The Jaisalmer Fort
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Jaisalmer Fort is the crown of the Indian city of gold and is a mini-city with temples, houses, and shops. The fort is surrounded by 30 feet tall walls and was formerly known as ‘Trikut Garh’ as it stands on top of the Trikuta Hills.
The Fort was built in the year 1156, which also marks the beginning of the city of Jaisalmer. The fort is a must-see and must-visit place in Jaisalmer and is a pleasure for all history, architecture, culture, and religious buffs. The fort is in itself a destination to explore, and travelers should spend a great deal of time here.
Jain Temples of Jaisalmer Fort
The Jain temples inside the Jaisalmer Fort have tremendously religious and cultural significance. The temples are dedicated to the much revered Tirthankas (Jain hermits), Rikhabdevji, Chandraprabhu, Parsvanath, and Shambhadevji, and are carved in the world-famous Dilwara style architecture. In totality, there are seven interconnected temples. There is also a library that was founded in 1500 with some ageless manuscripts and is called the Gyan Bhandar.
This is the high point for all architecture and history buffs and should not be missed at any cost.
This abandoned village with an eerie vibe stands in between the desolate desert and is the source of a lot of folklore. Kuldhara is situated 20 kilometers away from Jaisalmer and is the ruins of a once-populated village. The story goes that a tyrant who controlled this village caused such great agony to the people that they all evicted the village overnight. There are also many ghost-stories that originate out of Kuldhara. It is also a great place to do some photography and makes for some mind-blowing shots.
Desert National Park
A massive national park and one of its kinds in India, it covers almost an area of 3200 square kilometers. The National Park has unique terrain and a variety of wildlife like foxes, camels, deer, wolves, and birds. This park also has prehistoric significance as there has been a lot of fossil discovery that dates back to 180 million years.
This park is a must for all nature and paleontology lovers.
Built-in the 14th century, the Gadisar Lake was built by Tilon ki Pol, for providing water to his settlement in the middle of the Thar desert. It is a beautiful lake with amazingly scenic views and must be visited during Sunrises and Sunsets. With birds flocking this water body from dusk to dawn, it is impossible not to get some spectacular shots.
It is perfect for spending some quiet time alone or some romantic time with your partner here. Situated very close to the fort, one should take some time out of the schedule to pay a visit.
Tazia Tower and Badal Palace
The Tazia Tower, made from wood and paper, and of the complex design, was built in honor of many imams of the Muslim religion. The Tazia tower was created by Muslim craftsmen and was gifted to the royalty of the Badal Palace. This five storey high tower has intricate designs and juts out of the cloud-like Badal Palace. The Badal Palace has the most exquisite carving on its walls and has the current Royal Family of Jaisalmer living in it.
Patwon ki Haveli
Built by the Patwa family, who were very wealthy merchants in the 19th century, the complex consists of five Havelis. The Haveli now comes under the Archaeological Survey of India and has tremendous architectural and historical importance. It is also the largest mansion in the city with superb mirror and mural work.
A large cluster of golden cenotaphs set in between a garden is what is Bada Bagh. Literally meaning the Big Garden, it is a huge garden in between the arid desert. Each cenotaph is dedicated to a Rajput Kings of the Jaisalmer Family and has cenotaphs for each of them for the last six centuries. And the cherry on the icing is perhaps the windmill set in a distance.
Another great place in Jaisalmer for photography, the garden appears to be a mirage from a distance owing to the color of the cenotaphs matching that of the color of the sand all around.
Akal Wood Fossil Park
A National Geographical Monument of India; this a prehistoric wood fossil park is 17 kilometers away from Jaisalmer and spread over 20 hectares of barren land and rock. There are many signs in the area to prove that it was indeed under the sea at some point in time, like the Gastropod shells. The place is a dream destination for any archaeology fans and has way too much history there.