Jaisalmer | India
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Jaisalmer, the "Golden City", is on the westernmost frontier of India in the state of Rajasthan. Close to the border with Pakistan, the city is known for its proximity to the Thar Desert. A desert safari in the sand dunes of Jaisalmer is an unforgettable experience. The city is dominated by the Jaisalmer Fort. Unlike most forts in India, the Jaisalmer Fort is a living fort. There are shops, hotels, age old havelis (homes) inside the fort area. The fort is also a UNESCO World Heritage site.

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Planning a Trip

1 Get in 1.1 By plane 1.2 By train 1.3 By bus 1.4 By car 1.5 By camel By plane Jaisalmer Airport (IATA: JSA ICAO: VIJR), a civilian enclave of a military base, is the closest airport, 17 km southeast of the city. Domestic flights are offered by Spicejet and Supreme Airlines. The next closest airport is around 285 km away, in Jodhpur. Pre-paid taxis are available to reach at Jaislamer from Jodhpur, which cost more than ₹4000. Alternatively there are frequent trains and buses. The closest international airport is in Jaipur (around 562 km). It is connected with important Indian cities and major cities abroad. By train There is a direct train service from Delhi. Delhi-Jaisalmer Express "Shalimar Exp", departure time at 5:30PM, reaches Jaisalmer at 11:30AM the next morning. When arriving by train you will pass the station of Pokharan, India's nuclear testing area. The train does not leave from the Station New Delhi next to the Backpacker-Ghetto "Main-Bazar", but a 15-min auto-rickshaw ride north from the Dehli Jn - Station. By bus Bus or car-taxi from Jodhpur or by bus from Bikaner is available. A daily bus runs to and from Jaipur. Ordinary and Deluxe buses of private companies and Rajasthan Roadways run from Mount Abu, Barmer, Bikaner, Jaipur, Jodhpur and Ahmadabad to Jaisalmer. There are various deluxe and semi-deluxe buses available at regular intervals for Jodhpur. Rajasthan State buses also connect Jaisalmer city with some neighboring cities. The ticket charges are around ₹2-3 per km. By car 26°54′58″N 70°55′0″EMap of Jaisalmer Various tour operators and travel agencies offer chauffeured car-taxi services; these are charged on a per-kilometre, per-day basis. You can plan to take one to arrive into the city or take one for sightseeing in and around the city. There are many car rental services in Delhi which can provide chauffeur driven cars to Jaisalmer. Approximate road distances from various destinations are - By camel Another option is to arrive by camel; Jaisalmer is famous for camel trips. The most grueling is the 14-day trip from Bikaner. When booking a few days in the desert on a camel, remember to shop around in order to get the quality you pay for. It is really a fun experience to wander around on a camel, as you can cover most of the locations which cannot be covered with a vehicle.

Jaisalmer

Top Attractions

One of the most magnificent attractions is the Jaisalmer Fort known as the "Sonar Kila" due to the yellow stone it was built out of. 26.9125670.912621 Jaisalmer Fort. Also known as the “Sonar Quila” or "Sonal Kella" or "Sonar Kila" as pronounced differently in parts of India. Colourful shades of the setting sun and golden hues of the desert ambience give a fairy tale look to this mega structured fort. The interior of this fort is amazing. It is a 'working fort' meaning that unlike every other fort in India, there are people living and working within its walls. Tourists can also visit many 'havelis' or Grand Houses of rich merchants, which are also having a touch of great classical interior and design. (updated Mar 2015) There are numerous lookouts (at least five) within the fort that give a great view out across the city and desert. A tour of the royal section of the fort is available from a starting point just to the right up the stairs as you enter the main square of the fort). The audio tour is quite short, doesn't tell you very much information, and has advertisements in it - not a must, the view is what you come for. They do charge ₹100 extra per camera. There's little you'd want to take a photo of except the view from the roof, the highest part of Jaisalmer. 26.9085870.92312 GadiSar Lake. This is a rainwater lake which supplies water to the city. It is surrounded by temples and tombs of saints. Boat rides are offered. Nearby is the desert cultural centre and a local museum built out of the collections of a local schoolteacher Mr N.K. Sharma. This centre conducts puppet show in the morning and evening. There are people who will try and sell you bread to feed the huge number of catfish in the lake.  Jaisalmer Sand Dunes or Sam Sand DunesHavelis: Baa Ri haveli It is 450-year-old Brahman haveli in side Jaisalmer fort. it is one of the oldest haveli in jaisalmer. A great view of jaisalmer fort, maharaj palace, jain temple. Inside haveli 10 big and small room with antique collection. entry 50 only indian and foreign tourist Sam Sand Dunes, located 40 km west of Jaisalmer Patwon-ki-Haveli, a 10-minute walk from the main gates of the fort, is quite magnificent. It's a collection of five houses, each one for the son of a wealthy trader who made money lending to the government. You can only visit one of these havelis (closest to the street), which has been restored and turned into an excellent government museum. Besides the elaborate architecture and decor, you learn a bit about the local music, cuisine, religion, and culture. Expect to spend two hours there. Great view back towards the fort. Entry ₹250 (foreign tourist). Guides wait around outside and offer their services for as little as ₹50, however they offer a rushed guide, and there is plenty of information on well-written signs inside. Jain Temple: There are 7 beautifully carved temples built inside the fort walls. These temples were built in between from 12th century to 15th century. All the temples are connected by walkways and corridors. It is compulsory to remove your shoes, and all other leather articles (belts, wallets, purses, etc.) before entering any Jain temple. Menstruating women are also not allowed into the temple. The very first temple which a tourist can visit is dedicated to Chandraprabhu, who is the eight tirthankar (Jain God). The symbol of the God Chandraprabhu is the moon. This temple was built in 1509. It is built with fine stones. They are only open from 8AM to noon - and leave a good hour to see them. Entry is ₹150 (including camera). Take your shoes off and leave them near where you bought the tickets (a tip is only half expected). Renovated streets and houses: The city is undergoing quite extensive renovations, and particularly the small streets on the way to the Patwon-ki-Haveli have been redone with many houses now showing off exquisitely carved front sandstone walls. The houses are much more intricate and interesting from street level than they appear from the fort. 26.8416270.545833 Sam Sand Dunes. These sand dunes are around 50 km from Jaisalmer city but one has to go there to have this altogether different experience. This is an amazing sight and the sunset view from there is stunning. Also don't miss the camel ride or a camel cart ride over the semi desert.  Suryagarh, Sam Rd. It's "only" a hotel, but you still wonder how they built it in the middle of the desert. Lush gardens, lovely pools and fountains, impressive stone carving techniques. While most cannot afford to stay there, stopping to have tea is an option that allows you to have a look at lesser cost.  Sunset point, Bada Bagh (Ram Gargh Road (take a taxi)). sunset!. Lovely cenotaphs. Fantastic pictures. 

Jaisalmer