A Complete Travel Guide For Jaisalmer
It is a desert city situated right at the Thar Desert. It is a unique place and the moment we step down there we are into a different world be it artistically, culinary wise, the aura of the place, different tribes and adjustments with the nature, its rich cultural heritage, its sand dunes, its camel ride, its jeep safari, the cultural event camping at night and everything else its throws open for a tourist like me. It is a complete package.
How To Reach Jaisalmer?
The distance between New Delhi to Jaisalmer is approximately 700 kilometers and there are many options available as mentioned below:
1. By Train—You will get direct trains running between Old Delhi and various other boarding stations. It takes approximately 12 hours
2. By Flight—There are daily flights from various airlines which takes anywhere between 8 to 10 hours.
3. By Bus—Many reliable and comfortable buses operate between these two cities. Also, both government and private buses are there to ferry you.
4. By Self Drive—You have a very well maintained highway to enjoy a drive with many great highway stops to enjoy and stretch yourself whenever you wish. Also many great tourist spots are there in between, so you can plan a break journey by visiting many other great destinations too.
Where To Stay At Jaisalmer?
The best place to stay at Jaisalmer is stay inside the fort. It is the only fort in India where you can actually stay inside and have a whiff of the aura the place commands. This is a huge fort with people actually living inside. There are many hotels to give you a comfortable stay. The best way is to book online through various portals suggested by TripAdvisor. If you will book through this portal, you will certainly get a notch above the normal hospitality.
Local Transportation In Jaisalmer?
The safest thing is to hire a cab or a three-wheeler from the hotel itself where you are staying. They will charge a bit more but safety is guaranteed. Hiring from outside should be always prohibited.
1. Car or four-wheeler—Both AC and non-AC cabs are available and are more suitable for the spots located outside the main city as the roads are broad. Four wheeler should be recommended when you are visiting “sand dunes”, as it is far away from the main city.
2. Auto or three-wheeler—This is best when you are touring the spots inside Jaisalmer, as this walled city is very congested and maneuvering a three wheeler is far more easier.
3. By Foot—All the main spots inside Jaisalmer are located within 3 kilometers. So, if it is wintertime and you love walking, why not enjoy the city by taking a stroll. This way you will enjoy more if you have the stamina.
Tourist Hot Spots In Jaisalmer
1. Jaisalmer Fort— This is a huge fort and the best way is experience this fort is instead of staying at an outside hotel, you can actually stay here in the hotels situated inside. This way you have ample time 24 hours to experience every nook and corner of this fort. This fort is a living legend situated right in the desert that human being cannot tame nature but can coexist with it after molding itself to its tune. The hotel patrons are very cordial and helpful. The food is okay, as this is quite a remote part of India and also a desert, so not all green vegetables and fruits for cooking is available here. To help you understand the fort better, you can hire guides inside the fort. They are licensed guides and they infuse life with their words inside the dead walls of the fort. There are many spots inside like superbly carved Jain temple, artistically done Rani mehal, superbly built king’s palace, a huge cannon, different kinds of old security system and so on.
2. Nathmal Ji Ki Haveli—Right in the middle of this haveli (bungalow) is entrance door and on both sides of the door the whole building was carved and chiseled by two brothers with marvelous trickery. Both sides will look identical at one glance, but a closure inspection will show you they are world apart. This is pure illusion carved in stone.
3. Salim Ji Ki Haveli—He was the prime minister of the king. It is rumored that he was building his haveli to stand taller than the king. The king got a whiff and cannon balled it. The cannon is still there in the fort.
4. Patwon Ki Haveli—A series of 5 havelis. They were the chief financer for the king. They used to trade in precious stones and narcotics.
5. Mandir Palace—Most of this palace is converted into hotel but whatever left is beautiful and very nicely done.
6. Gadisar Lake—The importance of lake in the dessert can only be understood when you are dying for a drop of water. This is miracle. Boating is available here. Also a Hindu temple situated at its banks.
7. Bada bagh (garden)—Many movie shootings have happened here. This is quite aesthetically built.
8. Kuldhara or ghost village—This whole village was deserted by the villagers at one go, on one night. From that night onwards, no one dare to stay at this place at night. It is rumored that this place is haunted. Small kids roam around during daytime who will keep telling you the story about why the villagers left this place. Also, if you visit this place after it is dark, you will find children palm prints on your vehicles’ front or rear windshields and door windows. Scary! Yes it is.
9. Sand Dunes—There are scores of activity to do here. You can take camel rides, camel cart rides, walk along the sand dunes and enjoy the sunset. There are many resorts and desert camp here, you can enjoy an evening after the sunset here. With a meager fee, they provide you a bouquet of service. They start with evening tea-pakora (snack), dance, music, songs, folk tales, eye popping daring acts and many more. Then you proceed for your dinner which is okay. You can either stay here after paying more or return to your hotel in the city.
NOTE: Bada bagh, Kuldhara, and Sand dunes are quite far from the city and you need to hire a cab. Rest of the above points is within the city, which is very small, so you can either walk or hire a three wheeler.
I wish this complete travel guide for Jaisalmer will help you understand this place better and plan ahead. For any queries, I am more than happy to help out.
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