Jaisalmer, exotic, remote, and beautiful is a bit of a paradox. Set so deep in the heart of the Thar Desert that one would expect barren near-desolation, this frontier town is today one of Rajasthan's best-loved tourist destinations. Local colour and warmth prevail over the inhospitable and forbidding terrain, imbuing the medieval walled sandstone town that perches dramatically on a flat-topped hill with a special magic.
Jaisalmer was founded and its fortress built on an 80-m high hill in 1156 AD by Rawal Jaisal, to serve as the new capital of his territory. In medieval times, its prosperity was due to its location on the main trade route linking India to Egypt, Arabia, Persia, Africa and the West. The old fort city rises up just like a giant and majestic sandcastle, its ancient and narrow streets and alleyways still preserving a traditional way of life with craftsmen still weaving and stone carving, shopkeepers trading and housewives gathering.
About a quarter of the old city’s population resides within the fort walls. Entry is through a forbidding series of gargantuan gates leading to a long courtyard. Off here are a tangle of alleyways and streets lined with little shops, a few Jain temples and the old palace of the former ruler, a portion of which is open to the public.
Camel safaris in the close and surrounding desert are a popular activity. In January/ February, the Jaisalmer Desert Festival has camel races, folk music, dancing and singing and attracts hoards of colourfully dressed Rajasthanis.
Here are some popular itineraries for a trip to Jaisalmer
If you are planning a Jaisalmer holiday, have a look at some of the accommodation that we recommend. 'Our Rating' indicates how we feel each property rates according to normal Western hotel standards. 'Local Rating' indicates how the property is categorised/rated locally:
For all our tours and tailor-made holidays we provide you with a clear categorisation of all hotels we use. The REGIONAL CATEGORY indicates the local rating of each hotel in each respective country. We have also rated each hotel using OUR CATEGORY, which will be in line with generally accepted western hotel grading standards.
Basic hotels and simple accommodation is a no frills option with an adventurous authentic feel.
Standard accommodation equates to a Western 3-star standard, always featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant.
Superior accommodation equates to a Western 4-star standard, featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant and often a swimming pool and/or a fitness centre.
Deluxe accommodation equates to a Western 5-star standard, usually featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, excellent service and customer care.
Lavish accommodation equates to a Western 5-star plus standard - the creme de la creme. Featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, this accommodation is a cut above the rest. Sheer opulence!
Jaisalmer Tailor made suggestions
Here are some of the recent tailor made itineraries we have created for our clients which include a visit to Jaisalmer.