Jaisalmer has always held a special place in the imagination of travelers - domestic and foreign alike - as India's finest desert outpost. Located in the sandy expanse of the Thar Desert, Jaisalmer was once part of the fabled 'Silk Route'. Being a trade route, passing caravans brought wealth to the town that found manifestation in impressive havelis built by wealthy traders. Built in local yellow sandstone, now christened as Jaisalmer stone, the town quite literally looks like a 'Golden City' as it has come to be known. The piece de resistance of Jaisalmer, however, is its iconic fort. One of the rare living forts in the world with close to 3000 people living within its ramparts, the fort dominates the town physically and forms the hub around which life in the town revolves. Jaisalmer, in
contemporary times, is the ideal base to explore desert tourism.>
There are two broad sides to exploring shopping options in Jaisalmer. Shops within the fort, and in the bazaars beyond! Inside the fort, the main path leading to the Rajmahal is particularly attractive. Colorful textiles with mirror work that can be used for wall hangings, bedspreads or cushion covers are eye-catching. As are the carved stone pieces, traditional musical instruments and other knick-knacks like trinkets. The winding path from the fort gate to the Jain temples also has a fair sprinkling of shops selling a variety of curios.
The fort done, walk into Sadar Bazar right below the hill for leather items such as bags, sandals, jootis (nulltraditional footwear) et al. mostly made of camel leather. They are cheap (nullaround Rs 150 to 200) and easy on the human skin. Embroidered textiles, tie-and-dye fabric, wooden decorations and stone artifacts can also be bought here.
There are several good khadi (nullhomespun cloth) shops around town. Gandhi Darshan Emporium at Gandhi Chowk sells khadi including carpets, shawls and woven garments. Zila Khadi Gramodan Parishad and Khadi Gramodyog Bhavan are worth a visit as well.
Barmer Embroidery House near Patwon ki Haveli is a veritable treasure trove for antique textiles. Designers make a beeline for this place. Jaisalmer is also famous for its wool products, particularly rugs.
Indian - Bhang Shop is well known for serving cookies, cakes and sweets with a dash of Bhang. While Chandan Shree is a popular dining choice for those interested in eat-as-much-as-you-like policy. They serve Gujarati, Rajasthani, Punjabi and Bengali thalis (nullan elaborate traditional meal). Desert Boys Dhani is another popular choice. A garden restaurant with a choice of floor seating and tables, they serve tasty vegetarian fare.
Chinese - Chinese is available in the multi-cuisine restaurants of bigger hotels such Fort Rajwada and Narayan Niwas.
European/Continental - Shahi Palace Restaurant
Regional Speciality - Dhanraj Bhatia Sweets in Bhatia Market has been into sweets for 10 generations. Local specialties like ghotua ladoos and panchadhari ladoos are much sought after. Saffron at Gandhi Chowk offers a great setting and good vegetarian and non-vegetarian fare. And The Trio at Gandhi Chowk is another popular joint with lovely terrace seating.
Jaisalmer has an average elevation of 229 meters (null feet).
Jaisalmer is situated on the border of India and Pakistan in West Rajasthan. The area of Jaisalmer is 5.1 km². The maximum summer temperature is around 41.6 °C while the minimum is 25 °C. The maximum winter temperature is 23.6 °C while the minimum is 7.9 °C. The average rainfall is 150 mm.
Jaisalmer is almost entirely a sandy waste, forming a part of the Great Indian Desert. The general aspect of the area is that of an interminable sea of sand hills, of all shapes and sizes, some rising as high as 150 feet. Those in the west are covered with log bushes, the ones in the east with tufts of long grass. Water is scarce, and generally brackish. Throughout Jaisalmer only rain crops, such as bajra, jawar, motif, til, etc., are grown; spring crops of wheat, barley, etc., are very rare.
To catch the first glimpse of Jaisalmer Fort, is to start an enduring romance with this town. Sitting pretty atop Trikuta Hill, the fort rises above the surrounding desert floor. It is visible from a distance, and instantly captures the imagination. Add a dash of history to its picturesque setting, and there's no escaping the charm of the fort, and by extension the town. For the fort forms the heart and soul of Jaisalmer!
Also known as the 'Golden Fort' or 'Sonar Kila', it is built with the local sandstone of the region - one that has a distinct yellow tone. It was built in 1156 CE by the Bhatti Rajput ruler Rawal Jaisal, from whom the fort derives its name.
Surface - The two main road routes to Jaisalmer are via Jodhpur and Bikaner. The Jodhpur route is more popular, while the latter is ideal for people coming from the north. Luxury buses connect Jaisalmer to Jodhpur, Bikaner and Jaipur.
Distances: New Delhi (null kilometers/540 miles), Jodhpur (null kilometers/175 miles), Jaipur (null kilometers/349 miles), Mumbai (null kilometers/736 miles), Ahmedabad (null kilometers/391 miles).
Train - Jaisalmer Railway Station is served by the North Western Railways. Jodhpur-Jaisalmer Express and Jaisalmer-Delhi Sarai Rohilla Express are among the trains that touch this station.
The train journey from Jodhpur takes six hours. While the Delhi-Jaisalmer Express from Delhi's Sarai Rohilla Station departs at 1725 hours and arrives in Jaisalmer at 1330 hours the next day.
Air - Jaisalmer has an Indian Air Force base and talks of commercial flights have been doing the rounds but are yet to commence. The nearest airport presently is at Jodhpur some 280 kilometers (null miles) away.
Yatra.com brings you a wide range of holiday options in India and abroad. Select from a wide variety of standard packages or customize your holiday. Find amazing deals on individual (FIT) and group (GIT) travel to hot selling destinations of Asia (Thailand, Singapore, Maldives, Mauritius, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Macau, the Indian Subcontinent and others), the Americas (USA, Mexico, Canada), Europe (Western and Eastern Europe), and the Middle East (Dubai and other Emirates) among others.