Tourists visiting Jaisalmer have a lot to see, major tourist attractions and places of tourist interest at Jaisalmer are its grand and intricately carved havelis, Patwon ki Haveli, Nathmalji ki Haveli, Salim Singh Ki haveli, the magnificient Sonar Qila or the Jaisalmer fort, Bada Bagh Royal cenotaphs, Gadisagar lake, the Jain group of temples located within the fort and the beautiful sand dunes of Sam. During the Jaisalmer Desert festival tourists from world over throng to Jaisalmer to experience all that it offers.
“Sonar Qila” or the “Golden Fortress” is how the mighty fort of Jaisalmer with its majestic 99 Bastions is referred to. Perched on top of the Trikuta hill and built with Gold coloured Jaisalmer Sand Stone, the Jaisalmer Fort with was built in the 12th Century by Maharawal Jaisal of the Bhati clan of Rajputs. Jaisalmer was named after its founder Maharawal Jaisal . The Jaisalmer fort was designed as a living fort and is even today is inhabited by families who have been here for generations. Located within the confines of the Jaisalmer fort is the imperial palace, Dussehra Chowk, sand stone houses and Havelis with their majestic and intricately carved and engraved facades, colourful bazaars and the beautiful and must visit Jain temples. You can wander the narrow alleys and explore the small shops offering souvenirs and trinkets, watch life as it happens, where motorcycles share space with squatting cows, holy-men and street vendors. The majestic
fort ramparts and the handprints of Sati’s on the buildings around Dussehra Chowk remind you of bygone era as the fort surveys and commands the vast expanse of the Thar Desert that lies outside its confines. To feel the essence of the fort and life it happens you have the option of staying at small family run boutique hotels or guest houses within the fort. Remember these were not built to be hotels or lodges but houses built according to local sensibilities, which have now been retrofitted with air-conditioners, attached toilets and baths. If you are looking forward to such experiences, we can help you plan your visit to Jaisalmer and your Stay in one of these establishments within the Jaisalmer fort, please drop us a mail and our Tour Advisors will be in Touch firstname.lastname@example.org
Bada Bagh Cenotaphs
Located atop a hill about 7 Km away from the city of Jaisalmer, travelers will find the eerily calm setting of Bada Bagh, Or the Royal cenotaphs . This is Jaisalmers version of the Valley of the Kings, Bada Bagh is where the rulers of Jaisalmer or the Maharawals were cremated and many of their wives followed them into afterlife by committing Sati on the funeral pyre of their husbands under the Beating of drums, conch shells and chanting of Sati Mata Ki Jai. Sati a custom that has now long been abolished in India was considered a matter of honour and family pride among the Rajput women of India who were mentally prepared for the act since their childhood. At Bada Bagh You will find cenotaphs with epitaphs where as many as eight queens committed sati on the funeral pyre of their lord and master. Built of the famous golden Jaisalmer sand stone. The Bada bagh is visited by a very few tourists for various reasons. The sand dunes at Sam and the Cenotaphs at
Sunset Point closer to the city are more well publicized especially for sunset views. Maharawal Jait Singh commissioned the construction of Bada Bagh in the early 16th century. The site itself consists of a tank, a dam and a garden. Visitors will enjoy the beautifully carved structures at sunrise or sunset when picture perfect light abounds. Plan on an hour to see the sights.
Sam Sand Dunes-Jaisalmer
Located about 42 K.M. from Jaisalmer town is the village of Sam Which is famous for its picture postcard sand dunes . The sand dunes at Sam are one of the compelling reasons for any visitor to visit Jaisalmer and experience its shifting sands, camel safaris and desert sunsets. Experience the crests and troughs at the Sam dunes and feel the sand as it sandpapers your cheeks either on camel back or for the less adventurous on a camel cart.
The big tourist attraction that Sam is, it attracts not only tourists in large droves but is a colourful jamboree of the Kalbelia dancers, Manganiyar singers , puppeteers and trinket vendors. The sunset at Sam is a must do and highly recommended where perched on the crest of a dune with your beast beside you the feeling of oneness with nature and its simplicity, just overwhelms you as become one with the "Spirit of the Thar".
Jain group of Temples
The Shikhara's or the Temple Spires of the Jain temples of Jaisalmer located within the confines of the mighty Sonar Qila, with their fluttering flags are among the first sights witnessed from afar by visitors arriving by road to Jaisalmer.
The Jain Group of Temples comprising of seven temples are dedicated to the Jain prophets or Tirthankaras , Parsvanath, Rishabdeo, Sambhavnatha & others and were made by Rich Jain Merchants of Jaisalmer between the 15th&16th century. These temples showcase intricately carved statues , ornate pillars, arches & Roofs made from Sand stone and the Yellow coloured Jaisalmer stone. The detailed and magnificent “ Torans” or Arched gateways can leave visitors awestruck. Devotees still throng to these temples and the temple priests perform all ceremonies as required of them.
The Jain community are strong believers of non violence and revere all things living and are very strict vegetarians . All visitors are welcome to these Jain temples as long is silence is maintained , dress sensibilities adhered to and no disrespect is shown to any resident deities.
Gadi Sagar Lake
Gadi Sagar Lake is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Jaisalmer. It was once the only source of water for the Jaisalmer city in the olden days.
This manmade reservoir, the Gadi Sagar Lake was constructed by Maharawal Jaisal, the first ruler of Jaisalmer in 1367 and later rebuilt and rewamped by Maharawal Garsi Singh. Artistically carved Chattris, Temples, Shrines and Ghats surround the banks of Gadi Sagar Lake . Located south of Jaisalmer city the entrance to the Gadi Sagar Lake or Garsisar Tank as it is also known is through a magnificent and artistically carved yellow sandstone archway called Telia-Pol which was commissioned by a royal courtesan "Telia".
The backdrop of the Jaisalmer Fort provides the perfect setting and a picture postcard camera opportunity . Depending on the water level in the Lake which is entirely rainfall dependent you can enjoy a boat ride on the lake or just sit on any of the Ghats and see the yellow sandstone banks change hues with the setting sun and the song of the lone Manganiyar playing hisSarangi perched in one of the chattris or the lake ghats.
The serene Gadi Sagar Lake springs to life during the annual Gangaur celebrations.