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Discovering Jaisalmer, Guide to the Magical Golden City of India

Updated: May 30


View from Taj Mahal, Jaisalmer The Golden City of India, Rajasthan backpacking, Travel Asia, Tips and Tricks to travel India, Jaipur, Agra, Mumbai, Goa, Delhi
Photo by Sylwia Bartyzel

"India is the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great grandmother of tradition."
― Mark Twain.


Namaste! 🙏


There is something magical about India that never stops captivating the world with its magnificent glory. It contains so much spectrum of bustling energy that a country can possess, leading to imbalanced foreign beholders' consciousness. India is home to the world's oldest civilization and a reside haven to some of the world's greatest architectural masterpieces in human history. Bharat will stun you with its incomparable beauty, testifying your "love and hate" in indescribable ways. So that when you leave, you will leave with something meaningful.



"Once you have felt the Indian dust, you will never be free of it."
-Rumer Godden



The Beauty in Chaos


Jai Hind! From the hustle and bustle street of Delhi, the pink city of Jaipur, Blue shades of oldtown in Jodhpur, a hippie haven in goa, Kerala god's own country, love in the air of Agra, the spiritual capital of Varanasi, and the chaos Bollywood Bombay. Everywhere you go on this very land of Mother India, the intensities will grab your attention; the culture is very much like Indian food, full of flavors that sometimes can overwhelm people's palates. Whatever way you prefer your food, there is something for everyone in this one legendary South Asia country.



View from Taj Mahal, Jaisalmer The Golden City of India, Rajasthan backpacking, Travel Asia, Tips and Tricks to travel India, Jaipur, Agra, Mumbai, Goa, Delhi
Photo by Yogiraj

Forget the Taj Mahal for a moment because this article won't cover that particular story. India is way beyond that beautiful pristine marble put together in a Mausoleum to represent the love of human beings. For the record, the Taj Mahal is one of India's most overrated monuments. Somewhere around 8 million people visit the Taj every year. Nevertheless, this impressive white marble masterpiece by Shah Jahan to his lover Mumtaz Mahal deserves all the world's admiration. An appropriate post may appear in the future.





The Beauty in Silence


Taking you back to the bygone era, Jaisalmer is an intriguing destination that boasts a fascinating culture and a rich heritage, very distinct from any other place in India. Locals wearing colorful turbans, shiny dresses, and big smiles are very much part of their hospitality. This is the story of the golden city right in the heart of the Thar Desert. Distinguished by its yellow architectural sandstone, Jaisalmer is home to one of the world's last remaining living forts declared under the UNESCO world heritage site. A former ancient trading center and a royal state in western Rajasthan.


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The Golden City of India, Heart of Thar Desert

Overlooking the skyline is the Jaisalmer Fort, a sprawling hilltop fortress bolstered by 99 bulwarks. Behind its extensive walls stand the magnificent Maharaja's Palace and exquisitely sculptured Jain temples.





1001 Tales from the Enchanting Golden City Jaisalmer


I have always loved the desert. One sits down on a desert sand dune, sees nothing, hears nothing. Yet through the silence, something throbs and gleams.
- Antoine de Saint-Exupery

 



Become a Beduin-like Nomad,

The Billion Stars Experience in the Desert.


Camel safari in Desert India, View from Taj Mahal, Jaisalmer The Golden City of India, Rajasthan backpacking, Travel Asia, Tips and Tricks to travel India, Jaipur, Agra, Mumbai, Goa, Delhi

" I never thought of spending a night in the desert, rode a camel, stargazing in the cold night, counting bless on my birthday. There was no candle but a campfire that provides light and warmth. It was one of the highlights of my traveling in India."
Pisan zapra




There is nothing more spectacular for an adventure-seeking soul than a breathtaking experience in the golden desert that takes you up close and personal with this barren and rustic terrain. Become a desert nomad bedouin-like for one day and night. Learn how to ride a camel, be amazed by the amazing sunset from the mystical dunes, take part in preparing an authentic Rajasthani meal on an open fire, and get overwhelmed by stargazing in the sky, and say your wish upon a shooting star. Breathe in the serenity in such isolation and savor the moment.


Riding camel in Jaisalmer, camel safari, View from Taj Mahal, Jaisalmer The Golden City of India, Rajashtan backpacking, Travel Asia, Tips and Tricks to travel India, Jaipur, Agra, Mumbai, Goa, Delhi
Camel riding during Sunset

You are sure to be spellbound by the endless expanse of the golden sand that tends to creep all the way to the horizon as far as your eyes can see, exploring off the beaten track deep into the heart of Thar desert that will become a memory of a lifetime.







Night in the desert, View from Taj Mahal, Jaisalmer The Golden City of India, Rajasthan backpacking, Travel Asia, Tips and Tricks to travel India, Jaipur, Agra, Mumbai, Goa, Delhi
Photo by Gaurav Sehara

During the safari, you will have plenty of time on your camel, enjoying chai overlooking the beautiful colors of a desert sunset. Then like a nomad, you will take part in cooking a Rajasthani meal on the bonfire. To conclude, there will be the best sky-gazing you can imagine on a pitch-black night. Sleep under the billion stars wrapped around in thick warm blankets.


The next day, observe the first glimpse of the pastel sunrise creeping over the horizon, pack your stuff after a cup of chai and get back to civilization. Enjoy the camel's last ride and be nostalgic about life, reminisce about all the silly things you used to do in life, and be happy about it.



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Photo by Rawpix.com

Take only memories. Leave only footprints."


 



Bada Bagh - The Majestic Rulers Cenotaph


Bada Bagh might astound you with its greenery in the barren land of Jaisalmer. It was built back in the 16th century, inspired by the beautiful green oasis in the desert region. It is a garden complex about 5km north of the city, overlooking a mango grove are sets of royal cenotaphs of Jaisalmer, beginning with Jai Singh II. This impressive structure is situated on a small hill; as you climb upwards to the hilltop, you will see more exquisite cenotaphs chatris set in rows. Admire the different sizes of the beautifully carved cenotaph on golden sandstones.


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Image by Volker Glätsch from Pixabay

There are few dedicated cenotaphs for rulers, queens, princes, and other royal family members. Every Maharaja's cenotaphs are furnished with a marble slab, with inscriptions about the ruler and an image of a knight riding a horse. If the horse is leg-up, it means the king died in a battle, and if all legs are down, he died naturally. Each image carved also has a small statue of the queen who committed Sati (sacrificed herself on the funeral pier together with the ceased king). The number of queen statues illustrates the number of people who sacrificed their lives for him.


Visit on the evening before sunset, as the beautiful yellow sandstone cenotaphs appear golden in the orange rays of the setting sun.


 

Amar Sagar - Lake Oasis Inspired


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Phoro by Roop_Dey

Amar Sagar is a humble and beautiful lake oasis in the desert, sitting right next to Amar Singh Palace. Near the palace are the pavilions with broad stairs leading down to the Amar Sagar Lake. The Amar Sagar is a five-story high haveli and is renowned for its intricately lovely murals. The Haveli is looking majestic, surrounded by many wells, and ponds around it. Take a boat tour to see it from the Lake's perspective and be inspired by the view.


 



Jain temples - The Epitome of Jain Architecture


Jain temples view, View from Taj Mahal, Jaisalmer The Golden City of India, Rajasthan backpacking, Travel Asia, Tips and Tricks to travel India, Jaipur, Agra, Mumbai, Goa, Delhi

The Jain Temples in Jaisalmer are marvelous treasures of the desert city, a symbol of embodiment of Jain Architecture built in the 15th-16th centuries. A set of seven temples, which will spellbind you with their serene hallways and delicate stonework. Most distinguished among these temples is the Parsvanath Temple, the largest and holds some of the most impressive yellow sandstone carvings. The time restrictions are only for tourists. Outside the temples, you will find many Rajasthani souvenir shops catered for tourists.


 

Kothari's Patwa-Ki-Haveli: An Epitome of Sandstone Architecture


Visiting Jaisalmer won't be complete without visiting the Haveli, where visitors can observe Rajasthani culture's essence.


Patwon Ki Haveli is renowned considering it the first Haveli constructed in Jaisalmer, also one of Rajasthan's oldest Havelis. It is well famous because of its exquisite and intricate carving artworks. Patwon Ki Haveli is a cluster of five massive Havelis dedicated to all his five sons built-in 1805 by Guman Chand Patwa. It took the workers around 50 years to complete the first Haveli. Based on local stories, Patwa was an extremely wealthy man and a well-known brocade trader of his time.


Patwon ki haveli, View from Taj Mahal, Jaisalmer The Golden City of India, Rajasthan backpacking, Travel Asia, Tips and Tricks to travel India, Jaipur, Agra, Mumbai, Goa, Delhi

Patwon ki haveli has more than 60 balconies in the entire complex making a great natural ventilation system. Once a symbol of social status, today, the Havelis are owned by the government and houses the offices of the Archeological Survey of India and the state's art and craft department.


 


How to Reach Jaisalmer


By Air

Jaisalmer civil airport has begun its operation after two years maintained idle upon completion. The airport now has regular or six days in week flights to Mumbai, Delhi, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Surat, Agra, Bikaner, and Jodhpur. Currently, Spicejet, Trujet, and Zoom Air airlines are active service providers.


View from desert oasis, Jaisalmer The Golden City of India, Rajasthan backpacking, Travel Asia, Tips and Tricks to travel India, Jaipur, Agra, Mumbai, Goa, Delhi

By Road

The roadways in India are reasonably good. Jaisalmer is well connected to Rajasthan's major cities. It takes around 5 hours on average from Jodhpur to reach the golden city with fares from 300 INR (4$), covering a 285KM journey. Pass passengers can grab any tuk-tuk, or any local transportation means to get to hotels and attractions from the bus terminus.


By Rail

The train has extensive route coverage in India, probably the best transportation option to reach Jaisalmer, all in comfort and reasonable fares. Howrah Jaisalmer Express, Delhi Jaisalmer Express are some of the express trains connecting various cities to Jaisalmer's golden land.


 



being solitude in the Thar desert, View from Taj Mahal, Jaisalmer The Golden City of India, Rajasthan backpacking, Travel Asia, Tips and Tricks to travel India, Jaipur, Agra, Mumbai, Goa, Delhi

Jaisalmer evokes a rustic charm, princely feeling, and bedouin-like atmosphere amidst its undulating golden dunes. A shelter of sandcastles and fortresses, Jaisalmer is admired for the majestic fort and camel safaris. Whether you're soaking in the historical charm of the Bada Bagh, walking through the deserted village of Kuldhara, or admiring the intricate stonework in Jain temples and Haveli, this golden city is the ideal destination for those travelers seeking dry land adventures.




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Bahut Shukriya for reading!!



 

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