All you need to know about Jaisalmer, Rajasthan | Solo Travel in India

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Jaisalmer is one of the beautiful cities in the royal state of Rajasthan. Your trip is incomplete if you do not pay a visit to the forts, monuments, and dunes of Jaisalmer. It is also popularly known as the ‘Desert capital’ of India as it houses the Thar Desert. The treasure trove of Jaisalmer city lies in its savoury food, sunsets, and camel rides.

While travelling to India, a trip to Jaisalmer is hard to miss. I recently visited this golden city and was amazed by its beauty and hospitality. ‘Padharo mhare desh,’ meaning Welcome to my land, is the slogan here—people from all across the world talk about the love they received from the people of Rajasthan. Taking inspiration from being in the Great Indian Desert, I realised how to bloom and rise even in an arduous situation. 

My trip to Jaisalmer is filled with stories from experiencing the warmth of people to going for a camel safari, from visiting the haunted fort to appreciating the folk songs, from buying the local costumes to eating all kinds of spicy treats. Indeed, I lived on the brim and cherished every bit of my stay.

What to know before visiting Jaisalmer

The best time to visit here is from September to February. The weather is moderate as it is neither too hot nor too cold during these months. If you plan to visit afterward, then be prepared to handle scorching heat and windy nights. The temperature drops down in the night whereas it rises to its peak during the daytime. 

For the accommodation, I will suggest staying in the hotel for the first two days to familiarise yourself with the people, local culture, location, and food. Also, you can get rid of your jetlag by staying in the finest five-star or seven-star properties. 

For the rest of the days of the trip, book a camp on the desert side. You will thank me later! Luxury tents are available, which ensure on-site food delivery, sanitisation, hygiene, and security. There is no point in seeing the desert without staying there. Embrace and imbibe. 

Visiting all the places of Jaisalmer should ideally take three-four days. However, embracing light and shadow dancing on the dunes and the moonlight covering the desert will take years to get over.

There is no one particular reason to go Jaisalmer rather an array of many reasons for not missing a trip to this wanderlust city. It is a shopping delight for every shopaholic, an abode for goldsmiths, and a major attraction for tourists. Read my guide on 25 interesting things to do in Rajasthan. 

Let’s get started to read more about the top attractions of Jaisalmer. 

1. Pokhran

Pokhran is the test of a nuclear site in India. A secret test was conducted around twenty years ago, and it left the entire world in shock. Everyone was taken aback by how this massive mission was conducted without bringing to the notice of NASA. As Pokhran is on the border side, the Indian army is permanently deployed there, making it even safer for solo women travellers to visit Pokhran in Jaisalmer. 

There is a 14th-century fort in this historic town. It is a quiet place, mostly surrounded by visitors and foreigners only. As this fort comes under ASI, there is an entry ticket, and you can visit there any day showing your identity proof (i.e., passport copy, driver’s licence).

Apart from the fort, visit Pokhran Museum as well. It showcases relics, paintings, sculptures, and scriptures from the time the town was established. For those who want to experience the spiritual side of Jaisalmer, there is a Ramdev temple and Ravdevra Fair. If you are lucky enough, you might get to see the grand Mela (a local fair) around the temple area. 

2. Palace of the wheels

On my second day of the trip, I had booked a ticket from Jodhpur to Jaisalmer on the royal train. The voyage starts with the view of beautiful Havelis and mansions at the sides. On the train, the most exotic dishes from the extensive menu will be served to you. Since this train service runs only in Rajasthan, you absolutely cannot miss boarding it!

The interior of the train takes you on time travel where majesty awaits. Spa facilities, pool tables, and bright backdrops for your Instagram pictures make this train a top priority in your checklist.

3. Camel Safari

You may have travelled by aeroplane, car or ship but there is nothing like a camel safari. Riding on the hump of a camel gives you an enormous view of the desert area. During most of the camel rides, the organiser lets you chose your journey and path to be taken. I took the one, which crosses through the villages and ends at Khuri. It is a less-taken path, and that made all the difference!

Camel Safari in Jaisalmer lets you enjoy the rustic experience in the rural suburbs’. You can return to your hotel for the lavish dinner and cultural program after filling your souls with the sunset in the dunes. 

Jaisalmer is one of the famous tourist spots for backpacking as well. Read my guide on 12 things that no one tells you about backpacking in India.

4. Folk dance and music

Campfire, barbeque dinner, and folk dance and music performed by local artists is the main attraction of Jaisalmer. There is music splash against the colourful backdrop of majestic setting, and the variety of props used in the performance is eye-catching. I have never felt this lively before, as these shows pause the time and let you enjoy the moment. 

Female solo travellers can also take part and dance with the artists. You can expect lots of bright-mirrored turbans, colourful costumes, heavy jewellery, puppets, pungi (a wind instrument). Fortunately, I had the best experience of the trip while dancing and letting loose myself in the faraway land. 

5. Bollywood paparazzi

Jaisalmer is one of the favourite picks for shooting by Bollywood movie directors and stars. Solo women travellers visiting Jaisalmer can have their paparazzi moment, so keep a watch out. 

Enigmatic forts and the Great Indian Desert present in the town makes it a great location for a movie shoot. With time, the town has developed, and the presence of several top-notch properties gives an edge to decide for a comfortable stay. If you are travelling for the first time to India, ensure that Jaisalmer is on your list. Keep yourself ready as you can hear ‘Roll, Camera, and Action’ at any point. 

To keep your wardrobe game on point, read my guide What to wear in India: 15 Outfit Ideas for Solo Women Travellers.

6. Deserted beauty

The joy of living in this unforgettable place is a perfect getaway that you need. I found the same heavenly tranquil of silence in the desert as I had by the beachside. I realised that the desert is not just sand. It contains diverse, impressive landscapes and resilient natural habitat. Just reach Jaisalmer and stroll through desert patches, and you will find the inner peace and thought of nothingness. Switch off yourself from the mainstream world and allow yourself to look for imperfect perfections!

7. Haunted trail

I agree staying in deserts can be intimidating and scary sometimes. However, I always wear my heart on the sleeve and rather stay curious to know about such tales and incidents. If you are one of my kind, then the best way to know about the hidden truth is through the locals. Talk to them, and you will be amazed by the amount of knowledge there is to be learnt. You can even hire a local guide via Airbnb to take you around the places in Jaisalmer.

Kandhara village in the interior of Jaisalmer is one of the remote villages in the city. It is filled with spooky haunted stories. The village was deserted overnight due to mysterious incidents and deaths happening for a long time. Visit this place in the daytime, and you can see the ruins and remains of the villagers and their homes. It may sound scary but yes, do visit. Experience the eerie environment in this must-visit place of Jaisalmer.

8. Go shopping!

I went gala after seeing the markets of Jaisalmer. I tried hard not to buy everything, but the antiques, sculptures, and fabrics make you lose your self-control. In a nutshell, do not miss jewellery, carpets, shawls, and leather products. A shopping enthusiast can look for mirror work, precious gemstones, and silk sarees. Head to Manak Chowk, Pansari Bazaar, Sadar Bazaar, and Bhatia Bazaar to buy multitudes of objects. For interior décor lovers, lamps, trinkets, carved wooden boxes, and antiques are worth buying.

Read my guide How to Bargain Like a Local on Your Solo Trip to India | 25 Pro Tips.

9. A foodie’s delight

The city provides the most ethnic variety of meals. They are filled with spice, flavours, and textures that leave you saying, Mamma Mia. I’m not even kidding guys! Gatte ki Sabzi and Daal Baati Choorma are hard to miss due to their authentic flavours. I am always fond of trying local cuisines, and the smell of mutton and chicken could not keep me away at any cost. 

Mutton Saag and Murgh-e-sabz are made from tender meat, and chicken fills your taste buds to a bouquet of flavours. Great food makes Jaisalmer a must-visit place in Rajasthan.

10. Art galleries and Museums

The Thar Heritage Museum and Silk Route Art Gallery are two places for art and history lovers. They ooze with the historic culture, architecture, and remains of the city. You can expect manuscripts, weapons from the war, and unique ornaments here. They proudly showcase paintings, handicrafts, and furniture built for the rulers. 

Ensure that you visit the section of camels and horses in the museum, as they are called the ship of the desert. It showcases the tales of strength and sacrifice that these animals made in honour of the city. 

11. Puppet Shows

Puppet shows are the traditional parts of entertainment in India. The characters are usually dressed up with colourful clothes and funny expressions to narrate the old humorous folk tales of the state. 

The kathputli performance set on a stage attracts several visitors with its drumroll, songs, and catchy phrases. Therefore, do not miss the amazing rural folk art of Jaisalmer on your solo trip to Rajasthan!

To have a slice of other happening states of Rajasthan, visit Jodhpur and Udaipur as well. Read my guide, My Ultimate Solo Travel Guide to Jodhpur, and My Ultimate Solo Female Travel Guide to Udaipur.

12. Architecture 

Jaisalmer was once the trade centre of India having goods import and export from Arabian countries. Later during the British era, it shifted to Mumbai. Nevertheless, the bungalows, English houses, mansions, and forts reflect the massive style of architecture. 

We have always seen the residential kind of build, but here, you will get to see the houses which can stand the wreath of desserts and winds. The golden-yellow sandstone, used in the making of forts, adds a charismatic charm to them.

While you are in Jaisalmer, you can visit Longewala Battlefield. It is the battleground for the Indo-Pakistan war in 1971. War tanks and details of how Indians won this revolutionary war are still kept intact on this site. Also, windmills will be your constant partners throughout the journey. Make sure you do not miss the largest wind farms of India in Jaisalmer. The beauty of Jaisalmer lies in the little details and stories that make us eager to explore more.

I ensure that you will not return from your solo trip to Jaisalmer the same way you left. The unsaid beauty and charisma settle in your soul. Read the complete guide to this marvel city here. 

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Swagachi

An introverted solo female traveller on an adventure around the world.

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