Jaisalmer Fort and Fort Palace:
It's one of the largest forts in the world. Jaisalmer's ethereal sandstone Fort, which resembles a massive sandcastle rising from the desert, is the city's focal point. The Fort was built in 1156 by Rajput ruler Jaisal, who also founded the city at the same time. However, what's really remarkable about it is that it's the largest living fort in India. The palace is open to visitors, for a fee, and guided audio tours are available. It's also home to numerous hotels, guesthouses, temples, handicraft stores, restaurants, and the former rulers' palatial palace. Around 2,500 people reside inside its walls.
The temples are open daily from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m. One of the main fascinations inside the Fort is a stunning series of seven interconnected Jain temples that date back to the 15th and 16th centuries. Carved out of sandstone, the detail on them rivals that of the marble Jain temple complex at Ranakpur. You'll need to remove your shoes and all leather items before entering, and there's an admission fee of 30 rupees plus camera charges.
Sand Dunes and Desert National Park:
Hordes of people head to the prominent and picturesque Sam Sand Dunes, around 40 km (kilometres) west of Jaisalmer, at sunset. Cultural performances and camel rides create a carnival atmosphere. It's possible to stay at a desert camp in the area. The majority are located close to the Sam Dunes. However, there are other options that provide unique, non-touristy experiences. Here are five of the best ones. On the way to the Sam Dunes, Kuldhara Abandoned Village is a worthwhile place to visit. If you'd prefer a more peaceful desert experience, the dunes around Khuri village in Desert National Park, 45 kilometers southwest of Jaisalmer, are an appealing alternative. Accommodations are available in traditional-style huts and small resorts. You can go on a camel safari there as well.
Jaisalmer has another group of similar looking cenotaphs, in a large unkempt garden around five kilometers further out, erected in honor of the city's royal rulers from the 16th to 20th centuries. However, it remains incomplete due to his death a year after Independence, which was viewed as a bad omen by the family. The last cenotaph to be built is dedicated to Maharaja Jawahar Singh, who reined after India’s Independence. Most intriguing are the plaques on the cenotaphs. In contrast to the cenotaphs, modern wind turbines now populate the breezy hill as well, to generate electricity. Plaques showing both maharaja and maharani together indicate that the queen committed sati (threw herself on her husband's funeral pyre).
It provided the only water supply to the city until 1965. Gadsisar Lake, also called Gadisar Lake, is a huge artificial reservoir that was built by Maharawal Gadsi Singh in the 14th century. The many small temples and shrines that surround the lake make it particularly inviting. Boats are available for hire too. The lake is located on the southeast edge of the city. Migratory waterfowl are an added attraction in winter, along with numerous catfish in the water that love to be fed.
Bhang Shop/Lassi Shop:
It attracts a steady flow of curious customers who are served by the aptly named Doctor Bhang. The prominent Lassi Shop (previously called the Government Authorized Bhang Shop), outside the first fort gate at Gopa Chowk, has been in business since 1977. The safari packs, promising a smooth camel ride, are popular with travelers. You may be astonished to discover that bhang is sold openly in Jaisalmer. There's a tempting array of bhang lassis (marijuana milkshakes) bhang cookies, cakes, chocolates and sweets, with potencies ranging from weak to strong.
Thar Heritage Museum:
If you're keen to lean about the history and folklore of Jaisalmer, Thar Heritage Museum is the place. This small privately operated museum was set up by the characterful L N Khatri, owner of the nearby Desert Handicraft Emporium, and he gives informative and entertaining guided tours. The museum contains an eclectic assortment of artifacts, all collected by Mr Khatri over the course of his life. They include fossils, documents, portraits, photos, sculptures, coins, manuscripts, turbans, weapons, and kitchen equipment. There's a 40 rupees entrance fee. Puppet shows are often held there in the evenings, adding to the enchantment.
A camel safari will also give you the opportunity to witness the rustic, rural desert life of India. Most visitors take a camel safari -- it's the quintessential Jaisalmer experience! It's possible to go on a quick one day safari or a hardcore safari as long as 30 days! However, it's important that you choose the provider carefully as the safari business is extremely competitive and you definitely get what you pay for.