Jaisalmer Fort (Sonar Quila)
Amar Sagar Lake and Palace
Gadsisar Lake (Gadi Sagar)
Khuri Sand Dunes
Sam Sand Dunes
Nathmalji ki Haveli
Tazia Tower(Madir Palace)
Patwon ki Haveli
Welcome to Jaisalmer,
Jaisalmer is named after its founder Rao Jaisal. "Jaisalmer" means "the Hill Fort of Jaisal". Jaisalmer is also called as the Golden city of India because the yellow sand gives a yellowish-golden touch to the city and its surrounding area. It stands on a ridge of yellowish sandstone, crowned by a fort, which contains the palace and several ornate Jain temples.
The city of the Golden Fort is located in the exact west of Rajasthan. The magnificent city is the brainchild of Rao Jaisal. Tough there are historical monuments scattered all over the city but the Jaisalmer Fort will immediately command your attention. The Jaisalmer city is also known for its old mansions, better known as Havelis. The amalgamation of ancient and the medieval era architecture will catch your fancy. Places to visit in the city are Jaisalmer Fort, Camel Safari, Desert National Park, Pokran, Desert Cultural Center, Patwon ki Haveli etc. To come to Jaisalmer and enjoy the traditional rhetoric of 'padharo mahare desh' (welcome to our lands).
If you are done with history then Akal Fossil Park is the place to be. For, it takes you beyond History. It takes you back to the prehistoric Jurassic era, which is, hold your breath, 180 million years back! It is a fossil park where stood a forest 180 millions years ago. Then the area submersed in to the sea and the tree trunks got preserved in the form of fossils.
The fossil trunks lie scattered in this park. Fossilized tree trunks are of various sizes with the largest being 13 meters in length and 1.5 meters in width. Covering about 10 sq. Km of bare hillside, the Fossil Park contains 25 petrified trunks, in total. The 21-hectare preserved area of the park lies about 17 Km from Jaisalmer on the road to Barmer.
It is just 7 K.M. in the western outskirts of Jaisalmer. Amar Sagar is a small and beautiful lake cum Oasis and is adjacent to a 17th Century palace called the Amar Singh Palace. Maharawal Akhai Singh built this palace in honor of one of his predecessors Amar Singh.
Next to the palace are pavilions with a large stairs leading down to the Amar Sagar Lake. This haveli has been constructed in the pattern of apartments. The Amar Sagar is a five story high haveli and is famous for its murals. Wherever you go in this haveli, you will notice beautiful murals painted with delicate efforts.
Bada Bagh, also called Barabagh (literally Big Garden) is about halfway between Jaisalmer and Lodhruva. It was commissioned by Maharawal Jait Singh in the early 16th century and completed by his son Lunakaran after his death.
The site has three different things to watch, a garden, a tank and a dam. In the vicinity itself you will find Govardhan Stambh (pillar). This pillar was constructed to commemorate the construction of the Dam and the tank. In the local dialect the Dam and the tank are known as Jait Bandh and the Jait Sar respectively. It is believed that these are based on the name of the man who constructed them.
The Jait Bandh is a dominating structure. It is about 1,200 feet in length and 350 feet in width. If you observe it closely you will notice that this has been built out of solid blocks of stone. The same material has been used for the construction of well as well as the tank.
Other interesting monuments in the vicinity are the Cenotaphs. These cenotaphs also known as chattris and were constructed by the various Bhatti rulers. One cenotaph has been erected for each ruler. The oldest among them is the cenotaphs of Maharawal Jait Singh who reigned from 1470-1506. This tradition was discontinued when in 1947, one of the prince died of a mysterious disease. This was taken as a bad omen and thus this tradition came to its end.
A few steps away from the fort lies a temple dedicated to a Bhatti princess who performed sati, but with a difference. The anecdote behind the incident reveals the pride Rajput women felt at the time of becoming a sati (a widow self-immolating on her husband's funeral pyre) till as late as the last century. Apparently the princess's husband and his younger brother had gone out to battle when a messenger arrived with his headgear signaling his death.
As she prepared for sati, the body was brought back which turned out to be of the younger sibling. The princess decided to proceed with the act nevertheless as sacrificing her life for her dewar, (husband's younger brother) would make her into a mahasati (great sati).
While this may seem bizarre to the modern reader, the glorification of the barbaric custom of sati was part and parcel of Rajasthani culture and this was an extreme example of it. Testimonial tablets with the handprints of satis can be seen throughout the state. The guards of the shrine are Muslim Manganiyars (wandering minstrels) who sing songs extolling the princess's virtues and light a ceremonial lamp before the tablets.
The name Jaisalmer is an addiction in itself. You can see the long stretches of sand dunes as far as your eyes can go. The golden crests and troughs provide you with the sense of limitlessness. It is said while in Rome do as the Romans do. So, why opt for SUV when you have a camel. Take a camel safari to experience the limitless Thar Desert. Welcome to Jaisalmer!
A number of travel agents and tour operators in Rajasthan organize camel safaris. Most of these are in the vicinity of Jaisalmer, Bikaner, Osian and Khimsar and stretch from anywhere between 2 to 7 days, with longer ones up to a month. There are shorter daylong camel safaris too, which give you a glimpse of the desert. The majority of camel safaris start from the desert fort town of Jaisalmer.
In most cases, one camel is provided per person and a camel cart accompanies the entourage, laden with food, utensils and other supplies; it's also an option for anyone who gets sick of sitting on a lurching camel. Tents, food, mineral water, mattresses and an escort are invariably provided, and most operators will also make sure that you get a full dose of local entertainment in the evenings. For longer camel safaris, which are spread over a few days, camps are usually set up at night in the vicinity of villages.
Chandraprabhu Temple, the Jain temple built in 1509 AD, is located at the Jaisalmer Golden Fort. This is the first of the seven temples built during 15th and 16th centuries and is devoted to the Jain Prophet Chandraprabhuji, the 8th Tirthankara. The temple is an excellent specimen of centuries old Rajput architectural style constructed in red sandstones. The marvel of the structure lies in the well designed walkways, corridors, curved facades and open space. Complex designs of pillars and carvings with well calculated geometrical shapes constructed in mortars and stones are real specimen of the architectural excellence of the period.
Desert cultural center and museum is a place where you will get to know about the rich cultural heritage and customs of Jaisalmer, a popular destination in Rajasthan. So if you are short on time and cannot mug up in library, this is the place to be. The place is well maintained and harbors rare coins and manuscript related to Jaisalmer history and the history of Rajasthan in whole.
This museum has some eye-catching collection of traditional Rajasthani textiles, utensils, weapons, musical instruments and fossils. One thing that is very popular among foreigners is 'Karal', the traditional opium mixing box. The place regularly organizes showcase programs for tourists. Try to get there before the mentioned time in order to avoid rush.
The Desert National Park is a protected sanctuary. The park is considered not only the largest in the state of Rajasthan but among the largest in India. The catchments area of the Desert National Park is around 3100 sq. km. The desert is a harsh place to sustain life and thus most of the fauna and flora live on the edge. Nevertheless this place attracts large hoard of migratory birds due to its close proximity to Bharatpur.
The great Indian Bustard is a magnificent bird and can be seen in considerably good numbers. It migrates locally in different seasons. The region is a heaven for migratory and resident birds of the desert. One can see many Eagles, Harriers, Falcons, Buzzards, Kestrel and Vultures. Short- toed Eagles, Tawny Eagles, Spotted Eagles, Laager Falcons and Kestrels are the most common among these.
Dussehra Chowk, a big courtyard enclosed in the Golden Fort of Jaisalmer, is an ideal location to enjoy the marvelous beauty of the Royal Palace from all angles. The fort has four huge gateways leading to the four gate ways known as Ganesh Pol, Suraj Pol, Akshaya Pol and Hawa Pol. Dussehra Chowk can be reached through the last gate Hawa pol. This ground is assumed to be used as the ceremonies and celebrations of the Dussehra festivals during the Rajput reign in Jaisalmer. The amazing beauty of the surrounding fort, palaces and gardens make this place an attractive picnic spot.
Jaisalmer fort, also known as Golden fort, has four majestic gates in its credit. All four gates, Akhai Pol, Ganesh Pol, Suraj Pol and Hawa Pol, are specimens of marvelous architectural style and craftsmanship. Among the four, the most spectacular is the first fort gate known as Akhai Pol. This gate constructed in 1156, is the main entrance and was the royal entrance for royal members and important guests. The visitors have to reach the first fort gate through a magnificent square named as Gopa Chauk located just in front of the gate. One has to enter the fort by stepping through steep ramp passing through the first fort gate.
Situated on the banks of the Garsisar lake the museum is a gold mine of information not just about Jaisalmer, but the rich cultural heritage of western Rajasthan. Established in 1984 by a N K Sharma,this museum is divided into six sections and has a rich collection of paintings, photographs, costumes, jewellery, camel and horse decorations and fossils. There are also articles connected with folk and cultural lifestyles in the museum.
The locally styled wooden statues of Krishna and Radha, musical instruments, paintings and travelling temples ( kavad ) are all from the personal collection of the museum. It is a very informatory and intriguing Folk Art Museum, and is a must-see for tourists keen on learning about Jaisalmer
Gadsisar Lake (Gadi Sagar) is one of the major tourist attractions of Jaisalmer. Just leave the madding crowd behind and venture towards the outskirts and you will find yourself next to the famous Gadsisar Lake. Contrary to the popular belief, it is not an oasis but a water conservation tank made around 1400 A.D. by the then maharaja of Jaisalmer, Maharwal Gadsi Singh.
This place was selected because it had a certain amount of declivity already and it automatically retained some of the rainwater. If you are lucky and venture out in winters, you might get to see a variety of migratory birds. Due to its proximity to Bharatpur, some of the birds get attracted to this place also. Don't miss to carry a good pair of binoculars and SLR camera with a wide-angle lens if you want to take away some really mesmerizing snaps.
You will find whole varieties of temples and shrines surrounding the lake. In later years it became more of a pilgrimage spot. The beautiful gateway that arches across the road down to the Lake was built by royal courtesan named Tillon in the end of 19th century, known as Tillon Ki prol (Gate of Tillon). Lord Vishnu's statue was installed in the year 1908 A.D. or the gate by the courtesan and declared Krishna Temple to save it from demolition by the then Maharawal.
Gopa Chowk, also known as central market square, is located at the foot of the Golden Fort in Jaisalmer. It is the scenic well landscaped square located just in front of the first fort gate known as Akhai Pol. Gopa Chowk is placed east to the serene artificial lake known as Gadi Sagar and west to acclaimed Gandhi Chowk. The most attractive panorama which match with the ultimate beauty during sunset is really amazing in this scenic picnic spot. The square is well maintained and has been preserved clean and tidy. It can hold many number of visitors at a time in the lawns.
Government Museum was opened in 1984. It houses a great collection of wood and marine fossils and gives an insight into the geological past of the area. Sculptures from the earliest townships of Kiradu and Lodurva dating back to the 12th century and the graceful youth of those times can be traced in the Government Musuem in Jaisalmer.
Most types of common marine fossils, buried in shale, limestone, and sandstone and initially laid down in prehistoric seas, are likely to be found in the Government museum in Jaisalmer. Many of the hard-shelled invertebrates and early vertebrate animals are fairly well represented in the fossil record, while soft-bodied animals, such as sea anemones and worms, can also be seen in Government Museum in Jaisalmer.
The large collection of wood and marine fossils in the museum gives an insight into the geological past of the area. The sculpture from the ancient townships of Kiradu and Lodurva dating back to the 12th century pulsate with youth and grace and depict the artistic skill of the time.
A part of the Jain temples in the Jaisalmer Fort comprises of Library. The library contains some of the oldest manuscripts of India.
Well if you are a student of comparative archeology or otherwise, the library will prove to be a good place to prowl as it contains some of the rare manuscripts available in India.
Prime Minister House Of Jaisalmer This beautiful 450-year-old haveli was once inhabited by the prime minister under the maharaja. The gorgeous archways, alluring alcoves, sizeable rooms opening onto small balconies and rich ambiance must have been grand back in the old days.
All four gates of Jalsalmer Fort - Akhai Pol, Ganesh Pol, Suraj Pol and Hawa Pol, are specimens of marvelous architectural style and craftsmanship. Hawaprol, also known as Wind Pol, is the last of the four gates and is the gateway to the spectacular Dussehra Chowk. The gate is placed at impressive picturesque surroundings and is close by many revered Jain temples. The serene environment and breathtaking view of the sunset from this spot make it a most attractive eye catching spot in Jaisalmer. The well designed and trimmed landscaped lawn close to the fourth gate adds the attraction to the impressive royal entrance to the fort.
Jain Temples situated in the Jaisalmer Fort are a must visit site in Jaisalmer. You will find these temples to be very old and high pilgrimage as well as archeological value attached to them. These are a group of Jain temples dating back 12th and 15th centuries and are dedicated to various Jain Tirthankars (Hermits). On the walls of the temples, you can find animal and human figures, carved in famous Dilwara style.
The Jain temples in the Jaisalmer Fort are dedicated to Rikhabdevji and Shambhavdev Ji, the famous Jain hermits known as 'Tirthankars'. Like all other structures in Jaisalmer, these temples are craved of yellow sandstones. The beautifully carves decorations on the wall will give you divine peace. The Astapadhi Temples that are situated in the same complex are a must visit too.
The temple complex is open through out the morning till 12noon, for the visitors. So try to get up a bit early or you might miss this splendor.
Jaisalmer city has been enriched by its Jain community which has adorned the city with beautiful Jain temples most notably the temples dedicated to 16th Tirthankar Lord Shantinath and 23rd Tirthankar Lord Parshvanath. Jaisalmer boasts some of the oldest libraries of India which contain rarest of the manuscripts and artefacts of Jain tradition. There are many Jain pilgrimage centres around Jaisalmer like Lodarva, Amarsagar, Brahmsar and Pokharan.
The colourful land of Rajasthan also offers lots when it comes to cuisines and traditional food. As a vivid traveller you must try out various traditional Rajasthan dishes and food that are easily available in this beautiful desert city as well. The city of Jaisalmer has a rich cultural heritage, which is very well reflected in its rich cuisine. The western part of India has a distinct food culture of its own, which is so very different from the North Indian cuisines.
The murgh-e-subz succulent, boneless strips of chicken stir-fried with shredded vegetables, is one not to miss. Alternatively, you can try the ker sangri (desert beans and capers), which is unique to a region that traditionally saw very little meat. If you have a hearty appetite, the tandoor thali tops: two chicken preparations (including the ubiquitous but delicious tikka), vegetable kebab, mint sauce, and naan.
Sensitive stomachs can opt for the kadi pakorao, flour dumplings cooked in yogurt sauce, or bhanon aloo, potatoes stuffed with mint paste and simmered in gravy. All of it washed down with the coldest beers and beverages available in the state.
Jaisalmer Fort, also Known as Sonar Quila, rising from the sand , the mega structure merges with the golden hues of the desert ambience and the setting suns in its most colourful shades gives it a fairy tale look.
Built in 1156 by the Bhati Rajput ruler Jaisal, Jaisalmer Fort is situated on Trikuta Hill and had been the scene of many battles. Its massive sandstone walls are a tawny lion colour during the day, turning to a magical honey-gold as the sun sets. The famous Indian film director Satyajit Ray wrote a detective novel and later turned it into a film - Sonar Kella (The Golden Fortress) which was based on this fort. This is a living fort and about a quarter of city's population still live inside the fort. The main attractions inside the fort are: Raj Mahal (Royal palace), Jain temples and the Laxminath temple.
The golden - yellow sandstone of Jaisalmer Fort, over 800 years old, crowns the Trikuta Hill. Jaisalmer fort is the second oldest in Rajasthan. Two hundred and fifty feet tall and reinforced by imposing crenellated sandstone wall 30 feet high; it has 99 bastions, 92 of which were built between 1633 and 1647. Wells within the fort still provide a regular source of water.Seen from outside, the sight must be almost identical to what was seen by merchants on their overland camel caravans to central Asia. Once this desert outpost was an important gate for the trade route, and Jaisalmer grew wealthy on the proceeds. But the advent of commercial shipping relegated the town to relative obscurity.
If you think you are more on adventure side then try the Jeep safari to explore the Desert in Jaisalmer. These are done on 4X4 Jeeps that are really powerful machines customized in to 4-wheel drive. These Jeeps are open and are strict no-no in summers. The direct sunray in desert in the summers is very harmful to skin. There are chances that you will get heat stroke. But in winters, jeep safari in Jaisalmer is a thing worth trying.
We suggest you to spend at least a night in the Desert Camp. Night stay charges for Jeep safari are negotiable, so settle for the best bet.
Khuri sand dunes are slowly picking up in the must visit charts of tourists. If you find Sam sand dunes a bit crowded then you can very well opt for Khuri sand dunes. Situated just 40 K.M. off the town, Khuri is a must visit for tourists seeking solitude in the desert. It is a peaceful place with houses of mud and straw decorated like the patterns of Persian carpets.
The Khuri sand dunes offer you a memorable experience in the land of the Rajputs. Enjoy the ride on camel back and let the place itself take you to its mesmerizing heights. Get closer to the local way of living with a close view of thatched straw roofs, camels, narrow streets and the local bazaar. At the night, organize a campfire with the fellow tourists (if any) and listen to the songs of 'Kalbeliyas'.
Kuldhara village is 18 km to the west of Jaisalmer. This is among the 84 villages inhabited by the prosperous, hardworking Paliwals. Established by the Kuldhar sub-caste of Paliwal Brahmins in the year 1291, it was once a prosperous village with 600 houses.
Kuldhara is a calm place and the ruins found around are examples of advanced sculpture and architecture. Most of the houses are double storied and are not affected by thunder or heat. Paliwals deserted theses houses owing to several reasons. Their one time richness can be seen in the wells, water tanks, temples and cenotaphs.
Kunthunath Temple in Jaisalmer is one of the popular religious destinations of the Jain devotees. The temple, one of the many highly acclaimed Jain temples in Jaisalmer, is dedicated to Lord Kunthanath, one of the Jain Tirthankar. The temple is a near replica of a Hastinapur temple dedicated to Lord Kunthunath, Hastinapur was the birthplace of Lord Kunthunath. The temple has a marvelous architectural style and the imposing structure of the temple with artistic carvings is a real attraction of the temple. The temple is located at picturesque surroundings in Jaisalmer and the serene premise is an ideal place for relaxation and meditation.
Lodurva is the ancient capital of Bhattis Rajputs and was once a flourishing city but lost most of the splendor when the Bhattis shifted their capital to Jaisalmer. Nevertheless this place is a major tourist attraction and attracts a lot of attention due to ruins of Jain temples. The most mesmerizing experience will be the peacock dance amid exotic Lodurva ruins. Yes, Peacocks are a great pull and they are in plenty here.
Lodurva is also known for its Jain temples. The temples are made of bright yellow sandstones. Though in ruins, the splendors of these Jain temples are clearly visible. You will find temple walls decorated with the pictures of Lord Parsvanath, the 23rd Jain Tirthankar. The beautiful Jaali works make these temples a piece of marvel. You will notice the splendid and dominating arch in the main temple building. These arches are typical of the Dilwara style of temple architecture.
Built by Gopikishan Mehra, Mayor of Jaisalmer city. He named Haveli after his grandmother Parwati Davi Parwati Sadan
Situated 8 K.M. west of Jaisalmer, this is another pleasant, but rather neglected, small garden and tank. It belongs to the Royal family of Jaisalmer and was originally built as a cool summer retreat. The major attraction of this place is a Shiva temple, which is said to be constructed out of just two large blocks of sandstones.
Maharawal Moolraj II built the Moolsagar complex in 1815 AD. You will find numerous wells, the Moolsagar Garden and a splendid Raj Mahal built on its premises. Maharaja Moolsagar was known for his patronage to art and artisans and that becomes pretty evident when you come across some great murals on the palace walls. He definitely had a considerable influence on the wazirs and land-lords. Therefore his patronage to the art and architecture was resonated among his nobles and subjects. It was mainly due to his efforts that so many lovely palaces and structures were built in that period which was influenced by both the Mughal and Rajput schools of art.
This Nathmal Ji ki haveli was commissioned to serve as the residence of Diwan Mohata Nathmal, the then Prime Minister of Jaisalmer. Maharawal Beri Sal commissioned the construction of this Haveli. The architects of this haveli were Hathi and Lulu who happened to be brothers. There is a very interesting story regarding its construction. It is said that the two brothers started building different facets of haveli simultaneously. In those days there were no such instruments, which could keep a track on continuity and thus when this building came up finally it had irregular shape.
Barring that, this haveli is still considered the best in Jaisalmer in terms of grandeur. There are other minute details worth appreciation. For example there are two Elephants made of yellow stone. These life-size replicas have been put in front of the main entrance so that it looks as if they are guarding the Haveli. Other than these, there are pictures engraved on pillars and walls. These consist of Horses, Cattle, and depiction of Flora among other things. But the most interesting aspect of this haveli is the drawing of modern amenities such as cars, fans etc.
Thus the architecture present in this haveli is quite different from the one popular in other parts of Jaisalmer. The workmanship of Jaisalmer havelis is an amalgam of both Rajput architecture as well as Islamic art that was imported via the traders' caravan through the desert.
Parsvanath Temple is a very famous temple in Jaisalmer and is dedicated to Nakoda Parshavanath. This is one of the biggest Jain temples in and around Jaisalmer. Built in 1459 by Mandlik and his family, this is a highly respected temple. The temple is renowned for architectural beauty made with gray sandstones. The carvings on the marble walls are really enchanting. The sculptures in this temple depict vidyadevis, salabhanjikas, dikpalaks and yakshinis. The temple attracts huge flow of devotees all through the year. The temple is credited with an equal status of Konark and Khajuraho temples beauty and religious reverence.
The Patwon Ji ki Haveli is an interesting piece of Architecture and is the most important among the havelis in Jaisalmer. This is precisely because of two things, first that it was the first haveli erected in Jaisalmer and second, that it is not a single haveli but a cluster of 5 small havelis. The first among these havelis was commissioned and constructed in the year 1805 by Guman Chand Patwa and is the biggest and the most ostentatious. These were completed in the span of 50 years. All five houses were constructed in the first 60 years of the 19th century.
The havelis are also known as the 'mansion of brocade merchants'. This name has been given probably because the family dealt in threads of gold and silver used in embroidering dresses. However, there are theories, which claim that these traders made considerable amount of money in Opium smuggling and Money-lending.
This is the largest Haveli in Jaisalmer and stands in a narrow lane. This haveli is presently occupied by the government, which uses it for various purposes. The office of the Archeological Survey of India and State art and craft department is situated in the haveli itself.
It is located on the junction of Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and Bikaner Road. It is on route to Jaisalmer and is also a fort town though the fort is not of the dimensions of Jaisalmer or Jodhpur. Pokran also came into limelight, as it was the site for India nuclear detonation. Pokran is also renowned for its furniture and interior crafts.
The Fort locate about 1.5 kms from the bus stand has an assortment of weaponry, brocade clothes and various games of dice and dominoes on display. Fort Pokran also offers hotel accommodation with some washed out appeal.
The Jaisalmer Palace was renowned as Rajmahal and was the royal palace in Jaisalmer where the royal family members of the rulers of Jaisalmer were living. The Raj Mahal, with all pride of a royal palace constructed around 1500 AD, was built with marvelous beauty by the most famous architectures and craftsmen during the Royal period. Rajmahal, one of the oldest palaces in Rajasthan, is an imposing seven-storied palace. This palace is highly popular for the lattice work. It is placed inside the breathtaking Jaisalmer fort. The palace is ideally located in the midst of vast expense of greenish lawns and eye catching gardens.
Rishabhdev Temple is one of the three renowned Jain temples adorning the Mool Sagar. The presiding deity in this temple is Rishabh Dev or Adinatha, the first of 24 Jain Tirthankaras. According to the belief the temple is very important as Rishabha is the first Jain Tirthankara of the Avasarpini, the present age. The temple built during the beginning of the 16th century is a real specimen of the craftsmanship and architectural design. The imposing corridors and the inspiring carvings make the temple a top most tourist spot for enthused travelers. The spiritual ambiance and the unspoiled environment add the beauty of the temple.
Salim Singh ki haveli has been built on the remains of an older haveli built in the late 17th century. The new building was built in the year 1815 and was occupied by the Mehta family of Jaisalmer. They were the most influential family of their time. This haveli was commissioned by Salim Singh, the then Prime Minister of the kingdom when Jaisalmer was the capital.
The haveli has a distinct architecture. The roof has been constructed in the form of Peacock. The haveli is situated beside the hills near the Jaisalmer Fort. People claim that Salim Singh made two additional floors in order to make it as high as the fort but the Maharaja did not take this attempt in good spirit. He ordered the extra floors to be torn down. Nevertheless we do not find enough evidence to corroborate the story.
Like other havelis in Jaisalmer, this too has tuskers guarding the gateways. These are made of sand stones and look very close to the original in appearance. The haveli consists of as many as 38 balconies and they all have distinct designs for themselves. The front facet of the haveli resembles ship stern and thus this haveli is also sometimes referred as Jahazmahal.
There is no point coming to the Thar Desert if you don't go for the Desert Safari. That is why Sam sand dunes are becoming the major attraction in Jaisalmer. This is the closest place from where you can loose yourself in 'the Great Thar Desert'. Sam has a truly magnificent stretch of sweeping dunes, with sparse or no vegetation. The best way to get here, of course, is on camelback.
Join a camel caravan at Jaisalmer on your Rajasthan tours and ride along the breathtaking crests and troughs. Enjoy the romance of solitude as your camel takes you deep in the hearts of the Thar Desert. Put yourself in the camp and experience the sun setting behind the horizon. Organize a bonfire with the fellow tourists in the night and enjoy the rustic and earthy music and dance of Rajasthan.
In the month of February/March, this whole place turns into a cultural hub. The desert festival organized amid these dunes is the showcase of Rajasthani culture as a whole. Open-air cultural extravaganzas, puppet shows, folk dance performances, camel races, competitions and general festivities mark this annual event that is held with great pomp and show at the Sam Sand dunes in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan.
Jaisalmer's flourishing tourist trade has made it one of the best places in India to shop for souvenirs .
Good buys include woven jackets, tie-dyed cloth, wooden boxes and ornaments, camel-leather slippers ( jhoolis ) and Western-style clothes. Puppets are sold inside Number One (aka "First Fort") Gate, but you'll get better prices buying direct from the puppet-makers' quarter north of town, immediately below the "Sunset Point"; to find it, pick your way through Bhatia Bazaar and follow the main arterial road north past the Narayan Niwas Palace hotel, turning left when you reach a junction that drops downhill past a row of painted mud-and-thatch houses.
Tazia Tower(also known as Madir Palace) of Jaisalmer is one of the major tourist attractions. If you have done with the various Rajputana architectures scattered in the city, Tazia tower will come as a welcome break to you. It is situated in the excellent 'Badal Palace' complex located near Amar Sagar Gate. These were the homes of the former royal family. The Tazia tower is a 5-storied structure where each story has significance in its own.
On each floor there is a balcony that is famous for their individual designs. This was built by Muslim craftsmen and is based on the shape of Tazia. Tazia is actually the replica of Mausoleum of various Imams. They are made of wood, thermocol and colored papers. The architects gifted it to the then royal patrons.
- Some Jain Temple : Shantinath Temple, Sambhavnath Temple, Shitalnath Temple etc.
- Manak Chowk, Kuldhara, Khuri Village etc.