Jaisalmer, also known as “The Golden City” is a town in Rajasthan.  It was once known as Jaisalmer state and is the administrative headquarters of the Jaisalmer district.  It’s not a very large town, with a population of about 78,000. However, it has a charm of its own and is a paragon of beautiful culture and harsh climatic conditions.  Jaisalmer is named after Maharawal Jaisal Singh who founded the city.  He was a Rajput king in 1156 AD. “Jaisalmer” means “The hill fort of Jaisal”.  

The entire city is built out of yellow sand and yellow sandstone due to which it came to be known as “the Golden City”. The old city was completely encircled by a wall but much of it has crumbled sadly for want of building material in recent years. Just like all the other cities in Rajasthan, Jaisalmer also has its own glorious past.

jaisalmer city

According to the legends, the then Rajpur ruler of Jaisalmer, Maharawal Jaisal Singh founded the city at the behest of a local hermit named Eesaal, whom he respected a lot. In order to ensure his safety he built the fort on the Trikut hill because its location made it quite inaccessible and he could keep a watch on his surroundings. This helped him to know the movements on his enemies well in advance. The main source of income of the Bhatti Rajput rulers in the past was through the collection of taxes from the passing caravans. Jaisalmer was situated on one of the very important routes which connected India to several counties including Persia, Egypt, Africa and many western countries. Thus, it was a very busy business route and provided ample opportunity for the Bhatti rulers to collect taxes and amass huge wealth.

jaisalmer city 2

Due to its peculiar location, it remained out of bounds of any invaders for a long time. Only when the Bhatti Rajput rulers dared to loot the imperial caravan carrying treasures of Ala-ud-din Khilji, the Sultan of Delhi, they incurred this wrath. He led a siege around Jaisalmer to concur it and the siege lasted for 9 long years. In the final battle for their independence, the then ruler of Jaisalmer, Raja Jaisimha ‘s son Duda died while fighting the forces of the sultan. In the subsequent years, the rulers of Jaisalmer maintained good relations with the Mughal emperors. However, they did not accept the British rule easily. In fact, Jaisalmer rulers were the last to sign the Instrument of Agreement with the British Government.

artificial lake

Besides being a place of historical importance, Jaisalmer is still a living town and a major tourist attraction in Rajasthan. Unlike other forts, a quarter of the town’s population still lives inside the fort. This spectacular fort houses a royal palace (Raj Mahal), Jain temples and many sites worth visiting. The walls of the fort are constructed out of red sandstone which assumes a lovely honey-gold hue as the sun sets.

jaisalmer fort

jaisalmer fort 2

gadi sagar temple

The people of Jaisalmer are very hospitable and are gifted with a lot of folk music, dance and art forms. The main means of transport in this part of the country are camels. One can enjoy a camel ride during a visit to this place.

camel safari

Jaisalmer has also got a rich cultural heritage and to display its rich past, the place has got a museum dedicated to the many artifacts used in the by-gone era. People interested in history would definitely enjoy a visit to this Government museum. In addition, there are mansions known as Havelis which used to the abodes of the rich, famous and powerful people belonging to the Raj Darbar of the rulers. These beautiful havelis were very well-crafted and are a piece of art and architecture of that time. Some of the most famous havelis are Patwon-ki-Haveli, Salman Sigh-ki-Haveli, Nathmalhi-ki-Haveli and Haveli Shreenath. A visit to these havelis will give you an idea of how lavishly the rich and powerful of that era lived.


havelis 2

People of Rajasthan are mostly vegetarian but they do prepare, serve and enjoy a variety of delicacies in their everyday life. A visit to Jaisalmer will definitely be satisfying to your culinary appetite besides capturing you with its magnificent sites and architecture. A visit to Jaisalmer will definitely prove memorable in all respects.

19 comments to Jaisalmer

  • V Raghavan

    The state of Rajasthan is a treasure house for tourists. Jaisalmer always gets mentioned among the musts of Rajasthan, but I have never been there. Your pictures look beautiful.

  • Govind Pant

    Excellent city with magnificent past.

  • Satyapal

    Excellent after seeing the photos am tempted to make a trip!

  • santhosh

    Can I visit Jaisalmer, interested to visit many places in India.

  • Balasaheb

    I would like to b ur member

  • Asit Shah

    Excellent city,Only season to visit is November & December. And that time foreigners comes.Then the Hotel and Restaurants become very costly. They are just looting

  • hoshi

    Very nice.
    Like building castles in the Iranian city of Bam was built on top of the earthquake of 2001 destroyed it.

  • Shah Madhusudan

    seems very beutiful city having historical past . will visit it in near future.

  • Ramani Krishnan

    Had a great trip to Rajasthan last winter
    Visited Jaisalmer and also the Thar desert and stayed a night in Tents at a place called SAM. The goldern city a Jaisalmer is a nice place with the living fort
    enjoyed the trip to Jaisalmer,JOdhpur,Bikaner,Dashnok,Pushkar and Ajmer
    Ramani krishnan

  • Dinesh Singh Sirohi

    I want to go there.


    wonderful and worth enjoying with family ones in a life.

  • kaushik mehta

    seen twice.In yr 1979 and 1986.Jaisalmer is best place in entire India.I always name stone are singing in stone.All the sight seeing places are marvelous and it does not vanish one you see.Visting again is a dream.

  • R.V.SHAH

    It is the Best Place to see in Rajasthan and it has many beautiful Jain Temples with old hand written books on Jainism. One should also enjoy the Camel Safari in the nearby desert two hours before sunset.

  • vallimohammed lakhani

    thanks lakhaniwe put u coment when we see vthe place thanks lakhani

  • vallimohammed lakhani

    thanks lakhani


    I was in Jodhpur for a period of three years and got oppertunity to visit this place many number of times. Every time I find this place is new to me. People are very helpful and friendly. Marvolus workmanship is seen everywhere.

  • bunty

    pleasure to see.

  • bunty

    one of the most precious asset of rajasthan.

  • Firouzeh

    I want to go there I hope so

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