25 Top Things To Do In Jaisalmer 2023: Explore the Golden City
Jaisalmer is a magical oasis in the middle of the desert, which makes it an essential part of the Best Rajasthan Travel Packages. In this guide, let’s explore the best things to do in Jaisalmer that makes this city one of the top places to visit in Rajasthan.
Often referred to as the “Golden City” – Jaisalmer is full of history, vibrant culture, stunning landscapes, marvelous architecture, and much more, which has been attracting tourists from all over the world. Let’s dive into the top things to do in this “Golden City” of Jaisalmer, which will make your visit to Jaisalmer nothing short of magical.
Best Things To Do In Jaisalmer
What to do in Jaisalmer? Well, even though Jaisalmer is comparatively smaller than other major tourist destinations in Rajasthan, it offers several top things to do in Rajasthan, as it has the advantage of varied geographical landscapes. The far-stretched golden Thar Desert, the glittering Gadisar Lake, and the architectural treasures of Jaisalmer in the form of forts, palaces and havelis provide a perfect playground for a plethora of activities to do here.
25 Things To Do In Jaisalmer
1. Explore Living Fort of Jaisalmer
Jaisalmer Fort also known as the “Golden Fort/ Sonar Qilla” is one of the most fascinating places in the state of Rajasthan in India. Its name is derived from the golden hue it acquires during the day that appears to rise dramatically from the desert.
The fort is perched on a hill, which makes it a breathtaking sight as well as a strategic fort against invaders. Inside the fort, you will discover a world of architectural marvels, such as intricately carved carvings, beautifully adorned mosaics, and beautiful jharokhas that decorate this fort.
What makes Jaisalmer Fort stand out from the rest of the forts in Rajasthan is that it is not only a historical monument but also a living heritage site, that people still call home. You can walk through the narrow streets, chat with the locals, and sample the local delicacies. When you visit the fort, make sure to take a stroll along the ramparts for a panoramic view, especially during the sunset.
2. Camping at Sand Dunes
Desert camping in Rajasthan is one of the most popular activities to immerse yourself in the beauty of the golden Thar Desert. The Sam Sand Dunes and the Khuri Sand Dunes near Jaisalmer are just perfect for the camping experience in Rajasthan.
As this state exudes grandeur and royalty, the camping experience here is also a royal one. Most of the campsites located in Jaisalmer offer Swiss tents that are adorned with vintage furniture and carefully curated interiors that provide comfort along with royal vibes. For those seeking a raw and budget experience, you also have an option of staying in small alpine tents.
No matter the budget, the bonfire nights and the hospitality of the people at the campsites in the middle of the golden desert will leave you in awe, which makes camping one of the best things to do in Jaisalmer.
3. Boating at Gadisar Lake
Gadisar Lake, which is located in the Jaisalmer area, is one of the oldest man-made lakes in India. It dates back to the 14th century when it was built as a reservoir for water conservation by the Maharaja of Jaisalmer.
The beauty of this lake is further enhanced by the presence of numerous architecturally rich temples and ghats around, as well as the intricate carvings of a cenotaph. Thus, boating in this Gadisar Lake of Rajasthan is one of the top things to do in Jaisalmer, as it offers a serene and peaceful experience.
The boat ride provides an opportunity to immerse oneself in the culture and history of the city while taking in the refreshing air and admiring the vibrant colors of the birds. With the setting of the sun’s rays, the lake becomes a picturesque destination for a romantic getaway or a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.
4. Feel the spooky vibes at the Abandoned Kuldhara Village
If you’re looking for an awe-inspiring experience, then you won’t want to miss out on exploring the mysterious and fascinating abandoned village of Kuldhara near Jaisalmer. This village is full of mysterious stories and legends, and it’s easy to understand why.
Kuldhara was once a bustling village but was abandoned overnight centuries ago. As you walk through the abandoned streets and crumbling houses, you can sense the weight of the past and the mysterious stories that surround it.
It’s said that when the villagers left, they cursed the village so that no one could ever set foot in it again. People who have visited the village often report strange things happening and feeling like they’re being watched. It’s like you’re stepping into a time capsule, with all the old buildings and empty alleys filled with secrets. So if you’re looking for a spooky adventure and a chance to see the haunted history of Rajasthan, then don’t miss out on this one of the best things to do in Jaisalmer.
5. Indulge in Desert Adventure activities
Indulging in desert adventure activities for some adrenaline rush is one of the top things to do in Jaisalmer, as this Golden City is located in the heart of the Thar Desert. Here are a few exciting desert adventures to embark on while visiting Jaisalmer:
- Camel Safari – Taking up a camel safari obviously tops the list of adventure activities in Rajasthan. Riding on the back of “the ship of the desert” – the camels through the majestic golden sand dunes is a must experience when in Rajasthan.
- Dune Bashing – If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush, then dune bashing is the activity for you. Get in your rugged 4×4 and take off across the desert dunes. The wind is in your hair, and the desert is your playground.
- Sand Boarding – Similar to snowboarding, sandboarding involves gliding down the sand dunes on a specially designed board. It’s a thrilling way to maneuver the sandy slopes and have some fun while doing it.
- Quad Biking – A quad bike ride across the desert is a dream come true for adventure seekers. Feel the adrenaline rush as you ride across the sandy desert, taking your time and exploring the desert.
- Paramotoring – Paramotoring is the best way to get a unique perspective of the desert. Get a chance to fly high above the dunes to get a bird’s eye view of the incredible scenery below. It’s a thrilling and peaceful experience.
6. Pay Homage to Tanot Mata
Visiting Tanot Mata Temple is one of the best things to do in Jaisalmer if you’re looking for a truly spiritual and meaningful experience. It’s a sacred shrine near the border between India and Pakistan, about 120 km from Jaisalmer, and it’s got a special place in the minds of the locals and the Indian Army.
During the 1965 war, a bunch of bombs were dropped on the temple, but none of them exploded – the temple and the area were untouched. People come to the temple not just to get blessings, but also to see the unexploded bombs left behind as a sign of God’s protection.
The temple has a really peaceful and spiritual atmosphere, and it’s a great place to visit if you want to experience something truly special.
7. Border Tourism at Longewala War Memorial
Indulging in Border Tourism at Longewala is one of the most meaningful and unique things to do in Jaisalmer. Longewala is a place that’s steeped in history and valor, and it pays tribute to the brave Indian soldiers who fought in the 1971 war against Pakistan.
You can see preserved war equipment like tanks and fighter jets that were used during the conflict at the Langewala War Memorial. It is a great way to learn about the sacrifices our armed forces made. Plus, the vast desert landscape adds to the ambiance of the memorial, making it an unforgettable experience.
So if you’re looking for a way to honor our heroes and show your appreciation for the hard work and dedication of our armed forces, Longewala is definitely worth a visit.
8. Marvel at the architecture at Patwon ki Haveli
Marveling at the exquisite architecture of Patwaon ki Haweli is undoubtedly one of the most enchanting things to do in Jaisalmer. Patwaon ki Haweli is a group of five ornate havelis (traditional Indian mansions) located in the heart of the city.
What makes these havelis truly special is their intricate and finely detailed architecture, showcasing the craftsmanship of the bygone era. Each haveli is adorned with delicate carvings, mesmerizing balconies, and jharokhas (overhanging enclosed balconies) that tell the tales of opulence and artistic brilliance.
Plus, one of them has been turned into a museum where you can see the lives of the rich merchant families who used to live here. Inside you’ll find all sorts of treasures, from artifacts to costumes and historical relics. Not only will you get to see the history of the city, but you’ll also get to experience the grandeur of Rajasthan architecture – it’s a must-see for anyone who loves architecture and history.
9. Dine at the rooftop Cafe
Dining in the rooftop cafes of Jaisalmer is widely regarded as one of the most enjoyable things to do in Jaisalmer. These cafes provide a unique combination of delicious food and stunning views.
As you enjoy your meal at these luxurious eateries, you will be able to take in the breathtaking views of Jaisalmer Fort which is often illuminated in golden tones during the evening. The grandeur of the fort, combined with the desert scenery, creates a captivating atmosphere for your dining experience.
Visitors to Jaisalmer can enjoy a variety of rooftop cafes, such as Cafe The Kaku, The Trio, and Gaji’s Restaurant. Cafe The Kaku is renowned for its cozy atmosphere and impressive fort views, while The Trio offers a unique dining experience with a variety of international and Indian dishes. Gaji’s Restaurant offers a relaxed atmosphere and a wide selection of local and international cuisine with a view, making it an ideal destination for those seeking a unique dining experience.
10. Stargazing from the Desert
Exploring the wonders of the night sky is one of the most fascinating things to do in Jaisalmer when you go for desert camping, away from the city lights. The vast desert landscape makes for an ideal place to stargaze.
As night falls, the desert skies come alive with a dazzling array of stars. With no light pollution, you will be able to see constellations and planets, as well as shooting stars.
If you’re looking to experience the beauty of the night sky from the comfort of your campfire, wrap up in a blanket and look up to see the Milky Way stretching across the heavens. It’s an experience that will leave you feeling connected to the universe and filled with awe.
There are plenty of desert camps that offer a stargazing session with knowledgeable guides. Whether you’re an astronomy aficionado or just looking for a peaceful and awe-inspiring moment, you’ll be in for a treat.
11. Walk through the Cenotaphs at Bada Bagh
A leisurely walk through the cenotaphs at Bada Bagh is one of the top things to do in Jaisalmer. Bada Bagh, which translates to “Big Garden,” is a historic site that represents the beauty and architecture of Rajasthan.
Set against the backdrop of the expansive Thar Desert, Bada Bagh is a complex of chhatris (cenotaphs) dedicated to the rulers of Jaisalmer. These intricately carved marble memorials stand tall in the arid desert, creating a stunning contrast with the golden sands.
The beauty of Bada Bagh lies not only in its architectural marvel but also in the peaceful ambiance it offers. It’s a place where you can take a leisurely stroll amidst the cenotaphs, appreciating the intricate craftsmanship and the silence of the desert.
Additionally, Bada Bagh has been a popular filming location for several Bollywood movies like “Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam” and web series, which adds to its allure. The serene beauty of this place makes it a must-visit for history enthusiasts, architecture admirers, and anyone seeking a tranquil escape in the heart of Jaisalmer.
12. Safari in Desert National Park
The vast wilderness of the Desert National Park offers an immersive desert experience as you go on a safari here, making it one of the top things to do in Jaisalmer.
On the safari, you will get to see the amazing wildlife that inhabits this arid desert. Be sure to keep your eyes open for desert foxes, chinkaras and blackbucks. You will also get to see the Indian bustard which is one of the rarest bird species in the Thar desert. The heart-stopping moments on the safari are when you get to see these animals in their natural habitat.
The desert landscape itself is an amazing sight as you can see the sand dunes shifting and rock outcrops emerging from the desert. The desert national park is a must-visit for nature lovers and adventure seekers.
13. Shop colorful souvenirs from Local markets
The bustling local markets inside the living fort of Jaisalmer are one of the best places for shopping in Rajasthan. Exploring these vibrant local markets for shopping and collecting souvenirs is one of the best things to do in Jaisalmer.
These markets in Jaisalmer are a treasure trove of Rajasthani handicrafts, textiles, and unique showpieces. As you stroll through these markets, you’ll be captivated by the kaleidoscope of colors and the rich cultural heritage on display. The streets are lined with shops selling intricately designed textiles, embroidered garments, traditional jewelry, leather goods, and ornate handicrafts.
Don’t miss visiting the famous Sadar Bazaar and Sonaron ka Baas for an authentic shopping experience. Here, you can haggle with local vendors and bring home souvenirs that encapsulate the spirit of Rajasthan.
Whether you’re looking for vibrant textiles to adorn your home or exquisite jewelry to adorn yourself, shopping in Jaisalmer’s local markets is an immersive cultural experience that allows you to take a piece of Rajasthan’s rich heritage back home with you.
14. Try Bhang Products
Relishing your taste buds with various bhang (cannabis leaves) products is one of the best things to do in Jaisalmer as it adds a unique dimension to your visit to Jaisalmer. There are several govt. Approved Bhang Shops that sell bhang and related products. Here are the best Bhang products that are a must-try in Jaisalmer.
- Bhang Lassi – Bhang Lassi is one of the most popular drinks here as it also gives you relief from the heat. Savor the refreshing and mildly intoxicating Bhang Lassi, a traditional drink made with yogurt, spices, and bhang (cannabis leaves). It offers a cooling and relaxing sensation, perfect for the desert climate.
- Bhang Cookie – Another delightful treat is the Bhang Cookie, a special culinary creation that’s unique to Jaisalmer. These cookies incorporate the essence of bhang, providing a novel and memorable taste.
Partaking in bhang products is not just about the flavors; it’s also about embracing the local customs and enjoying a cultural aspect of your visit. It’s an experience that adds a dash of intrigue and adventure to your time in Jaisalmer, making it a distinct and memorable part of your journey.
15. Enjoy the Cultural performances
Immerse yourself in the culture of Rajasthan by enjoying the cultural performance in Jaisalmer. This Golden City comes alive with a vibrant display of traditional arts in the evening, ensuring a memorable experience for you.
In Jaisalmer, you can witness a plethora of cultural performances that showcase the region’s heritage. The most renowned is the folk dance of Rajasthan, where talented performers captivate audiences with their graceful moves and colorful attire. The Kalbeliya dance, with its sinuous snake-like movements, is a highlight.
Another mesmerizing experience is attending a traditional Rajasthani puppet show, where intricately crafted puppets come to life, narrating tales of yore. To truly immerse yourself in these cultural delights, head to the local cultural centers, such as the Desert Cultural Centre and Museum, or enjoy live performances during festivals and fairs.
These cultural performances not only entertain but also offer a window into the soul of Jaisalmer, showcasing its rich heritage and traditions, making it a must-do for those seeking an authentic and enchanting experience.
16. Take a food tour in Jaisalmer
If you are a foodie or love to try different cuisines, going on a food tour is the best things to do in Jaisalmer for you! This city in the heart of the Thar Desert offers a delicious gastronomic journey through the flavors of Rajasthan.
When it comes to special dishes, Jaisalmer boasts a culinary heritage that’s both rich and diverse:
- Dal Baati Churma – A quintessential Rajasthani dish, it consists of flavorful lentil curry (dal), baked wheat balls (baati), and sweet crushed wheat (churma). You can savor this hearty meal at “The Trio” or “Desert Boy’s Dhani.”
- Laal Maas – For those seeking a fiery culinary adventure, this spicy mutton curry is a must-try. You can relish it at “Suryagarh” or “Gaji’s Restaurant.”
- Ker Sangri – A delightful combination of desert beans and berries, offering a unique and tangy taste. It’s often enjoyed at local eateries like “Cafe The Kaku.”
- Mutton Saag – A hearty dish of mutton and spinach, best experienced at “Cafe The Kaku.”
For the ultimate immersion into Jaisalmer’s culinary culture, you can also consider taking a cooking class hosted by locals. It’s a hands-on experience that allows you to master the art of crafting these delectable dishes.
Exploring Jaisalmer through its culinary delights is a sensory journey that leaves a lasting impression, making it a must-do for food enthusiasts and those eager to savor the authentic flavors of Rajasthan.
17. Day Excursion to Pokhran
For history enthusiasts and movie buffs, a day excursion to Pokhran offers a unique blend of culture and curiosity, making it one of the top things to do in Jaisalmer. This small town, nestled in the Thar Desert, holds historical significance and offers a fascinating journey into India’s past.
Pokhran gained international recognition due to the nuclear tests conducted here in 1998. The movie “Parmanu” brilliantly captures this pivotal moment in India’s history, shedding light on the events that unfolded in this desert town.
Visiting Pokhran allows you to witness the Pokhran Fort, known for its impressive architecture and rich history. It’s a place where time seems to stand still, and you can immerse yourself in the stories of the past.
The town’s arid landscapes and serene ambiance make it an ideal destination for a day trip from Jaisalmer. Exploring Pokhran is like stepping into a historical time capsule, providing a deeper understanding of India’s journey.
18. Watch a Scenic Sunset
Watching the sunset in the golden city of Jaisalmer is not just a visual treat; it’s a spiritual experience that allows you to connect with the awe-inspiring beauty of the desert, making it the absolute best things to do in Jaisalmer for travelers seeking tranquility and wonder in this mesmerizing city. This golden city offers a front-row seat to the natural spectacle of the sun setting over the desert horizon.
The lake of Gadisar in Jaisalmer is a tranquil and picturesque place, where the sun’s rays reflect off the water in a magical way. Boat rides on the lake provide a unique opportunity to witness this awe-inspiring sight. A camel safari in the desert is another remarkable experience, allowing visitors to witness the sun dip beneath the sand dunes in a vibrant orange and gold hue, perfectly capturing the rugged beauty of the desert.
Alternatively, visitors can take in the panoramic view of the city from the vantage point of the Vyas Cenotaph Complex, or take advantage of the rooftop cafes at The Trio and Cafe The Kaku, both of which offer elevated views of the sun setting over Jaisalmer’s iconic Fort.
19. Attend the Jaisalmer Desert Festival
The Jaisalmer desert festival is one of the best and most recommended festivals in Rajasthan. It is an annual event that celebrates Rajasthan’s rich cultural heritage. The festival takes place in February each year and is held against the backdrop of the Jaisalmer fort.
There is a great mix of music, dancing, and tradition at the festival. It features folk performances such as Kalbeliya dancing and puppet shows. It is a great opportunity to see the colorful tapestry that is Rajasthan.
One of the highlights of the festival is the turban-tying competition where the locals show off their skills in tying the intricate turbans, which are an important part of Rajasthani clothes. The camel races are also part of the festival and add an extra element of excitement to the event.
Visiting the desert festival gives you an opportunity to see the mesmerizing desert vistas. It is an absolute must to visit the desert festival for an authentic Rajasthan experience.
20. Visit Akal Wood Fossil Park
If you’re looking for a unique and off-the-beaten-track experience, then visiting the Akal Wood Fossil Park is one of the top things to do in Jaialemr for you. This park is a million-year-old fossil site that you can explore and learn about.
As you walk around, you’ll find fossilized tree trunks and logs that give you an insight into the ancient flora of the area. These preserved fossils tell the story of a forest that used to thrive in the Thar Desert, which is now dry and arid.
Not only is the park educational, but it’s also a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of Jaisalmer and reconnect with the land’s ancient history. If you’re a paleontologist or just curious about Earth’s past, you won’t want to miss out on this amazing experience
21. Immerse in the beauty of Jain temples
Exploring the Jain temples in Jaisalmer is one of the most spiritual and recommended things to do in Jaisalmer. These temples are known for their beautiful architecture and peaceful atmosphere, and give you a glimpse of the spiritual core of the city.
The Jain temples, mainly located in the Jaisalmer fort, are dedicated to the Jain gods, and they’re filled with intricate marble carvings and sculptures, as well as stunning architecture. You’ll get a sense of peace and devotion when you visit these temples, and the atmosphere inside is peaceful and tranquil, taking you away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
22. Walk through the ruins of Khaba Fort
Khaba Fort, also known as the “Cursed Village,” is one of the most interesting things to do in Jaisalmer. This ancient fort, located in the middle of the desert, offers a fascinating insight into the region’s history.
It is believed that Khaba Fort was once inhabited by Paliwal Brahmins who mysteriously left the area centuries ago. As you walk through the ruins of the fort, you’ll come across crumbling houses, winding alleys, and the ghostly atmosphere of an abandoned village.
The panoramic view from the fort is breathtaking, and you’ll be able to take in the enormity of the desert in all its glory.
Khaba Fort is a place of legends and tales, and it’s the perfect combination of history, mystique, and desert beauty.
23. Explore the Tazia Tower
If you’re looking for an amazing way to explore Jaisalmer and its rich cultural heritage, then you should definitely check out Tazia Tower. This architectural wonder is located inside the Golden Fort, and it’s a must-see for anyone who wants to get a better understanding of the city’s architectural heritage.
The tower is a work of art, with intricate designs and fine detailing, and its five stories are adorned with balconies that represent different Muslim traditions. Plus, the views from the tower are stunning, and it’s an amazing way to take in the desert city’s beauty.
24. Stay in Heritage Properties
Staying in heritage properties is like transporting back in time to experience the royal lifestyle of the former rulers. Staying in these heritage properties is one of the best things to do in Jaisalmer as this Golden City boasts a rich history that’s beautifully preserved in its heritage accommodations.
Jaisalmer offers a unique opportunity to step back in time and live like royalty in historic havelis (mansions) and palaces. These heritage properties have been lovingly restored to their former glory, featuring exquisite architecture, intricately carved facades, and ornate interiors.
When you stay in one of these heritage properties which are now converted into luxury hotels all over Rajasthan, you’re not just booking a room; you’re immersing yourself in the regal charm of Rajasthan. You’ll be treated to warm hospitality, traditional Rajasthani cuisine, and a glimpse into the opulent lifestyles of the past.
Moreover, these heritage properties in Jaisalmer often offer breathtaking rooftop views of the Jaisalmer Fort and the surrounding desert, creating a magical ambiance that’s perfect for romantic getaways or cultural explorations.
25. Visit the Windmill Park
Visiting the Windmill Park is one of the most delightful and off-beat things to do in Jaisalmer. This offbeat attraction offers a unique blend of sustainability and natural beauty in the midst of the desert.
Situated on the outskirts of Jaisalmer, the Windmill Park is a stunning display of renewable energy and environmental conservation. As visitors wander through the park, they will be captivated by the breathtaking sight of the towering turbines, which rotate in the wind.
Not only is this an eco-friendly project, but it also provides a stunning backdrop for photography. Visitors to the park can appreciate the combination of modern technology and natural elements while taking in the stunning desert scenery. This unique attraction is an ideal addition to any Jaisalmer trip.
So, What to do in Jaisalmer? We hope you finally have your answer to this question! Jaisalmer is a city that weaves stories in every grain of its golden sands. From its historic forts to its vibrant festivals, this desert jewel offers an array of experiences that will leave you spellbound. So, pack your bags and embark on a journey to the Golden City, where time stands still amidst the timeless grandeur of its palaces, havelis, and the golden Thar Desert.
Frequently Asked Questions For Things To Do In Jaisalmer.
1. What are the top attractions in Jaisalmer?
Located in the heart of the golden Thar Desert, the golden city of Jaisalmer has some best tourist attractions to visit in Rajasthan. Some of the top places to visit are the Living Jaisalmer Fort, Patwon ki Haveli, Jain temple complex, and Gadisar Lake. Some nearby attractions include the abandoned Kuldhara Village, Sam Sand Dunes, Longewala War Memorial and Tanot Mata Mandir.
2. Can I experience a camel safari in Jaisalmer?
Yes, Camel Safari is one of the best things to do in Jaisalmer as this city is surrounded by the golden desert. Embarking on the camel’s back and traversing through the sand dunes is a unique and authentic experience to indulge in. After all, what better place to ride the ship of the desert than in the desert itself?
3. What's the best time to visit Jaisalmer?
The best time to visit Jaisalmer is during the winter months, from October to March. During this period, the weather is pleasant and comfortable, with daytime temperatures ranging from 24°C to 10°C, making it ideal for exploring the city’s attractions and enjoying outdoor activities like desert safaris. Avoid the scorching summer months when temperatures can soar above 40°C, making it less favorable for travel.