The approach to the fortified 12th-century desert city of Jaisalmer is magical. Dominating the view is the stunning golden fort, which, even today, is home to many of the town’s people. A walk within the fortified walls gives a fascinating insight into life in a bustling Rajasthani city. It exudes an extraordinary medieval feel; the narrow streets lined with golden sandstone walls and exquisite buildings. For those interested in exploring the shifting sand dunes and the desert life around Jaisalmer, a camel safari visiting tribal villages, millet fields and the surrounding wilderness is recommended. The Serai, near Jaisalmer, with its 21 African-style luxurious tented suites, provides ideal accommodation for the discerning traveller.
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Top things to do in Jaisalmer
Explore Jaisalmer's fortified city
Often referred to as the 'golden fort' because of the colour of the sandstone, Jaisalmer's fort seems to emerge from the desert sands and dominate the town. It is still home to many of the town's people, who live in tiny but beautifully decorated houses or havelis. Within the walls are the Palace and the Juna Mahal, part of one of the oldest palaces in Rajasthan. The city also boasts some fascinating Jain temples and exquisite havelis such as the Badal Mahal, a five-storey tower with fine carvings.
Explore the Desert National Park at Khuri
Khuri Village lies within the Desert National Park, an area established to protect the wildlife of the Thar desert, which includes desert fox, nilgai and the great Indian bustard. Set amongst the ever-shifting dunes, the village huts are adorned with colourful frescoes of animals, geometrical patterns, bird figures and other interesting patterns. A stroll along the narrow, unpaved streets offers the opportunity to shop for indigenous crafts at the bustling village bazaars and to feast on a wealth of traditional Rajasthani delicacies.
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