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Best of Jaisalmer

Once a part of the famous Silk Route, the desert city of Jaisalmer boasts history, culture and exquisite architecture. Wander through its streets and discover something new and exciting at every turn: fantastic food, incredible temples and picturesque views. This week we share our favourite Jaisalmer experiences…

 

Explore Jaisalmer Fort

Built in 1156 AD by Rajput ruler Rawal Jaisal, the fort is commonly known as the “Golden Fort”, and it is easy to see why! Standing tall over the surrounding desert, this sandstone fort is unlike others of India. More like a neighbourhood, spend your time exploring India’s last “living fort”. Home to houses, shops, restaurants and museums, and about 3000 inhabitants, this is truly a unique site…

 

Vist the Jain Temples

Located within the walls of the Jaisalmer Fort, the seven intricate and breathtaking Jain Temples are a must-see. Dating back to the 12th and 15th centuries, these temples hold not only high religious significance but also are an example of stunning architecture. Each temple is dedicated to a Jain sage or tirthankara, and are adorned with sculptures, carvings, frescoes and mirrors.

 

Venture to Bada Bagh

For an insight into the history of Jaisalmer and to also see a spectacular example of Rajasthani architecture, you simply can’t miss Bada Bagh. Originally begun in devotion to Maharaja Jai Singh II, the cenotaphs date back to the 17th century. Explore the individual cenotaphs and see carved icons devoted to the rulers of Jaisalmer. The stunning memorials continued to be built until the 20th century, all featuring intricate detail.

 

Visit Gadi Sagar Lake

Built in 1367 by Maharaja Garsi Singh, this man-made lake is a refreshing oasis in this desert landscape. The lake is dotted with cenotaphs, ghats and shrines. Wander the banks, admire the view of the Jaisalmer Fort and walk through the infamous Telia-Pol gate, built by the king’s favourite concubine. One of the best ways to end the evening is a sunset boat ride on the lake!

 

Enjoy Drinks or Dinner at a Rooftop Café

One of the best ways to finish the day in Jaisalmer is to enjoy dinner or drinks (or both!) at one of the many rooftop cafes. At the end of a long day, sit back, relax and enjoy the incredible hospitality of the Jaisalmer people. Finally, relish the beautiful sunset– there’s nothing quite like a Jaisalmer sunset.

 

Go On a Camel Safari

Instead of dreamily gazing out over the desert, why not climb upon your very own camel and explore it? Head out into the expansive desert and explore the dunes. Enjoy a delicious meal cooked over a campfire before spending the night under the stars. You can choose to venture out for half a day, two days or more– there are many different safari lengths available.

 

Explore the Local Bazaars

Jaisalmer is home to a range of bazaars, all offering something unique. Explore Pansari Bazaar for traditional goods and for something special to remember your Jaisalmer trip by. Furthermore, Sonaron Ka Baas boasts stunning jewellery and Sadar Bazaar is famous for its leather goods. However, if you wander through this incredible city, you are sure to find incredible markets and stores at every turn!

 

The Food

Rajasthani cuisine is phenomenal, and Jaisalmer is no exception! You really can’t go too wrong in this city, but there are certainly some standout dishes! Try Mutton Saag, a dish of mutton cooked in a spinach sauce and Rajasthani spices. Also be sure to try Gatte ki Sabzi, a dish of besan sausages in a creamy yoghurt gravy, and Makhania Lassi, a delicious creamy drink.

 

Tour Historic Havelis

Carved from sandstone and featuring Rajputana and Islamic styles of architecture, the havelis of Jaisalmer are amongst some of the most spectacular in the country. Built by rich merchant traders, no expense has been spared– and it shows! Take a moment to explore stunning havelis such as Patwaon Ki Haveli, Salim Singh ki Haveli and Nathmalji ki Haveli.

Resources: Smithsonian Mag, Atlas Obscura, Wmf, Tour My India, Tourism of India, Jaisalmer.Org, Flashpacking Kerala, Earth Trekkers, Hippie In Heels, Palaces On Wheels, Drifting Voyage, Jaisal Kot, Travel Triangle, Wannabe Maven, Treebo
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