Exploring Jaisalmer in just 2 days is certainly a challenge. After all, the sprawling deserts, majestic castles, and palatial forts deserve much more attention. The ‘Golden City’ is adorned with pristine lakes, and lavish havelis, and has so many exciting things to offer. But don’t worry, we’ve got your back! We have come up with the ultimate itinerary for you to spend 48 hours in Jaisalmer, which covers everything from desert safaris to desert camping under the starry sky!
You can begin your first day in Jaisalmer by visiting the golden cenotaphs of Bada Bagh overlooking the cityscape. Though Bada Bagh translates to “big garden”, it is not just a plain garden with exquisite natural beauty. Instead, it is full of cenotaphs built to honor the many kings and queens who passed away.
The tradition of building these cenotaphs or chhatris was started by the son of Maharaja Jai Singh II. He wanted to pay tribute to his father for his contribution to making the desert around Jaisalmer green. Over the years, several other cenotaphs were built for the previous ruler by the succeeding ruler. And the tradition came to a stop, with the death of King Maharawal Jawahar Singh, who did not have any successor to build one for him.
Visiting Bada Bagh is all about going around the places, admiring the intricate carvings and designs of the cenotaphs, and clicking some insta-worthy pictures.
Timings: 8 am to 6 pm.
Entry Fee: INR 100 per person, and an additional INR 100 for photography.
After taking in the unfathomable beauty of Bada Bagh, you should visit Nathmal Ki Haveli. Located in the heart of the city, the ornate architecture of the haveli is a sight to behold! It is rightfully called the Golden Fort, as the structure is built from yellow sandstone and seems to have a gold-like shimmer when sunrays fall directly on its walls. The exteriors of the haveli showcase extraordinary carvings and virtuoso work (similar work on either side of the structure).
Nathmal Ki Haveli was built by two brothers, who started working on opposite sides of the structure, leading to a similar but not so identical left and right side of the Haveli! The carvings of the two limestone elephants guarding the entrance are breathtaking. The building boasts an Islamic and Rajput style of architecture. Another highlight is the extraordinary paintings and carvings on the haveli walls.
Timings: 10 am to 9 pm.
Entry Fee: No entry fee is required to visit the Haveli.
Coming all the way to Jaisalmer and not visiting the Jaisalmer Fort would be a shame. This fort, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a must-visit destination. Unlike any other fort complex, the Jaisalmer Fort also houses temples, shops, homes, and restaurants. So it’s only natural if you think of it as a mini-town in itself.
Also known as ‘Sonar Quila’ or ‘Golden Fort’, Rawal Jaiswal built the Jaisalmer Fort in the year 1156 AD. The fort has three layers of walls - the first was laid to strengthen the fort’s foundation, the second was a defensive barrier, and the third was used to pour boiling oil on enemies who entered the fort. The intricate design and the Muslim-Rajput-style architecture of the fort narrate the tales of the significant historical events that took place here. And what’s interesting is that today, it houses around three thousand people on its premises, which is almost a quarter of Jaisalmer’s population!
You can go around the fort, learn about its history, admire its architecture, and get a glimpse of the locals who reside here. And since there are enough shops and restaurants in the fort premises, you can indulge in some lip-smacking food and shopping.
Timings: 9 am to 5 pm.
Entry Fee: INR 30 for Indians and INR 70 for foreigners. And, if you want to carry a camera then there would be an extra charge of INR 50, and INR 150 for video cameras.
If you finish covering all the above sights by evening, then you can go and visit Gadisar Lake. Sitting close to the fort, the lake was dug up to solve the problem of water scarcity in the region. And fortunately, the lake was able to collect and retain rainwater making it popular to be known as a man-made oasis in the middle of the Indian Thar desert.
You can spend your evening walking on the lake promenade, feeding the fish, or even boating in the lake. The main highlight here is the light and sound show, with a water screen projection depicting several stories of Jaisalmer’s history and famous personalities. Whatever you choose to do, you’ll have the company of a gorgeous red and orange sunset and the distant view of the Jaisalmer fort as a backdrop.
Timings: You can visit the lake anytime you want, but the time for boating is from 8 am to 8 pm.
Entry Fee: There’s no entry fee, but the charges for row boating is INR 10, paddle boating is INR 50, and Shikara ride for INR 100.
Also Read: Exploring The Best Sunsets In Jaisalmer
Post this, you can grab a nice Rajasthani meal for dinner. Something like laal maas, mutton saag, daal baati choorma, gatte ki sabzi, and pyaaz ki kachori would be perfect to put an end to a perfect day in Jaisalmer!
To start the next day on an exciting note, you can begin by exploring the Kuldhara village. What’s so interesting about this village is that it remains abandoned, ever since its original inhabitants left the village. As per the locals, the village is said to be haunted and the eerie silence that lingers here adds to the uncanny feel of the place.
Legend has it that 300 years ago, the powerful and debauched Minister Salim Singh, had an eye for the daughter of the village chief. He demanded that she be wed to him or the village would face the consequences. To protect his daughter’s honor and the lives of the villagers, leaving behind a curse that nobody would ever be able to live there! Since then, Kuldhara is said to be an abandoned village.
Kuldhara is an out-of-the-box attraction. If you’re up for mysterious and strange places, then the village ruins and temples here will certainly pique your interest!
Timings: 8 am to 6 pm.
Entry Fee: INR 10 per person; if you’re taking your car in, it would be INR 50.
Next on the itinerary, you can consider visiting the Patwon ki Haveli. Sitting in a narrow lane of Jaisalmer, this palace is one of the largest and most popular palaces in the city. Looking at the architecture and grandeur of the haveli, you’ll surely be reminded of every historical Bollywood movie you’ve ever seen!
The haveli belonged to a family of Brocade merchants who traded gold and silver embroidery threads. And so, it is also known as the ‘Mansion of the Brocade Merchants’ or ‘Kothari’s Patwon Ki Haveli’.
The ornate designs and architecture of the palace are truly fascinating. And the miniature works on the ceilings and pillars, and the 60 stunning balconies, are something that won’t miss your eyes. Patwon ki Haveli also houses a museum with several artifacts from the 19th century. So other than admiring the beauty of the palace, you can also check out the in-house museum.
Timings: 9 am to 5 pm.
Entry Fee: INR 20 for Indians and INR 100 for foreigners. And there are extra charges of INR 50 for a still camera and INR 100 for a video camera.
Once you’re done shopping at the Desert Art Gallery, it’s time to get an adrenaline boost. And there’s no better place to go to, other than the natural wonder of Sam Sand Dune. With the carpet of golden yellow sand laid out, the dunes sit right in the middle of the colorful markets and magnificent forts.
You can sit on camelback and go for an adventurous desert safari with the enchanting backdrop of the sunset. Later, you can witness the amazing folk dance and musical performances staged by the locals here. You can also book a cottage or tent and spend the night here. Don’t worry, they also serve dinner with both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options available.
Finally, you can wind up your 48 hours in Jaisalmer, sitting by the bonfire and stargazing out on the cool wide desert.
Timings: The desert remains open 24*7.
Entry Fee: No entry fee, but the rates of the camel safari and desert safari can vary from INR 500 to INR 2000.
Also Read: A Night Under The Stars In The Jaisalmer Desert
Jaisalmer is a city of vibrant culture, majestic architecture, and exciting adventure. It’s an excellent place for nature lovers, adventure junkies, history buffs, and shopaholics alike. The golden city can’t be covered completely in 2 days, but we promise that this itinerary will give you a whole package of all the highlights of the city. So, pack up your bags and just padharo mhaare des!
Which Time Is The Best For Jaisalmer?
It’s recommended that you don’t visit Jaisalmer during the summer unless you want to experience the sweltering heat of the desert. The monsoons are not as bad, but since it only rains a bit it makes the weather humid. Winters in Jaisalmer are extremely pleasant, you can enjoy cool weather during the months of October to March.
What Is The Cost Of Camel Safari In Jaisalmer?
The cost of a camel safari in Jaisalmer could range anywhere from INR 500 to 1000 per person.
Which Food Is Famous In Jaisalmer?
Some of the must-try food in Jaisalmer are gatte ki sabzi, pyaz ki kachori, daal baati choorma, mirchi bhajiya, makhani lassi, and bhang lassi.
Which Sweet Dish Is Famous In Jaisalmer?
Made out of gram flour and desi ghee, Ghotua laddoos are the famous sweet dish of Jaisalmer. In fact, it is known as the ‘Taste of the City’.
Is There Hot Air Balloon Rides In Jaisalmer?
Yes. Jaisalmer does have hot air balloon rides available which cost around INR 6,000 for kids, and INR 12,000 for adults.
Which Is The Coldest Month In Jaisalmer?
The coldest month in Jaisalmer is January, during which the temperature ranges from a low of 48℉ and a high of 75℉.
Which Is The Best Sand Dune In Jaisalmer?
The most popular and best sand dunes in Jaisalmer are Sam Sand Dunes and the Khuri Sand Dunes.
What Should I Wear In Sand Dunes Of Jaisalmer?
Wear full-sleaved, cotton clothes to protect your arms from sunburn. Make sure to carry hats, sunscreen, and sunglasses along. The nights tend to get colder so carry a jacket or shawl.