“GOLDEN CITY” : The Kaleidoscope of Colors, Culture, Castle & Camels
Are you planning to travel Ladakh? Read “JULEY LADAKH” – Journey Begins (Day 1) or you just wanted to explore White desert and World’s highest motorable road? Read “Nubara Valley (Day 3)” and if you always wonder how the heaven look like ! Explore “An Unexplored Heaven: Chopta“
Day 1: A TOUR TO JAISALMER CITY
Jaisalmer, a Golden City, before arriving to this place I used to fantasize about the real culture, royal regime and desert of Rajasthan, which I have only seen in the Bollywood movies and TV serials. Though, I have been to many places of Rajasthan like Jaipur, Jodhpur etc. but I haven’t experienced the real colors, customs and parade of Rajasthan. So, the pursuit of feeling incredible Rajasthan brought me to Jaisalmer.
After de-boarding the train, the first impressive thing encountered to us was Jaisalmer Railway-station, a well-designed palace architecture of railway station, as we are habitual of seeing outmoded India Railway stations, so that was reasonably exiting for me. The city seems to be a world heritage spot and stands on an edge of yellowish sandstone and also capped by forts which contains the Palace, Hawelis and temples. It resides in the heart of the Thar Desert.
After having a High-Angle view of the city, we hired a Tuk-Tuk (kind of Auto rickshaw) to reach “Nachna-Haweli”, our accommodation in Jaisalmer, the Haweli was a big royal dwelling to sense all royal ethos and its architecture was a mixture of Rajput and Mughal design. Interestingly, Haweli’s royal family resides in the premises and they ensure the best hospitality of their guests. I was so excited for our staying in the Haweli, in fact first time in the life I had the privilege of enjoying royal conducts alike Queen and Princess.
We were also asked to choose our heritage Suite (rooms), and all rooms are remarkably named as ‘Bairisal Mahal’, ‘Nandini Mahal’,’Gulab Mahal’… which were imbued with super luxury amenities, amazing archways and rich decorative mystique with floral sculpture. It was a dreamland for us, using all royal stuffs and getting majestic treatment. The Haweli’s courtyards provide ample glare and a perfect place along with the fountain and bloomy garden to relax and read a book while sipping tea. Its lobby is full of expansive ornaments, sanctuaries of kings, princes and their eras, which gives the seamless sense of history and transcends the time.
We relaxed ourselves, had lavish Shahi lunch with secret recipe of the Haweli’s khansama and headed to sightsee the splendour of the city, and our first pause was Ghadisagar lake. The Lake was quite lovely and the popular story about this lake makes it more interesting; the lake was the only source of water for Jaisalmer in the olden days and the lake was built by Raja Rawal Jaisal in 1367.
Outside the lake there was an attractive gateway called Tilon-ki-Pool, made in 14th century that links the road down to the lake, its a fine spot for archival photography. To relish the charm of the lake, we had a fairy-ride and it was a pleasure to see artistically engraved Chattris, Temples, Shrines and Ghats besiege the banks of Gadhisagar Lake.
Afterward, we got busy on shopping alluring Rajasthani stuffs and local handicrafts from roadside stalls, but Silk Route Art Gallery is a best place to shop quality stuffs. There were abundant shops available and few shops were also offering traditional ethnic Rajasthani dresses for photo shoots.
After this pacific lake ride, we moved to discover India’s most ancient and popular form of folk entertainment “Puppetry”/“Kathputali” show and reached to ‘Desert Cultural Centre & Folklore Museum’. Before this, I had never been to such kind of show, so I was extremely eager to attend this.
The founder of this museum is truly a living legend man, Mr. N.K. Sharma, a farmer teacher. His contribution to society is remarkable; he decided to devote his entire life to support poor art workers and to keep culture alive. Watching the puppet show was such a frisky & lively experience because it portrays the life of Rajasthan’s king era, their lifestyle, moreover the desert folk songs & dances add fuel to the show. This museum is full of original manuscripts; scriptures and art works. They also sell colourful and antique puppets inside the museum, which they use for their show.
After this absolute cultural glee, we started hunting places for dinner and decided to have authentic Rajasthani dinner and ended up at a local restaurant “Chandan Shree Restaurant”. The ambiance was just normal but food was amazingly luscious and tasty. We ordered a rajasthani thali and enjoyed the authentic flavour of Rajasthan with Dal bati churma, Gatta curry, kadi, Kair sangria ki sbzi, khichadi, Pyaz ki kachor etc.
After having an authentic dinner, we headed to famous halwai ‘Dhanraj Bhatia Sweets shop’ to satisfy our sweet tooth, and enjoyed world famous Ghotua and Panchadhari Laddoos, it was over delicious. Surprisingly, we found a legal, Government Authorized ‘Bhang shop’, belongs to a man who calls himself Dr. Bhang. I had chocolate bhang lassi, it was so creamy, tasty with choco chunks, although there were many more options available in the shop like cookies, sweets, buttermilk and juices to mix-up bhang.
We actually sensed the regal lineage of the city with glimpse of vivacious culture, blend of vibrant colors & legitimate people and obviously heavenly food. After visiting, all those opulence heritages and soulful surroundings, I could not stop myself to get entered into majestic era. Subsequently, to last the mood of royal epoch, we decided to visit Jaisalmer’s gigantic forts and epic hawelis.
READ MY SOME MORE AMAZING TRAVEL EXPERIENCES:
IF YOU ARE PLANNING A TRIP TO JAISALMER TO GIVE COLOR TO YOUR LIFE; CHECK OUT THE BELOW INFORMATION’S:
(A) 18 Exciting things must To Do during a Jaisaslmer Trip:
The Golden City – Jaisalmer, the heart of the famous Thar desert is one of the most visited and famous tourist destinations in India. It is also among the most colourful cities in India. LifeTimeMusafir recommends that you visit and stay in Jaisalmer for at least a week to explore its rich heritage, culture and famous Rajasthani cuisine.
- Watching a puppet show
- Boating at gadisar lake
- Camel Ride in Dunes, Jaisalmer
- Watching Sun Set in Thar Desert.
- Jeep safari on the dunes
- Visit the Jaisalmer Fort
- Spot Wildlife in a Desert National Park
- Visit the Ghost Village – Kuldhara
- Drive to the Indo-Pak Border
- Visit and Pay homage to the Jain Temples.
- Sunset views of jaisalmer fort
- Shopping at Gopa chowk
- Handicraft shopping at rajasthali
- Visit Patwon ji ki Haweli.
- Historic Havelis like Nathmalji ki Haveli, Kothari’s Patwa Haveli.
- Visit Bada Bagh
- Stay in Camp, Thar
- Watch famous dance of desert – “Kalbelia”
- Click Click & Go crazy with your Camera.
- Listen local famous melody – Kasariya Balam, Padharo Mare Desh.
- Sit on the Roof of Jaisalmer Fort and watch the golden city all over.
- Camel Ride in Dunes.
- Jeep safari in Dunes.
- Boating in Gadisar Lake.
- Biking in Thar.
(B) Must See Places in JAISALMER and Near by:
(a) Historic Sites:
- Jaisalmer Fort
- Patwaon ki Haveli
- Maharaja Palace
- Vyas Chhatri
- Nathmalji ki Haveli
- Salim Singh ki Haveli
- Tazia Tower
- Bada Bagh
- Khaba Fort
(b) Religious Sites:
- Tanot Mata Temple
- Jain Temples
- Samadhi Mandir
- Shri Ramdev Temple
- Shantinath Temple
- Rishabhadeva Temple
- Kunthanath Temple
(c) Kuldhara – abandoned ghost village.
(d) Thar Desert.
(C) How to Reach – JAISALMER: (Base taken is from New Delhi)
By Road / Self Drive: Jaisalmer is well connected by well-maintained roads to the rest of state. Deluxe/ Ordinary buses of Rajasthan Roadways and Private companies operate form Jaisalmer to almost all the top cities in Rajasthan. If you want to drive your own vehicle or hire a taxi to travel by road from Delhi to Jaisalmer, we recommend you to break your journey in Jaipur or Ajmer before hitting Jaisalmer.
However we found no direct buses from Delhi to Jaisalmer as the long 17 to 18 hour drive is too exhausting. We recommend you to switch buses in Jaipur from where a state-run sleeper coach operates regularly. Also book your bus tickets in advance as there are limited seats in buses. You may found some decent sleeper buses from Jodhpur and Udaipur.
By Train: Jaisalmer city is well connected with a wide network of trains (Broad gauge) covering most of the Indian cities like Delhi, Jodhpur, Jaipur and others. You will find many options from Delhi to Jaisalmer, Average time taken by trains are 16 hours and more.
LifeTimeMusafir recommends Train Route, however the other options are also available.
By Air: Jodhpur Airport is the closest domestic airport that is functional throughout the year. Major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Udaipur have regular flights to Jodhpur. The airport is approximately 5 to 6 hours’ drive from the city. You can either hire a prepaid or a private taxi from the Airport to reach Jaisalmer.
Though Jaisalmer is not directly connected to Airways as such, Jodhpur airport is 300 Km away.
(D) When to visit Jaisalmer:
Here we are dividing the years for better understanding-
November to March: An ideal time to visit Jaisalmer as the maximum temperature does not go beyond 24 degree Celsius. You can enjoy the Sightseeing and other outdoor activities like camel ride, desert safari during this time. Evenings are cooler and during night, the temperature further drop down to 7 or 8 degree Celsius in the desert area (Thar), especially in the months of December and January. We went in the month of January.
April to August: We recommend you to avoid visiting Jaisalmer during these months as are the hottest in the year as they constitute the summer season. Temperatures can vary from 42 to 25 degree Celsius during this time. Afternoons can be quite hot for sightseeing and other tourist activities.
If travelling during summers do not forget to carry a strong sunscreen and wear light cotton clothes. However it is an off-season and you may enjoy the best deals offered by Hotels.
September to October: These are the monsoon period in Jaisalmer however very little rain is observed in this area. The little amount of rainfall increases humidity in the overall weather of Jaisalmer. Also during this month, the tourist season starts and the city might get crowded.
(E) WHAT TO CARRY DURING TRAVEL:
- Good trekking Shoes.
- Sun Glasses.
- Water bottle.
- Torch with some extra pair of batteries.
- Warm top (as it gets a little cool at night).
- Any snack food.
- City Map.
- Some Cash (as has limited ATM outside City).
- Selfie Stick (only if you are selfie lover).
(F) WHERE TO STAY:
There are many options to stay in Jaisalmer city and in Thar Desert Camps, ranges from Camps to Budget Hotels to Luxury Hotels. It’s recommended to pre-book the stay before coming to Jaisalmer to avoid rush and to save time.
*We stayed in Nachana Haveli (Recommended).
Address: Gandhi Chowk, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan 345001
(G) BUDGET CALCULATOR (Per Person in INR):
- LOW (0 to 10,000) :
- MEDIUM (10,000 to 25,000) YES
- HIGH (25,000 & above)
(H) SHOPPING IN JAISALMER
The Local wholesale and retail markets in Jaisalmer has almost everything that you are looking for either for yourself or for your sweet home.
CRAZY FOR FOOD?? WELCOME TO JAISALMER !!!