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  • Jaisalmer has always been recognized as the former medieval trading centre but there are so many things to do in Jaisalmer that the golden city has become a hotspot in Rajasthan for travelers. Jaisalmer means “The Hill Fort of Jaisal” and is fondly dubbed as the Golden City of India because of the yellow sandstone architecture. It is loved by the tourists and travellers for the beautiful sand dunes, grand palaces, ancient Havelis, royal bungalows, the world famous Jain Temples and the stupendous view of the Thar Desert. 

    A safari ride or a camel ride is one of the best things to do in Jaisalmer apart from strolling through the vibrant and colourful bazaars, sitting with folk singers and listening to raw folk music, and escaping time in the ageless palaces and forts; everything is a sheer bliss in Jaisalmer. The state is enriched with the love of art and culture which is evidential in every nook and corner of the place. Famous landmarks like the Jaisalmer Fort, Nathmal Ji Ki Haveli, Patwon ki Haveli, Salim Singh ki Haveli, Gadisar Lake, Jain temples and the Desert National Park are some of the most recommended places in Jaisalmer, however if geology interests you then do visit the Wood Fossil Park or Aakal which is located 15 km away from the city and explore the traces of the geologic tragedies which occurred 180 million years ago in the Thar Desert. 

    The language spoken in Jaisalmer is influenced by Sindh and is not typical Rajasthani but a little different.The extreme climate is something to keep in mind if you are visiting in winters the temperature can be freezing. Cover your body if you are out in the summers.

  • Popular Things to Do in Jaisalmer

  • 01Camel Ride

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    Pristine nature, endless stretches of undulating sands and beautiful areas to explore is what makes rides on the camel one of the best things to do in Jaisalmer. Enjoy the sound of mandolin and open spaces while visiting this enchanting city. Located in the heart of the Thar Desert, Jaisalmer is perhaps the best Indian destination to enjoy camel rides like a royal.

    Camel safaris are adventurous and unique, because they can fill you with joy and transport you to an era gone by. These safaris are mostly organised in such a manner that you get to explore the sand dunes of Thar, while discovering different facets and artefacts relating to the heritage, culture and history of Rajasthan.

    Most of the times, these rides are organised by veteran guides, who have first-hand knowledge and experience about the Thar Desert. Therefore, the traveller gets an opportunity to see beautiful, isolated sand dunes, while revelling in sand and grass roof homes, colourful costumes of villagers and bright, cheery locations of the city.

    Travellers usually prefer rides that carry lesser individuals per camel safari. For, they receive immediate attention and get all queries sorted out at once. One can even ask questions from the guide if you wish to learn more about natural and cultural resources of North India. At the same time, opt for camel safaris that take place in early in the evening or late in the afternoon. This is certainly one of the best ways to enjoy panoramic views of the city during sunset. The entire experience will give you an offbeat, newer perspective of the city.

  • 02Camping

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    Unlike camping in the woods or hills, camping in the desert is easy, doesn’t take a toll on your physical well being and serves as one of the best ways to acquaint yourself with the culture and lives of people in Rajasthan. This is one of the best things to do in Jaisalmer.

    Camping in Jaisalmer is a nostalgic activity that will transport you to the medieval times. The luxury tents here will remind you of historical references of Mughal, Rajput and other leaders who used to stay in luxurious tents while travelling from one part of Rajasthan to the other. Camping is one of those activities that transcends barriers of time and provides you an unforgettable experience, while reminding you about the bounties of nature.

    These camps, which are normally organised a few kilometres away from the city are well known for their private areas and secluded surroundings. Therefore, they are especially recommended for honeymooners and vacationers who seek to live away from the regular hustle and bustle and commotion of the city. These camps provide solace and rejuvenation of mind, body and spirit and have tranquil surroundings where you can appreciate and acknowledge the natural beauty of Thar Desert. They usually have a Courtier’s Hall and are organised in the form of a semi-circle. This way, travellers can come outside and socialize with other travellers during various recreational activities.

    Providing a complete experience of Jaisalmer, these camp tents are also known for their traditional Rajasthani cuisine, which will tickle you palate and prompt you to come over and over again. Before choosing a camping trip, ensure that you opt for an accommodation that has an amalgamation of tent styles from bygone era and facilities from contemporary times. This will ensure a comfortable camping trip.

  • 03Jaisalmer Fort

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    For a complete trip in this fascinating land, visit the Jaisalmer Fort. It is the biggest and among the famous tourist destination in the city. Late Satyajit Ray, an Oscar winning filmmaker of the country quoted that Jaisalmer Fort is a Sonar Quila or The Golden Fortress as the structure is made from using yellow sandstone. The same sandstone turns honey golden in the evening, thereby getting camouflaged in the sand and nearby areas of the city.

    The marvellous fort is truly the highlight of Rajput legacy. Constructed by Maharaja Jaisal in 1156 AD, this ramification stands tall on the stark stretches of Thar Desert. Its architecture is an engineering marvel, which is still revered.

    The structure consists of three layers of walls, which were designed to protect it from attacks. The lower or the outer layer is constructed from solid blocks of stone, while the second layer goes around the fort. It is the third layer from which warriors used to throw oil and boiling water on the enemies, in an attempt to throw them out.

    Jaisalmer Fort is also the foreground of a number of battles. But its intricate architecture is what makes it difficult to explore. This structure features the Raj Mahal (also known as Royal Palace) where kings and queens used to live.

    Apart from this, it also features stunning architecture with a number of Jain temples, Merchant Havelis and Hindu temples, which serve as a hub for those seeking spiritual enlightenment. The marvellous floors over here along with golden sandstone and long list of rooms are what give this castle an extravagant, lavish appearance. Make sure that you opt for a camel safari to complement the royal tour of Jaisalmer Fort.

  • 04Jeep Safari

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    Experience the thrill in a 4x4 motor-beast that not only will provide a bumpy ride across the Thar Desert but it will blow your mind with the adrenaline rushing in every nerve of your body. It is one of the most desired things to do in Jaisalmer

    Price: The price for two may range from INR 750 to 2000

    Location: Mainly in Sam Sand Dunes

    Amenities: Barbeque dinner, cultural dance and music shows and fire shows are complimentary in some.

    Best time to do: Sunset

  • 05Dune Bashing

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    Taking a bumpy and heady ride in the Thar Desert will create some unforgettable memories. Tighten your seatbelt and enjoy the thrilling dune bashing. Jaisalmer is a paradise for experiencing a desert safari and sam sand dunes are very popular for this adventure. It is situated approximately 38 to 40 km from the Jaisalmer fort. Dune bashing is one of the things to do in Jaisalmer that is incomparable to any other part of the Indian subcontinent.
    • Price: 1000 to 2500 per head or couple.

    • Location: Sam sand dune

    • Duration: 2 hours to a half day excursion.

    • Timing: 10 AM to 4 PM

  • 06Parasailing

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    Imagine a view of the golden dunes from above the ground, almost 20 or 30 feet above in the air. The strips and runaways in Jaisalmer are very ideal and remarkable sites to take the flight and witness a land of golden hues. The Thar desert in Jaisalmer proves Parasailing an aero sport that can’t be missed and one of the thrilling things to do in Jaisalmer.

    Price: The price may range from INR 900 to 1100 per head.

    Location: Mainly in Sam Sand Dunes.

    Duration: 1 hour.

    Best time to do: Any time of the day, better to try in the morning or evening.

  • 07Paramotoring at Jaisalmer

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    The motor-powered parasailing sport is controlled by a pilot and it lasts for an hour where the pilot controls your glide while you witness the silky sand dunes making little knolls. Jaisalmer being the closest to Thar Desert is one place in India where Paramotoring becomes extra pulsating than any other places.

    Price: The price may range from INR 1800 to 2000 per head.

    Location: Mainly in Sam Sand Dunes.

    Duration: 1 hour.

    Timing: 8 AM to 2 PM.

  • 08Gadisar Lake

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    Maharawal Gadsi Singh constructed this lake in the 14th century to satisfy the water needs of the dry land of Jaisalmer. It became a tourist attraction and a pilgrimage site later, as many temples and shrines were built around the lake.

    It is almost 2 km away from the Jaisalmer Fort.

    •          Price: No entry fee.
    •          Activities: Boating, walk to Jaisalmer Fort.
    •          Location: Gadisar Lake, Postal Colony, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan 345001
    •          Duration: 2 hour to 4 hours.
    •          Timing: Preferred time to visit will be from 8 in the morning till 8 at night.
  • 09Tanot Mata Mandir

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    Situated at a distance of 122 kilometers from Jaisalmer fort, this temple is considered as a reincarnation of Goddess Hinglaj. There are many stories shrouded around this temple during the Indo-Pakistan war in 1965, stories reciting that the temple stood unharmed even after being under attack with heavy bombs and shelling.

    •    Price: No entry fee.
    •    Location: Tanot Road, Near India- Pakistan Border, Tanot, Rajasthan 345022
    •    Duration: 10 to 20 minutes.
    •    Timing: Open on all the seven days of the week, the preferred time to visit is 9AM to 3 PM.
  • 10Patwon Ki Haveli

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    It is a cluster of five small Havelis and Patwon Ki Haveli is said to be the first Haveli constructed in the Jaisalmer during 1805. Presently it is under government control, however, you can still spot some spectacle paintings and mirror work in this Haveli. Almost a kilometer away from the Jaisalmer fort stands the miniature balconies and architecture of this Haveli which must not be missed.

    • Price: No entry fee

    • Location: Patwon ki Haveliyan, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan 345001

    • Visit duration: half an hour to 1 hour

    • Timing: Open on all the seven days of the week from 9AM to 7PM

  • Offbeat Things to Do in Jaisalmer

  • 11Bazaars and Havelis

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    Once a prime centre for trade and commerce, today Jaisalmer boasts of rich heritage and extravagant bazaars. Be it valuable gems and jewels, furnished leather products, wooden handicrafts, precious stones and other textile products, the markets in the golden city never cease to entice its visitors. Bhatia Bazaar, Sadar Bazaar, Khadi Gramodyog Bhavan and Sonaron Ka Bas are some of the bustling destinations to go shopping and added to your list of things to do in Jaisalmer.
  • 12Village Safari

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    Embark on a trip to the native villages of Jaisalmer. Pretty, remote and authentic villages are a different world altogether. The way of lifestyle in such villages is very peaceful and centric. The sight is as fascinating as watching a documentary on the village life of a desert. One of the most fascinating things to do in Jaisalmer is going on a village safari ride.

    Price: The price may range from INR 1000 to 2000 per head.

    Location: Mainly the desert villages in Sam sand dunes.

    Duration:  A half day.

    Activities: Rajasthani folk dance evening coupled with barbeque dinner.

  • 13Desert National Park

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    Located in the Western Indian state of Rajasthan, Desert National Park is one of the largest national parks in the country and should be included in you list of things to do in Jaisalmer. This national park must be included in all travel and to-do lists for Jaisalmer as the park is a fine example of the ecosystem of Thar Desert and Sand Dunes.

    The craggy rocks here along with company salt lake bottoms are the best places for having a rendezvous with the wild. The place has an abundance of birdlife and animals, which makes it even more alluring. Every year, thousands of travellers visit this place to see migratory and resident birds in action.

    Desert National Park is home to a number of birds, including eagles, vultures, buzzards, falcons, harriers and kestrels. Bird species such as short toed eagle, spotted and tawny eagles are widely sighted here. But mostly, the park is famous for the Great Indian Bustard, an endangered species of bird, which is found in relatively fair number during the season from November to January.

    Apart from elusive avian species, the park also features a collection of animals and fossils that dates back to at least 180 million years ago. Dinosaur fossils have been found in this region. Sam Sand Dunes and Gadsisar Sagar Tank are also located here.

    The place is widely famous for its fauna, including chinkara, blackbuck, wolf, desert cat and Bengal fox. Reptiles such as spiny tailed lizard and Russell’s viper can be easily captured on the camera. Cranes arrive here during winter season, making this place a hub for bird watchers from all over the world. Opt for jeep safari to cover the place in a relatively small period of time.

  • 14Feast on Rajasthani Cuisine

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    If you want to get the real taste of Rajasthan, then relishing in the Rajasthani cuisine is the best option. Ditch fast food and other items during the trip and feast on Rajasthani cuisine, which will tickle your palate and satisfy the epicurean within you. The cooking here was influenced by war-like lifestyle of the state and its hot, desert location.

    Therefore, the food tends to be spicy and loaded with clarified butter. The food is prepared in such a way that it can last for days and be eaten even without heating. So, you can even taken dishes such as Pyaaj Kachori, Mirchi Bada or Bikaneri Bhujia with you after enjoying the dishes.

    Sweet delicacies, particularly, churma and besan chakki along with gujia must be tried. Apart from this gajar ki sabji, kicha ki sabji, kadhi, lauki ke koftey and daal baati churma must not be missed during the feast.

  • 15Jain Temple

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    The Jain Temples are located inside the Jaisalmer fort which is also known as the Sonar Quilla. The Jain temples are dedicated to the Jain hermits Rikhab Devji and Shambhavi Devji the famous tirthankars who taught how to achieve nirvana. The temples date back to the12th and 15th centuries and are carved out of Yellow Sandstones.

    • Price: No entry fee.

    • Location: Jaisalmer fort

    • Duration: 20 to 30 minutes.

    • Timing: Open on all the seven days of the week, the preferred time to visit is 9AM to 3PM.

  • 16Indo-Pak Border

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    Much to a traveler’s dismay of countries having borders, a thought of embarking on a trip to visit the line that divides two countries is extremely fascinating. Visit the Tanot border post and meet the brave soldiers of Indian Army. It is situated approximately 120 km from the Jaisalmer fort.
    • Price: No entry fee.

    • Location: Indo-Pak Border, Tanot Road, Near India- Pakistan Border, Tanot, Rajasthan 345022

    • Duration: 20 to 30 minutes.

    • Timing: Any time of the day.

  • 17Kuldhara, the Abandoned Village

    About 15 kilometres away from Jaisalmer is an abandoned Indian village, which narrates inspiring and fascinating tales. This destination is known as Kuldhara. The village, which looks more like a town, was once known for its large population. Travellers who wish to imagine a world through its ruins are recommended to visit the abandoned village of Kuldhara.

    The streets here were wide and designed beautifully, the settlement here was planned. Aesthetics were kept in mind when it came to construction of this village. Though abandoned now, earages, temples, step wells and other structures were constructed here in large numbers.

    While travelling through this abandoned village, tourists will hear the legend that describes why villagers left this settlement. According to this legend, the minister of the ruling kingdom was evil and wished to marry the younger daughter of a village chief. He forced him to give her in marriage and gave him a deadline. Scared, the chief called upon a meeting of chiefs from 84 villages located nearby and it was decided that the entire population of Kuldhara would leave, so that the honour of the chief’s daughter could be protected.

    Today, this story is reflective of the fact that chiefs and Rajput warriors during those times kept their honour at the highest level. Their respect and self esteem was so important that an entire village decided to leave their homes and settle elsewhere so that the young daughter of the chief could be protected from the evil clutches of the minister from the ruling kingdom. This indicates how valiant Rajasthani people are.

    Today the ruins of this village are a tourist site, giving travellers the opportunity to think and understand what happened centuries ago.

  • 18Puppet Show

    The incredible puppet show in the Desert Culture Centre and Museum will intrigue you for 40 minutes and you will literally take a peek into the times when it was one of the traditional medium to entertain the mass.

    Price: The price may range from INR 50 to 100 per head

    Location: The main city of Jaisalmer

    Opening time: The Desert cultural centre and Museum conducts the puppet show from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM.

    Location: Gadi Sagar Rd. Jaisalmer, Rajasthan

    Best time: Evening

  • 19Khaba Fort

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    This fort stands aloof in the sweepy desert view, where you can spot, ruined houses, ancient artifacts and a mystery of the abandoned village. The place is devoid of any human activity and the ruined citadel is an impressive landmark that is set amid a barren desert village. Approximately 33 km away from the Jaisalmer fort, Khaba fort stands like a castle on the desert land.

    • Price: No entry fee

    • Location: Patwon ki Haveliyan, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan 345001

    • Visit duration: 1 hour to 1.5 hours

    • Timing: Open on all the seven days of the week from 9AM to 7PM

  • 20Jaisalmer War Museum

    Stumble upon the history of Indian Army in this nicely maintained war museum that lies on the road to Bikaner from Jaipur and is located 14 km away from the Jaisalmer fort. It sheds light on the historical wars and display of trophies and tanks. A short film on wars and war heroes is also shown to the visitors. It is an interesting place and visiting the war museum is one of the things to do in Jaisalmer to get an idea of the border areas affected in wars.

    • Price: INR 25 per head for Indian nationals.

    • Location: Jaisalmer Jodhpur Highway, Thaiyat, Rajasthan 345001

    • Visit duration: 1 hour to 2 hours.

    • Timing: Open on all the seven days of the week from 9 AM to 6:30 PM

  • 21Longewala War Memorial

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    This war memorial throws light on Indo-pak and sino-India conflicts. Apart from the historical details and significance of these wars, it also covers the military equipments used in these wars. It is situated 130 km from the city of Jaisalmer and is good place to build up your knowledge on the critical issues dealt by India through war and peace-making strategies.

    • Price: No entry fee.

    • Location: Longewala, Rajasthan 335803

    • Visit duration: 1 hour to 1.5 hours.

    • Timing: Open on all the seven days of the week, the preferred time to visit is 9AM to 3PM.

  • 22Lodhruva

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    Lodhruva is located 15 km north-west of Jaisalmer fort and was the ancient capital of Bhatti dynasty. Strolling through the deserted ruins of Lodhruva is one of the best things to do in Jaisalmer. It is like travelling back in time and watching the ageless stories.

    • Price: No entry fee

    • Location: 10 KM from Amar Sagar

    • Visit duration: An hour or half

    • Type: Pilgrimage

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