Jaisalmer: The Golden City in the Desert
Jaisalmer is a beautiful city near the Thar Desert and is 100 kilometres away from the Pakistan border. After our arrival at the train station, a car from the hotel picked us up and brought us to our accommodation. On the way, we saw Fort Jaisalmer for the first time and I felt like Aladdin in Disneyland.
The fort is amazing and gives you glimpses as a pretence of former times when kings ruled the country. The haveli built there, which is a traditional historic townhouse of Old India, is breathtaking. There are many wonderful things to do in Jaisalmer; that we were able to cover on our trip with the help of India Someday.
The Gadsisar Lake is definitely worth a visit, a beautiful oasis in the Thar Desert (Photo Credit – Karan Kartikeya)
Things we did in Jaisalmer
If looking for things to do in Jaisalmer then I would suggest visiting the fort. In 1156, the fort was built by the Rajputana ruler called Jaisal. I would highly recommend visiting the Fort Palace.
There is an audio-guide included in the ticket that allows one to learn so much about the history of the city. The various rooms inside the palace are beautiful. You have amazing views when you walk into the gates, that reminded me of being in a fairytale.
We saw two nice Jain temples inside the fort while we walked around (although it should be noted that the entry for this monument was quite expensive.) The relics made of sandstone were intricately detailed and interesting to see.
One of the best things to do in Jaisalmer is the camel safari. This was one of the most exciting, romantic and a spectacular part of our trip to Jaisalmer. We started the trip at 15:00 hrs along with a Spanish couple and a man from Canada. To get to the tour, we drove for half an hour and made a pit stop at a nearby village; making it not very far to travel.
At 17:00 hrs, we began our camel safari in the Thar Desert from the Khuri Sand Dunes Resort. It was a little scary when the camel stood up as it was difficult to find my balance, but I soon was able to get a grip over it. To sit on a camel is not too comfortable and it is also very high. But once we headed off, the view was amazing.
An Unexpected Event
However, after 10 minutes a small herd of sheep crossed our way and two of the small sheep “attacked” two of the camels. One of the sheep was under my camel which made the animal really nervous and aggressive, because of which it became really difficult to stay put in the saddle. In the end, I had to jump off the camel before it escalated and could become a dangerous situation for me and the other rider.
I had to calm down and get my nerves together before I could jump back on. Marlene was also a little in shock. After a while, everyone was better and we continued our journey through the desert. We arrived at our camp in the sand dunes after an hour of riding.
It was an amazing view, as we enjoyed the sunset together in a secluded area, managing to take some great pictures in the meantime. After a delicious dinner, the cameleers sang us some folk-songs. We had a lot of fun together.
Our “beds” were also very comfortable, and we were given blankets to sleep with. It was amazing to sleep outside under the clear skies with the moon shining and the twinkling stars.
Camel safari in Jaisalmer, India (Photo Credit – Oren Yomtov)
In Jaisalmer, we stayed in a comfortable hotel called The Mystic Jaisalmer. This is a beautiful hotel with an amazing roof-top terrace view of the Golden Fort. Our room was clean, the beds were comfortable, and the room itself had nice furniture. The staff, especially the boss, were really friendly and gave us lots of good information about the camel safari in great detail.
Mystic Jaisalmer Rooftop
1. Mystic Jaisalmer
On the roof-top terrace, I enjoyed delicious Rajasthani food with naan and vegetables grown in the desert. The staff is very friendly and the service is quick. It had a nice ambience with an impressive view of the fort.
This restaurant is located inside the fort. Here you can enjoy very good Indian food on a roof-top terrace, and everything is about the view of Jaisalmer Fort.
3. Jaisal Italy
This restaurant offers very good Italian pasta on par with international standards. I also ordered an orange juice. This one was unfit for consumption but there was no problem sending it back and ordering another drink. Marlene’s ice tea was of very good quality.
4. The Bhang Shop
Well, this one was very interesting! We were able to order crushed seeds and leaves of the cannabis plant (only legalised in certain regions of the country) mixed with milk, served as a traditional drink in India. The effects left us craving lots of food and parts of the day we cannot remember.
The royal cenotaphs of the rulers of Jaisalmer (Photo Credit – Volker Glätsch)
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