Jaisalmer Havelis (Patwon ki Haveli...)
City of Rajasthan, 282 km from Jodhpur
Visit duration: People typically spend 1 to 1.5 days here
Also known as India's Golden City for its almost-uniform yellow architectural theme, the city of Jaisalmer stands on the west side of Rajasthan. Preserving the demeanour of regal architecture of ancient India, immersed by the sun's rays, the city is quite worthy of the epithet ‘Golden City’.
The city is nestled in the arid desert region. It becomes extremely hot during the summer days, yet the nights are cooler. During the winter months, the days are comfortable to explore the city’s attractions but the nights get very cold.
Jaisalmer was founded by and named after the then ruler, Rawal Jaisal, in 1156. The history of the foundation of this 12th-century city is quite interesting.
Rawal Jaisal was the eldest son of the Rawal (king) of Deoraj. Even though Jaisal was the rightful heir to the throne, his younger step brother went on to become the king after his father. On one of his expeditions, Jaisal came across Trikuta, a 75-metre high triangular rock in the vast horizon of sand. There he encountered a sage in an isolated region. Upon interacting with the sage, he learnt that he was from the bloodline of the Yadhuvanshi Clan and told the king about the prophecy made by Lord Krishna. The prophecy was that a Yadhuvanshi descendent would rule this mountain. Inspired by this, Jaisal established his own kingdom on the three-peaked mountain.
The ancient Jaisalmer was ruled by different clans. Until the 6th century, the region was ruled by Raika of Kutch for 600 years. Before the arrival of the Bhati clan in the 9th century ushered by the Deoraj, the prince of Yadhuvanshi Bhati Rajput, ancient Jaisalmer was ruled by the local Sindhi tribes.
The city is enriched with rich cultural and historical legacies which get portrayed during the festive times. The Desert Festival is celebrated in February. This 3-day festival starts before the full moon. This festival is celebrated to honour the prediction of Lord Krishna.
The procession from Jaisalmer Fort to Shahid Poonam Singh Stadium in the morning marks the beginning of the festival unveiling the colourful cultural heritage of Rajasthan. The ship of the desert, the camels, are ornate with colourful fabrics and flowers. Other attractions are camel race and playing camel polo. With traditional acrobats, puppet shows and cheerful competition like tying the turbans, and longest moustache, Mr. Desert entertains the visitors throughout the day.
At night, renowned Rajasthani musicians and dancers attract travellers through their performances. The desert festival is the perfect time to witness the famous Kalbelia dances and folk songs and music along with fire and Gair dance.
There are several stay options in the city ranging from budget hotels to luxurious ones. Here are some of the options to stay in Jaisalmer during your visit to the majestic state of Rajasthan.
The mesmerising architecture of the Jaisalmer fort makes you eager to experience living in a haveli. This hotel, situated within the fort, will make you feel royal, away from the urban modern world to the ancient period. A calm evening on the balcony of this abode with a view of the entire city is memorable. This is a mid-budget option.
Situated on top of the Jaisalmer Fort, this hotel is for travellers who love great views. The 300-year-old property offers an old-world charm with all the modern facilities anyone would look for. This is also a budget-friendly option for staying at Jaisalmer.
The mystical ambience of the hotel will transport you to an enchanted world of romance and peace. This is a mid-budget stay option in Jaisalmer located in the old city. This is a two-minute walk from Jaisalmer markets. This could be an ideal place for you if you love shopping.
Hotel Ozaki Heritage offers a 360-degree view to enjoy both the sunrise and the sunset from the rooftop with 24-hour access to visitors. The hotel is located near the historical monuments and the shopping arcade. Despite its location, it has an isolated-calming ambience which will provide a balance of a peaceful yet enlivening journey. This is a budget hotel.
This palace is a comparatively newborn building built in 2010. Its architecture is inspired by the Fort and is furnished with golden marble. The hotel is located 5 minutes walking distance from the south side of the Fort. This is a budget-friendly hotel.
The restaurant is located 2 km from Gadisar Lake and provides indoor meal services. It also gives the option of vegetarian dishes and vegan and gluten-free dishes. You can enjoy Rajasthan’s authentic dishes along with a serene view of the garden and a swimming pool.
The restaurant is located near Mandir Palace and provides the service of dining either indoors or outdoors. It is a non-vegetarian restaurant serving North Indian delicacies like tandoori chicken, malai kofta and kebabs. It has a striking view and a comfy interior.
It is a multi-cuisine restaurant that serves only vegetarian dishes. It is suitable for vegans and vegetarians. It is the ideal place for animal-lovers, nature enthusiasts that fancies candle-light dinner as a romantic-outdoor meal.
Dine yourself in delicacies of fine wine, chicken, lamb and vegetable dishes. A royal cuisine after a royal tour of the Maharaja's Palace. A splendid view of outdoor dining with a luxurious meal, treat yourself like a majesty by feasting in this restaurant.
The dining here is a treat for you as it blends the culinary heritage of Marwad with the cuisine. Dine under the amber lights of the restaurant, as you dive into indolence and become indecisive about the menu. A collection of drinks to quench your parchedness. The airy and roomy atmosphere provides service around the clock.
Located in the far western part of Rajasthan, the desert city of Jaisalmer can be reached by car from Jodhpur and from Bikaner in 5 hours.
No, the accommodation centres provide running water, still, it would be wise to not waste it.
You can visit the place all year but if you want to avoid the hot temperature then visiting the place in winter and spring would be ideal. Any time from November to March is great if you want to explore Jaisalmer and other parts of Rajasthan in milder weather.
There are a lot of places to visit while staying in Jaisalmer, so it depends on the places you want to visit during the trip. However, a day or two is good enough to spend in Jaisalmer.
The entire city turns into a magical dimension during the sunset so you can enjoy it from any part of the city you want.