Jaisalmer is situated in the heart of vast golden expanse of the Thar Desert. It is nicknamed as "Golden City of India". It is located 575 Km west from the capital city Jaipur.
Jaisalmer district is located within a rectangle between 26◦.4' -28◦.23' North parallel and 69◦.20' -72◦.42' east meridians. The breadth of the district from East to West is 270 km and the length from North to South is 186 km. It has an average elevation of 229 m
It is the largest district of Rajasthan and one of the largest in the country, covering an area of over 38,401 sq. km. It is bounded by Bikaner on the north, Barmer and Jodhpur on the south, Jodhpur and Bikaner districts on the east and on the west and south west by the Pakistani border. The length of the international border is 471 Km. It has a population of around 78000.
Jaisalmer is named after its founder Maharwal Jaisal Singh, a Rajput king in 1156 A.D. Jaisalmer means "the Hill Fort of Jaisal". It is revered as the "Golden City of India" because of the yellow sand and the yellow sandstone used in every structure of the city with a shining golden halo to the city and its surrounding area. It is virtually a glistening location.
Jaisalmer is situated in the heart of Thar Desert. It has an average elevation of 229 m. It is 575 Km away from the capital city of Rajasthan-- Jaipur. Most of the inhabitants of Jaisalmer are Bhati Rajputs, well known for their gallantry.
Remember Arabian Nights and you can picture Jaisalmer. It does mirror those haunting images straight from the immortal Arabian Nights. A gold-radiating jewel of the desert state, embellished with forts, Havelis and palaces, each eager to whisper to you their fascinating histories and secrets. That is Jaisalmer.
The majority of inhabitants of Jaisalmer are Bhati Rajputs. Brijraj Singh is the present descendant of Bhati clan of Rajputs. He has carried out lot of welfare work for the city and it is there for you to see.
One thing that will hold your gaze for as long as it takes is the interminable carpet of sand hills of different shapes and sizes. Those in the west are adorned with natural long bushes, and those in the east with flowing tufts of long grass.
Like in any desert milieu, water is scarce, and generally brackish. The average depth of the well is 250 feet (76m). There are no streams. And only one river, the Kakni, which after flowing a distance of 48 Km, spreads over a large flat ground, and forms Lake Orihil ("The Bhuj - Jhil").
Most of villagers live in huts made of grasses. The amazing facts about these huts or jhopris are that they remain cool and comfortable in summer and hot and warm in extreme winters. The huts are protected by thorny bushes and wire.
Flora and Fauna:
In this vast carpet of sand you will find sparse vegetation of Khezada, Bavla, Lora, Rohida, Van, Phog, Kumbhar, Jal, Neem, Babul etc. Animals need to move from one place to another in search of food and water. Fauna of this place consists of sheep, cow, goat, camel, boar and jackals. The birds like parrot, pigeon, peacock, crow and the white Palm birds make the surroundings very lively and interesting. Number of great Indian bustards is declining rapidly, which were in abundance few years back. Cocks and hens are the domestic birds.
When you are visiting a desert, then how come you miss something that is so traditional and a point of attraction in Jaisalmer and that is "Desert Festival"
Rajasthan is well known for its traditional culture of dance and music. To show case their talent in performing arts, desert festival is held for three days in January or February every year. So this becomes the best time for the tourist to visit Jaisalmer.
This colourful festival is held at Sam Sand Dunes, which is 42 Km away from the city. Here everything is exotic, where you can witness various events like camel races, cultural events, man with the best moustache, Mr Desert contest etc. This festival was started to attract the foreign tourists. This festival really looks exotic in the midst of vast ocean of sand and with the back drop of sand dunes under the moonlit sky. In this festival, different types of Rajasthani folk songs and dances are performed. Not only this, the place becomes the great shopping attractions for the tourists, as they get different items of various parts of Rajasthan here itself. Do not worry if you run short of money, there are mobile money exchangers to exchange currencies and you too have the facility of using your credit cards.
The state of Rajasthan is well known for its "Hero-Worship Fair" and Jaisalmer celebrate this festival in the name of "Ramdeoji Fair" in the remembrance of famous saint of 15th century named Shri Ramdeoji. This festival is held for a period of 10 days in the months of August - September.
- Tourism is the major industry in Jaisalmer.
- Oil India Limited discovered natural gas in 1988 in Jaisalmer basin.
- Possessing a rich culture of music and dance, Jaisalmer exports its culture to the rest of the world in the form of Kalbeliya dance. It also exports art metal ware and embroidered goods to different countries.
- The place is also famous for its leather messenger bags, which is made from the skin of wild camels.
- Occupations of around 80% of the population are nurture of animals and agriculture.
If you are passionate about history, Jaisalmer will beckon you. Its artistic structures and monuments of local historical importance, medieval mud fortress and walled township make it a popular tourist destination. Jaisalmer is laced with beautiful forts, sacred shrines, and stately Havelis and, well stacked museums-all silently echoing the glory and rich culture of the yesteryears theatre of colourful fairs, that throbs with electrifying energy.
Imagine perched atop a majestic camel and winding your way through the nearby desert dunes, taking in a lungful of history with every breath. No wonder it is one of the major attractions for the tourists.
A few peaceful days spent wandering around the town and the surrounding desert can be a wonderful way to be away from the hustle-bustle of the big cities.
Jaisalmer is 150 km away from Barmer, 283 km from Jodhpur and 558 km from Jaipur (also known as Pink city).