Jaisalmer - The Golden City, Monuments to see in Jaisalmer
Jaisalmer "The Golden City" is known for its sand dunes and camel safari. The Jaisalmer Fort is one of the largest mud forts of the world.
Jaisalmer is also referred to as the Golden City of India. Splendid palaces and havelis built of golden-yellow sandstone makes this region the hidden jewel of the Rajasthan. This peaceful town with its cobbled street and painted houses promises a view of an enchanted world – thanks to its wealthy traders and rulers who vied with each other to beautify their austere dessert surroundings. Jaisalmer's architectural exemplary is now considered as the most spectacular models of the Rajasthani stonemason's art. The town stands on a ridge of yellowish sandstone, crowned by a fort, which contains the palace and several ornate Jain temples. This destination gracefully packages the beautiful temples, the haunting ruins of the old capital, a fascinating dessert village, rolling sand dunes and the habitat of a rare dessert bird, the great Indian Bustard.
Throbbing in the heart of the Thar Desert, Jaisalmer is an intricately moulded wonderland. The city tour begins with the visit to the Jaisalmer Fort built by Rawal Jaisal atop the 80 m high Trikuta Hill, where a fourth of the population still lives. It is also known as Sonar Qila (the Golden Fort). Within the fort, there are beautifully carved Jain temples of the 12th to the 15th centuries. Later visit the Badal Vilas Palace, the former ruler's 20th century palace. Also visit some impressive merchant mansions (Havelis) including Patwon ki Haveli, Salim Singh ki Haveli and Nathmalji ki Haveli.
HD&Full Day sightseeing text
Jaisalmer is a perfect concoction of intriguing history that is steeped in rich culture and breath-taking beauty of the Thar Desert. Jaisalmer was the part of the famous Silk Route during the days of yore. The city, also dubbed the "Golden City", is known for its many artistic structures and historical monuments.
Monuments in Jaisalmer
Jaisalmer Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was built by the Rajput ruler Rawal Jaisal in 1156 AD, from whom it derives its name. It is one of the largest fully preserved fortified cities in the world.
The Jaisalmer Fort has been declared as World Heritage Site and is one of the largest desert forts of the world. It stands amidst the sandy expanse of the great Thar Desert, on Trikuta Hill. The fort's massive yellow sandstone walls are a tawny lion colour during the day, fading to honey-gold as the sun sets, thereby camouflaging the fort in the yellow desert. For this reason, it is also known as the Sonar Qila or Golden Fort. The main attractions inside the fort are the Raj Mahal (Royal palace), the Lakshminath temple and the Jain temples, which were built between 12th and 15th centuries, are dedicated to Rikhabdev and Sambhavanth.
Bada Bagh, also called Barabagh (means Big Garden) is a garden complex about 6kms north of Jaisalmer. It contains a set of royal cenotaphs or chhatris of Maharajas of Jaisalmer state, starting with Jai Singh II.
Literally meaning 'Big Garden', Bada Bagh contains a set of royal cenotaphs or chhatris of Maharajas of Jaisalmer state, starting with Jai Singh II. All the cenotaphs have a beautifully carved ceiling and elegant equestrian statues of rulers. The calm atmosphere and the serene place are a treat for your eyes and mind.
Visit the Patwon-ki-Haveli (House of the Brocade Merchants), which is the largest and most elaborate of all the famous Havelis of Jaisalmer. It is renowned for its ornate wall paintings, intricate yellow sandstone-carved jharokhas or balconies, gateways and doorways.
Patwon-ki-Haveli is a remarkable piece of architecture and is also the most stunning havelis in the city. It is known for its fine wall paintings, beautiful jharokhas (balconies), archways and gateways. The haveli consists of a complex of five different Havelis. Though the time spans of the five wings differ from each other, the wings are astonishingly in perfect symmetry with each other.
Constructed by two Muslim brothers in the 19th century, the splendid Haveli served as the residence of the then Prime Minister of the city, Diwan Mohata Nathmal. Nathmalji Ki Haveli is highly appreciated for its marvellous architecture and intricate carvings.
The architecture of the Nathmalji-ki-Haveli reflects the artistry and finesse of the craftsman back then. There are two Elephants made of yellow stone which are placed at the impressively carved entrance door. These life-size replicas have been put in front of the main entrance so that it looks as if they are guarding the Haveli and welcoming the guests. The most interesting feature of this haveli is the drawing of modern facilities such as cars, fans etc. It is said that the architect brothers' did not see these things ever in their life and carved it with mere help of their imageries given by people who had seen it.
Take a break from dry terrain of Rajasthan; enjoy the heritage at the Gadisar Lake in Jaisalmer. The bank of the Gadsisar Lake is surrounded by artistically carved Chattris, temples, shrines and ghats.
A man-made water reservoir, the Gadisar Lake was constructed by the first ruler of Jaisalmer, Raja Rawal Jaisal. Artistically carved chattris, temples, shrines and ghats surround the banks of lake. It was the only source of water for the Jaisalmer city in the olden days. An interesting fact about the lake is that it never dries, even though it is set in the middle of the desert.
Amar Sagar is a small and beautiful lake adjacent to a 17th Century palace called the Amar Singh Palace. The haveli is of five stories, with excellently carved paintings on the walls. The Jain Temples all around the banks of Amar Sagar give the serene and peaceful atmosphere all around the place.
Amar Sagar is a five story high haveli and is famous for its murals. Maharawal Akhai Singh built this palace in honour of one of his predecessors Amar Singh. The area has several ponds and lakes and an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. There are lot of figureheads of animals carved in stone around the lake. It is believed that these figureheads are the protectors of the royal family.
Desert National Park
Desert National Park, situated near Jaisalmer, is one of the largest national parks in the country. The great Indian Bustard is a magnificent bird and can be seen in considerably good numbers in this park. The region is a haven for migratory and resident birds of the desert.
Desert National Park is spread over an area of approximately 3162 square kilometres and is an excellent example of the ecosystem of the Thar Desert. The park features an array of flora and faunal species. The star attraction is the great Indian bustard (Choriotis nigriceps). Other wildlife includes sand grouse, several species of falcon and vulture, desert fox and chinkara (Indian gazelle).
Salim Singh Ki Haveli
Salim Singh Ki Haveli is situated beside the hills near the Jaisalmer Fort and has a distinct architecture. Almost 300 years old, the haveli adorns a beautiful, arched roof in the shape of a peacock and constitutes 38 gracefully carved balconies.
This 18th century haveli was built by Salim Singh, who was the formidable prime minister of Jaisalmer when it was the capital of the princely state. The architecture of the mansion is so finely designed that no two balconies have the same pattern. The frescos on the ceilings and the blue cupola roof with its wonderful stone carvings and murals are worth observing.
Akal Wood Fossil Park
Akal Wood Fossil Park is one of the natural wonders in India. It is covered with large fossilised tree trunks of various sizes and sea shells. There are around 25 numb trees and some of the oldest fossils are about 200 years old.
Around 17 km from the Jaisalmer city, Akal Wood Fossil Park takes you back in time, wherein you can have a look at 180-million-year old fossils, which are placed on the floor of the Thar. The fossilized remains of a huge forest, submerged into the sea, are the main attraction of this fossil park. The largest fossil is about 13 m long and 1.5 m wide.
City Palace Museum
The Fort Palace Museum, located inside the magnificent Jaisalmer Fort, displays the rich and royal lifestyle of the maharajas and also showcases their cultural heritage.
The Palace Museum in Jaisalmer Fort houses a great collection of artefacts depicting the rich culture and heritage of Jaisalmer. Walls of the museum are attractively carved and finest architectural style and craftsmanship can be seen including sliver items such as beds, dishes, throne etc. Stamps of the medieval times, as well as currency are also on display.
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Golden Sweets in the Golden City
Jaisalmer is locally famous for its Ghotua Ladoos, sweet balls made with gram flour from generations to generations in some families of the Golden city.
Discover one of these local manufacturers which carry on this tradition. Mr Bablo Bhatia will be please to showcase 'The Bhatia Shop", situated in the heart of the old city. This visit is a real immersion with the family of a local manufacture composing a team of about ten persons who showcase how to prepare the Ghotua, which needs 6 different stages to be done from mixing the gram flour with the water, till clumping your hand with mixer to tighten it, slowly using your inner palm and rotate it to make small balls called Ghotua.
Enjoy puppet show.
A nice way to end your day is to enjoy this wonderful puppet show at the Desert Culture Centre&Museum. The show is lively and good fun. The museum hold a variety of objects collected by the owner, including lots of musical instruments, portable temples and pictures which can be looked around before or after the show and learn quite a lot about Rajasthani culture and music.
Enjoy a camel ride over the golden sand dunes. It's a unique&memorable way of exploring Jaisalmer.
Enjoy Camel ride over the massive sand dunes. Trudging through the Thar Desert on the back of a seasoned camel is an experience that you would remember for years. En-route stop to witness the rustic&rural desert life of India.
Camel Cart Ride
Enjoy Camel Cart Ride over the massive sand dunes for an unforgettable experience.
Experience the Camel Cart Ride over the truly magnificent stretch of sweeping dunes. A camel cart ride allows the visitor a glimpse of the simplistic villages of Jaisalmer and exposes to the rustic lifestyle of the desert people.
Dinner&Dances at Sand Dunes
Experience the charm, uniqueness and excitement of the desert life with performances of mesmerizing folk singers and graceful dancers followed by Dinner.
Enjoy the evening at the Sand Dunes in leisurely&authentic fashion with entertainment around the bonfire. The evening comes alive with Rajasthani folk dance performance with live traditional music. After the cultural program, relish the Rajasthani cuisines special dinner is organised under the stars.
Dances at Sand Dunes
Experience the charm, uniqueness and excitement of the desert life with performances of mesmerizing folk singers and graceful dancers.
Enjoy the evening at the Sand Dunes in leisurely&authentic fashion with entertainment around the bonfire. The evening comes alive with Rajasthani folk dance performance with live traditional music.