Family Travel Heritage/Culture India Rajasthan Road trip Travelling

Jaisalmer-First Trip to the Land of Kings

The Golden City of Rajasthan: Jaisalmer

Let me introduce you to the ‘Land of Kings-Rajasthan’. This state is well famous for beautiful palaces, lakes, ancient arts, culture, and remnants of forts and palaces. The state is located in a north-western region of India.

Personally, this state is my dream state to explore ever since my childhood days. I always get fascinated by hearing the tales of Maharajas and Maharanis (kings & Queens) of the state. The tales of historic battles and Royal romance literally developed my strong desire to explore the rich culture and heritage of Rajasthan in person.

We have a huge list of places which we had visited during our family exploration of the state. These places include both well-known (famous) cities as well as some places which are less known or unexplored. We had enjoyed every bit of our traveling and exploring the interior regions of Rajasthan and get ourselves acquainted with Rajasthani culture. It is not possible to describe the beauty of Rajasthan in a single post. We will cover it in parts with a post dedicated to one place. In this post, we will cover Jaisalmer- The Golden City of Rajasthan.

On the way to Jaisalmer at NH 68

Road Trip: Ahmedabad to Jaisalmer

Our trip started in the month of October 2017 at the time of the famous Indian festival Diwali. This trip was special to us in many ways. Firstly, this was our first trip to the royal lands of India. So, obviously, we were more than excited to explore it. Secondly, we got a chance to be in the Great Indian Desert. Thirdly, it was the birthday of Aditya. What else could be the perfect timings to visit this historic land?

We started our journey early in the morning from Ahmedabad and drove down to Jaisalmer. It took seven hours for us to reach our destination booked near The Golden Fort. We opted to stay outside the fort for our first day stay and inside the fort for the second day.

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Day 1: Jaisalmer

The city is also known as ‘Golden City’ located in the heart of ‘Thar Desert’. Jaisalmer was named after Maharawal Jaisal Singh, who founded the city in 1156 AD. All over you can see buildings built by yellow sandstone only. That is why the name Golden City came up. We stayed at Qutub Villa which we found best near the Golden Fort. The staff of the guest house was very co-operative and well behaved. Until now, we hadn’t planned anything for desert safari and all other stuff to do in the Thar Desert. Talked to the locals and we got our best deal. You will find many budget hotels, as well as luxury stays in Jaisalmer

Our Package included:
1. Visit Sam Sand Dunes amidst the Thar Desert.
2. Desert Safari: Both Jeep safari and Camel safari.
3. Entertainment at Campsite with Rajasthani Cultural Performances in the Desert with refreshments.
4. Dinner giving flavors of Rajasthani dishes.
#Total package for a couple: 3500 INR

Sand Dunes- Thar Desert

Sam Sand Dunes

These are located away from the city in midst of the Thar Desert. It is the most popular attraction in Jaisalmer. It is located at around 50 km from the city. The transport facility was provided by the organizers. We reached at Sam Sand dunes at 5 PM.

Desert Safari

  1. Jeep Safari: Firstly, we jumped into a jeep and it took us amidst the Thar Desert. It was our first ever experience with sand dunes all over around us. Nothing was visible except sand. The sunlight falling over sand gave a golden hue which looked majestic. And the thrilling experience we felt with the jeep safari can’t be explained in words as it was meant to be felt only. Our hearts fall out at every jump and bump we got during the safari. It was an incredible experience.

Jaisalmer San Dunes
Some moments captured in the Thar Desert

2. Camel Safari: After a thrilling experience of jeep safari, I totally loved camel safari. Even Karen enjoyed her ride a lot and seemed to be playful with the camel named MJ. We had some beautiful shots in the sand dunes. Camel owner took us to the point where we could see a majestic sunset. It was a brilliant show of nature. No one could beat nature. The view here totally captivated us. We stayed there till the complete sunset.

The Thar Desert- Jaisalmer
A spectacular sunset witnessed in sand dunes of the Thar Desert

Cultural performances & Rajasthani Cuisines

Don’t miss out the desert safari and cultural performances at desert camps. Yeah, this is our personal advice to all of you. This whole experience could not be felt elsewhere. Wonderful and extraordinary talent of native folks out there delighted us with their music, songs, dances, and some daring acts. The day was then concluded with Rajasthani dinner inside the desert camp. Thus, we had spent our Diwali with such grandeur and essence of Rajasthan that deeply etched in our memories.

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Day 2: The Golden Fort 

Also known as ‘Sonar Kila’ and is distinguished by its yellow sandstone architecture. We came to know through locals that the fort is a home for around 500 families currently. This looks like a small town establishment inside the fort. There are numerous intricately carved Hindu and Jain temples inside the fort itself. One would need a whole day to explore every nook of the fort.

History of The Golden Fort written on a yellow sandstone. Can you notice a huge number of bats on ceiling of the entrance gate?? They were remarkable.

The Golden fort- Jaisalmer

Market inside the Fort

There are various local markets inside the fort displaying products of art and culture of Rajasthan including gorgeous handicrafts, souvenirs, jewelry pieces etc.

If you are a lover of unique jewellery then here is Best Rajasthani Jewellery for You.

Narrow streets & market inside the Fort.

The Havelis

The Havelis were built by merchants and traders in the city as it was the major trading center in its medieval times.

There are a series of grand havelis from the 19th century in the golden city which beautifully features Islamic and Rajput style architecture. All the havelis are made of yellow sandstone with beautiful intricate carvings, oriel windows, the antique furniture, and artwork. These havelis have belonged to rich merchants of the era. Now, these havelis are turned into museums.

The most impressive Havelis are-

  • Patwon ki Haveli

This haveli is the most famous one in Jaisalmer. It is a five-building complex built between 1800 and 1860 by a merchant for his five sons. The complex is rising above a narrow lane and brings a magnificent delight to watch. There are as many 60 balconies projecting bay windows which leave you awestruck.

Opening Hours: 9 AM to 5 PM
Entry Fee: 20 INR (for Indians)
           100 INR (for Foreigners)

The Havelis- Jaisalmer
The Havelis

  • Diwan Nathmal Ki Haveli

It was served as the residence of Diwan Mohata Nathmal (Prime Minister of Jaisalmer). There is an interesting story behind the architecture of this haveli. The architects of this haveli were Hathi and Lulu, who were brothers. They started construction of different facets of the haveli simultaneously. At that time there were no such instruments to keep track on the continuity of building, so the haveli came up as irregular in shape but still considered impressive in terms of grandeur.

There are two elephants put in the front of main entrance as if they are guarding the haveli. There are many other minor details which are fascinating.

Address: Sadar Bazar, Jaisalmer
Opening Hours: 9 AM to 5 PM
Entry: Free

Gadisar Lake- Jaisalmer
Gadisar Lake: View after sunset.

Gadisar Lake

After all the day exploration around the streets of Golden city, we were totally exhausted and came back to get some rest at our stay inside the Fort itself. In the evening after sunset, we headed towards one and only lake in Jaisalmer- The Gadisar Lake. It is an artificial lake surrounded by artistically carved temples and shrines. It was built by Raja Rawal Jaisal, the first ruler of Jaisalmer and later was reconstructed in 1367 AD by Maharawal Gadsi Singh. This lake was built to conserve rainwater and was the only source of water in Jaisalmer at one-time. This place is full of history, beauty, and serenity.

Things to do:

  1. Boat rides-One can experience boat ride in different types of boats like a rowboat, paddle boat, and shikara. The boat rides are for half an hour.
  2. Experience history of the place.
  3. Stroll around the market nearby.

Address: Postal Colony, Jaisalmer

Opening Hours: It remains open for 24 hrs. But boat rides will be available from 8 AM to 8 PM

Entry Fee: Entry is free except for the boat rides.
                     Rowboat- 10 INR
                     Paddle boat- 50 INR
                     Shikara- 100 INR

The architectural beauty around Gadisar Lake.

We had enjoyed every bit of Jaisalmer during our two days stay. Wish we could have more time to explore some other places also. Hope this post has inspired you enough to visit Jaisalmer with the help of our itinerary or you can make your own. 

Stay tuned with our upcoming posts about Rajasthan exploration, till then feel free to share this post among your friends and family.

Read our next post of Rajasthan: Mount Abu: A Hill Station of Rajasthan

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47 thoughts on “Jaisalmer-First Trip to the Land of Kings

  1. […] city – Jodhpur of Rajasthan is among one of such festive holidays trip. Earlier, we have visited Jaisalmer and Mount Abu from the state. We visited Jodhpur during Dussehra holiday. This festival marks the […]

  2. […] you visited the popular places of Rajasthan like Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, and Udaipur?  A wanderer inside you wants more to explore from Rajasthan? Looking […]

  3. Deanne Mand

    You reason like me! Wow!

  4. Nina

    The cultural performances look absolutely amazing. I’m a big fan of cultural experiences when travelling!

    1. Supriya Bhardwaj

      Indeed the cultural performances were absolutely stunning.

  5. madhurima

    Jaisalmer is a stunning place! I visited this place a decade back and yet the fiery sunset is still vivid in my mind! cannot get enough of your pictures 🙂 Loved this blog post.

    1. Supriya Bhardwaj

      Glad you liked it. Thanks! 🙂

  6. Laura

    That sunset :O Just wow. Eveything is so beautiful in Jaisalmer. So rich in History. I want to go so bad

    1. Supriya Bhardwaj

      Thanks! You would be glad to be here. 🙂

  7. Christine Rogador

    The Golden Fort looks amazing! Jaisalmer looks the place I really want to visit someday. It’s a combination of ancient structures and nature.

    1. Supriya Bhardwaj

      Yeah, it looks stunning in sunlight. Indeed, a great place to visit.

  8. rahat arora

    Jaisalmer is great place. I visit here but missed few places you mentioned in your itinerary. Next time I will visit these places as well.

    1. Supriya Bhardwaj

      I am sure you would visit the rest of places soon. Good luck and thanks.

  9. Jayne

    I have never been to India so all of your photos look so exotic! I would love to do a camel safari too!

    1. Supriya Bhardwaj

      I bet you would never regret your visit here in India. There is so much to see and explore. Yeah, camel safari in Thar desert is the best thing to do in Jaisalmer.

  10. Richa

    Such an awesome and detailed post. I have been to Jaisalmer twice – once with my parents and the second time as a parent 😉 The beauty of the Shonar Killa is mesmerizing – Made of limestone it actually looks golden in the sunlight!

    1. Supriya Bhardwaj

      Hahaha! Lucky you to visit this place twice. 🙂 I got my chance as a parent only. 😀

  11. Jessica

    I can’t say that I’ve ever heard of Rajasthan but it looks so amazing! I feel like it is the setting for Aladdin. I need to go here!

    1. Supriya Bhardwaj

      You must visit Jaisalmer. you would love to be here. 🙂

  12. Chef Mireille

    Although my family is from the Caribbean my mom’s grandfather was originally from Rajasthan and so that has made me want to visit that area of India. Thanks for the insight. Now you have made me want to visit even more so.

    1. Supriya Bhardwaj

      Oh wow! Great to hear this connection with Rajasthan. Then you must visit it soon as you did Caribbean. 🙂

  13. Elizabeth

    The desert looks simply gorgeous- and it would be amazing to ride a camel through it!

    1. Supriya Bhardwaj

      Rightly said. Desert is indeed a beautiful site and camel safari brings extra charm.

  14. Smita Chandra

    Absolutely loved your post and amazing photos! I’ve been to parts of Rajasthan before but never to Jaisalmer, time to check it out on my next visit!

    1. Supriya Bhardwaj

      I am really glad you liked this post and photos. Thanks! 🙂
      Do must visit Jaisalmer.

  15. Eunice

    This seems like a great itinerary to follow and the places look stunning, especially the desserts!

    1. Supriya Bhardwaj

      You should follow this itinerary once you would be in the Land of Kings. You would cherish the moments.

  16. Chloe Holgate

    Wow!! I felt like I was travelling with you. It looks like you had an amazing trip. The photos are beautiful. I would really like to do a camel safari one day!

    1. Supriya Bhardwaj

      Thanks a ton! Yeah, we had a great time in Jaisalmer. Hope you would get to do your part too.

  17. Shweta

    Amazing post. I went to Rajasthan almost 15 years back and thanks a lot for bringing back my childhood memories.

    1. Supriya Bhardwaj

      Glad this post refreshed your memories. Thanks for dropping by.:)

  18. Hiral

    I’d been to Jaisalmer almost before 11 years back and I still remember every part of it. Your post took me to the memory lane. Wonderful pictures, dear, as always. 🙂

    1. Supriya Bhardwaj

      I am glad to hear this. Thanks a ton! 🙂

  19. corina

    you have just taken me through a completely new area, I am in awe, this is such a beautiful place I never herd of. India is surprising me more and more. Beautiful sunset photo

    1. Supriya Bhardwaj

      You should make a plan to visit India soon and get yourself acquainted with many more surprisingly beautiful places and culture. All the best and thanks. 🙂

  20. Daniel

    I visited Jaisalmer back in 2017 and had an amazing time. Sleeping in the middle of the desert under the stars was an incredible feeling. Thank you for bringing back some nice memories with this article.

    1. Supriya Bhardwaj

      Great! I am happy to hear about your experience in the Thar desert. It sounds really amazing thing to experience. 🙂

  21. Nina

    This looks like a really cool experience! I went on a desert camel trip in Morocco that looked similar in terms of the buildings you pass and the actual camel ride in the desert itself. Our cultural show was very different though!

    1. Supriya Bhardwaj

      Yeah, I heard about the desert in Morocco. Definitely, that would be a different experience with a different culture out there.

  22. Louise

    This is such a lovely guide with amazing pictures! Would really love to visit India, hopefully soon! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Supriya Bhardwaj

      Thanks! 🙂

  23. Arunima Dey

    Very detailed guide. I particularly appreciate you mentioning all the costs and entry fees to touristic sites. What I most look forward to is the desert safari!

    1. Supriya Bhardwaj

      I am really glad you found this post helpful for your visit to Jaisalmer. Looking forward to your experience. Do share it. Thanks!

  24. Bilal

    I grew up in India but never got to travel much to surrounding cities. This place looks so stunning with so many beautiful things to do. It has so much culture!

    1. Supriya Bhardwaj

      Then you should visit and explore the stunning cities of India too. 🙂

  25. Sinjana Ghosh

    Excited to follow your Rajasthan series. I have never been to Rajasthan although I wanted to from my childhood. Jaisalmer looks so amazingly beautiful. The Jaisalmer fort is absolutely stunning.

    1. Supriya Bhardwaj

      Thanks for looking forward to the next posts from Rajasthan. I would be updating it soon. 🙂

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