Amongst all the places to see in Jaisalmer, the Jaisalmer Fort is the largest. It is in fact, one of the largest forts around the world. Located on the Tirukuta Hill, this fort was built by Rao Jaisal, one of the mightiest rulers of Jaislamer. Due to its location at the golden stretches of the Thar Desert, this fort is also known as the ‘Sonar Quila’ or the ‘Golden Fort’.
Over the past few centuries, this fort has witnessed several battles and has successfully endured its pride and glory of being one of the magnificent forts in Rajasthan. However, kings and battles are no more persistent and can be found on the pages of history books, leaving behind their immortal legacy and bonding with this fort.
Sam sand dunes are indeed one of the most authentic desert dune sites in whole India and truly deserves to be on your list of things to do in Jaisalmer. Here, you find 30 to 60-meter tall sand dunes and many travellers enjoy Desert Safari on camels or jeep. Sam is 45 kilometres west of Jaisalmer city where you can reach by hiring a vehicle. You may further choose to stay in one of many desert camps that are mostly built in 2 to 3 km radius of sand dunes.
The best time to reach Sam sand dunes is around evening to enjoy the desert sunset at around 4 to 7 PM or early morning, during the sunrise time of 4 to 6 am. You can book a camel or jeep well in advance or on the spot as they are also available at desert camps.
Maharwal Gadsi Singh, the then Maharaja of Jaisalmer constructed this lake in 1400 AD. The lake was originally built as a conservation reservoir for rainwater harvesting; during the ancient times, and it happened to be one of the major water sources for the entire city.
Named after the Maharaja, this reservoir has now earned the fame of being the most popular places to visit in Jaisalmer, and is visited by people from various corners of the world. Located on the outskirts of Jaisalmer, it is an idyllic getaway to seek peace and tranquillity of mind, away from the bustling and chaotic city life.
An architectural marvel in the streets of the city and marked by intricate carving and murals is what Patwon ki Haveli is. Built in the 19th century, this Patwon ki Haveli is a combination of 5 different havelis in one single premise. It consists of a museum having rare artifacts, furniture work, miniatures, mirror-work and a large collection of paintings and interestingly, used to be a hotspot for travelers all around the world.
The haveli is also known for residences of merchants who sold gold and silver items, amongst which some threads were used in ornamental dresses. It houses the office of Archaeological Survey of India today, managed by the government as a whole & makes it as one of the best places to visit in Jaisalmer.
Located 18 km away from Jaisalmer, the Kuldhara village is known as the ghost village. Lying abandoned from the past few centuries, this village has no signs of human life and is also known as one of the haunted places in Rajasthan. However, during the contemporary times, this hamlet has become one of the significantly visited places in Jaisalmer.
A clan of eighty-five villages, Kuldhara was once inhabited by the Paliwal Brahmins, but due to some adverse happenings, the natives evacuated the village within a night. Also, there have been no traces, where and how the villagers left their homes; only assumptions and wild guesses hinted their invasion to some of the nearby regions. Since then there has been no signs of human dwelling or any other activities within the surroundings.
Even though Jaisalmer is known to be a desert city, the rulers made attempts to add some greenery to its landscape. The Bada Bagh was one such endeavour that stood the test of time and is now a sprawling garden. Located six kilometers from Jaisalmer, this garden complex is home to the royal tombs and is among the popular places to visit in Jaisalmer.
An artificially built dam is the main source of water to this garden. Commissioned by Maharawal Jaisal Singh, this artificial dam also served as one of the major source of water for the inhabitants of the city. While visiting this garden, the Govardhan Stambh will greet you. This pillar was constructed to celebrate the construction of the dam.