Jaisalmer Travel Guide: 12 Amazing Things to Do in Jaisalmer

Last Updated on December 17, 2023 by Christine Kaaloa

Jaisalmer, rajasthan
Jaisalmer fort, rajasthan

Jaisalmer Travel Guide: Amazing things to do in Jaisalmer


Jaisalmer, often referred to as the “Golden City,” stands as a living testament to the grandeur of Rajasthan. Nestled in the heart of the Thar Desert, Jaisalmer attractions offer a unique blend of history, desert culture, and dune landscapes.

In this Jaisalmer travel guide, we’ll delve into the 12 amazing things to do in Jaisalmer for first timers, to help you make the most of your visit to this golden gem of India.

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Jaisalmer Travel Guide: 12 Amazing things to do in Jaisalmer

1. Jaisalmer Fort – A Golden Citadel

The Jaisalmer Fort is the crown jewel of Jaisalmer and a must-visit. The fort is raised on a sand moun

d above the surrounding city and has fortressed walls surrounding it. Dating back to the 12th century, the inside of this living fort is adorned with intricate latticed window carvings and houses a bustling market within its walls. Stroll through its narrow lanes, and the unique architecture of the city will take you back in time.

Jaisalmer ornate architecture
Jaisalmer ornate architecture

jaisalmer fort

jaisalmer fort
jaisalmer fort

2. Thar Desert Dunes and a Desert Safari Adventure

Head to the outskirts of Jaisalmer to theThar Desert for an exhilarating desert safari. Hit the desert sands on a jeep safari to witness the desert sunset.  Further outside the city’s perimeter’s you’ll find remote desert villages, with simple house huts, skipping children  and lots of camels. There’s something both, beautiful and mysterious about a desert.

Don’t support animal exploitation in India tourism and opt to avoid the camel safaris. I did this in the past when I was naive and did not know the harm they created and furthermore, riding a camel is not comortable.

Unfortunately, camel safaris are commonly sold in Jaisalmer.  Ask your operator if you can do a jeep safari instead so these lovely beings can have one less load to carry.

Check out my Responsible tips for the Ethical Traveler
camel safari
resting camels: Avoid camel safaris. They are the ddesert work horses but are used for tourist entetainment which is animal abuse.
Thar Desert
Thar Desert desert hut 9541 Desert lifestyle
desert children Desert Children

3. Patwon Ki Haveli

Explore the intricate and grand architecture of Patwon Ki Haveli, a cluster of five havelis that showcases the artistic brilliance of the bygone era. Marvel at the detailed carvings, latticed windows, and ornate balconies that make this a photographer’s delight.

jaisalmer best thigns to do
Patwon Ki Haveli, Jaisalmer

4. Gadisar Lake

Take a peaceful stroll around Gadisar Lake, an artificial reservoir surrounded by temples, ghats, and intricately carved chattris. Boating is available for those seeking a tranquil experience on the waters.

5. Jaisalmer Folklore Museum

Immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of Jaisalmer Folklore Museum. Exhibiting artifacts, costumes, and musical instruments, it provides a glimpse into the traditions and customs of this desert region and culture.

6. Salim Singh Ki Haveli

Visit Salim Singh Ki Haveli, known for its distinctive peacock-shaped architecture. The intricate carvings and unique design make it a fascinating stop, offering insight into the opulence of the bygone era.

7. Kuldhara: The ghost village

Kuldhara is one of those off-beat attractions. It is the ruins of an abandoned village that used be occupied by Paliwal Brahmins in the 13th century.  It is said the village is said to be haunted and cursed, so the gates stay open from 8AM to 6PM and close after. Wander through the village ruins to experience its haunting mystery.

8. Tanot Mata Temple

For a unique experience, venture to the Tanot Mata Temple near the Indian-Pakistan border. This temple, with its spiritual ambiance and folklore, stands as a symbol of faith and resilience.

9. Bada Bagh – Royal Cenotaphs:

Discover the architectural splendor of Bada Bagh, a complex of royal cenotaphs dedicated to the rulers of Jaisalmer. The intricate carvings and the serene desert landscape make it a peaceful retreat.

10. Eat at a desert family owned shop

My driver took me to lunch at a desert family-owned paratha shop. It was a humble hole-in-the-wall shop with outdoor bench seats. I watch as a son cleans the plates using sand from the ground. Sand is what desert folk use to clean their metal dishes. The food was delicious but that was the first time I’ve seen dishes washed with sand and no water.

paratha boy
Son at a local restaurant shop rolls out parathas

11. Jaisalmer War Museum

Pay tribute to the Indian Armed Forces at the Jaisalmer War Museum. Exhibiting war memorabilia and stories of valor, it offers an insightful glimpse into the Indian military history of this Rajasthani region.

12. Book a Haveli with a view

Book a Jaisalmer haveli with a rooftop view will enhance your nights in Jaisalmer as you overlook the orange glow of the city below you. I stayed at Shahi Palace (read review), a samll family owned haveli.  I had candlelit dinner at the rooftop restaurant and hung out for hours under the stars with the Mali brothers who own the hotel.  The Shahi rooftop has a wicked view of the Jaisalmer fort! The walls are lit up at night making the fort look golden. Alcohal was generously offered “on the house”, lending the night an even more happy and diffused glow.  Book Shahi Palace hotel.

Shahi Palace Jaisalmer
Shahi Palace, Jaisalmer, a family owned haveli with a rooftop view



Best Things to do In Jaisalmer Tour Recommendations:

To enhance your Jaisalmer experience, consider the following day tours:

Where to stay in Jaisalmer

Shahi Palace Hotel Jaisalmer  This hotel is owned and operated by the Mali brothers. It is a family owned haveli with a wonderful rooftop restaurant with a view of Jaisalmer Fort. The location is ideal to railway station and top attractions. It has beautifully  resembles a 500 year old haveli and blends old Marwari charm with modern amenities.The family is warm and super helpful. My first trip to India, they were awesome in guiding me away from a scam tour I was taking.

What would you add to this Jaisalmer travel guide? What Jaisalmer attractions would you add to this list of  things to do in Jaisalmer?


Ganesh, the elephant god

desert beetle
Desert Beetle pushes a nugget of dung with its hind legs (it seems like everyone here labors to make life work)


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