
Places to visit in Jaisalmer
Crowning the Trikuta Hill, The golden – yellow sandstone spectacle of Jaisalmer Fort, is over 800 years old. It defends an entire old city, nearly a quarter of modern Jaisalmer- by its 99 turrets and towers almost 30 meters over the city and houses.
After gaining entrance through Ganesh Pol, Suraj Pol, Bhoot Pol or Hawa Pol, discover an entire living area within the huge ramparts. Marvel at many enthralling havelies and a group of Jain temples dating from the 12th to the 15th centuries. Even walking through the narrow lanes is an enchanting experience.
Once the fount of the entire city, it was the key to the town water supply. The inhabitants of this arid city paid homage by setting up numerous small temples and shrines. Walk through the beautiful yellow sandstone gateway arching across the road down to the tank –viz Tilon-ki-Pol .It carries an interesting legend.
The mansions built by the wealthy merchants are still in a relatively good condition and give an inimitable glimpse of the lifestyles of the rich and wealthy in the past. The resplendent craftsmanship is beyond imagination. Some like the Patwon-ki-Haveli and Salim-Singh-ki-Haveli are remarkable for their exclusive cutwork, yellow and red stone treatment and the bracket-shaped decoration of peacocks.
Patwon – Ji – Ki – Haveli
One of the largest and most elaborate Haveli in Jaisalmer, it is five storeys high and is extensively carved. It is divided into six apartments, it also has a treasure of paintings on some of the inside walls as well as some mirror work.
Museum: Desert Culture Center and Museum
Desert Culture Center and Museum provides an acute insight into the life in the splendorous desert town. It displays a number of old coins, different kinds of textile, traditional Rajasthani instruments, and some fossils that were found in the desert.
Bara Bagh is an oasis at the bank of a man-made dam. It has greenery all around to give a much-needed relief to the local people.
Unique Shopping in Jaisalmer
Shop for exquisitely carved wooden boxes, traditional rugs, hand-woven blankets and shawls in typical Rajasthani color and weave. Mirror work, embroidered articles and silver jewelry, Trinkets and curios are other buys of Jaisalmer. It is famous for embroidery, Rajasthani mirror work, rugs, blankets, antiques and old stone work. Tie-dye and other fabrics are made at the Khadi Gramudyog Bhavan. Puppets- excellent souvenirs -and joothies are other popular items. You can also shop for a host other products which include textile, camel leather items, woven jackets, wooden boxes and ornaments. The shopping spots are within the fort and include Sadar Bazar, Sonaron Ka Bass Manak Chowk, Pansari Bazar, Gandhi Darshan, Seema Gram, Rajsthani Govt. shop and Khadi Gramodyog Emporium. Browsing through the bazaars of Jaisalmer, one can observe the basic habits and way of life of people.
Eating out in Jaisalmer
Jaisalmer does not equal any major metro city but offers a wide range like peanut butters, pancakes with maple syrups as dishes for breakfast. All different continents’ cuisines like Chinese, Italian, Mexican, Tibetan and whole lot of Indian dishes are available here. Restaurants meeting all budget sizes can easily be discovered . Daal, Baati, Churma with desert grown herbs called “Kair Sangri” with Bajra Roti makes a perfect traditional Rajasthani meal .Wash down with buttermilk or the various flavored Lassi’s.
How to Reach Jaisalmer:
Numerous airlines are linked well between Jaisalmer and Jaipur, Jodhpur, Delhi and Mumbai. Jaisalmer is connected by rail with Jodhpur, on meter gauge which in turn is connected with major cities and towns in India on broad gauge. It is well connected by a good road network to Jodhpur, Bikaner via Pokhran, and Barmer via Devikot with luxury AC and economical local state buses
Do’s and Don’t’s:
- Don’t get fleeced by the locals while shopping or looking for an accommodation.
- Must get reservations before in hand as this city is packed from October-March.
- It is a safe city for travelers especially for women but just be aware.
- Camp safari is an experience. So don’t miss it.
- Keep a check on the meter when hiring a cab.
- Try Masala Chai made of camel’s milk.