Jaisalmer is often referred to as the “Golden City of India” because of its yellow sandstone used throughout the city. It has also recorded the highest temperature in India reaching a sizzling 52.4 degree – safe to say pack lots of sunscreen!
We spent a total of four nights (three days) in Jaisalmer, which is one day longer than the usual traveller. We have listed a few top things to do in Jaisalmer!
#1 Safari in the Thar Desert
When travelling to Jaisalmer, you will find a number of hotels offering camel safari’s. Touts will also stop you on the bus/train offering “competitive” discounts! Feel free to engage with them but they by-in large offer the same experience. We went ahead with our hostel called Abu Safari, which provides you with an amazing safari experience in a secluded area of the Thar desert. You are away from people and buildings – thereby avoiding noise and light pollution!
You should expect to pay somewhere within the region of 600 – 1000 INR in low season and we have been told during peak season prices can reach up to 2000+ INR. Remember to negotiate the price as you will find a number of hostels offering the overnight safari expereince!
There are various additional packages that you can pay for whilst on safari, which includes a dune buggy experience, local dance class with the villagers in the desert and quad biking across the dunes! We did not try any of the additional packages!
#2 Jaisalmer Fort – Sightseeing
Jaisalmer Fort is believed to be one of the very few living forts in the world. You can easily explore this fort by foot or if you are feeling lazy and tired because of the heat then a motorcycle should do the trick! Do be careful as the roads are very narrow! There are a number of attractions to visit within the fort which includes: Palace Museum, Jain Temples, local restaurants and markets to explore!
#3 Gadisar Lake
Gadisar Lake is among the most popular attractions of Jaisalmer. The lake is a man-made reservoir built in the 14th century! You can enjoy the incredible architecture which surrounds the lake by a pedal boat. Although we did not enter the lake by boat, we enjoyed sitting on the steps of the lake whilst soaking our feet!
A 2 person boat should cost 100 INR, 4 person boat should cost 200 INR and a 6 person boat soils cost 300 INR.
#4 Chill by the Pool
Although this is not an attraction to Jaisalmer in itself, in order to cope with the 40 degree heat, we found ourselves travelling 5km to a nearby resort to dunk in the pool! We visited Moonlight Nature Resorts and Camp to make use of the pool on two separate occasions!
If your hostel/hotel does not have a pool, it is a nice way to spend half the day! A number of luxurious hotels within the area charge 400 INR per hour, which in our opinion was too expensive. Moonlight usually charge 250 INR for 2 hours per person but we negotiated the hotel down to 200 INR.
#5 Desert Bike Tours – Bike Rental
To explore Jaisalmer, we decided to rent a bike for the first time to avoid walking in the 40 degree heat. We decided to go with Desert Bike Tours. We understand Desert Bikes (est. 2006) is the first ever established bike rental company in Jaisalmer! The family owned business is run by Dinesh and his son. The service that Dinesh offers is incredible and the bikes are very reliable. We ended up renting the bike for a total of 3 days because of the great service that we received. We strongly recommend this company.
Desert Bikes have a number of bikes available, from simple automatic motorcycles to geared Harley Davidsons. We opted for a simple automatic motorcycle which set us back 250 INR for the day.
If you are interested in renting a motorcycle, contact Dinesh on +91 94141 50033 or his son +91 77425 47106.