Founded in the mid 12th century and built of yellow sandstone, Jaisalmer is located in the far western Thar Desert and was once home to the Bhati Rajputs and a major trading center for caravans from Persia & Africa. With the development of major port cities in India, the glory and wealth of Jaisalmer faded in the 18th century and was ruled by the Rajputs up until the mid 20th century. Today, Jaisalmer is a major tourist destination located about almost 360 miles from Jaipur which domestic and foreign tourist flock to experience the architectural wonders of the old city, gaze at its fort & Jain temples, relax, and go on Camel Safari.
Jaisalmer is perhaps our favorite places in all of India, as it's relaxing atmosphere, especially inside the fort, is a welcome respite from the frenetic pace of much of the country. Spending time lounging at a cafe or on top of a rooftop restaurant inside the fort while the world passes you by
is an unforgettable experience.
Below are recommendations for lodging, food, & activities while in Jaisalmer:
Lodging: You can either stay inside the centuries old fort or outside the fort walls. Although the fort is one of our favorite places in India, due to the there are infrastructure problems due to the ancient sewer system. We stayed at Mud Mirror Guest House (mudmirrorguesthouse.com) next to the main Jain Temple inside the fort for our entire stay and it was comfortable and the food is delicious. In addition the rooftop restaurant has spectacular views of the Jain temple, surrounding Thar Desert, and fort walls. The best part of Mud Mirror Guest House is the warm & friendly owner, Mr. Lal who is passionate about providing quality service and looks after his guests well being. He also helped transport us to a local pharmacy after a stomach bug picked up while on Camel Safari and attempted to enforce recycling his city. We also recommend Ganesh Guest House, Hotel Shahi Palace, Hotel Killa Bhawan for luxury accommodation & Hotel Pleasant Haveli for a boutique experience.
Food: Although we ate many of our meals on the Mud Mirror Guest House roof, we also explored other restaurants both inside and outside the fort. We enjoyed the Jaisal Italian Restaurant very close the the fort entrance, Tibetan Momo Restaurant inside the fort, Desert Boy Dhani's, and the rooftop restaurant with life musicians outside of the fort which is part of the Salim Singh Ki Haveli. The Austrailian Bar located as you enter the fort is another good option and The Bhang Shop located a few minutes outside of the fort next to Trotters Camel Safari provides special treats for those looking to indulge. For excellent sweets, a open market stand is set up outside of the fort near Jaisal Italian Restaurant.
Activities: Besides going on camel safari we recommended wandering the many alley ways in the Fort where plenty of shopping is found (be ready to bargain), the Jain Temples inside the fort, Patwa Ki Haveli, Salim Singh Ki Haveli, Gadi Sagar water tank, and the Jaisalmer Fort Mueseum. You can also visit the Jaisalmer Folk Museum and spend time gazing at the fantastic views from the forts walls located near the Tibetan Momo shop. The main ATM's are located near Gandhi Chowk a 5 minute walk outside of the fort.
For more information on Camel Safari click on the following link:
I have attached helpful links for more on the history of Jaisalmer.