Friday, February 21, 2020

8 top things to do in Jaisalmer

Explorer Lens

Rajasthan is known as the historic capital of India.
Magnificent forts, stunning havelis, picturesque sand dunes, royal cultural, heritage buildings, vivid wildlife and humble people, there is a lot to see and explore here.

It preserves the rich culture and history of the golden era of India.
Though every place in Rajasthan is of historic importance, there are few popular destinations which are a must visit. In the heart of Thar Desert, lies one such place which is also known as the Golden City of Rajasthan – Jaisalmer.

Jaisalmer is named after its founder – Rawal Jaisal and means hill fort of Jaisal.
It is a very popular tourist destination in Rajasthan and is visited by thousands of foreigners round the year.

The best time to visit Jaisalmer is from October to March when it is winter and the temperature is in its low. We visited Jaisalmer during January and stayed for 2 days.
From our experience, here is the list of top 8 things to do here:

1. Jaisalmer Fort

Popularly also known as Sonar Quila, Jaisalmer Fort was built in 1156 AD by Rao Jaisal.
It is second oldest and also one of the largest forts in the state of Rajasthan.
Still one quarter of the town’s population stay in this UNESCO World Heritage Site

The wall of the fort is made of soft yellow sandstone, hence the golden color for which it is
famous. The path to the royal palace is through 4 massive gates known as – Akhai Pol, Suraj Pol, 
Ganesh Pol and Hawa Pol. The final gate Hawa Pol leads to Dusshera Chowk. There are beautiful 
Jharokas (windows) and carvings along the way.
The Dusshera Chowk is surrounded by imposing buildings including the spectacular Maharwal

The main attractions inside the fort include the below:

- Maharwal Palace – It has exhibits which include artifacts from the past and armory collection.
  Also there is a museum which has displays of the golden history. From the rooftop one can see
  the breathtaking view of the city. One can opt for audio tour of the palace and museum.
  The entry fee is INR 50 for Indians and INR 200 for foreigners. There is an additional INR 50 for

- Temples – There are beautiful hindu and jain temples in the fort which are known for stunning
   artwork and carvings. Photography in jain temples will cost you an additional INR 50.
- Canon Point  - This point has the battle gun which was used in olden times to protect the fort.
   The way to Canon Point is through narrow and steep lane which leads to the old gun.
   You get a scenic view of the city, including the important places from this spot.

2. Patwon Ji Ki Haveli
One of the finest artwork and carvings of Jaisalmer can be found at Patwon Ji Ki Haveli.
There are 5 Havelis here, out of which the first one is open for public while the rest of them are either inhabited or closed.
The entry fee is INR 50 for Indians and INR 200 for foreigners.

3. Jain Temples
Jain temples inside the fort are excellent example of beautiful architecture.
They are an embodiment of beautiful structural designs.
Right from ceilings to tombs to gateways, every corner of the temple has lovely carvings which will leave you mesmerized.
There is an additional cost for clicking pics inside the temple.

4. Camping in the desert
One of the most popular activities in Jaisalmer is to do camping in the desert.
There are lot of campgrounds which provide tents, food and other activities blend in a package.
These activities include Jeep Safari/Camel Safari in the Sand Dunes and Traditional Folk Dance.
Food includes Snacks, Dinner and Breakfast.

We stayed at Prince Camps and were really happy and satisfied by our accommodation in tents, food and other services provided in reasonable price.
There are two packages available depending upon the tent you choose.
Luxury tent is INR 5000 and Super Deluxe tent is INR 4000.

5. Shopping
Unlike shopping malls, chic boutiques and designer labels, Jaisalmer is home to items that relish the essence of ancient Rajasthani culture. The main markets include – Sadar Bazaar, Bhatia Bazaar, Sonaron Ka Baas, Manak Chowk and Pansari Bazaar.
So get onto a shopping spree and experience the beauty of Rajasthani art and craftwork.

6. Chhatris
There are two points to see Chhatris in Jaisalmer, Vyas Chhatris and Bada Bagh Chhatris.
These royal cenotaphs are great example of rich Rajasthani architecture.

From the Vyas Chhatris you can see the entire magnificient golden fort of Jaisalmer.
There is an entry fee of INR 50/person for Vyas Chhatris.

7. Gadisar Lake
Gadisar Lake is a 14th century artificial lake built by Raja Rawal Jaisal.
It is surrounded by beautiful temple shrines, ghats and chattris.
You can also witness migratory birds during winter times.

The beauty of the lake can be experienced using pedal boats and rowing boats.
The fee of pedal boat is INR 50 per person and for rowing boat is INR 75 per person.

8. Jaisalmer War Museum
Though we didn’t get a chance to visit Jaisalmer War Museum, but it is a great place to immerse yourself into the patriotic feeling and feel proud of the Indian army. There are lot of exhibitions which depict the stories related to 1971 war between Indian and Pakistan. You would able to relate if you have seen Border movie.

Other places that you can visit include – Desert National Park, Kuldhara Ghost Town and Salim Singh Ki Haveli.

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