Rising from the heart of the Thar Desert like a golden mirage is the city of Jaisalmer. A commanding fort etched in yellow sandstone stands with all its awesome splendours, dominating the amber-hued city.

The city has an interesting legend associated with it, according to which, lord Krishna- the head of Yadav clan foretold Arjuna that a remote descendent of the Yadav clan would build his kingdom atop the Trikuta Hill, His prophecy was fulfilled in 1156 AD. When Rawal Jaisal, a Bhatti Rajput abandoned his fort at Lodurva and founded a new capital Jaisalmer, perched on the Trikuta Hill Bhatti Rajputs of Jaisalmer were feudal chief who lived off the forced levy on the caravans laden with precious silks and spices that crossed the territory enroute Delhi-or Sind. These seems to be straight out of the “Tales of the Arabian Night ‘ still enchants.

The perfect time to visit the golden city is during the Desert Festival held in Jan/Feb. every year, when the city reverberates to the sound of melodious tunes and rhythms. Folk dances, exciting competitions and contest, especially the turban-tying contest.

Mr. Desert contest and camel races enliven the festivals colourful craft bazaars are set up for the occasion and a sound and light spectacle is organized with folk artistes performing against the splendid backdrop of the famous sam sand dunes on the full moon night. Surely a not-to-be-missed events.

Places of Interests

Golden Fort with 99 bastions :

Known as SONAR QUILA or the Golden fort, rising from the sand, the mega structure merges with the golden hues of the desert ambience and the setting suns in its most colourful shades gives it a fairy tale look. Its simply a magic. The bastions envelop a whole township that consists of palace complex various security sources and the Havelis of rich merchants.


Salim Sing Ki Haveli :

This Haveli was built about 300 years ago and a part of it is still occupied.

Salim Singh was the prime minister when Jaisalmer was the capital of the princely state and his mansion has a beautifully arched roof with superb carved brackets in the form of Peacocks.

Patwon ki Haveli :

This is one of the largest and most elaborate Haveli in Jaisalmer and stands in a narrow lane. It is five storeys high and is extensively carved. It is divided into six apartments, two owned by archaeological Survey of India, two by families who operate craft-shops and two private homes. There are remnants of paintings on some of the inside walls as well as some mirror work.


Diwan Nathmal ki Haveli :

Two architect brothers built it in the 19th century. Interestingly, while one concentrated on the right, the other concentrated on the left and the result is a symphony epitomising the side-by-side symmetry during construction. Paintings in miniature style monopolise the walls in the interior. Mighty tuskers carved out of yellow sandstone stand guard to the Haveli.

TaziaTower :

The delicate pagoda like Tazia Tower rises from Badal Mahal (Cloud Palace).

Rising in its five-tiered splendour, with each storey graced by a delicately carved balcony, the tower is of historical significance. Muslim craftsmen built it in the shape of a Tazia and gifted it to their royal patron.


Mool Sagar :

On way to Sam Sand Dunes, is another natural point. Lake, Garden, summer palaces constructed by Maharawal Mool Raj in 18th Century.

Mool Sagar combines the best of both worlds and provides an oasis in the golden desert sands just 9 kms. (6 miles) from the legendary fort of Jaisalmer.

Gadisar Lake :

This tank, south of the city walls, once held the town water supply, and befitting its importance in providing precious water to the inhabitants of this arid city, it is surrounded by small temples and shrines. The beautiful yellow sandstone gateway arching across the road down to the tank is the Tilon-ki-Pol, built by a famous prostitute, Tilon.

When she offered to pay to have this gateway constructed, the Maharaja refused permission under it to go down to the tank and he felt that this would be beneath his dignity. While he was away, she built the gate, adding a Krishna temple on top so that king could not tear it down.

Gyan Bhandar :

A library founded in 1500 A.D. by Acharya Maharaj Jin Bhadra Suri. This small underground vault houses priceless ancient illustrated manuscripts, some dating from the 11th century. Other exhibits include astrological charts and the Jain version of the Shroud of Turin: the Shroud of Gindhasuri, a Jain hermit and holy man who died in Ajmer.

In a small locked cabinet are the images of Parasnath made of ivory and various precious stones including emerald and crystal. There are plans to shift the library outside the present location within the Jain temple so it can be visited.


Once a year in winters and on the middle of the continually rising and falling stark yellow sands of the great Thar Desert, the empty sands around Jaisalmer come alive with the brilliant colour, music and laughter of the Desert Festival. The festival is organised by the tourist authorities as tourist entertainment around January-February.