Exploring Jaisalmer – Top 20 Places to Visit

Jaisalmer is known for its history of bravery, chivalry and charms. Jaisalmer needs no introduction, thanks to the unique sand dunes and the desert activities of the land. Beyond the desert, Jaisalmer is a jewel of Rajasthan, with rich history and interesting culture. Are you planning to visit Rajasthan? Jaisalmer is a must-visit place in the state. With direct flights from Delhi to Jaisalmer, it is easier to visit Jaisalmer than ever before (Source:).

Here are the top twenty destinations to cover in Jaisalmer, during your next vacation.

1. Jaisalmer Fort, Jaisalmer

The fort gets its name, Golden Fort, from the type of sandstones used for the construction. The golden hue of the sandstone makes the fort glitter and reflect like a jewel. This is not just for aesthetic purpose. The fort’s color and hue make it hard to identify the fort from a longer distance during morning. Thus, the advancing enemy troops will find it difficult to locate their target. On the other hand, the fort is located on an elevated land, making it easier for the fort archers to have a view of their enemies.

Jaisalmer Fort, Jaisalmer

Jaisalmer Fort, Jaisalmer

Key attractions of Jaisalmer fort

  1. The 99 turrets of the fort is a must-see.
  2. Watch the fort from a distance, during night. The fort will be illuminated with several lights, giving it a grand view.
  3. Fort holds many eateries. Try to enjoy a traditional cuisine in one of them. Read to know the top dishes to try in this state: Top 15 Rajasthani Foods to try when you are Travel in Jaipur
  4. There are four massive gates to the fort. Each gate is carved and ornamented excessively.
  5. There are seven Jain temples inside the fort, which were built between 12th and 16th The temple of Sambhavanatha has more than 600 idols in it.
  6. You can spot many havelis inside the fort. Some of them are more than hundred years old. A few are turned into heritage homes and museums. The best of all are the Vyas Haveli of 15th century, Shree Nath Palace and others.
  7. The best place to spot many structures in the fort is Chauhata Square.

The best way to cover such a royal destination is by choosing luxury vacations. The best way to do so is by choosing Palace on Wheel’s iconic itinerary.

Visit Palace on Wheel’s to know about the itinerary and book tickets. 

Timings and cost:-

The fort opens by 8 in the morning and closes by 5 in the evening.

For Indians – INR 50 per head

For foreigners – INR 250 per head

Camera fee – INR 50 (for palace museum)

Video camera fee – INR 100 (for palace museum)

Must Read: Top 10 Tourist Places in North India for Winters

2. Bada Bagh, Jaisalmer

It can be translated to English as ‘Huge Garden’ and it stands by its name. The garden was first built as a memorial for the noble soldiers of the city, by Maharawal Jait Singh. Later, the families of nobles were also cremated in this garden. It is not just a graveyard. It is a heritage site, with an enchanting environment.

Bada Bagh, Jaisalmer

Bada Bagh, Jaisalmer

Key attractions of Bada Bagh

  1. All the cenotaphs in this cemetery have beautiful carved ceilings, statues and beautiful structures.
  2. Watching sunset and sunrise from this garden are quite impressive.

Timings and cost:-

Opens by 8 in the morning and closes by 6 in the evening.

For Indians – INR 20 per head

For foreigners – INR 50 per head

Explore: Top 10 Places to Visit in Bundi, Rajasthan

3. Patwon ki Haveli, Jaisalmer

Havelis are nothing but grand bungalows, which were inhabited by court ministers and semi-royal peoples of the past. This particular bungalow was inhabited by an eminent trader of the city, Guman Chand. This haveli is famous for its beautiful architecture, unique carvings, decorated corridors, art collections and much more.

Patwon ki Haveli, Jaisalmer

Patwon ki Haveli, Jaisalmer

Key attractions of Patwon ki Haveli

  1. Art and craft collection of yesteryear.
  2. Unique architectural beauty.
  3. It is a collection of five different havelis, which took around 50 years to complete.
  4. The dresses in display are made with threads of silver and gold.
  5. The walls are decorated with intricate mirror works and paintings.

Timings and cost:-

Opens by 8 in the morning and closes by 6 in the evening.

For Indians – INR 10 per head

For foreigners – INR 50 per head

Must Read: 10 Places to Visit in Mount Abu for Honeymoon

4. Salim Singh ki Haveli, Jaisalmer

Also called as Moti Mahal, this bungalow is famous for its unique structure. It was occupied by one of the influential families of yesteryear, the Prime Minister of the reign. The distinctive architectural features make the structure different from the others. This structure is said to be built by Muslim artisans to give a unique characteristic to the structure.

Salim Singh ki Haveli, Jaisalmer

Salim Singh ki Haveli, Jaisalmer

Key attractions of Salim Singh ki Haveli

  1. The roof of this building is in the form of a peacock.
  2. The entrance of the haveli has tuskers, which were made with sandstones.
  3. The Jahaz Mahal in front of the haveli is in the form of ship stern.
  4. There are around 38 balconies in this building.

Timings and cost:-

The fort opens by 8 in the morning and closes by 5 in the evening.

For all visitors – INR 20 per head.

Must Read: Best Luxury Boutique Hotels in Goa for a Memorable Stay

5. Sam Sand Dunes, Jaisalmer

This is the iconic part of Jaisalmer. Every desert styled activity you plan to enjoy in Jaisalmer is available in the sand dunes. It is a simple vast area of sand, sand crests and a few cactus. People prefer entering the dunes on the back of a camel or on a jeep, enjoy some adventure or cultural activities, stay for a night in any of the camps and then return.

Sam Sand Dunes, Jaisalmer

Sam Sand Dunes, Jaisalmer

For more details about desert safari, read: Desert Safari in Jaisalmer – Complete Travel Guide

Key attractions of Sam Sand Dunes

  1. Desert safari on a camel or dune dashing in a 4WD is the best way to explore the desert region.
  2. You can either stay in a traditional camp, mud cottages, swizz tent or others for a night.
  3. Enjoy adventure activities like paragliding, dune dashing and others in the desert. You can also enjoy romantic activities like dining under the stars in the sand.
  4. Many service providers provide local cultural programs like belly dance, fire dance, puppet shows and others.
  5. If you are visiting in February, you can enjoy the Desert Festival in the sand dunes.

Timings and cost:-

Sand dunes do not have entry cost nor timings. You are free to enter and enjoy the desert as you please. The cost of activities and cultural programs varies with service providers.

6. Gadisar Lake, Jaisalmer

This artificial lake was built by King Rawal Jaisal to meet the growing water requirement in the region, in the past. The lush lake attracted civilizations around it and many temples, chhatris and other structures were built around the lake.

Gadisar Lake, Jaisalmer

Gadisar Lake, Jaisalmer

Key attractions of Gadisar Lake

  1. Explore the structures around the lake. You can find many sandstone historic structures, shrines and ancient monuments around the lake.
  2. Boating during sunset is considered as a romantic activity in Jaisalmer.
  3. This is the lake with a gateway. The entrance to the lake is built with yellow sandstone and the arch has many carving of Hindu God.
  4. Since the lake is quite closer to Bharatpur, you can find many migration birds in the lake, during winter season.
  5. Close to the lake, you could find a desert cultural center, museum and other structures to explore.
  6. Visit the temple near the lake, which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Although not a top religious site, the place is serene for relaxing and exploring.

Timings and cost:-

The lake is open throughout the day and no entry fee is levied on the tourists for visiting the lake.

For 30 minutes boat ride on the lake,

  1. Row boat – INR 10
  2. Paddle boat – INR 50
  3. Shikara (traditional boat of North India) – INR 100

Boating is available only from 8 in the morning to 8 in the evening.

7. Desert National Park, Jaisalmer

Since it is a barren desert, you might have assumed it to be deserted. However, lifeform flourish in this region too. The Desert national park is hold to many typical desert animals. The flora of the park exhibits the cliché desert vegetation, with sand dunes covering around 20% of the park. You can also spot salt lakes, craggy rocks, intermedial areas and much more.

Desert National Park, Jaisalmer

Desert National Park, Jaisalmer

Key attractions of Desert National Park

Top birds to spot in this park are eagles, buzzards, falcons, vultures, tawny eagles, kestrels, sand grouse, great Indian bustard, lagger falcons and others. You can find many other migration birds during the winter season. The most common animal in the park is the blackbuck. Apart from this, you can easily spot wolf, desert fox, desert cat and others. Are you looking for similar wildlife destinations in India?

Here are the top suggested tour packages.

  1. 3 days – Ranthambore Tour from Jaipur
  2. 4 days – Tadoba Tiger Safari Tour
  3. 13 days – Wildlife Tour (Rajasthan special)
  4. 6 days – Kerala Tour (Wildlife Experience)

Top activities to enjoy here are:

  1. Jeep safari to explore the deeper regions of the park.
  2. Birdwatching, camping, bonfire and other adventure activities are also available in this region.
  3. Sometimes, camel safaris are also available in the park.
  4. You can also spot fossils of animals and plants, which are more than 180 million years ago.

Timings and cost:-

The park is open from 10 in the morning to 5 in the evening.

Entry fee is INR 100 per head.

Jeep safari cost for Indian – INR 50 per head

Jeep safari cost for foreigner – INR 300 per head

Camel safari – changes with the service provider

Guide fee – INR 200

8. Sadar Bazaar, Jaisalmer

Shopping is interesting if you are visiting a heritage site like Jaisalmer. The culture of the land give rise to unique elements, which can be passed on as interesting souvenirs. If you are looking to enjoy the vibrancy of the local life, shopping in local markets is the best activity to do. There are numerous markets in and around Jaisalmer. The best of all for typical souvenir shopping is Sadar Bazaar.

Sadar Bazaar, Jaisalmer

Sadar Bazaar, Jaisalmer

Key attractions of Sadar Bazaar

Top items to buy here are ethnic clothing, puppets, rugs, wooden toys, jewelry, shawls, dyed fabrics and other trinkets. Other shops to enjoy shopping in Jaisalmer are Bhatia bazaar, Sonaron ka baas, Pansari bazaar, Manak chowk and others. Apart from shopping, you should not miss numerous other activities in Jaisalmer.

Read to know more about such activities: Ten Things That You Should Not Miss in Jaisalmer

Timings and cost:-

The opening and closing time of each store changes from time to time. Most of the shops are open from 10 in the morning to 6 in the evening.

9. Silk Route Art Gallery, Jaisalmer

Rajasthan has incredible art wealth. For rich souvenirs, tourists prefer buying traditional Rajasthani paintings and heritage handicrafts. The Silk route art gallery is a fine place to spot antiques, patchworks, handicraft items, accessories and others. May it be for sightseeing or for buying souvenirs; this is the right gallery to step in. Do you want to cover more cultural destinations in Jaisalmer?

Silk Route Art Gallery, Jaisalmer

Silk Route Art Gallery, Jaisalmer

Here are the top suggested cultural tour packages for Jaisalmer:

  1. 14 Nights / 15 Days – Rajasthan Villages Tour
  2. 15 Nights / 16 Days – Rajasthan Experience Tour

Key attractions of Silk Route Art Gallery

  1. You can find silk works, trinkets and handicraft items from local artisans.
  2. The patchwork blanket is the iconic attraction of this gallery. You can also find other souvenirs like artificial jewelry, clothing and others.

Timings and cost:-

The fort opens by 7 in the morning and closes by 8 in the evening.

No entry fee for the gallery.

10. Kuldhara Village, Jaisalmer

Located around 20 km from Jaisalmer forted city, this ancient village stands as a site for youth travelers. The village has a reputation as a spooky and haunted one. There are several legends surrounding the village and the abandoned structures add more mystery look to the region. It is said that the entire village abandoned their homes to escape from a cruel ruler.

Kuldhara Village, Jaisalmer

Kuldhara Village, Jaisalmer

Key attractions of Kuldhara Village

  1. The buildings of the region stand like skeleton of lifestyle of ancient era. The deserted houses give a spooky look to the region.
  2. Government has set up lodges near the village for those who want to stay overnight in the spooky place for a thrill. Soon cafeterias will be erected inside the village for tourists to enjoy a spooky meal (Source:).
  3. You can also find ruins of temples and city walls for exploring.

Timings and cost:-

The gates of the village is open from 8 in the morning to 6 in the evening.

For walking tour – INR 10 per head

For car tour – INR 50 per vehicle

11. Badal Palace and Tazia Tower, Jaisalmer

This is a beautiful palace complex, with a five-level tall tower. The inner carvings and paintings of the palace makes it resemble a Muslim mausoleum. Although occupied by Hindus, the building was built by Islamic artisans. The tower of the palace resemble a religious float, which is carried during Muharram processions. The name ‘Badal’ means clouds. The palace resembles a cloud from which the tower emerges.

Badal Palace and Tazia Tower, Jaisalmer

Badal Palace and Tazia Tower, Jaisalmer

Key attractions of Badal Palace and Tazia Tower

  1. The entire Rajasthan is famous for its Rajput styled architecture and this palace stands unique with Islamic architecture. It used to be home to the royal families of the region.
  2. Each storey of the tower has a different style of architecture. Each level has a unique styled balcony
  3. Half of this palace is converted into heritage hotel and is open for tourists to stay. The back-half of the palace is the current residence of royal families

Timings and cost:-

The palace and tower opens for sightseeing by 8 in the morning and closes by 6 in the evening.

12. Akal wood Fossil Park, Jaisalmer

Akal wood Fossil Park covers 21 hectares of land. The elements of the park is said to be more than 180 million years old. There is also a theory that many more fossils lie underneath, waiting to be evacuated. Does your kid or you love dinosaurs? This is the right place to enjoy an exploration.

Akal wood Fossil Park, Jaisalmer

Akal wood Fossil Park, Jaisalmer

Key attractions of Akal Wood Fossil Park

  1. As the name indicates, the park is filled with fossils of ancient and pre-historic items. Starting from fossils of tree trunks to old seashells, you can find many specimens of desert land.
  2. The largest specimen is 7 m in length.
  3. In the area near the park, you can find footprints and fossils of pterosaurs.
  4. There are many fossils in the park, which helps you to determine that this region was under sea, million years ago.
  5. There is a small museum inside the fossil park. You can find photographs of famous fossils with details about them.

Timings and cost:-

The park opens by 9 in the morning and closes by 6 in the evening.

13. Barmer, Jaisalmer

Barmer is a vibrant village of Rajasthan. The history of this village dates back to 13th century. Barmer stands a little away from Jaisalmer and is considered as an important destination to spot architectural beauties like Barmer Fort, ancient temples and most importantly, the Barmer festival of March. This is not the only festival of this state.

Barmer, Jaisalmer

Barmer, Jaisalmer

Read Famous Colourful Fairs and Festivals of Rajasthan to learn about all the colorful and interesting festivals of the state.

The barren land of Barmer was once a flourishing region of Mallani. It is said that the land flourished with culture and religious activities.

Key attractions of Barmer Village

  1. The village still sticks to the traditional style of living with mud huts, folk motifs, colorful traditional attire and so on.
  2. The Great Indian Thar desert borders this village and you can find many desert region styled lifeforms here starting from camels to thorn bushes.
  3. The village is famous for artistic works like weaving, pottery, woodcarving and others. It is the best place to buy traditional souvenirs at nominal costs.
  4. Visit Barmer Fort to spot the 16th century architecture.
  5. 12th century Jain temple of Chintamani Parshvanatha is of religious importance. The temple is also famous for paintings and glass inlay decorations. This temple is one of India’s oldest Jain temples.
  6. Jagdambe temple of the village is said to be more than 500 years old and has unique religious rituals.
  7. Visit during March to enjoy Mallinath cattle fair and the month of May is famous for Barmer Thar festival.

Timings and cost:-

The village is open for tourists throughout the day and there is no entry fee for the village. However, each attraction inside the village might have specific times and entry cost.

14. Thar Heritage Museum, Jaisalmer

The Thar heritage museum is located in the market region of the city. The museum was inaugurated by Narayan Khatri. As the name indicates, the museum focuses on explaining the heritage values of the land like architecture, history, culture and other forms of the art, pertaining to the Thar Desert. You can find many sea fossils, which were found in the Thar Desert. This indicates that the Thar desert was once a sea, millions of years ago. You can also find ornaments of horses and camels, used in the past. In the history section, you can find ancient coins of the land, manuscripts of royal importance, weapons of kings and others.

Thar Heritage Museum, Jaisalmer

Thar Heritage Museum, Jaisalmer

Key attractions of Thar Heritage Museum

  1. Sightseeing and exploring the museum is the main attraction.
  2. Special puppet shows are conducted in the museum (entry charge is additional)
  3. If you are looking for an informative time, you can choose guided tours.
  4. Visit the Desert handicrafts emporium on the Court Road, which belongs to the owner of this museum. This is the best place for souvenir shopping.

Timings and cost:-

The museum opens by 9 in the morning and closes by 8 in the evening.

For Indians – INR 30 per head

For foreigners – INR 70 per head

Camera charges – INR 20 per head

15. Nathmal ki Haveli, Jaisalmer

Eminent royal servants usually occupied Havelis in Jaisalmer. The then-prime minister of the Rajput court used this particular haveli. The haveli was commissioned to be built by two Muslim brothers, who used their traditional way to decorate the outer side of the building. The decorations, furniture and paintings inside the building has Rajput style and thus, it is a beautiful amalgamation of the two styles.

Nathmal ki Haveli, Jaisalmer

Nathmal ki Haveli, Jaisalmer

Key attractions of Nathmal ki Haveli

  1. Explore the outer regions of the haveli to spot interesting carvings and architectural beauties.
  2. Visit the interior rooms to find paintings of ancient times.

Timings and cost:-

The haveli is open from 8 in the morning to 7 in the evening. There is no entry fee.

16. Tanot Mata Temple, Jaisalmer

Located a little away from Jaisalmer, on the western side, this is one of the oldest temple located closer to the Pakistan Border. The temple gets all its credit due to the Indo-Pakistan war. This temple is the limit up to which a tourist can reach to the border. Beyond which, special permission and documentations have to be submitted.

Tanot Mata Temple, Jaisalmer

Tanot Mata Temple, Jaisalmer

Key attractions of Tanot Mata Temple

  1. In 1965, Pakistan dropped 3000 bombs in Indian area, which targeted the temple. It is said that none of those bombs were exploded. The temple even holds a museum of those unexploded bombs.
  2. When Pakistani tanks attacked the temple, the tanks were stuck in the sand and were bombed down by Indian troops. This is the reason to why border troops apply the sand of this temple on their forehead before walking to the border.
  3. The route to the temple is filled with sand mountains and sand dunes. It would be very pleasing to cover the distance during winter.

Timings and cost:-

The temple opens by 6 in the morning and closes by 8 in the evening.

An aarti takes place in the temple between 6 pm and 7 pm.

There is no entry fee for the temple.

17. Khaba Fort, Jaisalmer

The fort is another haunted region in Jaisalmer. Located close to the haunted village of Kuldhara, this fort is said to be similarly abandoned overnight for unknown reasons. The fort was once home to more than 80 families and has been abandoned for more than 200 years. Today, the skeleton of the fort, exposing the stones and rocks stand as a sad reminder of a flourishing civilization of the past. Khaba fort is considered as one of the best photographic spots in Jaisalmer. Are you looking for more such destinations?

Khaba Fort, Jaisalmer

Khaba Fort, Jaisalmer

Read to know more: 5 Best Photography Spots in Jaisalmer

Key attractions of Khaba fort

  1. Explore the fort to spot the ruins of ancient architectural marvels.
  2. Visit a small museum in the fort to spot ancient artefacts, which were excavated from the region.
  3. The fort will have minimal human presence and numerous peacocks. Thus, you are in for a colorful bird watching visit.
  4. Climb to the top of the fort to get a panoramic view of the green fields and pastures around the fort.

Timings and cost:-

The fort opens by 8 in the morning and closes by 6 in the evening.

Entry fee – INR 10 per head

18. Khuri Dunes, Jaisalmer

Sam sand dunes will be very crowded during tourism season and thus, tourists end up waiting in line for a longer time for any activity. Thus, sand dunes closer to this region, started to get more attention. One such dunes is Khuri dunes. Located just outside Jaisalmer, Khuri dunes is the second best place to enjoy all types of desert activities.

Khuri Dunes, Jaisalmer

Khuri Dunes, Jaisalmer

Key attractions of Khuri Dunes

  1. You can enjoy all kinds of cliché desert activities like camel riding, paragliding, camping, musical night stay, witnessing the desert sunset and so on. Are you more interested in camping at unique places? Read our blog, to know more: Best Night Camping Places in Rajasthan for Adventure Lovers
  2. Many service providers offer packages for a cultural stay in the desert for adventure and romantic travelers.
  3. The local bazaars closer to the sand dunes are the best place to shop unique souvenirs.

Timings and cost:-

The sand dunes is open and free for tourists to enter as they wish.

However, the timing and cost for each tourist activity will vary from time to time and from one service provider to another.

19. Desert Cultural Centre, Jaisalmer

This museum is dedicated to the state’s culture. The museum holds artifacts of textiles, artworks and historic elements. You can find other interesting activities like puppets shows, cultural evenings and so on.

Desert Cultural Centre, Jaisalmer

Desert Cultural Centre, Jaisalmer

Key attractions of Desert Cultural Centre

  1. Visit the galleries to find ancient articles from rare coins to textiles of royals.
  2. The best part of the gallery is the opium-mixing box, used in the past.
  3. Live puppet show is conducted every day
  4. Spot the scroll painting, which explains epic stories of the region.

Timings and cost:-

The center opens by 10 in the morning and closes by 5 in the evening. Puppet show starts at 6:30 pm and ends by 8:30 pm (one show lasts for 30 minutes)

For Indians – INR 20 per head

For foreigners – INR 50 per head

Camera fee – INR 50

Puppet show – INR 100 per head

20. Jaisalmer Government Museum, Jaisalmer

The city has numerous museums. However, each structure has different galleries and unique parts of history to explain. One such gallery is held in Jaisalmer Government Museum. It holds more than 170 handicraft items, dresses of ancient times, stone sculptures of 12th century, wooden fossils and so on.

Jaisalmer Government Museum, Jaisalmer

Jaisalmer Government Museum, Jaisalmer

Key attractions of Jaisalmer Government Museum

  1. In the fossil collection, you can find marine fossils, wood fossils, sandstone structures, limestone structures, fossils of young insects and much more.
  2. You can find artifacts like inscriptions, paintings, sculptures and dresses of ancient towns of Kiradu and Lodurva.
  3. You can find trophy of the state bird, Godawan.

Timings and cost:-

The museum is closed on Fridays. On the other days, it opens at 10 in the morning and closes by 4:30 in the evening.

A nominal fee of INR 3 per head is collected. If you visit on Monday, it is free.

There are a lot more things to do in Jaisalmer.

Read our exclusive blog article, Things To Do in Jaisalmer – Desert City of India to know. Are you planning to scale Jaisalmer?

Here are the top tour packages to choose:

  1. 6 Nights/ 7 Days – Mandawa Bikaner, Jaisalmer
  2. 24 Nights/ 25 Days – Rajasthan Tour (Cultural Experience)
  3. 12 Nights/ 13 Days – Rajasthan Tour from Jaipur

Read more about Rajasthan:

Suggested Tour Packages:

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