Rajasthan is one such place which has a multitude of options when it comes to travelers. It can cater a wide variety of interests ranging from nature & wildlife in places like Ranthambore to the icon city of lakes Udaipur and not forget the umpteen number of palaces and forts to which the state is home to. Its a place filled with art, culture, music, architecture, flora/fauna and lots more. One such city in Rajasthan which should not miss while visiting this region in Jaisalmer.
A city which is nicknamed “The Golden City” is about 575kms away from the capital Jaipur and it lies in the heart of That desert.
Based on the time that one has on hand to spend in Jaisalmer they can decide to explore the city and the numerous temples and houses built of finely sculptured sandstone and of course the main for in itself the Jaisalmer Fort or with the luxury of time on the hand they can go on an experiential trip to the Sam dunes.
Let us consider a hypothetical situation where one just has a day but nothing more than a day starting from dawn to dusk available at his disposal in this city. Tourists who fall under such category are the ones who reach the city late in the evening and check-in one of the many hotels in Jaisalmer and they just have the next day at their disposal for exploring the city. The ideal thing to do in such a situation is to start the day by visiting the iconic Jaisalmer Fort or the golden fort. The city and the fort got its name from the yellow sandstone which is used extensively in the architecture both in the fort and the city.
It’s best to explore the fort with the help of local guides which can either be booked from the hotels where you are staying or you can find plenty of them in and around the fort itself. There is a lot to the place than just the gigantic fort. It’s home for many temples and the havelis which are adorned by intricate stone carving doors and windows.
Jaisalmer is home for the bigger part of the Jain community which has led the city to be adorned with beautiful temples and many of them ( close to 12 ) can be found in the fort itself. The biggest amongst these is the Paraswanath Temple.
The day spent at the fort need not be limited to the fort in itself or the breathtaking views of the city from the top of the architecture of the temples and havelis. One can spend a fortune here if they like shopping and there are quite a lot of stalls scattered along the way which sell souvenirs, handicrafts, traditional Rajasthani dolls, and dresses, etc.
If you have the luxury of spending more than 1-2 days in Jaisalmer then you can explore the core speciality of the place which is the desert and more so the Sand dunes. The Sam sand dunes are located just about 45mins drive from the city centre and one can stay overnight at various camping sites in the tourist area of the desert. The day literally starts in the evening when you will be taken on a camel ride from the camp to the dunes nearby and watching the sunset over the golden dunes with the silence around you is an experience of a lifetime. But it just doesn’t stop there, once you are back to the camp you are taken for a different cultural and musical journey altogether where the guests are entertained with music, dance and stories told in a traditional style by the local artists. With the sky becoming darker by the minute and the moon rising on the distant horizon and soulful music striking the ears, one cannot ask for a better finish to the day and not to forget the delicious Rajasthani cuisine that they will get to savour before they hit the bed.
The dawn following the night can be spent exploring few untouched Sand dunes around this region or if you are a nature or wildlife lover you can drive down to Desert National Park (DNP) which is hardly 15mins drive from the camps. DNP is home to the endangered Great Indian Bustard and one needs to be not only lucky but very patient if one has to sight a pair in the sanctuary. Local forest guards are available and must if you want to drive around in the park. You can also get to see a lot of flora and fauna which are very typical to the desert habitat. All these and much more will just leave you with memories of a lifetime and logging for one to ensure that they will come back and witness this beautiful place once again in their lifetime.
As said Jaisalmer is one place which can be explored in a day or in may days based on the luxury and affordability of the traveller. There are plenty of options to stay in the city and there are hotels in Jaisalmer which caters to a wide variety of tourist budget ranging from few hundreds or thousands of rupee for someone who is looking for budget accommodation to something like Suryagarh Hotel where the suites can go anywhere up to a 5digit number. And of course, there is definitely the options like the Camps in Sam which are meant for a totally different experience altogether.