Indian cameleers cross the dunes of Thar in Jaisalmer
Indian cameleers cross the dunes of Thar in JaisalmerShutterstock

OT Travel Itinerary: Your Perfect 3-Day Guide To Jaisalmer

From exploring the shiny palaces like sand dunes in the desert to trying traditional dishes, explore Jaisalmer thoroughly with our perfect 3-day itinerary

Jaisalmer, often referred to as the "Golden City," is a captivating destination nestled in the heart of the Thar Desert in Rajasthan. This ancient city is renowned for its majestic sandstone fortress, Jaisalmer Fort, which rises dramatically from the desert landscape like a golden crown.

The city's unique architecture, characterised by intricately carved havelis (mansions) adorned with ornate facades and latticed windows, reflects a rich history of trade and prosperity. Its streets are a web of vibrant markets selling exquisite handicrafts, textiles, and jewellery, showcasing the artistic legacy of the region.

Beyond the city lies the expansive Thar Desert, where visitors can embark on camel safaris, witness mesmerising sunsets over the dunes, and immerse themselves in the timeless beauty of the desert wilderness. We have curated a 3-day itinerary for travellers to take up and explore Jaisalmer, a place where history, culture, and natural splendour converge, thoroughly in a brief span full of immeasurable rewards.

Day 1

Morning: Arrival in Jaisalmer & Breakfast at Local Café

Arrive in Jaisalmer and start your day with a traditional Rajasthani breakfast at a local café. Indulge in dishes like pyaaz ki kachori (onion-stuffed fried pastry), mirchi vada (spicy chilli fritters), and sweet masala chai.

Afternoon: Jaisalmer Fort Exploration

Famouse Dussehra Chowk inside Jaisalmer Fort
Famouse Dussehra Chowk inside Jaisalmer FortShutterstock

Head to the majestic Jaisalmer Fort, also known as "Sonar Quila," a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The fort was built in 1156 AD by Rao Jaisal, a ruler of the Bhati Rajput clan, and is one of the world's few "living forts" because almost a quarter of the city's population still lives there.

It is known for its yellow sandstone structure, which appears golden in the early morning sun, and its intricate havelis, or mansions, built by wealthy merchants and nobles. Explore this living fort's Jain temples, palaces, and narrow lanes bustling with shops selling handicrafts and souvenirs. Don't forget to visit the Fort Palace Museum to learn about Jaisalmer's rich history and royal heritage.

Address: Khejer Para, Manak Chowk, Amar Sagar Pol, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan 345001

Timings: 8 am to 6 pm

Entry Fees: INR 50 per person

Evening: Sunset Views at Bada Bagh

A view of the Bada Bagh, Jaisalmer
A view of the Bada Bagh, JaisalmerShutterstock

Take a leisurely drive to Bada Bagh, an impressive royal cenotaph complex that offers spectacular views of the desert landscape. The cenotaphs, also known as chhatris, were constructed during the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries by the Maharajas of Jaisalmer in order to pay tribute to the royal lineage of the region. The complex is situated approximately 6 kilometres north of Jaisalmer on the road to Ramgarh and offers a view of a mango grove. Witness the breathtaking beauty of the sunset over the desert horizon while being surrounded by ancient cenotaphs and windmills. You can capture stunning photographs and immerse yourself in the tranquillity of the desert evening.

Address: XV4Q+23X, Rajasthan 345001

Timings : 9 am to 6 pm

Entry Fees: INR 50 per person

Day 2

Morning: Camel Safari in Sam Sand Dunes

The terrain for camel safari in Jaisalmer
The terrain for camel safari in JaisalmerShutterstock

Embark on an exciting camel safari adventure in the renowned Sam Sand Dunes, situated about 40 km away from Jaisalmer. Ride a camel and experience the beautiful desert landscape as you traverse the golden sands. Learn about the local desert life and enjoy the peacefulness of the vast desert wilderness. On average, a single camel safari that lasts an hour will cost you about INR 500. In addition to the camel safari, the more adventure-loving ones can also go parasailing, which costs around INR 1500 - INR 2000 per person.

Afternoon: Traditional Rajasthani Lunch

A traditional Rajasthani platter
A traditional Rajasthani platterShutterstock

After your camel safari, you can savour a traditional Rajasthani lunch that includes dal baati churma—a wholesome dish made with lentils, baked wheat bread, and sweet crumbled bread. You can also enjoy gatte ki sabzi, which consists of gram flour dumplings in a spicy curry. Finally, you can satisfy your sweet tooth with locally prepared sweets like ghewar (depending on the seasonal availability).

Evening: Cultural Show & Dinner Under the Stars

A Rajasthani folk music performer
A Rajasthani folk music performerShutterstock

Experience a cultural performance featuring Rajasthani folk music and dance at a desert camp. Rajasthani folk music and dance include a variety of dances and musical groups. Some popular folk dances of Rajasthan include Ghoomar, Bhavai, Kalbelia, Chari or Pot Dance, Dandiya, Kachhi Ghodi, Kathputli, Gair, Chang/Dhamal, and Terah Taali. Watch the lively Kalbelia dance, puppet shows, and fire performances under the stunning starry sky. Later, indulge in a delicious dinner of authentic Rajasthani cuisine with genuine warmth and hospitality.

Day 3

Morning: Patwon Ki Haveli & Salim Singh Ki Haveli

The facade of the Patwon Ki Haveli
The facade of the Patwon Ki HaveliShutterstock

Start your day by visiting the magnificent Patwon Ki Haveli and Salim Singh Ki Haveli. Patwon Ki Haveli is a collection of five small traditional Rajasthani mansions that were built in the 19th century by a wealthy Jain trader. Salim Singh Ki Haveli is a distinctive mansion that was constructed by Salim Singh, the former Prime Minister of the kingdom when Jaisalmer served as the capital. These grand mansions are adorned with intricate carvings and ornamental facades, showcasing the luxurious architecture and craftsmanship that represent Jaisalmer's rich merchant history.

Address: Patwon ki Haveliyan, Amar Sagar Pol, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, 345001

Timings: 8 am to 6 pm

Entry Fees: INR 10 per person

Afternoon: Shopping in the Local Markets

A shop in a market in Jaisalmer
A shop in a market in JaisalmerShutterstock

Explore the vibrant markets of Jaisalmer, filled with a range of textiles, handicrafts, jewellery, and leather goods. You can shop for embroidered fabrics, camel leather items, and colourful puppets as souvenirs to take back home. Jaisalmer boasts several markets, including Bhatia Bazaar, Sadar Bazaar, Sonaron ka Bas, Pansari Bazaar, Manak Chowk, and Seema Gram. Some must-buy specialities from Jaisalmer include mirror work embroidery, camel leather products, jewellery, Jaisalmer fossil stone, and souvenirs such as brassware, rugs, shawls, carpets, carved wooden boxes, antiques, and lamps.

Evening: Dinner at Suryagarh Palace

End your trip to Jaisalmer with a grand dinner at the luxurious Suryagarh Palace, a splendid heritage hotel. The palace has several gardens designed for various celebrations, including a central courtyard, poolside, bawdi, first-floor courtyard, organic garden, champa garden, celebration garden, lakeside garden, and sunset patio. In a magnificent setting, you can enjoy a sumptuous feast that's fit for royalty, consisting of a blend of Rajasthani and international delicacies.

Address: Suryagarh HotelRam Kund, Jaisalmer, Kishan Ghat, Rajasthan 345001

Getting There

Air: Jodhpur is the nearest airport to Jaisalmer at about 300 km.

Rail: Jaisalmer is well-connected by train to several cities in India. Popular trains include Delhi Jaisalmer Express, Howrah Jaisalmer Express and Lalgarh Jaisalmer Special, and Palace on Wheels. These trains often run late, so be prepared. Once you reach the station, hire an autorickshaw or a private taxi to go into the town.

Road: Driving from Delhi to Jaisalmer takes nearly 15 hours, so it's recommended to stop in cities like Jaipur or Ajmer to rest and find accommodation. There are no direct buses from Delhi to Jaisalmer, but you can travel to Jaipur or Jodhpur and switch buses to reach Jaisalmer. Buses to Jaisalmer leave frequently from Jaipur or Jodhpur, and state-run sleeper coaches are available.

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