Jaisalmer Things to Do

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Most Recent Things to Do in Jaisalmer

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    Jaisalmer fort or Sonar Quila.

    by pfsmalo Written Jun 21, 2014
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    Built in 1150- in the yellow sandstone typical of the area which at certain times of the day give a golden glow to the stone. One of the oldest forts in Rajasthan it stands 76 metres high and over 5 kms round and has 99 buttresses to help support the walls.Inside the walls are havelis built by the rich merchants and Jain temples, one where mainly women go. Plenty of hawkers, vendors and touts to make your way into the fort at Suraj Pol. There are three other ways in but this is certainly the easiest to find.
    For once there is no entry fee to the fort.

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    Gadisar Lake, Jaisalmer.

    by pfsmalo Written Jun 21, 2014

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    You'll need to take a tuk-tuk or rickshaw out here as it is a fair walk from the walled city. This is a man-made lake, built in 1400 by Makarwal Gadsi Singh to hold rainwater for drinking purposes of the whole of Jaisalmer. There are plenty of temples and shrines around the lake for some nice photos of reflections. There is also boating on the lake, although it seemed closed when we were there.

    ASTUCE - Normally you have to pay to access the lake and ghats that ring the lake on two sides. As you approach the main entrance gate, the Tillon ki Prol, the road splits to the left towards the temples past a few vendors of saris and other clothes. Take this down to the temples and walk around the first one you come to and there is direct access to the ghats.

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    Bara Bagh royal cenotaphs, Jaisalmer.

    by pfsmalo Written Jun 20, 2014
    Bara Bagh Royal Cenotaphs.
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    On top of a hillside a few kms out from Jaisalmer lie the Royal Cenotaphs of Bara Bagh (Bada Bagh) in a desert landscape. Contrary to the Royal Cenotaphs in Bikaner, here there is practically no marble at all, primarily golden sandstone. Built in the early 1500's by the Maharawal Jait Singh whose cenotaph is preceded by only one other in age. The practice of building the cenotaphs stopped when Jawahar Singh had his built in 1949 but is incomplete due to a son dying within a year and was considered bad luck by the family. A great site to visit in the early evening when the low sunlight brings out the colour of the stone.
    Entrance fee is 100 INR + 50 INR for a camera.

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    Opposite Sunset point for the sunset.

    by pfsmalo Written Jun 19, 2014
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    Contrary to what some have said Sunset point is on Ram Garh road, not at the Bara Bagh cenotaph site which is a couple of kms further on. Right opposite Sunset point is a hotel which you can enter, walk up to the far terrace behind the swimming pool and watch the sunset from there. Of course you have to buy a beer for the privilege, but It's better than having to pay at Sunset point which is a small hill behind a wall, that for entrance requires payment. The hotel is the Himmatgarh Palace and is on the left hand side on Ram Garh road in the direction of Bara Bagh just about 10 kms out of Jaisalmer to the north.

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    Lake Khichan, Rajasthan.

    by pfsmalo Updated Jun 19, 2014

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    Demoiselle crane in flight.
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    Lake Khichan is roughly halfway between Bikaner and Jaisalmer so should be planned as a stop on the road rather than a visit from one or the other. Here you'll find literally thousands of Demoiselle cranes, a splendid sight in this barren desert, between September and late February/early March. The birds have been migrating here for a number of years, coming mainly from Mongolia and eastern Europe. The local people of Khichan first started feeding the birds which attracted more and more and there are up to 20.000 birds during the peak from November to February. The villagers have also created these artificial reservoirs for them and also believe that by feeding them the birds will not attack the crops. They feed them twice a day which needs some 3000 kgs of grain.
    The place makes for a good stop as the N 15 road is long and boring.

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    Bada Bagah:Royal Families Cenotaphs

    by vinod-bhojak Written Mar 14, 2014

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    Royal Families Cenotaphs in Jaisalmer
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    The Bada Bagh is a nice place set among a garden slightly north of Jaisalmer. I got the feeling of historic culture as soon as I entered the premises! Excellent interiors and architecture. The pillar of Entrance like Royal. Unexpected wonderful set of cenotaphs (Only for Royal Families), in the desert. Very few people around, very special carved architecture and most of cenotaphs amde by yellow sand stone.
    Bada Bagh, also called Barabagh (literally Big Garden) is a garden complex about 6 km north of Jaisalmer on way to Ramgarh, and halfway between Jaisalmer and Lodhruva in the state of Rajasthan in India. It contains a set of royal cenotaphs, or chhatris of Maharajas of Jaisalmer state, starting with Jai Singh II (d. 1743)
    A descendant of Maharawal Jaisal Singh, the founder of the state and Maharaja of Jaisalmer, Jai Singh II (1688–1743), commissioned a dam to create a water tank during his reign in the 16th century. This made the desert green in this area.After his death on September 21, 1743, his son Lunkaran built a beautiful garden next to the lake and a chhatri (Hindi for cenotaph) for his father on a hill next to the lake. Later on, many more cenotaphs were constructed here for Lunkaran and other Bhattis. The last chhatri, meant for maharaja Jawahar Singh, dates from the 20th century and remains unfinished after Indian independence.

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    Fish Feeding at Gadisar Lake

    by vinod-bhojak Written Mar 14, 2014

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    Hundreds of catfish at gadisar lake
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    What I really loved about Gaidar Lake were many catfish that were lining the lake shores as the locals and tourists fed them bread for good luck. I did this a couple times as well. You could buy the bread just outside the Tilon-ki-Pol gate from ladies selling it for 15 Rupee.Hundreds of Catfish live in a lake. People feed them breads and it is amazing to see how they jump on it.I was told by local people that nobody catches fish from this lake.

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    Beautiful Jain temples of Jaisalmer

    by vinod-bhojak Written Mar 13, 2014

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    Jian temples of Jaisalmer
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    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 & human figures, carved in famous Dilwara style.
    These temples are built in the Dilwara style that is famous all over the world for its architecture. The style got its name from the famous 'Dilwara Temples' situated on Mount Abu, a famous Hill station and pilgrimage destination in Rajasthan. 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. One of the most splendid works of art is the Parswanath temple. The walls of this exquisite shrine is carved with the engravings of animals and humans. The dome of the temple is adorned by an Amalak and a beautiful water vase that contains a lotus. Due to antisocial insurgency the temple was under ruins but Seth Tharu Shah rebuilt it in the year 1615. The idol of Parshvanath lies within the iner region of the temple. This idol is built out of black stone having multiple hoods in the shape of serpents

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    Jaisalmer Fort Palace Museum

    by vinod-bhojak Written Mar 10, 2014

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    Jaisalmer Fort Palace Museum
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    Situated inside the majestic Jaisalmer Fort, It was an erstwhile royal residence, which was later converted into a heritage centre and museum. The museum houses a great collection of artifacts depicting the rich culture and heritage of Jaisalmer. The silver coronation throne, bed, dish, local stamps, banknotes, and sculptures of the royal family are main attractions of this palace.you can enjoy a bird's eye view of the city from the rooftop of the palace and It is a must-visit for history buffs and those keen on learning about the heritage of Rajasthan.

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    Jaisalmer Fort

    by vinod-bhojak Written Mar 10, 2014

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    Jaisalmer Fort
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    Jaisalmer Fort is one of the largest forts in the world. It was built in 1156 AD by the Bhati Rajput ruler Rao Jaisal, from where it derives it name. The fort stands proudly amidst the golden stretches of the great Thar Desert, on Trikuta Hill, and has been the scene of many battles. Its massive yellow sandstone walls are a tawny lion color 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 “Golden Fort”. This fort, popularly known as the 'Sonar quila' by the locals, is located in the very heart the city, and is one of the most breathtaking monuments in the locality.There are many hotels guest houses. restaurants, shops and houses in Fort of Jaisalmer.

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    Gadisar Lake

    by vinod-bhojak Written Mar 7, 2014

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    Gadisar Lake
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    This is a rain water conservation lake built by Maharawal Gadsi Singh in 14th century. It was once the main source of drinking water for the entire town of Jaisalmer. Now a tourist spot, there are many small temples and shrines around it. A wide variety of water birds can be seen here especially in winter. This is the most popular point to take photographs of Jaisalmer fort early in the morning when the fort looks golden with the first rays of the Sun.
    The beautiful gateway known as Tillon ki prol, it was built by Tilon a prostitute from Pakistan who was courtesan in Kings palace and she was very beautiful. Now a days Gadisar lake is famous for boating and picnic spot. It is good to spent time at lake during sunset.

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    Kothari’s Patwa Haveli, Jaisalmer

    by vinod-bhojak Written Mar 7, 2014

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    Outer facade of Haveli
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    The history of the Kothari’s Patwa Haveli dates back to early eighteenth century, when the patwas were struggling to set up their trade and business. On the advice of a priest at the Jain Temple, the patwa brothers left Jaisalmer with the intention of never returning (they were advised by the priest that their business could not flourish in Jaisalmer). The legend has it that the patwas were immensely successful thereafter and their business spanned across banking & finance, silver, brocade and opium trade.
    Eventually, patwas rose to such heights that they were called upon to finance the state deficit. This brought the clan back to their old habitat. The then head of the family, Ghuman Chand Patwa, decided to gift each of his five sons a separate and elaborate mansion, ignoring the advice of the priest. Thus came up the five grandiose havelis facing the Jailsamer Fort.
    Unfortunately, the lives of the patwas took a ‘u’ turn after their return to Jaisalmer and their fortunes started dwindling. Consequently, they had to abandon the city-state again, leaving the havelis at the mercy of care takers. The care takers became the owners in the course of time and decided to put the havelis up for sale. Care taker of the first haveli approached Mr. Jeevanlalji Kothari, who was a native of Jaisalmer and like patwas had left Jaisalmer to explore better opportunities. Mr. Kothari, with a view to remain connected with his native place, decided to buy the first haveli. Hence it was renamed as the Kothari’s Patwa Haveli.

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    Patwon Ji ki Haveli, Jaisalmer

    by vinod-bhojak Written Mar 7, 2014

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    Patwon Ji ki Haveli
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    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. It is believed that Patwa was a rich man and was a renowned trader of his time. He could afford and thus ordered the construction of separate stories for each of his 5 sons. 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.

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    Nathmalji ki Haveli, Jaisalmer

    by vinod-bhojak Written Mar 7, 2014

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    Nathmalji ki Haveli
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    This haveli was the residence of the Prime Minister of Jaisalmer, Diwan Mohata Nathmal, and it was built in yellow sandstone in Jaisalmer. The most interesting fact about it is that all its arts are done by a jeweler and not a stone carver.

    Another attraction is the elephants in yellow sandstone, which are placed at the impressively carved entrance door. Even if these are not included, Nathmal Ki Haveli is still considered the best in Jaisalmer in terms of splendor.There are other crafts in the haveli which are worth appreciation. There are two Elephants made of yellow stone which are stunning at itself.
    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. Other than these, there are pictures carved on pillars and walls. These pictures of Horses, Cattle, and depiction of Flora among other things. But the most interesting feature of this haveli is the drawing of modern facilities such as cars, fans etc. It is said and believed that the Architect brothers dint see these things ever in their life and carved it with mere help of their imageries given by people who had seen it.

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    The Million Star Hotel

    by Orchid Updated Jan 29, 2014

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    Sunset at Sam Dunes
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    One of the most popular things folk do whilst in Jaisalmer is to enjoy a night camping in the sand dunes of the Thar Desert, followed by a trek by camel, through the arid countryside.

    We were accosted by one of the many purveyors of such services as we blearily made our way off the overnight train. These agents flock to the train station like so many locusts, hoping to snare a customer or three. We fell in with the self styled 'Mahendra of the Desert' and decided to book a one day camel trek. As it transpired, this was a most excellent selection!

    The tour included transport and food. We left Jaisalmer at about 3pm, heading west. A stop at Bada Bagh, to view the burial monuments of the Maharajas of Jaisalmer, and at a small desert village, Domodra , to view the decorated houses, and be entertained by snake charmers as the day drew toward dusk. Our final destination was the Kanoi water wells, and the Sam dunes. These looked suitably impressive in the setting sun, though the total dune area was actually surprisingly small, and surrounded by thorny scrublands.

    We met our camels and drivers, camel drivers cooked an evening meal (thick chappati and desert vegetable and a vegetable curry). After eating, we set up camp in the bright, moonlit desert. This was true rough camping - there were no tents! Through an oversight or misunderstanding however, we received blankets, but not a quilt. After a freezing night, our fellow travellers informed us that this particular piece of equipment would have made ALL the difference!

    After breakfast, it was camel time. That the camel is a sometimes cantankerous beast is well documented. Our crew did not let us down and grunted, farted and belched in a suitably camelesque manner. Soon enough our ships of the desert were packed and it was time to mount. The camels worked pretty much on autopilot, following the lead of the head camel. The rolling gait was a little unsettling at first, but one soon became accustomed. The saddle design was perhaps less desirable, as the animal's progress forced ones crotch into the pommel on a regular basis. We rode for an hour to a small village (where the kids handed out addresses for us to send on photos), then set off once more through stoney landscape, arriving 2 and a half hours later at a small lake in the desert, where lunch was taken, and bones were rested for 3 hours.

    Camels seemed to have only two names: 'Rajah' or 'Lalah'. One of the drivers insisted that Minuk's camel was a 'luxury camel - it go nice and slow'. My own mount was not much better and needed the occasional slap on the rear to get it going. And get going it did, as we completed the final 90 minutes of our ride at a fast trot! We met our jeep at Dedra, and bid farewell to those of our party who had the pleasure of 2 or 3 more days a camelback in front of them! Our one day was quite the perfect period - no more enjoyment required!.

    The jeep brought us back to Jaisalmer via Kuldhera, and the sunset point for more fort views. Included in the deal was a much appreciated hot shower at the New Tourist Hotel, before we collected our belongings and took the train back to Jodphur

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