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Exploring the Golden City of Rajasthan: Top 20 Places to Visit in Jaisalmer

Step into a world of tranquility amidst the stunning golden sands of Jaisalmer, the gateway to the mystical Thar Desert. This popular tourism destination in India is renowned for its breathtaking yellow stone architecture and the majestic Jaisalmer Fort, also known as the ‘Sonar Quila’.

Jaisalmer, or the ‘Golden City’, was established in the 12th century by Rawal Jaisal and has since been an epitome of Rajasthan’s rich cultural heritage. With its artistic structures, monuments of local historical significance, and abandoned villages, Jaisalmer offers a glimpse into the grandeur of this incredible state.

Whether you’re a history buff, a lover of art, or simply seeking a peaceful retreat in the desert, Jaisalmer has something for everyone. So, before you pack your bags for a holiday to Jaisalmer, take a look at our list of the 20 best tourist attractions that you simply cannot afford to miss.

List of 20 Must Visit Places in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan

Name of The Places Famous For
Jaisalmer Fort Architecture, History
Sam Sand Dunes Desert Safari, Camping
Desert National Park Wildlife
Gadi Sagar Lake Birdwatching, Boating
Salim Singh ki Haveli Architecture
Patwa ki Haveli Architecture
Tanot Mata Temple History
Jain Temple Architecture, History, Religious Activities
Vyas Chhatri Architecture, History
Mandir Palace Architecture, History
Kuldhara Village Adventure, History
Bada Bagh Spending quality time with family members
Surya Gate History
The Thar Heritage Museum History
Khaba Fort Adventure, Photography
Akal Wood Fossil Park History
Lodhruva History, Architecture
Camel Safari Adventure
Nathmal ki Haveli Architecture
Barmer History, Sightseeing

Popular Jaisalmer Rajasthan Tour Packages

Package Name Duration
Jaisalmer Short Tour 2 Nights 3 Days
Jaisalmer Honeymoon Package 3 Nights 4 Days
Jaisalmer Tanot Mata Temple Tour 2 Nights 3 Days
Forts & Palaces Tour of Rajasthan 17 Nights 18 Days
Best of Rajasthan Tour 10 Nights 11 Days

Jaisalmer Fort – Heart of Jaisalmer

Jaisalmer Fort

Built in the 12th century by the Bhati Rajput ruler Rao Jaisal, the Jaisalmer Fort is a massive yellow sandstone fortification that maintains the Raj Mahal and several havelis, gateways and temples. The tawny-brown rampart that turns into honey-gold at sunset, justifying the name “Sonar Quila”, is undoubtedly a blazing instance of visual perception.

The architectural design of the fort having intricately carved windows, doors and walls is one of the fine examples of the rich heritage in India. Located on the Trikuta Hill and overlooking the Jaisalmer city, the Jaisalmer Fort is thus one of the popular tourist attractions in Jaisalmer. Moreover, the two canon points, located at vantage points within the fort, give you an amazing panoramic view of Jaisalmer city.

Today… in the midst of the royal yellow sandstone architecture, Jaisalmer Fort boasted as one of the fortified cities in Rajasthan housing numerous eateries, including Italian, French, and native cuisines; hotels; and museums.

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Sam Sand Dunes- Embrace the enchanting golden Sands

Sam Sand Dunes Jaisalmer

Approximately 42 kilometers from the fort city of Jaisalmer, the SAM Sand Dunes in the outskirts… is for sure the best recommended places to see in Jaisalmer. The exanimate ambiance with stretches of sweeping dunes, camel safari along the breathtaking crests and troughs and crimson horizon at the sunset together drops you to a pleasing blissful landscape.

Don’t miss the rustic and earthy music and folk dance of the gypsies that depicts the rural culture of the Rajasthani folk. The best time to visit the SAM Sand Dunes is at the time of the Jaisalmer Desert Festival, which is usually held in the month of February every year.

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Desert National Park – Wilderness of the desert world

Desert National Park Jaisalmer

This pristine desert wildlife is located in the midst of the remote Thar Desert. If you want to explore the region’s ecosystem and wildlife, then Desert National Park is the best place to visit in Jaisalmer.

The park resounds with the calls of endangered great Indian bustard, black bucks, chinkaras and soul soothing voices of migratory birds like Saker falcon fly, eastern imperial eagle and Eurasian griffon vultures etc.

Also thrilling jeep safari and camping add fun and excitement to the sightseeing of Desert National Park which will be a memorable experience for a lifetime.

Also Read: Wildlife Tourism in Rajasthan

Gadi Sagar Lake -Divine bliss of temples and tranquil waters

Gadi Sagar Lake Jaisalmer

Built in the 14th century as a water conservation tank, the Gadi Sagar Lake is the best place to visit for sightseeing tours in Jaisalmer, which is today a popular tourist hangout. The lake encircles several temples with the most notable being the Krishna Temple that is located on top of the Tilon Gate.

During the winter season, migratory birds flock the region and bird watching becomes a favorite activity in Jaisalmer. Further, boat riding in the Gadsisar Lake is yet another exciting thing to do in Jaisalmer. The best time to visit the Gadi Sagar Lake is during the Gangaur Festival, which is usually held in March or April.

Also Read: Popular Must Visit Lakes in Rajasthan

Salim Singh Ki Haveli – Revel in the grandeur of Past

Salim Singh Ki Haveli Jaisalmer

A distinct architecture that you will come across in Jaisalmer city is the Haveli of Salim Singh from the 17th century which has an extended arched roof in the shape of a peacock.

It is an incredible silhouette that is crafted with 38 balconies, each having distinct designs. Salim Singh Ki Haveli is one of the heritage attractions to explore when you are travelling to Jaisalmer.

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Patwa Ki Haveli – Hedonism at its peak

Patwa Ki Haveli Jaisalmer

An impressive example of intricate architecture that unwrap the passage of a wealthy trader, Guman Chand Patwa of the 19th century, the Patwa Ki Haveli is one of the must places to visit in Jaisalmer.

It is one of the largest Havelis in Rajasthan that maintains fine wall paintings, beautiful jharokhas (balconies), archways and gateways. The Patwon ki Haveli is a cluster of five grandiose havelis which were gifted by Guman Chand Patwa to his sons.

History reveals that the ‘Patwas’ left the Havelis at the mercy of caretakers who in due course became the owners. Later, the first haveli was sold to Mr. Jeevan Lal Ji Kothari… and thereafter Patwa ki Haveli was renamed as the Kothari Patwa Haveli.

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Tanot Mata Temple – Get the holy blessings from the divine Tanot Mata

Tanot Mata Temple Jaisalmer

Your Jaisalmer travel guide is incomplete without the Tanot Mata Temple that is located approximately 150 kilometers from Jaisalmer city and lies close to the battle site of Longewala of the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971.

The temple is currently maintained by the Border Security Force of India and it preserves a collection of unexploded bombs dropped by Pakistan during the 1971 war. The Tanot Mata Temple is one of the least explored tourist places in Rajasthan due to its remote location and hence you can make your holiday in Jaisalmer a penetrating one by visiting the Tanot Mata Temple. A glimpse of the Tanot Mata Temple was shown in the popular Bollywood movie Border.

Also Check out: Popular Religious Tourism Places in Rajasthan

Jain Temple – Visual treat for architecture lovers and solace seekers

Jain Temple Jaisalmer

The Jaisalmer Fort houses a group of Jain Temples that dates back to the 12th and 15th century. The group of Jain Temples is a fine example of Dilwara style of architecture that uses yellow sandstone.

The temples are dedicated to various Jain Tirthankars. With detailed architectural work having carved animal and human figures on the wall, a dome that is covered by an amalak and a water pot containing lotus flowers, The Parshvanath Temple is the most prominent one. Further, the Rishabhnath Temple and Sambhavnath Temple in Lodurva, which is 16 kilometers from Jaisalmer city, are two other Jain temples that one can visit during their trip to Jaisalmer.

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Vyas Chhatri – Visit the blissful shores of this Sublime memorial ground

Vyas Chhatri Jaisalmer

The Vyas chhatri is a marvel in the midst of the sand dunes and exhibits the typical Rajasthani style of architecture. Dedicated to sage Vyas, who completed the Hindu epic Mahabharata, Vyas chhatri is Rajasthan’s spin to monuments. It is also popular as one of the best places in Jaisalmer to observe a sunset.

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Mandir Palace – Embrace the 200 years old legacy of Jaisalmer Rulers

Mandir Palace Jaisalmer

One of the finest examples of craftsmanship, having ornate balconies, canopies and intricately carved screens, the Mandir Palace is a popular tourist attraction in Jaisalmer.

It was built between the 9th and the 10th century and was the residence of the rulers of Jaisalmer for over 200 years. The Mandir Palace features the ‘Badal Vilas’, which is a tall sandstone structure below the hilltop city fort.

Also Read: Complete Guide to Plan a Family-Friendly Trip to Rajasthan

Kuldhara Village – Get ready for the Spooky Experience

Kuldhara Village Jaisalmer

Another least explored place around Jaisalmer city that is located in the outskirts is the ruin of Kuldhara village that dates back to the 13th century. It was the largest village in the community that consisted of 84 villages but in the early 19th century all the people in Kuldhara and nearby 83 villages vanished in the dark. The reasons are still being undisclosed, but it is being said that the village was cursed and hence is considered as one of the haunted villages in India. Nonetheless the place still retains some fine architectural works like temples and step wells that assures a planned settlement over 7 centuries.

Also Read: Adventure Tourism in Rajasthan

Bada Bagh- Bagh of Royal Grandeur

Bada Bagh Jaisalmer

Located 6 kilometers away from Jaisalmer city, Bada Bagh is a beautiful place that houses several cenotaphs of the royal families from the 16th century to 20th century.

It also maintains several other attractions like a garden, a tank, a dam and the Govardhan Stambh (pillar). Bada Bagh offers incredible sunset views which will blow your heart away. It is one of the best places to visit in Jaisalmer.

Also Read: Top Things to Buy in Rajasthan

Surya Gate – Historical Gate of many tales

Sura Gate Jaisalmer

One of the entrances to Jaisalmer Fort, Surya Gate is a popular attraction in Jaisalmer that is another example of intricately carved architecture.

It is a narrow gate that was built in the 12th century with the aim of preventing enemies from launching a surprise attack and charging inside the fort.

Also Read: Offbeat Destinations in Rajasthan

The Thar Heritage Museum – Exquisite antique pieces of Jaisalmer

The Thar Heritage Muesum Jaisalmer

The Thar Heritage Museum in other words is a house of antique that preserves several historical and ancient folk art of Thar Desert, turbans, musical instruments, fossils and kitchen equipment. It is one of the prominent tourist attractions in Jaisalmer city that is located close to Gandhi Chowk.

Also check out: Must Visit Museums in Rajasthan

Khaba Fort – Legacy of the mysterious Paliwal Brahmins

Khaba Fort Jaisalmer

Yet another spooky tale from Rajasthan tourism, the Khaba Fort that was once inhabited by the Paliwal Brahmins for over 200 years is today an abandoned fort with sparse human activity surrounding it.

Well… the location is perfect for photography and chills. After taking a walk around the fort structure, you can also visit the small museum that preserves several antiques.

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Akal Wood Fossil Park – Travel back to the prehistoric times

Akal Wood Fossil Park Jaisalmer

Don’t forget to tune into the ancient vibes of Akal Wood Fossil Park. This blissful fossil park was once an enchanted forest about 180 million years ago. Akal wood Fossil Park houses age old tree logs protected by the tin roof from various elements.

The main attraction of this park is the ancient redwood tree trunk. This is a perfect place for history lovers. Akal Wood Fossil Park shows useful insights on the history of this planet. It is a must visit place in Jaisalmer if you want to experience something different.

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Lodhruva – Enchanting deserted ruins, Sublime

Lodhruva Jaisalmer

Before disappearing into the folds of time Lodhruva was the capital of Jaisalmer in ancient times. This place is one of the offbeat destinations of Jaisalmer. The major attraction of this place is in its Jain temples which are a marvelous example of Dilwara style architecture, Jali works and Maru Gurjara style of architecture.

Lodhruva is also popular for the doomed love story of princess Mumal and Mahendra which is still recited in local folklores and songs. If you are planning to visit Jaisalmer, the charms of Lodhruva will never cease to attract you with its mesmerizing views.

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Nathmal Ki Haveli – A Unique Architecture to Explore

Nathmal Ki Haveli Jaisalmer

Located in the golden city of Jaisalmer, Nathmal Ki Haveli is a hidden gem that is often overlooked by tourists. This magnificent haveli, or traditional Indian mansion, is a stunning example of a blend of Rajasthani, Rajput and Islamic architecture and is known for its intricate carvings and detailed craftsmanship.

Built in 1885, the haveli is named after Mohata Nathmal, the then Prime Minister of Jaisalmer. It was built by his two brothers, Hathi and Lulu, who were known for their artistic skills and were also tasked with constructing other important buildings in the area. One of the interesting facts about the structure is, it was started building in two parts by two brothers without knowing the progress and came out as a unique irregular shape which becomes one of the most admired structures in all of Rajasthan.

Nathmal Ki Haveli is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Jaisalmer. Its intricate carvings, which cover the walls and facades of the building are something visitors cannot miss. The carvings depict scenes of modernity like fans and cars. Two craftsmen who painted these did not see the amenities themselves but they painted them by hearing the descriptions from people. They are truly a work of art and are a testament to the skills of the craftsmen who created them.

Also Read: Vishwas Swaroopam in Nathdwara, Rajasthan – World’s Tallest Shiva Statue

Barmer – A Cultural Masterpiece

Barmer Fort

Barmer is a city located in the heart of the Thar Desert in the Jaisalmer district of Rajasthan, India. It is a rich cultural hub, known for its vibrant local festivals, traditional handicrafts, and stunning architecture. The city is steeped in history and has a lot to offer tourists who are interested in exploring India’s cultural heritage.

Barmer is also home to some stunning architectural masterpieces, including the magnificent Barmer Fort, which was built in the 16th century. The fort is a testament to the city’s rich history and is surrounded by a series of imposing walls that offer a breathtaking view of the surrounding desert landscape. Visitors can also explore the nearby havelis, or traditional Rajasthani mansions, which are known for their intricate carvings and ornate facades.

Visitors can take a desert safari on camelback and experience the beauty of the desert at sunset, as well as the peace and quiet of the wilderness at night. During the safari, visitors can also visit the nearby villages and meet the local people, who are known for their hospitality and warmth. The best time to visit Barmer is during the Barmer Festival which happens every year in March.

Top Places to Visit in Barmer

  • Barmer Fort
  • Chintamani Parshwanath Jain Temple
  • Jagdambe Temple
  • Keradu

Also Read:  Best Historical Places to Visit in Udaipur

Camel Safari – Get Ready Thrill Seekers

Camel Safari Jaisalmer

Being in the city of shifting sand dunes, you can’t escape the saddle journey. A bumpy ride on a camel in the Thar Desert is one of the exciting things to do in Jaisalmer. It allows you to explore the remote and isolated places tucked in the midst of the desert. Certainly, the more time you devote on your safari, the more remote places you are likely to see and the more you may adjust to and enjoy the desert tranquillity.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best time to visit Jaisalmer?

The best time to visit Jaisalmer is from November to March. During this time the temperature remains favorable for sightseeing and other adventure activities in Jaisalmer. Desert festival is also celebrated in the month of February, which makes Jaisalmer one of the most visited places in winters.

To embrace the thrill and excitement in the golden sands of Jaisalmer, what kind of adventure activities does Jaisalmer offer to the tourists?

Jaisalmer offers a plethora of adventure activities to the tourists which will elevate their experience to a whole new level. Some of the most popular adventure activities to do in Jaisalmer are -

  • Parasailing
  • Paramotoring
  • Camel Safari
  • Quad Biking
  • Desert Safari
  • Jeep Safari
  • Dune Bashing
  • Desert Camping

Apart from sightseeing and adventure, how can I experience the real cultural heritage and lifestyle of Jaisalmer?

If you want to experience the soul of Jaisalmer then the markets of Jaisalmer is the best place to visit. The markets showcase the real grandeur, lifestyle and cultural heritage of Jaisalmer in the form of handicrafts, local artifacts, jewelleries, camel leather products, mirror work embroidery, shawls, carpets and fossil stones etc. To enjoy the best Jaisalmer vibe, you must visit:/p>

  • Sadar Bazaar
  • Light of the east
  • Sonaron Ka Bas
  • Seema gram
  • Manak Chowk
  • Pansari Bazaar

What is the opening and closing time of Jaisalmer Fort?

Openings and closing time of Jaisalmer Fort are as follows-

  • Opening time - 8:00 am
  • Closing Time - 5:30 pm

Published: 17 Mar, 2023

About the author

Nidhi Singh

From the Lake District, Nainital, Nidhi Singh is a travel writer whose love for mountains can be seen in her write ups. Talk about solo travelling, indulging in adventure activities, binging on good food, planning budget trips or the Aurora Borealis and you will get all her attention. It is the wanderlust that keeps her going and if at all she could get one wish granted she would love to live a life less ordinary. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram.