What to do and see in Jaisalmer, India: The Best Places and Tips

February 25, 2018 Yuk Petri

The dramatic and romantic desert fortress of Jaisalmer is an exotic city in Rajasthan’s great Thar Desert. "The Golden City" rose to prominence as a result of its position on camel trade routes. It's now most famous for the 12th-century fort and ornate "Havelis," fine merchant-built houses and pavilions in the city’s medieval lanes. The surrounding Desert National Park offers opportunities to observe blackbucks, desert foxes and chinkaras amid the rolling dunes, rugged crags and waterholes.
Restaurants in Jaisalmer

1. Longewala War Memorial

Longewala, Jaisalmer, India
Excellent
82%
Good
15%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 251 reviews

Longewala War Memorial

Reviewed By Granthalok - Ahmedabad, India

Which Indian can forget the famous Bollywood film ‘Border’ based on the 1971 Longewala War between India and Pakistan ? Well, this is exactly the place where this war was fought, and to give a feel of the actual battlefield, most of the terrain has been left rugged as in the days of the war. The Indian tricolor proudly flutters and makes the visitor swell with pride. On display are the T-59 tank, guns, bunker, communication trench, jeeps, etc., which is sure to give the visitor goose-bumps. This is the last point upto which civilians are allowed and you can see the sentry guarding the road leading to the border.
There is also a 15-minute documentary depicting the Longewala War which is a must-watch.
For refreshments, there is a ‘Border Café’ run by army-men, where some light snacks and cold drinks are served. The proceeds go to the maintenance of the premises and the welfare of the army.
While visiting from Jaisalmer, this site can be coupled with a visit to the Tanot Temple, which is at a distance of around 40 kilometers. On the way to Tanot, but a few yards off the route, you can see the Sadewala checkpost, guarded by a sentry. This road too leads to the border to Pakistan.

2. Jaisalmer War Museum

Jaisalmer Jodhpur Highway, Jaisalmer 345001, India
Excellent
68%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 516 reviews

Jaisalmer War Museum

Reviewed By Granthalok - Ahmedabad, India

Set up by the Indian Army, and located on the Jaisalmer-Jodhpur highway, this war museum traces in detail the evolution of the Indian Army. It also highlights the victorious wars fought against Pakistan in 1965 and 1971 (Longewala War), and of course the Kargil war of 1999. There are two halls, namely the Indian Army Hall and the Longewala Hall wherein are depicted actual equipment like the guns, binoculars, radar, other interesting documents captured from the Pakistan army like the identity card of the jawans, letters, etc.
As you enter the imposing gate, you would be greeted with the captured Pakistani tank. Besides this, there is a huge replica of a bayonet, and the Indian tricolor proudly flutters in the background.
The museum also has an audio-visual theater which screens a short documentary on the Indian Army, which should not be skipped.
Photography is permitted everywhere in the premises except in the theater. It is advisable to hire the services of a guide (who are actually army-men’s wives) in order to understand the various exhibits better.
It is a huge complex and much walking is needed to go around.
Just for information, an entry fee of Rs.30.00 has to be paid to enter the premises. Even the entry tickets are worthy of a memorabilia since it mentions a brief history of the brave jawans of the Indian Army on the reverse, besides war pictures on its face. (See pictures.)
There is a souvenir shop too selling interesting memorabilia.

3. Tanot Mata Temple

Village Tanot, 120 Km From Jaisalmer, Jaisalmer, India 345022
Excellent
67%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 621 reviews

Tanot Mata Temple

Situated 120km North West of Jaisalmer city is Tanot in Thar Desert of Rajasthan. You will find sand dumes all along with small bushes. You can see herds of sheep & goats on the way. Beautiful landscape. Total desert. Nice to see Indira Gandhi Canal full of water after Ramgarh. You can see vegetation & farms near the canal. It is very near to Pakistan border. Last civilian point in India on border. Tanot Rai Mata Temple is an old temple with a history of India Pakistan war of 1965. Hundreds of shells fallen here did not harm the temple. Some bombs are in display at temple. Maintained & managed by Border Security Force of India. Keep food & water with you. Very few population.

Reviewed By VipulJain1988 - Gurugram (Gurgaon), India

We visited Tanot Mata temple along with Longewala War Memorial. The temple is neatly maintained by BSF.
Really amazed by the fact that Pakistan dropped nearly 2000 bombs in that area during 1965 war, and everything was destroyed except the temple. This shows the power of Tanot mata. Some of the live bombs are displayed inside the temple premises.
A highly recommended place to visit.

4. Jain Temples

Off the Jaisalmer-Sam Road, Jaisalmer 345001, India
Excellent
58%
Good
32%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 903 reviews

Jain Temples

Reviewed By Dian Suri H - Bali, Indonesia

It was quite expensive for a temple, but we still went in. As a designer who really into craftmenship this is my kind of place. Amazing details, had some "this is it" moment for a concept, sketched a bit, and really took time to explore the carvings.
But the holy guy were a bit diturbing, though. Although there were sign to not give tips, they still asked, and we still didn't give any.

5. Desert Culture Centre & Museum

Gadi Sagar Road, Jaisalmer, India +91 96000 17031
Excellent
63%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
3%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 152 reviews

Desert Culture Centre & Museum

Reviewed By Randy H - Grande Prairie, Canada

We visited the Desert Culture Centre and Museum primarily to see the puppet show as it's one of the more kid-friendly activities in Jaisalmer.
The puppet show was really well performed and the kids loved it.
The museum portion of the visit is underwhelming. The displays are basically all miniatures or fabricated for display purposes and there's a ton of typed descriptions and explanations plastered to the wall. The descriptions are all faded and peeling and need to be updated.
During the puppet show, Mr. Sharma, the museum's founder provides a bit of background and dialogue about the show, the museum, desert culture, and desert life in between the puppet show's acts. He is very very passionate about his museum, the show, and desert culture. He strives to preserve all of them. In his talks he seemed to plead with the crowd to support him and his conservation efforts.
It seems he's preaching to the people who are already sitting in his museum, have paid their entry fee, and are ALREADY supporting the cause.
It's a really noble and worthy cause but I feel like they need to reconsider their pushy approach to soliciting the people already inside the building.

6. Jaisalmer Fort

Fort Road | Amar Sagar Pol, Jaisalmer 345001, India
Excellent
55%
Good
31%
Satisfactory
11%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 4 reviews

Jaisalmer Fort

Reviewed By majnz - new zeland

it sits on top of a rocky bluff and overlooks most of Jaisalmer, but within the walls is an entire community of people, shops, cafes, hotels, temples, workshops, everything really.
The walk up is a bit frantic as you'll share it with tuk tuks, cars and bikes and the sand stone as become polished - so it's like ice.
but well, well worth the visit

7. Desert National Park

Jaisalmer, India +91 72220 15635
Excellent
58%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
11%
Poor
4%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 326 reviews

Desert National Park

Desert National Park, Rajasthan, India, is situated in the west Indian state of Rajasthan near the town of Jaisalmer. This is one of the largest national parks, covering an area of 3162 km². The Desert National Park is an excellent example of the ecosystem of the Thar Desert. Sand dunes form around 20% of the Park. The major landform consists of craggy rocks and compact salt lake bottoms, intermed

Reviewed By Randy H - Grande Prairie, Canada

I really enjoyed our overnight stay on the dunes of Desert National Park. We took a camel safari with Wanderlust Camel Safari and slept under the stars on the sand.
We rode a jeep for about 40 minutes southwest of Jaisalmer, hopped on our camels and rode them for another 90 minutes before stopping for the night. We were the only people on the dunes in that area that night. It was so peaceful and serene.
The dunes are like what you'd see in the movies. Rolling hills of drifting sands stretch off into the distance. Where we were the dunes maybe spanned 2 km by 2 km before receding back into the more common rocky and brush-covered desert found in the Jaisalmer area.
On our safari we were lucky to see gazelles and extremely fortunate to see two Great Indian Bustards. The are a critically endangered bird species that has only an estimated 250 individual birds remaining alive... and we saw 2 of them!!
Desert National Park was created mainly as a conservation effort for the Great Indian Bustard.

8. Patwaon-Ki-Haveli

Near Patwa Complex, Patwa Haveli, Jaisalmer 345001, India +91 94141 32646
Excellent
46%
Good
39%
Satisfactory
12%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 1 reviews

Patwaon-Ki-Haveli

Reviewed By karthiksuvarna

This interconnected collection of Havelis or palatial edifices houses an enviable collection of day-to-day items, attires, vessels, tools and devices used in the 19h century, giving us a glimpse of the lifestyle of the rich and the famous who flourished under the monarchy. An interesting place to visit!

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