Vast outstretched patches of golden sand and mighty forts boasting of the Rajputana legacy, the Golden City of India is every history lover’s delight. United with the rest of Rajasthan by sharing a common ground, Jaisalmer is also the western state where India and Pakistan share their border. The streets of Jaisalmer are filled with natives clad in colourful clothes and a melody of Rajasthani language. Jaisalmer’s culturally abundant history is evident in the palaces and forts apart from the secrets that Thar’s dunes hold. If you happen to be in Jaisalmer and have 24 hours, here is how you should spend them:
TAKE AN EARLY MORNING BOAT RIDE
The Gadisar Lake in Jaisalmer is not unheard of. While the lake is on everybody’s wish list we suggest you beat the crowd and reach there early. The lake is best experienced with a layer of serenity surrounding the area. The lake was built as a reservoir to harvest rainwater into the arid city but now is a popular tourist destination. Apart from a boat ride one can enjoy a wholesome bird watching experience with only the sound of still water and the chirping of birds.Post this we suggest that you grab breakfast at either Chaisalmer or Hocus Pocus, both of which are within the vicinity of the lake. Go for Chaisalmer’s buffet breakfast and coffee and Hocus Pocus’ ambience that will give you a reason to linger on.
WITNESS THE CULTURAL HERITAGE
Jaisalmer’s cultural trail is an experience that stays with one for long. And in order to experience this experience, we suggest you visit the local heritage cultural museums. Two museums, namely, Desert Handicraft emporium and the Desert Culture center and museum are our picks. Both the places are stocked with unusual jewellery and paintings and offer an insight into the legacy of the city. Post this we suggest that you step on into royalty at Patwa ki Haveli. Not just a single haveli, but a cluster of five, the haveli was commissioned and constructed by a trader, Guman Chand Patwa in 1805. The havelis boast of intricate stonework and artwork and have now been converted into a museum. Within the vicinity is Salim Singh haveli and Nathmal haveli with captivating, distinct architecture. Post this we suggest you grab lunch at either Café The Kaku or the Trio. A meal here will taste 10 times better because the seating overlooks the city. Clad in brown from top to bottom, it is a view worth cherishing.
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VISIT THE MUCH SOUGHT AFTER JAISALMER FORT
Situated in the heart of the city the Jaisalmer fort is magnificence and glory coming alive right in front of one’s eyes. Similar to other forts in Rajasthan, Jaisalmer too boasts of a culturally rich past. The fort, built in sand stone, is locally known as Sonar Quila. The city is said to be founded by Raja Rawal Jaisal, a Bhatti Rajput ruler, the fort being his abode. For most part of Jaisalmer’s history, the fort was the city and the city was the fort. Even today, one fourth of the population of the city resides inside the fort.After you soak the Rajputana history here, visit the Jain temples around the fort. The Jain temples date back to the 12th and 15th century and have been carved out magnificently. These maze like structures are built in yellow sandstone and merge with the desert as soon as the sun sets.
GET A TASTE OF THE MIGHTY THAR
Now you see it, now you don’t. The mighty Thar desert is perfect in creating a mirage. However, the immaculate sand dunes and the cultural performances are for real. If you fancy a camel safari through the desert, Sam dunes is the place you should be at. Located at about an hour’s drive from the city, most travellers come here to experience the spirit of Rajasthani culture in its organic form. Women clad in colourful clothes and men with mighty moustaches and folk music as the unmatched melody, Sam dunes is one of a kind experience. And in case you are looking for a more localized experience get talking to one of the tribal communities there. However, if you wish to stay in the city, what better than getting to the streets and exploring the local markets? The streets of Jaisalmer come alive with every step you take. And the markets don’t disappoint you.
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END YOUR DAY WITH A TRADITIONAL MEAL
What better than ending your Rajasthan vacay with a traditional meal? If you are at the desert, there are plenty of options available for you to cherish a traditional meal. Apart from that one even has the option of spending the night at the desert. However, if not at the Thar desert, one can also head to Khaba Fort in Paliwal, a ruined citadel in barren desert village.As the sun goes down, the wind gets crisper and the desert starts looking modified and one relishes a lip smacking meal.