|Jaisalmer Fort||Located on Trikuta|
|Jain Temples||Located within the Jaisalmer Fort|
|Parsavnath Temple||Located at Ranakpur near Udaipur|
|Nathmal Ji Ki Haveli||situated in the heart of the city .|
|Patwon Ki Haveli||Located in a narrow lane close to Patwa Complex|
|Salim Ji Ki Haveli||Placed near the railway station in the heart of the city|
|Tazia Tower||Situated inside the Badal Palace complex near Amar Sagar Gate|
|Bada Bagh||Situated about 5 kilometers from Jaisalmer on the Ramgarh road|
|Gad Sisar Lake||Located in 1.3 km from jaisalmer railway station|
|Gyan Bhandar||Inside the premises of Jain Temples|
|Desert National Park||Located about 40 km from the city|
|Desert Cultural Center and museum||Located quite close form the heart of the city on Gad Sisar (Gadi Sagar) Road|
|Jaisalmer Folklore Museum||Nestled on the banks of the Gad Sisar Lake|
|Government museum||Stationed on the Police Line Road|
|Khuri Sand Dunes||Positioned about 40 km from Jaisalmer in the Thar Desert|
|Sam Sand Dunes||Situated about 42 kilometers from Jaisalmer|
|Pokhran||Located 112 kilometers from Jaisalmer|
Jaisalmer Fort, also known as ‘Jaisalmer Durg’ or ‘Sonar Quila’ is the pride of this heritage hamlet of Rajasthan. Constructed on Trikuta Hills in 1156 AD by a Bhati ruler Rawal Jaisal, who also fathered the city Jaisalmer, this massive sandstone structure has witnessed many battles and rise and fall of many empires. As the myth goes, Lord Krishna, who belonged to Yadava Dynasty, had made a prophesy to Arjuna that centuries later a remote descendent of Yadava Dynasty would establish his kingdom on the Trikuta Hills. As the king Rawal Jaisal founded the fort and the city Jaisalmer in 1156, the prediction of Lord Krishna came true.
The astounding fort painted in yellow reflects tawny lion color under the luminous sun during the daytime and turns into an enchanting honey-gold hue as the sun bids goodbye. Perched on the 250 feet high hill, this fort is surrounded on all sides by a 30 feet tall wall. Jaisalmer fort is strong held by 99 citadels out of which 92 were built during the period from 1633 to 1647. The structure of this fort depicts a perfect combination of Rajput and Islamic order of architecture. The Jaisalmer Fort is a living fort that houses almost a quarter of city's population even today.
The royal palaces located inside the fort can be reached following the steep cobblestone pathway which passes through the four main gates of the fort. The fort has many gateways including Akshya Pol, Suraj Pol, Ganesh Pol, Hawa Pol, and Bhoot Pol and so on. The five interconnected palaces of the fort are linked with dainty 'Jharokhas' and 'Jaali' screens that reflect the talent of artisans of yester years. The main attractions inside the Jaisalmer fort include the Raj Mahal, the Laxminath Temple and the Jain Temples. The fort of Jaisalmer served as a major protective cover at the times of foreign invasions. The tourists can visit the Jaisalmer Fort between 9:00 am and 5 pm.
The magnificent fort of Jaisalmer houses an exquisite cluster of 7 Jain Temples dedicated to various Tirthankaras of Jainism. Rich Jain traders who furnished as the financers of Rajputs of Jaisalmer had built many places of worship in and around Jaisalmer. These temples bearing a high archeological value are estimated to be dating back to 12th and 15th century. Constructed in yellow sandstone in the celebrated Dilwara style of architecture, the walls of these temples are decorated with elegant carvings of human and animal figures. The Tirthankaras worshipped in these temples include RishabhdevJi, SambhavanathJi, ParshvanathJi, ShantinathJi, and ChandraprabhauJi, and so on.
The temple dedicated to ParshvanathJi is the oldest and most ingenious amongst all. The Shikhara (tower or dome) of this temple is crowned by an Amalak and a water pot containing a lotus flower. One of the temples houses an emerald icon of Lord Mahavir, the 24th Tirthankara which is an unparalleled work of art. All the Jain Temples are interconnected with a common corridor and walkways. Other than the ancient Jain Temples, the temple complex also shelters Astapadhi Temples which reveal the similar kind of architecture. A huge library called Gyan Bhandar is also housed here where one can find some of the rarest manuscripts in India. These temples can be visited from early morning till 12 noon. It is compulsory to remove shoes and all the leather articles like wallets, belts, purses before entering the temple premises.
The oldest, biggest and most famous of the Jain Temples, the Parsavnath Temple was set up by Mandlik and his family in the year 1459. Held in much esteem and reverence, this temple is dedicated to the 23rd Tirthankara of Jainism Shri Parsavnath. Built in gray sandstone, this temple is renowned for its architectural adroitness and captivating carvings made on marble walls. The temple contains ostentatious sculptures of Vidyadevis, Dikpalaks, Yakshinis and Salabhanjikas. The Parsavnath Temple of Jaisalmer is held in equal credentials with the Sun Temple of Konark and the temples of Khajuraho in its architectural and sculptural accomplishment. All round the year the temple is thronged with myriads of devotees and archeology enthusiasts who arrive at Jaisalmer from every corner of the country.
Nathmal Ji Ki Haveli
Nathmal Ji Ki Haveli, situated in the heart of the city is an emblem of architectural legacy of Jaisalmer. Accredited to function as the residence of Diwan Mohata Nathmal, the then Prime Minister of Jaisalmer, the construction of this Haveli was commissioned by Maharawal Beri Sal in late 19th century. Two brothers Hathi and Lulu served as the architects of this building.
A fascinating story is associated with the background of this construction. The two architect brothers started building the Haveli simultaneously from two different sides. As the technology was not so advanced in those days, they could not keep the track on continuity. As a result when the Haveli finally came up, it was built in an irregular shape. Even though, the Haveli of Nathmal Ji is considered to be one of the best edifices of Jaisalmer in terms of its architectural grandeur. Screened Jali windows, projected balconies and elaborate carvings add to its opulence.
The noteworthy features that represent the artistic ingenuity of Hathi and Lulu include the two life size elephants sculpted out of yellow stone. They are placed at the entrance as if guarding the gates. The walls and pillars of the Haveli are ornamented with the pictures of horses, cattle, soldiers and flowers. The most surprising and interesting demeanor of the Haveli is the carvings of modern equipments like cars, bicycle, fans, steam engine etc. It is said that the architect brothers had not seen any of these things but they created the semblance with the help of their imagination supported by the descriptions given by other people.
Thus the Haveli of Diwan Mohata Nathmal is very different and peculiar in every aspect. Reflecting the fine amalgamation of Rajput and Islamic order of architecture, this Haveli is regarded to be one of the leading tourist destinations in Jaisalmer. The Haveli is open for the tourists from early morning till 5 in the evening.
Patwon Ki Haveli
Patwon Ki Haveli, located in a narrow lane close to Patwa Complex, is a must visit place in Jaisalmer. Acclaimed for its imposing architecture, this is the most resplendent and biggest of the three famous Havelis of Jaisalmer. Being the first Haveli set up in the city, Patwon Ki Haveli is exalted for its splendor as well as for its architectonic grandiosity. This is not a single Haveli, but a cluster of five small Havelis linked together.
The first of those five Havelis, which is the biggest and most extravagant, was constructed by Guman Chand Patwa in the year 1805. Patwa was a renowned and rich trader who planned this complex of five Havelis for his five sons. It took more than 50 years to complete the construction of all five Havelis and the entire structure was accomplished by 1860 AD.
Built in yellow sandstone, this Haveli is adorned with a brown colored gateway. The walls of the Haveli display the eye catching paintings and mesmerizing mirror work. Each and every arch and gateway of the Haveli is decorated with the depiction of unique theme. The Haveli of Patwon is also known by the name the 'mansion of brocade merchants', as the Patwa family was in the business of gold and silver threads used for textile embroidery.
It is also said that they made a tremendous amount of money in Opium smuggling and Money-lending business too. Presently the Haveli is administered and maintained by state government. The offices of State art and craft department and the Archeological Survey of India as well as Basant Art Emporium are set up inside the Haveli itself. Tourists can visit the Patwon Ki Haveli from morning till 5 pm.
Salim Ji Ki Haveli
Placed near the railway station in the heart of the city, Salim Ji Ki Haveli is acclaimed for its architectonic grandeur, especially for its elegantly carved balconies and peacock shaped roof. Constructed on the remnants of a 17th century Haveli, Salim Ji Ki Haveli was built in the year 1815. The project was commissioned by the then prime minister of Jaisalmer Kingdom; Salim Singh and the Haveli was first occupied by the most bigwheel family of the city; Mehta family. Positioned adjacent to the hills near the Jaisalmer Fort, this Haveli boasts of its unique architectural pomp and loftiness.
The majestic entrance of this edifice is guarded by two mighty tuskers made of yellow sandstone. They look so real that it seems living elephants are actually protecting the Haveli. The entire building has around 38 distinct balconies, each one of them built in its peculiar design different from everyone else. The front of the Haveli creates the semblance of a ship stern, that’s why it is also known by the name Jahazmahal. The roof of this construction is arched and crowned with blue cupolas and carved brackets resembling a peacock. As the legend goes, this Haveli was topped with two additional stories so as to make it as high as the Jaisalmer Fort. However, the Maharaja of Jaisalmer did not like this idea and got the extra stories torn down.
Salim Ji Ki Haveli is open for the tourists from early morning to 5 in the evening. You can easily get an auto to reach this testimonial of master craftsmanship of Jaisalmer.
Tazia means the replica of a Mausoleum made out of wood, colored and glittering papers and thermocol. It is carried in the annual religious procession of Muharram by the followers of Islam. This celebrated edifice of Jaisalmer is named Tazia Tower owing to its Tazia like shape. Situated inside the Badal Palace complex near Amar Sagar Gate in the heart of the city, Tazia tower is exalted for its intricate minarets and its noteworthy fusion of Indo – Islamic style of architecture. Amongst the legions of Rajput style Monuments of Jaisalmer, Tazia Tower stands apart for its unique architectural order.
This five storied structure sufficed as the abode of formal regal family of Jaisalmer. Each of the five floors is adorned with a balcony distinguished for its explicit designs and distinct composition. This building was constructed by Muslim architects and craftsmen in 1886 and gifted by them to the contemporary Rajput royal patron Maharawal Berisal Singh. Tazia Tower is a must visit tourist destination of Jaisalmer and it is open for the visits from morning till 5 pm.
Bada Bagh, which literally means ‘Big Garden’ is situated about 5 kilometers from Jaisalmer on the Ramgarh road. Commissioned in the early 16th century by Maharawal Jait Singh and completed after his death by his son Lunakaran, this garden is renowned country wide for its peerless cenotaphs. Special attractions of this garden include Jaitsar water tank, Jait Bandh dam and a pillar called Govardhan Stambh. This Stambh was constructed at the time of commemorating the construction of Jaitsar and Jait Bandh. The dam here is 1200 feet long and 350 feet wide massive structure built in solid blocks of stone. The five tier drainage system known as Bhanvaria which saves the plateau from flood is an exceptional inducement of the big garden.
The cenotaphs built in Bada Bagh beckon majority of the tourists to this place. These cenotaphs or chhatris are built as a tribute to the rulers of Bhatti dynasty. The cenotaphs of Maharawal Jait Singh and Devidas are the oldest chhatris here and the chhatri of Jawahar Singh is the newest one. Maharawal Bairisal’s chhatri is the most distinct cenotaph in Bada Bagh. Each cenotaph is inscribed with a table and a figure of a Maharawal riding a horse. The sizes of the chhatris differ according to the status of those in whose honor they are built. The cenotaph of a king is bigger than those of his brothers and court members.
If the figure of the king inscribed on the chhatri is accompanied by an image of his queen standing nearby, it indicates that she had performed Sati after the death of her husband. Presenting a fine amalgamation of Paliwal, Rajput and Mughal styles of architecture, these cenotaphs are amongst the most notable memorials of Rajput Kings of Jaisalmer.
Gad Sisar Lake
Originally built by the King Jaisal in 1156 AD, this man made reservoir was later renovated by Maharaja Garsi Singh in 1367 AD. Initially known by the name Gadi Sagar, this water tank is toady far famed as Gad Sisar Lake. During the dominion of Rajput rulers, Gad Sisar Lake was the only source of drinking water in Jaisalmer. Ostentatiously placed in vivid ambit, this lake is ornamented by a magisterial entrance named Tilon-ki-Pol. Built in sandstone, this entrance is christened after Tillon, the royal courtesan who commissioned this gate in 19th century.
Gad Sisar Lake is enclosed by several spectacular gardens, blessed temples and elegantly carved chhatris. A majestic temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu (Krishna) is stationed close to the Tilon-ki-Pol where an imposing statue of the deity is installed in 1908 AD.
The birds of various species that migrate here from Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary as well as many other places comprise the chief attraction of this lake. Gad Sisar Lake is not an Oasis but it’s a water conservation tank that gathers the rain water and retains it for the use of entire city. At the time of Gangaur festival, the Gad Sisar Lake is at its best enlivened with captivating illuminations and engaging processions. Tourists enjoy boating and taking photographs here.
Gyan Bhandar, which means the treasure of knowledge, is positioned inside the premises of Jain Temples of Jaisalmer. This invaluable library was set up in 1500 AD by Acharya Maharaj Jin Bhadra Suri. Numerous ancient manuscripts, astrological charts, priceless displays dating back to 11th century, age long Jain inscriptions and illustrations are housed in this library which is most sought after by historians, scholars and researchers. This treasure house placed underground is honored to harbor some of the precious articles like the Shroud of Gindhasuri, a small cabinet containing the Parasnath images made of precious stones and ivory etc.
Desert National Park
Acclaimed as one of the largest national parks in the country, the Desert National Park is a most esteemed jewel in the casket of Jaisalmer. Located about 40 km from the city, this national park is popular for its Jeep Safari, bird watching, camping and bonfire. Spread over the total area of 3161 square km, this park was established in the year 1980. Representing the ecosystem of Thar Desert, the geography of this park is characterized by compact salt lake bottoms, fixed dunes and craggy rocks.
These features specially favor birdlife and thus we come across a wide range of residential and migratory bird species such as buzzards, kestrel, harriers, sand grouse, tawny eagles, short-toed eagles, spotted eagles, falcons, vultures, endangered species of the great Indian Bustard, etc. here. Mainly these birds are sighted alongside the water bodies like ponds and lakes. Palm trees, ronj and dhok are the common vegetations found in the park. Several fossils of animals and plants discovered in the reserve are estimated to be 180 million years old. The best season to visit the Desert National Park is from November to March.
Desert Cultural Center and museum
Established in the year 1997, this cultural center and museum is an icon of artistic ingenuity and brilliant craftsmanship of Jaisalmer. Located quite close form the heart of the city on Gad Sisar (Gadi Sagar) Road, this center is celebrated for its wide collection of traditional instruments, medieval and royal age coins, ethnic artifacts, ancient scriptures, manuscripts, rare fossils, weapons, jewellery, handicrafts, utensils, textiles, and many more priceless articles.
You will get a peep into the rich cultural heritage and customs of Jaisalmer through this museum that also organizes special exhibitions for the tourists. Entirely maintained by the Tourism Department of Jaisalmer, this cultural center and museum is very famous among foreign tourists for housing the traditional opium mixing box called 'Karal'. The museum and cultural center can be visited from 10 in the morning to 5 in the evening.
Jaisalmer Folklore Museum
Jaisalmer Folklore Museum nestled on the banks of the Gad Sisar Lake displays the artistic talent of yesteryears and portrays the royal history of Jaisalmer Kingdom. A wide collection of artifacts and souvenirs of ancient times including rare ornaments, historical collections, portraits, etc. are housed in this museum established by N K Sharma. He is interested in the collection of old manuscripts, paintings, coins and other articles who later turned his hobby into a major contribution in preserving the heritage of human race by establishing this folklore museum in the year 1984. The folklore museum of Jaisalmer is divided into following six sections: camel ornaments, horse ornaments, jewellery, historical costumes, fossils photographs, puppets and other traditional articles. Visitors can also watch a Video here that depicts the tragic love story of King Mahendra and Princess Moomal, musicians playing regal instruments and detailed elaboration of traditional artistic skills in English, Hindi, and French.
Stationed on the Police Line Road near the Moomal hotel, this Government Museum of Jaisalmer was established in the year 1984. Acclaimed for its wide collection of wood and marine fossils, the fossils of various hard-shelled vertebrate and invertebrate animals, the fossils of soft-bodied animals like anemones and worms, rarest 12th century sculptures from Kiradu and Lodurva townships, prehistoric limestone and sandstone recovered from the sea, this museum can be visited from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm.
Khuri Sand Dunes
Khuri, a small hamlet positioned about 40 km from Jaisalmer in the Thar Desert is very popular amongst the local and oversees tourists for its sand dunes, mud houses and camel safaris. This is peaceful vicinity characterized by vast stretches of sandbanks which offers you one of the most memorable experiences of your life. Mesmerizing views of sunrise and sunset, sand flying in wind and appealing mirages really create a wonderful spectacle.
Tourists can also get to know about the way of life of Rajasthani natives and enjoy staying in the straw roofed huts, eating local cuisine and shopping in the local bazaar. Camel rides and campfire add to the attraction of a day in the desert. Khuri Sand Dunes are less visited and less crowded than Sam Sand Dunes and so this place proves to be the best getaway for those who want to spend some tranquil time in solitude in the lap of Mother Nature.
Sam Sand Dunes
Situated about 42 kilometers from Jaisalmer, Sam Sand Dunes is one of the most favorite tourist destinations in Thar Desert. The magnificent stretch of sweeping sand dunes and the resplendent views of sunset and sunrise enjoyed from here beckon the tourists from every corner of the world. Camel safaris, camping in the desert and traditional Rajasthani lifestyle closely witnessed from here make Sam Sand Dunes a must visit place near Jaisalmer.
At the time of Desert Festival celebrated in the month of January and February this place turns into an enlivened cultural hub. Desert Festival, celebrated with much pomp and majesty, exhibits core Rajasthani traditions and culture. Open-air cultural extravaganzas, folk dance performances, puppet shows, camel races, other competitions and festivities bid tourists in a great number.
Pokhran, a city of Jaisalmer district in Thar Desert furnished as the test site for India's first underground nuclear weapon detonation. One cannot miss visiting Pokhran when on the trip to Jaisalmer.