Located in the western state of Rajasthan in India, Jaisalmer is famous for the city’s architecture, heritage and history. Here are things you must see if you are in town!
I always love introducing guest writers to you. It gives a different perspective and broadens the variety of content I can provide. I recently virtually met Samarpita Mukherjee Sharma, who is taking us to the princely state of Jaisalmer today. Check out her full bio below the article!
If you’ve been to India, or have researched about the country, you already know a few things – that the country is vast and the topography of every state is different from the other. For the uninitiated, this post is about a town in the largest state of the country. Jaisalmer is a town rich in historical and cultural heritage which is located in Rajasthan, western India.
The easiest way to reach, is to take a flight to Jodhpur and drive down to Jaisalmer. Not very far from the country’s border, Jaisalmer remains very hot most of the year, specially during the summer. Nevertheless, if Rajasthan is in your itinerary, Jaisalmer must be included. Here’s a heads-up of five things you must include in your travel plans to the city!
One of the very few, or perhaps the only fort in the world which is still inhabited in parts, this fort was built by a Rajput king, Jaisal. A World Heritage Site as declared by UNESCO, the Jaisalmer Fort is made of yellow sandstone which gives the golden effect to it. Inside the fort, you’ll find a busy settlement of people going about with their own lives. Don’t forget to stop at the shops and bargain for the local handicrafts and curios. Keep a watch on the walls of the houses when you are well into the little township inside the fort. Better still, ask your guide to show you the community wedding invites painted on outdoor walls of houses. Here is the story behind it and why you shouldn’t miss seeing them.
Legend has it that this village is haunted and nobody, not even the guard at the main gate, stays here after sunset. It is said that those who have tried to be brave and ventured into the area after sunset, have never returned. People have tried to settle in the village, but haven’t been able to. The story in history goes that residents of the village of Kuldhara and 84 neighbouring villages had fled their homes overnight to escape the wrath of the local bigwig. Read more about the place here. While visitors are allowed there only during the day and the state government is developing it as a heritage sight, this is one experience you shouldn’t miss.
The Deserted Village of Kuldhara
Patvon Ki Haweli
There is a legendary story behind this must-visit place as well. A wealthy trader had built five identical houses and furnished them identically for his five sons. The construction had started in the 18th century and took 55 years to be completed. Today, the first house is under the care of Archeological Survey of India while the remaining four are inhabited by members of the caretakers’ families. This house is open to tourists and a tour of the insides is a must. The mansion has been kept exactly how it used to be centuries ago. Read more about the mansion here.
Longewala War Memorial
Converted into a war memorial by the Indian Army, the place marks the remnants of the Battle of Longewala which happened in 1971 between India and Pakistan. Built right in the middle of what was the war zone back then, visitors can see the bunkers, make shift arrangements from the war time and even talk to soldiers posted there. This is in the middle of the Thar desert where climatic and geographic conditions too were harsh for the war. An experience in itself, this visit is also a must-include in your itinerary.
Sam Sand Dunes
If you’ve been to Dubai, you can guess why I am suggesting you visit this place. Not only can you take a camel ride, you can also take adventure safari rides along with other such sports. Spend a night in the tents in the desert, under the clear sky and you’ll have an experience of a lifetime.
Samarpita eats, sleeps and breathes content and her life revolves around words. She curates contents for many travel and F&B brands across the globe. An economist by education and a wordsmith by passion, she chose the life of a digital nomad after quitting full time journalism few years ago. A multi-tasker, this ex-journalist freelances as a content creator-cum-curator, manuscript editor, travel writer and social media manager. More about her work can be seen at www.samarpita.in
If Samarpita hasn’t made you to want to hop on the first plane to Jaisalmer, I don’t know what will, but hey until you can get there, check out some of my Rajasthani recipes: