Jaisalmer, also known as the Golden City, is one of the most famous cities in the royal state of Rajasthan. Located in the middle of the desert, 575 km away from the state capital Jaipur, the city is famous for its rich heritage. Jaisalmer is also a district and is spread over 1429 sq km sharing boundaries with Bikaner in the north, Pakistan in the west and south-west, Barmer and Jodhpur on the south and Jodhpur in the east.
The economy of the district largely depends on the tourism industry which has grown rapidly due to the tremendous efforts of Rajasthan tourism. Oil and gas reserves have also been discovered by Oil India Limited in 1988.
History of Jaisalmer
Jaisalmer was named after its founder, Rao Jaisal. Jaisalmer translates to‘the hill fort of Jaisal’. In earlier times, the area of Jaisalmer was part of Gujarat and until the 11th century was ruled by the Bargujar King. Jaisalmer never came under the direct ruling of the Islamic sultanate due to its unique geographical position although it agreed to pay an annual tribute to the Delhi sultan. Mughal emperor Akbar was also married to one of the princesses of Jaisalmer and thus Jaisalmer maintained a good relationship with the Mughals.
Things to do in Jaisalmer
Jaisalmer is also famous for its folk music and dances which have been widely appreciated around the globe. Among tourist attractions, the Jaisalmer Fort
is the most famous one. Built in 1156 by the Bhati Rajput ruler Jaisal, Jaisalmer Fort is situated on Trikuta Hill
and had been the scene of many battles. It is inhabited even now and about a quarter of the population of the city live in the fort premises. Patwon-ki-Haveli
are other attractions of the city. The Desert Festival which is held over three days in January, every year, provides an insight into the culture, folk songs and dance of Jaisalmer. Sand dunes, Jain temples, palaces and a colourful display of the art and craft of the destination draw a large number of people, from within the country and outside as well. Tourists can also try various attractive packages
options to tour Jaisalmer.
The best time to visit Jaisalmer is between the months of October to February. Those visiting in January can be a part of the Desert Festival, which is held for three days during this time.
Travelling to Jaisalmer
To reach Jaisalmer
by air, the nearest airport is at Jodhpur at a distance of 285 km. Jodhpur is connected to Delhi and Jaipur by air. The other nearest airport which is an international airport is at Delhi, well connected with all main cities in India and important international cities. From these airports, buses are available to Jaisalmer.
Jaisalmer Railway Station is the chief railway station in the western railway zone. Connected to Jodhpur and other cities in India, Jaisalmer Railway Station, the journey takes about six hours for journey.
Jaisalmer is connected by buses from Jaipur, Bikaner and Ajmer. It is also well connected by train to Lalgarh, Bikaner, Delhi and Jodhpur.
Accommodation options in Jaisalmer
Hotels in Jaisalmer range from budget hotels and heritage properties to culture hotels. Most of these hotels also offer transfers for sightseeing and pick-up from railway and bus stations.