Jaisalmer is a city in the Thar Desert close to the Pakistani border. It is known as the golden city because of the golden sand and the sand colored houses. It is a vibrant small city that you can best explore by foot or by rikshaw. The main reason tourists come to this place is to do a desert safari but there are also two other highlights worth visiting.
Do a desert safari
There are basically three kinds of desert safaris. The ones with an overnight stay in a tenth, under the stars or with a return to the hotel in the evening. Soft adventurers as we are, we booked the option with the stay in the tenth but firmly regretted that decision afterwards. But maybe we just had bad luck with the wind. As because of it the camp couldn’t keep our dinner warm, there was no bonfire and the flapping of the tenth didn’t let us sleep. The sleeping under the stars option wouldn’t have been better either, as you would have been covered in sand the next morning.
Therefore, our suggestion is to do a half-day safari during the windy season. There you get the same service as with the overnight stay options, without the terrible overnight stay. Riding with the camels into the sunset is super nice. Only make sure not to buy any drinks from the touts that approach you all the time. The cultural show at the camp afterwards was probably the highlight. The dancing of the two Indian woman in their colorful dresses was hypnotizing. They even managed to animate us to dance with them. The next morning we got up super early to drive with the jeep over the sand dunes to a sunset point. Because of the weather there wasn’t a proper sunrise. But it was interesting to see the desert come to life in the early morning and cruising over the dunes with the jeep was also a lot of fun.
Visit the Jaisalmer Fort
It is one of the few living forts in India as there are more than 2’000 people still living in the fort. It is also one of the few forts that doesn’t charge any entrance. And so you can simply room around and explore this ancient city. You can also climb up on its walls and enjoy a marvelous view over the golden city.
Wander around Bada Bagh
Bada Bagh is a bit outside of the city but a rikshaw can bring you there in about 20 minutes. It is a garden in the desert located at an artificial lake. Don’t expect a garden with all sorts of flowers, fruits and vegetables but at least it is green and has many Mango trees. But the highlight isn’t the garden anyway, it is the structures that have been built up on a little hill overseeing the garden and the lake. Those structures that look like little temples are dedicated to different members of the royal family, everyone having his own memorial tablet in the middle of it.