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Home » Cities in India » Jaisalmer

Jaisalmer


» Location : 285-km From Jodhpur, Rajasthan
» Festive Attraction : Desert Festival
» Tourist Attractions : Jaisalmer Fort, Manak Chowk & Havelis
» Best Time To Visit : October To Februay

The name Jaisalmer evokes a vivid picture of sheer magic and brilliance of the desert. The exotic, remote and beautiful, Jaisalmer is a bit of a paradox. So far west that it is in the heart of the desert, one would expect barren near-desolation. Yet this frontier town is today one of Rajasthan's best-loved tourist destinations. Local colour and warmth prevail over the inhospitable and forbidding terrain, imbuing the medieval town with a special magic.

Rawal Jaisal, a descendent of the Yadav Clan and a Bhati Rajput, laid the foundation of this city in 1156 AD. Trikuta was the hill chosen and Jaisal abandoned his old fort at Lodurva and established his new capital here.

The Bhati Rajputs of Jaisalmer were feudal chiefs who lived on the forced levy on the caravans that crossed their territory en-route Delhi. These caravans, laden with precious cargos of spices and silk brought great wealth to this town. Because of its remote location, Jaisalmer for years remained untouched by outside influences and during the British Raj, the rulers of Jaisalmer were the last to sign the instrument of agreement with the British.

In medieval times, its prosperity was due to its location on the main trade route linking India to Egypt, Arabia, Persia, Africa and the West. The glory of Jaisalmer faded when sea trade replaced the old land routes. But there is still an 'Arabian Nights' quality about the town. The narrow streets in the walled city preserve a traditional way of life : the craftsmen still work at the ancient crafts of weaving and stone carving, the making of silver jewellery and embroidery. And the stately, nonchalant camel is everywhere.

Just a walk through Jaisalmer, savouring the medieval glory of old Rajasthan, is a marvellously rewarding travel experience. Desert Festival, celebrated in January/ February, is a must on any itinerary. The desert seems to bloom in a thousand colours. There are camel races and folk dances. Craft bazaar and traditional balled singing. A sound and light spectacle on the sand-dunes of Sam on the full moon night. And all the colour and excitement of the best in Rajasthan.

The perfect time to visit the golden city is during the Desert Festival every year when the city reverberates to the sound of melodious tunes and rhythms. Folk dances, exciting competitions and contest especially the turban-tying contest, Mr.Desert contest and camel races enlighten the festivities. Jaisalmer is a marvel of beautiful culture and harsh climatic conditions, together amounting to a memorable experience. This is a city to be visited.


Jaisalmer Fort : Renew yourself amid the past galore, as you visit the commanding Jaisalmer Fort. The fort stands guard over the desertscape from its 250 feet high perch on the hill with its wall following the contours of the hills.

The steep cobblestone pathways leading to the royal palace pass through four gates. The sharp twists and turns make the fort invincible. The fort has five interconnected palaces with (jaali) screens and dainty (jharokhas) – all showpieces of Jaisalmer artisans’ talent.

Patwon-ki-Haveli : It is the grandest mansion in Jaisalmer, not to be missed at all. This five haveli wonder has its ceiling supported by exquisitely carved pillars and its delicately chiselled balconies surely leave you mesmerised.

Desert National Park : Come, see the rolling landscape of the Sam sand dunes. Head on for a wild experience, as you may encounter the Indian Gazelle, Chinkara Eagle and exotic avian variety in this 3000 sq. km. vast protected Biosphere Reserve. The park lies to the south-west of Jaisalmer.

Jain Temples : Within the citadel are the splendorous Jain temples, dedicated to Rishabdevji, Sambhavnathji and Parshvanathji. The Parshvanathji Temple is the oldest and the most beautiful of the Jain temples. Human and animal figures are carved on the walls of its sanctum and the rising dome or ’shikhar’ is crowned by an amalak and a waterpot containing a lotus flower.

Desert Festival : During the three day long festival, Jaisalmer reverberates with music, colour and joy, displaying its glorious past and rich culture. Under the full moon, the vigorous folk dancers sway to the enchanting music. The turban tying contest and Mr. Desert contest add to the enthusiasm. A trip to Sam sand dunes, where one can view folk musicians performing and even enjoy a camel safari, marks the finale of this colourful extravaganza.


Being one of the major cities of Rajasthan, Jaisalmer is well equipped with standard and luxurious hotels as well as budget accommodations.



Jaisalmer is famous for mirror work, embroidered articles, woollen pattu and other items made of good quality, locally produced wood, wooden boxes, trinklets, silver jewellery and curios. The main shopping areas are Sadar Bazaar and Sonaron Ka Bas, Manak Chowk, Pansari Bazaar and also Rajasthali - Government shop for handicrafts and Khadi Gramodyog.


Rail : Jaisalmer is 290-km from Jodhpur via Pokhran, Dechu and Balesar or 330-km from Bikaner via Pokhran and Phalodi. It is well connected by train with Jodhpur and other major cities of the country by a meter gauge line.

Road : A good network of roads joins Jaisalmer with Jodhpur and many other destinations in and around Rajasthan.


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