Deriving its name from Maharaja Jaisal Singh, Jaisalmer city is situated amidst the vast and popular Thar desert in Rajasthan. Famed for the authenticity of its heritage, tradition and culture, Jaisalmer is a land that offers many exciting views and adventures for you. With bountiful sports, fantastic safaris, and scenic camping, there are many alluring things to do in Jaisalmer. You are sure to have an amazing vacation in this marvel of a city.
Best time to visit Jaisalmer – Between November and March
Things to do in Jaisalmer
1. Explore the beauty of the Jaisalmer Fort
Popularly known as the ‘Golden Fort’, the Jaisalmer Fort is made of yellow sandstone. This sandstone reflects shades of gold and is how it gets its popular name. Constructed by Maharaja Jaisal Singh, this fort speaks great volumes on magnificent Rajasthani architectural styles. If you are wondering what to see in Jaisalmer, this fort has to be on your list. One of the key highlights of this fort are the 99 turrets which give it a splendid look. One of the best things to do in Jaisalmer at night is to watch the fort shimmer in all its glory.
- Address – Fort Road, Near Gopa Chowk, Amar Sagar Pol, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan 345001
- Timings – 9:00 AM – 5:00PM
- Price – Indians: INR 50; Non-Indians: INR 250
2. Go boating in Gadisar Lake
One of the most popular activities in Jaisalmer is to go boating in the Gadisar Lake. Built in 1367 by Maharaja Gadsi Singh, this lake has been named after him. Among the most enlivening things to do in Jaisalmer, boating here can transport you to another world altogether. You can easily spend your day admiring the beauty of this lake and you will still be left wanting to witness the spectacular landscape for a little longer. If you are thinking about what to do in Jaisalmer, boating in Gadisar Lake and witnessing its gorgeousness are great things to do here.
3. Take a city tour of Jaisalmer
To witness this city in all its bliss, taking a tour around it is one of the best activities in Jaisalmer. You will be beguiled by the grandeur of the city when you take this guided photography tour. The two hours of this tour will give you one of the most enriching experiences of your life. You will be taken by pretty lanes, havelis, forts, and temples which are guaranteed to give you a vibrant memory that will remain for a very long time. You will also see some wonderful dunes during your tour. Do not forget to carry a camera along with you, or you are sure to regret it because this city is what defines ‘photogenic’ in the best ways.
- Duration – 2 hours
- Charges – INR 1300
4. Go on a shopping spree at the Jaisalmer Local Bazaars
One of the most exploratory things to do in Jaisalmer is to go shopping in the colourful local bazaars here. Shopaholics, this is THE place for you! Abundant in many varieties of handmade goods, ranging from clothes and jewellery to footwear and bags, these local bazaars are a true delight. Puppets, decorative items, jootis, Rajasthani textiles, handicrafts, showpieces made of yellow sandstone, wooden items, ornaments, and camel leather items are popular products here. You must visit Pansari Bazaar, the oldest market in Jaisalmer.
- Recommended bazaars – Sadar Bazaar, Manak Chowk, Pansari Bazaar and Bhatia Bazaar.
5. Try parasailing at Kanoi
To answer every adventure enthusiast’s question – what to do in Jaisalmer, parasailing at Kanoi is one of the most exhilarating things to do in Jaisalmer. The view from high above the desert is truly unmatched in all its magnificence and splendour. Indeed, a very energizing experience, parasailing here is sure to leave you spellbound. Ideal for the brave hearts and seekers of rushing adrenalin, this is one of the things you must do in Jaisalmer. Parasailing activities are organized by many desert camps here on prior requests.
- Charges – INR 760
Suggested Read: Paragliding in Gangtok – Glide Over the Beautiful Sikkim
6. Go quad biking on Sam Sand Dunes
One of the most adventurous things to do in Jaisalmer is to go quad biking on Sam Sand Dunes. If you are thinking of what to see in Jaisalmer, the topography of these dunes is a sight you cannot miss. Set out to explore the captivating sandy terrain in a quad bike! The dusty whirlpools left behind by the ATV is sure to take the excitement and thrill up by a notch. Take your friends along for fantastic activity and feel your smiles widen at day!
- Charges – INR 1700
7. Explore the activity of paramotoring
Another adventure sport in Jaisalmer is paramotoring. Parasailing powered by a motor is a sport that nobody should miss out on. You are offered a breathtaking view of the city of Jaisalmer through this activity. You can also click some beautiful pictures of the majestic views below you or you could just show your craziness by taking a selfie! Even for those who panic at the word ‘adventure’, there is no need to worry at all! You will always have a pilot with you to control the vehicle and make sure that you are safe and secure at all times.
- Charges – INR 2000
8. Go dune bashing in the Thar Desert
One of the most satisfying things to do in Jaisalmer is to discover the Thar Desert in a Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV). Perfect for off-roading and dune bashing activities, the sand dunes of this desert attract many automobile lovers who wish to indulge their vehicle in an exciting adventure. However, dune bashing and off-roading are to be strictly done under professional supervision only. This is absolutely crucial because such activities are inclusive of sharp overturns and competent manoeuvring skills.
- Charges – INR 3500
9. Camp in the desert and go on desert safaris
A very fascinating activity is to go on an evening safari to explore the dunes just before spending the night in a camp. One of the most recommended things to do in Jaisalmer at night is to camp in the desert. There are several camps, ranging from the budget-friendly camps to the luxurious ones. They have all the modern facilities required for any traveller to have a peaceful night’s stay. You will also have the wonderful privilege of witnessing traditional Rajasthani folk music and dance. Following an evening of cultural extravaganza, you can indulge in some lip-smacking dinner of the local cuisine. Some of the most renowned camps include – Royal Desert Camp, The Serai, and Prince Desert Camp.
- Charges – Overnight camping: INR 5000- INR 9000; Camel safaris and dinner: INR 1300
10. Discover the wildlife at Desert National Park
Spread across an area of 3162 square kilometres, Desert National Park is a fabulous place to explore the wildlife of the region. This national park has several sand dunes, salt lake bottoms, and rocky layers. Many species like the Indian Fox, Chinkara, Desert Cat, and others can be spotted here. The state bird of Rajasthan, the Great Indian Bustard, is also found here. The closest you will feel to nature, Desert National Park is a place you must visit.
- Address – Myajlar Road, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan 345001
- Timings – 7:00 AM – 5:00 PM
11. Visit Tanot Mata Temple
One of the most famous things to do in Jaisalmer is to visit Tanot Mata Temple. One of the main reasons why this is a popular thing to do is because the Indo-Pak border is located very close to the temple. While you are on your desert safari, you can also cover this region to feel a national sentiment course through your veins. However, prior permissions and permit pass from the Indian Military Force are mandatory to have access to the border area.
12. Watch a puppet show at Desert Culture Centre and Museum
One of the things you must do while you are in Jaisalmer is to watch a puppet show at Desert Culture Centre and Museum. For those who wish to learn about the culture of Jaisalmer, this is the best activity for you. You will get a glimpse of the traditions of this city through the 40-minute long puppet show here. Placed among the top things to do here, watching a puppet show can be a very lively experience. Emanating authenticity and genuineness of its roots in the purest form, this is an activity you will not regret exploring in Jaisalmer.
- Address – Gadisar Rd, Amar Sagar Pol, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan 345001
- Timings – 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
- Charges – INR 50 – INR 100
13. Savour delectable Rajasthani cuisine
What is the point of travelling all the way to Rajasthan and not trying its spicy cuisine? Make your trip wholesome with the inclusion of authentic dishes found in local restaurants. Let go of fast food and other regular cuisines for a while and treat yourself to the deliciousness of Rajasthani cuisine. The dishes that you must try are – the famous Dal Bati Churma, Mirchi, Bada, Lauki ke Kofte, Pyaaj Kachori, and Kicha ki Sabji. For the perfect end to your meal, you must try Ghotua Ladoo, the perfect solace for your sweet tooth.
14. Explore Bada Bagh
With a name translating to ‘big garden’, exploring Bada Bagh is one of the most peaceful things to do in Jaisalmer. Essentially, this was a cemetery. The founder of Jaisalmer had commissioned for a water tank to be built at this site. This indicates that the area of Bada Bagh was the only green area in the region during those times. Due to this, a lake now exists beside Bada Bagh, just in the middle of an expansive desert that makes the area look even more beautiful than it already was. A very tranquil place, this garden is perfect for those who seek quietude and harmony with their inner selves.
- Address – Bada Baugh Chhatris Road, Rajasthan 345001
- Timings – All day
- Charges – INR 100
15. Go haveli hunting
Mansions built in style by the rich, havelis exist in plenty in Jaisalmer. As one of the best things to do for history buffs, hunting for havelis is a very interesting activity. With intricately decorated exteriors, the havelis offer a rich sight for the eyes. The interiors of these havelis are even better in terms of their beauty and detail. From one mansion to the other, discover the depth of each design and its congruence with the gorgeous Rajasthani style of architecture. One of the most recommended havelis to explore is Patwaon-ki-Haveli.
16. Visit the Interconnected Jain Temples
A marvellous attraction inside the Jaisalmer Fort is the alluring series of seven interconnected Jain temples. These temples date all the way back to the 15th and 16th centuries. Made out of sandstone, these temples are a fantastic display of Rajasthani architecture. In order to pay your respects, you will have to remove your footwear and all leather items before entering. You will definitely be left in awe of the details of these beautiful temples.
- Timings – Indians: 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM; Non-Indians: 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM
- Charges – Indians: Nil; Non-Indians: INR 300
17. Have a scrumptious breakfast with peacocks at Khaba Fort
For all morning people, this is one of the most beautiful activities to do in Jaisalmer during the early hours. Eating breakfast at the ruins of the Khaba Fort is sure to give you an air of fulfilment like no other. While you’re at it, your experience will only get better when you witness the enchanting sight of a flock of peacocks who are being fed by a local. These captivating birds arrive at the Khaba Fort at sunrise. As this fort is situated in the isolated Paliwal Village, you can also spend some time exploring the area and see if you find something that interests you.
- Address – Paliwal Village, Dedha, Rajasthan 345001, India
18. Enjoy sunset views at Vyas Chhatri
Dedicated to the great sage Vyasa who wrote the epic ‘Mahabharata’, Vyas Chhatri is one of the best places to enjoy sunset views in Jaisalmer. However, this place can seem pretty haunting as it is used as a cremation ground for Pushkarana Brahmins. These are called ‘chhatris’ because of their domes which have the shape of umbrellas. A fantastic spot to witness the sunset against the backdrop of the city’s soothing landscape, Vyas Chhatri demands a visit.
Dive into history at the Jaisalmer War Museum
- Address – Dr K. L. Achalvanshi Colony, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan 345001, India
19. Visit the Jaisalmer War Museum
One of the most gratifying things to do is to learn about India’s heritage at the Jaisalmer War Museum. Conceptualized by Lieutenant General Bobby Mathews, this museum is an ideal place for all those who wish to know about the history of the Indian Military. The heroism of the military forces as seen during the Indo-Pakistan War of 1965 and the Battle of Longewala in 1971 is shown in its truest spirit. The exhibits here include – war trophies, military equipment, and the Hunter aircraft that was used in the Battle of Longewala by the Indian Air Force.
- Address – Jaisalmer Military Station, Thaiyat, Rajasthan 345001, India
Being a historical city, there are many things to do in Jaisalmer. You can spend a whole weekend here and you will still not have enough of this place. Such is the enchantment of Jaisalmer!