Aptly nicknamed ‘The Golden City’, Jaisalmer is one of the major tourist destinations in Rajasthan. Located close to the Pakistan border, Jaisalmer is Rajasthan and India’s last frontier on the west. The city was founded in the 12th century by the Rawal king Jaisal fulfilling a prophecy. A stronghold of Rajput kings in medieval times, Jaisalmer has been able to retain the imperial charm in the form of majestic forts and palaces that, after all these centuries, still exhibit elegance and opulence. Lying close to the great Indian Thar desert, Jaisalmer Tourism is a potpourri of myriad experiences and adventures.
Lying in the heart of parched Thar Desert, Jaisalmer is probably best known for the towering Jaisalmer Fort of immense size that sits atop the Trikuta hills overlooking the city. A famous UNESCO world heritage site, this yellow sandstone architecture in Jaisalmer is aptly nickname ‘Sonar Qila’ (or Golden Fort). While the other forts in Rajasthan are more of an exhibit for the tourists, the Jaisalmer Fort is alive and bustling with shops, hotels and exquisite havelis – all inside the fort walls! Some the famous havelis (aristocratic bungalows) Nathmal Ji Ki Haveli, Salim Singh Ki Haveli and Patwon Ki Haveli – all of which display intricately yellow sandstone carvings and miniature paintings.
Gadisar Lake is a 14th century artificial lake in Jaisalmer by the then ruler to meet the water needs for the arid lands. Today, the lake, with dozens of half submerged lakes and shrines, is a crown jewel of Jaisalmer Tourism. The Government Museum in Jaisalmer house some of the rare and exclusive household items, jewelery, statues from 7th and 9th century offers a glimpse into the city’s rich cultural past. Bada Bagh (literally Big Garden) is another tourist hotspot in Jaisalmer known for scores of royal cenotaphs (chattris) of Maharajas of Jaisalmer kingdom.
Desert National Park offers best of the Thar Desert ecosystem like undulating sand dunes, serrated rocks and dense salt lake bottoms complement the various thriving wildlife species such as endangered Great Indian Bustard, desert fox, chinkara and black buck. During the winter, the park is blessed with the visits of migratory birds such as Himalayan and Eurasian Griffon Vultures.
Organized under the auspices of Department of Tourism, the Desert Festival in Jaisalmer is a popular event that attracts large number of tourists. The festival exhibits the rich cultural heritage of Rajasthan in the form of puppeteers, acrobats, camel races, camel polo and Rajasthani folk dances, etc.
Apart from visiting famous sightseeing place in Jaisalmer with your family and friends, there are plenty of activities to indulge in. Camel safari is a popular activity in Jaisalmer where riding on the back of camels, tourists can steer off path amidst the desert. Camping in the desert is another exciting activity where tourists can camp under the starry sky amidst the sand dunes. The cultural performance at the campsite in the night is cherry on the cake.