"Jaisalmer - The Golden City" Top 5 Page for this destination Jaisalmer by Willettsworld
Jaisalmer Travel Guide: 469 reviews and 1,715 photos
Jaisalmer is the last frontier before hitting the Pakistan border in western Rajasthan. It springs up like a mirage in the surrounding Great Thar Desert like something from a romantic fairytale and is nick-named "The Golden City" due to its golden sandstone buildings. These buildings enshrine Jaisalmer's star attraction - its fort, which was built in 1156 by Maharawal Jaisal and added to by his successors after leaving his capital at nearby Lodurva after repeated attacks. The fort stands on the peak of the 80m (263ft) high Trikuta Hill and features 30ft high crenulated walls made out of golden sandstone to boost its defences. Within these fortified walls are royal palaces (accessed through the forts museum), Jain temples and havelis. It is the second oldest Fort of Rajasthan after Chittorgarh and used to house the entire population of Jaisalmer. Even today, about a quarter of the city's people still reside here, making it India's only living fort. Outside of the fort, Jaisalmer is blessed with some wonderful haveli architecture a colourful markets and bazaars. Jaisalmer is also the centre for activity trips into the desert. Camel treks of varying amounts of nights are offered by practically every hotel, shop and tour operator and are a good bit of fun. I went on a 2-day trek and really enjoyed it.
As Jaisalmer is in the middle of nowhere, it takes a while to get here but it's well served by transportation links as the India Army are based here to keep an eye on the nearby border. The best way to get here is by train with daily services to Delhi and Jodhpur but expect delays! Other alternatives include bus and private car. I took a 12 hour overnight bus from here in order to reach Udaipur as there is not direct train link. Although the journey lasted so long, it was overnight but don't expect to get much sleep as the roads are pretty terrible. Jaisalmer deserves to be visited as it is so far away from anywhere else and offers the tourist an insight into everyday desert life. I loved it!
The fort is Jaisalmer's main tourist attraction and so you'll find lots of souvenirs in and around the fort for sale.... more travel advice
Throughout India you'll come across some funny signs with great phrases or spelling mistakes on them. This one amused me... more travel advice
- Haveli shops
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