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Jaisalmer Overview

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Summarise the city :
Gateway to the Desert Heritage Capital

Experiences :
Desert Safari on camel Back

City calling code :
+91-02992

Recommended no. of days for a tourist :
2 full days are good

Best buys :
Stone carved statues, tie-dye work,handicrafts

Essentials to be carried along
Sun block, Sun Glasses, light cotton clothes,

All about the city :
A city as magical as Jaisalmer at the first sight appears to be a magnificent sand ship approaching towards you as you enter its rising city.

Crenellated Sandstone walls and narrow streets lined with exquisitely carved buildings through which camel carts trundle leisurely - That is Jaisalmer for you.

Founded by the prince Jaisal in 1156, this city gradually grew to a strong trade route across the forbidding Thar desert from India to the west. The merchants prospered and invested a part of their wealth in beautifying the city by building temples and beautiful houses with the local sandstone.

Many of the settlements close to the city have become well used to tourists, so it's worth venturing a little further out to get an idea of life in the desert.
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Jaisalmer Tourist attractions

Name (suggested time required to see the place)DescriptionInformation
Jaisalmer FortOn the roughly triangular shaped Trikuta Hill, the fort stands 76 meters above the town, enclosed by a 9 km wall and 99 bastions. The outer gate has bands of decoration which imitate local textile designs. Often called the Golden Fort due to the sandstone color….it dominates the town.

A walk through the narrow streets within the fort often blocked by the odd goat and cow, even today about a 1,000 of the town's people live in the tiny houses within the fort………… A caution………… it is easy to get lost as most of these houses have carvings and on the doors and balconies and look similar.

Sunset Point- north of the fort is best for the view of Jaisalmer.
 
Fort Palace Museum and Heritage centreThe entire palace has been recently renovated, interesting displays have been established including the sculpture, weapon, paintings besides a well presented cultural information.

The view from the roof is exquisite- highest point inside the fort, The Zenana block (Female block) has false jail work as opposed to the mardana block(Men's block) that has highly detailed murals and mirror decoration.

Fees: Indian Rs. 10  and Foreigner rs. 70 

Timing:       Summers      0800 - 1800
Winters        0900 - 1800  

Jain TemplesWhilst the Rajputs were devout Hindus, they permitted Jainism to be practiced. The Parsvanatha, Rishabnatha, Shantinatha, Ashtapadi, Mahavir temple , The Sambhavanatha - tell their own distinctive story, each built at a different time, by different ruler and the architecture worth a thousand praises.

DO

Leather shoes not allowed in the temple

Time:   0700-1200

HavelisThere are many exceptional havelis (Mansions of rich merchants) both in the fort and the walled town. Many have beautifully carved facades, jail screens, the ground floor is raised above the dusty streets and each has an inner courtyard surrounded by richly decorated apartments.

Not to be missed are the Badal Mahal, Salim Singh Ki haveli, Nathumal Ki Haveli and Patwon Ki Haveli which stand very different from one another due to their own architecture and decorative style.
 
Desert Cultural CentreEstablished in 1997 with the aim of preserving the culture of the desert, the museum contains a varied display of Fossila, Paintings, instruments, costumes and textiles which give an interesting glimpse in to the desert life.

A lovely puppet show is conducted twice everyday…

Fees: Rs. 10

1000-1700

Gadi Sagar TankSituated Southeast of the the city walls, this was the oasis which led Prince Jaisal to settle here. Now connected by the Indira Gandhi canal, it has water all year.It attracts migratory birds and has many small shrines around it - well worth visiting, especially in the late afternoon. Boats are available for trips around the lake.Fees: Rs. 50 for half hour
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Getting there

AirRailRoad
No Air Connectivity. Nearest airport is Jodhpur (256 km).Regular rail connection to Bikaner is available from Jaipur and jodhpur, Overnight train from Delhi (DSR Bikaner mail) gives very good sunrise views.A very good network of roads connects Bikaner to other tourist attractions of Rajasthan. It is 256 km north of Jodhpur, 361 km north west of Jaipur, 278 km north west of Ajmer, 250 km west of Mandawa, 355 km north east of Bikaner, 450 km west of Delhi. 
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Jaisalmer Festivals

Name of festivalDates / MonthsFestival details with link for more information

Desert Festival

3 days

FebAmidst the sand Dunes at Sam, Folk Dancing, Puppet shows and Camel races, camel polo and Camel acrobatics, Mr. Desert competition, Craftsmen at work - are some of the major highlights of this festival

Read Packages and Details

Thar Festival at Barmer
March

Festival of Thar at Barmer is an opportunity to experience the same in March.

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Jaisalmer Excursions

Excursion (distance in kms)Description
Khuldera This fascinating Ghost town around Jaisalmer is worth stopping enroute to Sam Dunes. Some 400 yrs ago when then Prime minister Salim Singh set his eyes on a  paliwal girl from this village, the paliwal villagers did not want to give away this beautiful girl. After intense pressure from the PM, they decided to abandon the village one night with everyone dispersing in different directions, never to return. Well preserved and best visited with a guide who can point out the most interesting buildings still standing. Khaba, just south of here is also recommended
Sam Sand Dunes 40 km from Jaisalmer
Sam dunes is popular for sunset Camel rides. Not a remote spot, the dunes proper only covering a small are yet quite impressive. Right in the middle of the dunes, Sunset View is like a fairground with almost 500 trippers in the high season time
Thar Desert National Park
The park primarily was created to protect the 3,000 Sq km of the Thar desert which inhabitats the drought resistant endangered rare species which have adjusted to the unique and inhospitable conditions.Undulating sand dunes, vast expanses of flat land where the tress are leafless, thorny and have long roots. Fascinating for bird watching, this is one of the few places of India where The Great India Bustard and the migratory Houbra Bustard proliferates.Five species of Vultures, six of eagle, Indian sand grouse, Falcons, Flocks of Larks at Susadri, Chinkaras …just the place to see the desert fauna in its abundance.    Entrance fee is Rs. 200 per person. Permission to enter the national park is needed from the collector and the director.
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Suggested Holidays with Jaisalmer

Holiday NameNo. Of days Destinations Covered & Highlights
Best of Rajasthan13 days - 12 nightsJaipur - Mandawa - Bikaner - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Udaipur - Pushkar - Ranthambore - Jaipur
Culture and Family tour of Rajasthan 14 days - 13 nightsDelhi - Agra - Jaipur - Bikaner - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Udaipur - Chittorgarh - Pushkar - Ranthambore - Jaipur
Rajasthan Desert Tour 07 days - 06 nightsDelhi - Mandawa - Bikaner - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur
Rajasthan Forts and Palace Tour 11 days - 10 nightsJaipur - Mandawa - Bikaner - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Udaipur - Chittorgarh
Rajasthan with Taj Mahal14 days - 13 nightsDelhi - Agra - Jaipur - Pushkar - Udaipur - Jodhpur - Jaisalmer - Bikaner - Mandawa
Heritage tour of Rajasthan 14 days - 13 nightsNeemrana - Jaipur- Devigarh - Udaipur - Udaipur - Rohet - Pokhran - Jaisalmer - Gajner - Kuchaman - Alsisar - Delhi
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