Inducing a mesmerizing picture of an ambience taken straight from the pages of Arabian Nights’ fables, the Jaisalmer city of Rajasthan is situated right amidst the scenic Thar Desert, and also known as the Golden City. It is one of the most preferred tourist destinations in India and ranked as one of the major attractions of Rajasthan
which attract thousands of tourists towards it every year. The scenery of Jaisalmer appears surreal to the first time visitors, as they find it difficult to fathom that a vast kingdom could thrive in this barren desert. One can not only trace the imprints of the Royal Rajasthan in Jaisalmer by visiting the fort and other architectural landmarks in the area, but can also cherish the beautiful memories of the moments spent with locals, known for their hospitality and warmth. Overall, Rajasthan is known for its grand heritage and you would find it in abundance in Jaisalmer, but here, you would explore a different facet of it. There are many historical attractions scattered all over the Jaisalmer city and one needs to spend a few quality days exploring them all. A perfect amalgamation of antique and medieval era architecture, there is a lot in Jaislamer to catch your imagination. So, let us find out what are those attractions:
The Jaisalmer Fort:
Perched right on the top of a small hill to offer a mesmerizing view, this five-storied fort overlooks the entire area and carries the prints of Royal era architecture. The legendary filmmaker and writer Satyajit Ray described the splendour and architecture of this fort in his novel, which was later turned into a film. This imposing fort was built in the 12th century by the Rajput ruler Rao Jaisal to keep a check on the foreign invaders. The fort is built by using the yellow sandstone, which gives it that enticing golden look during sunset and contributed in earning the title for it as “Sonar Quila” or “The Golden Fort.” This fort is encircled by a 30 foot high wall, which has 99 bastions and some intricately carved gateways. The construction and beauty of this fort have all the requisites to leave you awestruck. One can savour the panoramic view of the entire Jaisalmer city from its two vantage points, which were used as canon points.
The Gadisar Lake:
Once a water reservoir for the entire state of Rajasthan, the Gadisar Lake has now become an illustrious tourist destination in Jaisalmer. Surrounded by temples and a majestic landscape, the Gadisar Lake is the iconic symbol of prosperity and peace in the region. This lake is located just a kilometre away from the fort and constructed by the Raja Rawal Jaiswal and then reconstructed by Maharwal Garsi in 1367 AD. This lake provides food to many migratory birds. Besides being a haven for birdwatchers, this place is also a pilgrimage spot for many because of the number of temples in the surrounding area. It also offers a stunning view of the Jaisalmer Fort. Little island structures and minarets on the lake add grandeur to the beauty of the entire landscape. One can enjoy the ultimate serenity amidst this calm setting and take a boat ride to savour the beauty of this place.
The Salim Singh ki Haveli:
The most unique thing about the Salim Sing Ki Haveli is that its architecture and sculpture are a bit different than any other Haveli of that era. One of the highlights of this Haveli is its roof, which has been exquisitely created with a outline that resembles a peacock. The grand gate of this Haveli is adorned by the Tuskers, built by using the sandstones. There are 38 balconies in the Haveli and each balcony is different from others in terms of artistry. This Haveli was named as Jahaz Mahal because its structure resembles a ship stern.
The Raj Mahal:
The Raj Mahal is characterised by its alluring ambience and cultural eminence. This grand building was built by the Englishmen right inside the majestic Jaisalmer fort, and its design apparently exhibits the lavishness of those days, when Britishers ruled India. It is a seven-storied building, which is finished with lattice work.
The Patwon ki Haveli
The Patwon ki Haveli was the very first Haveli, which was ever built in Jaisalmer. Actually, it is a cluster of five different Havelis and together they create a massive building. This Haveli was also known as the “mansion of brocade merchants” because this building belonged to the Patwa family, which used to be the traders of gold and silver. Now the Haveli is preserved as a heritage building and the Rajasthan government takes care of it.
Best time to visit: From October to the month of March.
How to reach:
The nearest airport is the Jodhpur airport, 285 Km away from Jaisalmer.
Jaisalmer has its own railway station, and it is well connected by a rail network with Jodhpur as well as with other major cities of India including Jaipur, Agra, and New Delhi.