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This post contains a Jaisalmer itinerary for 2 days, in addition to a complete Jaisalmer travel guide.
Jaisalmer, also known as the golden city, is located in Rajasthan, India. This city has been termed as the golden city due to the houses and the famous Jaisalmer fort here which have been constructed using yellow sandstone as well as yellow sand, giving them a yellowish golden appearance. If you look at the city from a height, Jaisalmer will appear golden in color, thus crowning it with the name golden city of India. Located in the far western end of India, Jaisalmer’s proximity to the Thar desert makes it a popular tourist destination for those who wish to experience a camel safari or a jeep safari in the desert. Jaisalmer was named after the Rajput King Jaisal Singh who founded the city in 1156 AD. Besides this 2 day Jaisalmer itinerary, if you're want to see more pictures of my trip to Rajasthan, then head over to my Instagram profile (@thespicyjourney).
Most people who visit Rajasthan often head straight away to the popular cities such as Jaipur - the pink city and Udaipur - the city of Lakes. While both these cities are popular for good reason such as the stunning culture, architecture and the monuments, Jaisalmer is often overlooked by tourists. The golden city deserves for credit for sure and this article is sure to convince you to visit this desert city.
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Jaisalmer Travel Guide & Jaisalmer Itinerary for 2 Days
This Jaisalmer travel guide + Jaisalmer itinerary for 2 days focuses on the many enriching experiences that one can enjoy in the golden city of India. While the sprawling Jaisalmer fort marks the iconic landscape of Jaisalmer city, there’s a long list of things to do in Jaisalmer, which not only includes exploring the many temples and sites inside the Jaisalmer fort but a lot more than that. Despite its slightly offbeat location, Jaisalmer is among the top places to visit in Rajasthan, India.
Best Time to Visit Jaisalmer Rajasthan
- Summer (April - June): Since Jaisalmer is situated in the Thar desert, it can get unbearing hot during the summer. It’s best to avoid visiting Jaisalmer during this season.
- Monsoon (July - September): While the monsoon months from July to September bring relief from the heat but the downpours can be cumbersome and the streets may be muddy during this time of the year.
- Winter (October - March): The winter months are a good time to visit Jaisalmer, especially October-November as well as February-March when the weather is pleasant with it being neither too hot nor too cold. This is the best time to visit Jaisalmer golden city.
How to Reach Jaisalmer, the Golden City
Nearest Airport to Jaisalmer
Jaisalmer doesn’t have an airport but the Jodhpur airport is the closest airport to Jaisalmer, located roughly 300 km away. You can take a cab from Jodhpur airport to Jaisalmer. Alternatively, you could even take a local train or bus from Jodhpur to Jaisalmer which is a much cheaper option.
Nearest Railway Station to Jaisalmer
Jaisalmer has a railway station called the Jaisalmer Railway Station (JSM) which is well connected to nearby cities within Rajasthan as well as other major cities in India.
Delhi to Jaisalmer
The distance of 766 km between Delhi and Jaisalmer is 585 km and can be covered by road in 12-14 hours or by a direct train in 17 hours. Alternatively, there are flights available from Delhi to Jodhpur and the rest of the journey from Jodhpur to Jaisalmer can be covered by rail or road.
Jodhpur to Jaisalmer
The distance from Jodhpur to Jaisalmer is roughly less than 300 km which can be covered by road or rail. There are Rajasthan state transport buses plying between the two cities. Apart from this, there are comfortable private AC buses running between the cities as well. Moreover, there are direct trains for Jodhpur to Jaisalmer and vice-versa. While one can hire private cabs, it's a faster but much more expensive option compared to taking a bus or train.
Getting Around Jaisalmer
Even though most of the sightseeing places in Jaisalmer lie within walking distance of the Jaisalmer fort, you will need to hire a cab or auto-rickshaw (tuk-tuk) to explore some of the places to visit in Jaisalmer which lie just outside the city. There are lots of tour guides and tour companies which offer good rates on half-day or full-day tours of the sightseeing places which lie just outside Jaisalmer.
Where to Stay in Jaisalmer
View from the rooftop at Zostel Jaisalmer
I cannot put into words how wonderful my stay at Zostel Jaisalmer was. Zostel Jaisalmer is located inside the Jaisalmer fort. While that in itself may sound amazing, the property is absolutely beautiful, decorated tastefully using traditional Rajasthani fabrics and decor items. The cherry on top though is the rooftop that has comfortable seating overlooking the entire city. Zostel Jaisalmer has dorms as well as private rooms, multiple common rooms, and an in-house cafe. They also organize lots of activities that include walks inside the fort, food walks, and desert safari.
Moustache Jaisalmer is yet another one of the wonderful places to stay in Jaisalmer. Even though this hostel is located just outside the Jaisalmer fort, unlike Zostel which is inside the fort, it is located within walking distance from the fort. What I loved about Moustache Jaisalmer was the open verandah right in the center, giving it a very traditional appearance. There are comfortable cushions around this verandah. That, along with the intricately carved walls and the availability of both private rooms as well as dorm rooms make Moustache Jaisalmer one of the best places to stay in Jaisalmer.
Hotels in Jaisalmer Inside Jailsamer Fort
When it comes to finding hotels in Jaisalmer, I strongly recommend getting a hotel inside the Jaisalmer fort. Even if you don’t manage to do that, there are tons of hotels near the Jaisalmer fort. Since the fort by itself contains a lot of sightseeing places and is close to all the other places to visit in Jaisalmer, it’s best to stay close to the fort. This way you can just walk to the nearby spots without having to hire a tuk-tuk.
Jaisalmer Itinerary - Best Places to Visit in Jaisalmer in 2 Days
DAY 1 OF JAISALMER ITINERARY FOR 2 DAYS
Spend your first day in Jaisalmer by exploring all the sightseeing places in and around the Jaisalmer fort and by shopping for souvenirs.
1. Patwon ki Haveli / Patwa Haveli
Patwon ki haveli or Patwa haveli is the first stop among all the places to visit in Jaisalmer in 2 days. This haveli, or traditional mansion, is one of the three major havelis in Jaisalmer and thus cannot be skipped out of your Jaisalmer itinerary. Patwon ki haveli is a cluster of 5 mansions constructed in the year 1805 by Guman Chand Patwa, a wealthy trader, one for each of his five sons. Today, there is a museum inside the haveli and it’s also open for visitors to walk around and take a tour of the haveli, with or without a guide.
Open all days 8.30 am to 6.40 pm
2. Jaisalmer Fort
Jaisalmer fort, named after the Maharajah Maharawal Jaisal, is made up of yellow sandstone and thus also known as the golden fort or sonar qila. This spectacular fort has a fortification wall that is 5 km in circumference and 2-3 m in thickness. Not only that, but Jaisalmer fort is also one of the very few “living” forts in the world where people actually reside inside the fort. That’s right - there’s a whole bustling community along with sightseeing places inside the fort as well as temples and lots of shops and restaurants. Entry to the fort is free but some of the sightseeing spots may charge their own visiting fee.
3. Jain Temple
The set of Jain temples is one of the must-visit places inside the Jaisalmer fort. Apart from the elaborate carvings, what’s most impressive is that this cluster of 7 Jain temples contains a combined total of 6666 statues of the 24 prophets of Jainism. Additionally, if you add 6+6+6+6 it gives you the number 24 - which is the number of prophets in the Jain religion. Apart from this clever play with numbers, the detailed work inside these temples is very impressive.
Open all days 8 to 12 pm
4. Canon Point
Canon point is one of the open-air areas inside the Jaisalmer fort from where you can get an epic city view. Since the fort itself is at a height and the canon point is further high up inside the fort, you can get a nice panoramic view of Jaisalmer city from here. While canon point is also known as sunset point, I found that the sunset view from inside the Zostel Jaisalmer rooftop, where I stayed at, was much better since there was no crowd and there was comfortable seating to enjoy the sunset. Canon point can often get a little crowded.
5. Eat at One of the Many Restaurants Inside the Jaisalmer Fort
While this may seem very trivial and unimportant to some, I cannot stress how important it is that you include a meal inside the Jaisalmer fort in your Jaisalmer itinerary for 2 days. I visited a restaurant right inside the main entrance of the fort for lunch. While I felt that the food was a tad bit overpriced for the taste and quantity that was provided, the view from there was worth every single rupee! Jaisal Italy was the only restaurant inside the Jaisalmer fort that I visited for both lunch and dinner because I fell in love with the view from here, although I found the taste of the food to be quite average for the price.
6. Shopping Inside the Jaisalmer Fort
Finish off day one of your Jaisalmer itinerary by shopping for clothing, jewelry, home decor items, and souvenirs. As you step inside the Jaisalmer, you’ll see countless lanes lines with small and big shops on both sides. I would avoid the bigger shops, as I felt the prices there were higher compared to other shops for the exact same items. I would suggest walking right inside the fort, near the museum and the Jain temple area and checking out the many shops there.
DAY 2 OF JAISALMER ITINERARY FOR 2 DAYS
You will start your second day in Jaisalmer, golden city, by watching an epic sunrise and going for a desert safari in the sam sand dunes of the Thar desert.
1. Gadisar Lake
Start the second day of your Jaisalmer itinerary for 2 days by catching the sunrise at Gadisar lake. The lake is located less than a kilometer from the fort so I walked from the fort, where I was staying, to Gadisar or Gadisagar lake. Apart from a couple of elderly people, who were taking a morning stroll around the perimeter of the lake, the place was completely deserted. And so, not only did I get to watch a spectacular sunrise, but I also got fantastic pictures here with no one in sight. There are boats here for visitors to take a boating tour around the lake but it wasn’t open that early in the morning
2. Kuldhara - The Abandoned Village
Kuldhara, also known as the abandoned village or cursed village, is located at a distance of 21 km from Jaisalmer. Once inhabited by the Paliwal Brahmins, it is believed that the village was abandoned overnight in the early 19th century due to plague, drought, and prosecution by a cruel minister. Now visitors can visit Kuldhara village during the daytime hours. There is no entrance fee for visiting Kuldhara. You can stop by the village before heading to the sam sand dunes for a desert safari.
3. Desert Oasis
I had visited both Kuldhara village and a desert oasis on a desert safari tour. Our guide took my tour group to both these places on the way to the desert. The oasis inside the desert was located off of the main road between Kuldhara and the sam sand dunes. It was such a peaceful and beautiful place to just sit and mingle with the rest of the people on the safari tour with me.
4. Desert Safari
A desert safari is by far one of the best things to do in Jaisalmer. You just cannot miss this experience among all the things to do in your Jaisalmer itinerary for 2 days. I booked a desert safari costing INR 1900 via Zostel Jaisalmer, where I was staying. The safari included a jeep ride to Kuldhara village, going via the desert oasis to the sam sand dunes in the Thar desert. A camel ride, evening snacks, evening tea, a local vegetarian dinner, overnight stay inside a tent (or under the open sky on a cot), breakfast the next morning and a ride back were also included. While most people choose to stay in the desert overnight, in case you need to head back to your hotel on the same night, you can even ask to be dropped back right after dinner.
Food to Try in Jaisalmer
You must try the two famous local specialties - the Jaisalmer or Rajasthani thali as well as daal baati churma while you’re in Jaisalmer. Ask your hotel or hostel for recommendations for the best places where you can try them.
Where to Eat in Jaisalmer - Best Restaurants and Cafes in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan
As mentioned earlier, I highly recommend eating at least one meal at a restaurant inside the Jaisalmer fort. I had lunch and dinner at Jaisal Italy, which is right at the main entrance of the fort. Additionally, I also liked the view of the Jain temple from the Jaisalmer Oasis Restaurant, which is also inside the fort, right next to Zostel Jaisalmer.
Planning a Trip to Rajasthan?
In case you're planning a trip to Rajasthan, you may find these articles helpful:
- The Perfect Jodhpur Itinerary for 2 Days
- Udaipur Travel Guide + Places to Visit in Udaipur in 2 Days
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