The city of Jaisalmer shimmers like a mirage amidst the desolate beauty of the hot barren deserts of Rajasthan. It is a small city that can be covered within two hours of leisurely strolling through the lanes and by-lanes, and has an extraordinarily medieval feel and incredible atmosphere. The havelis (mansions of rich merchants) which are the pride of Jaisalmer's architecture and a part of the national heritage should be seen and admired at an unhurried pace. The Jaisalmer Fort, perched atop the triangular-shaped Trikuta Hills, contains some gems of Jain temple buildings, while beautifully decorated havelis are scattered throughout the town. The city is also famous for its beautiful embroidery.
During the medieval times Jaisalmer made rapid progress due to its strategic location on the camel trade route between India and Central Asia. Even now, especially after the two wars with Pakistan, its strategic importance has led to the building of national highways, a railway track, and an airstrip, and brought Jaisalmer within easy reach of the people.
CLIMATE : The climate of this city is of typical desert character. Temperatures range between 46°C and 35.4°C in the summers, and 14°C and 2°C in the winters. The best season to visit is between October and March, especially between January and February when Jaisalmer becomes a hub of tourist activities during the desert festival.
EXCURSION : Bada Bagh: This 300 year old Haveli of Jaisalmer's Prime Minister to Maharaja Rawal Gaj Singh Salim Singh, has a beautiful blue cupola roof with superby carved brackets in the form of peacocks. This extraordinary mansion in yellow stone is covered with intricate carvings and has an elaborate projecting balcony on the top storey.
The mansion is one of the most notables of the array of havelis.
Wood Fossil Park: A scenic rain water lake with numerous beautiful shrines around and a spectacular avian variety. The lake is an idyllic spot for outings.
Sam Sand Dunes: A pagoda like structure looming up from the "Badal Mahal" with beautiful Taazias' - ornately decorated bamboo, paper and tinsel replicas of a bier, carried out in processing during Moharram by the Muslims.
Desert National Park: The late 19th century haveli with intricate architecture a display of sheer craftsmanship. The left and right wings of the mansions, which were carved by two brothers, are not identical but very similar and balanced in design. The interior walls are ornate with splendid miniature paintings.
Amar Sagar: The most elaborate and magnificient of all the Jaisalmer havelis. It has exquisitely carved pillars and exquisitely carved pillars and extensive corridors and chambers.
One of the apartments of this five story high haveli is painted with beautiful murals.
Mool Sagar: The fort has three exquisitely carved Jain temples dedicated to the Jain Tirthankara-Rishabdev, Sambhavnath and Parswanath.
Barmer: Some of the oldest manuscripts of India are found in this library established as a part of jain temples.
Camel Safaries: Some of the oldest manuscripts of India are found in this library established as a part of jain temples.
Old Haweli in - Jaisalmer
Jaisalmer Fort - Jaisalmer
Attractions and Places to Visit in Jaisalmer
Jaisalmer Fort: The Jaisalmer Fort is the second oldest fort in Rajasthan after Chittaur, and commands the desertscape from its 250 feet high pedestal on the Trikuta Hill. Three strong walls protect the citadel. The fort has five palaces called Sarvottam Vilas, Akhai Vilas, Gaj Mahal, Rang Mahal and Moti Mahal. Jali or latticework screens of excellent craftsmanship shade interiors from the fierce heat and desert winds. The Rang Mahal has some exquisite murals painted on arches and spandrels. The fort contains one-third of the city's population. Many houses provide budget accommodation to visitors and have curio shops.
The Jain Temples: Three exquisitely sculptured Jain temples dedicated to Rishabhdevji, Sambhavanathji and the Ashthapadi temple are located within the fort. Their ornamentation, done in the style of the Dilwara temples at Mt. Abu, is marvellous. The emerald icon of Mahavira here is an unparalleled gem.
Salim-Singh-ki-Haveli: The Salim-Singh-ki-Haveli is a magnificent edifice whose two upper storeys had to be demolished and yet whose surviving structure has unsurpassed splendor. Particularly noteworthy are the rows of peacocks below the jharokhas (projected arched balconies).
Patwon-ki-Haveli: Near the city centre is the Patwon-ki-Haveli. Its five suites built between AD 1800 and AD 1860 are evidence of Jaisalmer's legendary architectural wealth. The balconies are delicately chiseled, and oblique sunrays create enchanting and dramatic shadows. It is the grandest mansion in Jaisalmer, a veritable museum piece in the open.
Nathmal-ki-Haveli: This haveli has two identical-looking portions, which are, in fact, two different parts united by a common façade. The projected balconies or jharokhas are a perfect example of jeweler's art applied to stone carving.
Desert Culture Centre and Museum: The Desert Culture Centre and Museum has a number of old coins, different kinds of textiles, traditional Rajasthani instruments, and some fossils that were discovered in the desert. It gives a visitor an insight into the history of Rajasthan.
How to Reach Jaisalmer
By Air: The nearest airport that caters to Jaisalmer - bounded travellers is at Jodhpur. Jodhpur is connected to many other indian cities by air.
By Bus: Rajasthan Roadways run very comfortable deluxe & air conditioned buses from Jaipur, Jodhpur, Bikaner. The roads are very good and fairly comfortable.
By Train: The nearest railway station that caters to Jaisalmer - bounded travellers is at Jodhpur. Jodhpur is connected to many other indian cities by train.