Heading into Jaisalmer we really had no idea what to expect from the place. We had already been to so many sweet places full of amazing foods and insane architecture, surely we were due for a place we didn’t like. Typical India! Throwing a spanner in the works and pulling out another killer city. Jaisalmer completely springs up on you out of nowhere in the middle of the desert around 340km’s from the border of Pakistan. One minute you see desert, next you see a giant sandstone fort in the distance and the “Golden City”. Jaisalmer was established in 1156 AD and the design and architecture of this time has held strong with a large amount of the buildings carved in intricate patterns, which really do just have to be seen.
So far in my travels, Jaisalmer would have to top the list of my favourite places. I guess I can attribute a lot of my pleasant trip to the hotel we stayed in. We were talking to one of our good friends from Mirvana resort that was interested in our plans after Sodakore. We let him know we were heading to Jaisalmer and he suggested we stay at a hotel called ‘Nachana Haveli’ and quickly called his friend to let him know we were coming down. After being gob smacked by just how amazing the city of Jaisalmer was we rolled up in our rickshaw to Nachana. Entering Nachana Haveli I said to Maddy straight away that this place looked like a palace of some sort. We were greeted by the staff and shown to our room, which was absolutely out of this world. We agreed on a price and settled in. I had a quick look at the hotel info book, which just so happened to have a brief write up on the history of Nachana Haveli. What I read confirmed that Nachana Haveli is in fact a palace and is also home to Maharaj Kishan Singh Ji and his family who are descendants of Maharawal Jaisal, the founder of Jaisalmer. His children Vikram and Divya converted part of the palace into a heritage hotel. If you’re going to do anything in Jaisalmer definitely stay at Nachana Haveli it really is a completely unique experience. Not to mention the awesome food.
Between hanging out and bhang lassi’s we decided to head out on an overnight camel safari. The price was 700Rs per person, I wouldn’t pay any more than that. At the particular agency we booked the camel safari, what we paid for wasn’t exactly what was promised. Having said this, the lunch was great and sleeping directly under the stars was an amazing experience in itself. Dampened by the dew in the morning (pardon the pun), which left my shoes and socks completely drenched. I definitely recommend everyone do this while you’re here, just be careful of the agency you book with (there are countless options) and don’t let them build your hopes up too much.
Last of all you’ll want to check out the Jaisalmer Fort maybe even Kuldhara “the ghost village”. By the time you get to Jaisalmer, I imagine you would have seen your fair share of forts during your trip to India. The golden fort in Jaisalmer has a pretty significant different to the rest of the forts you see in India as it is actually home to around 3,000 people and numerous hotels and restaurants. Just being in the place gives off good vibes. The ghost village of Kuldhara, which is located 17km west of Jaisalmer (around 300Rs in a return rickshaw), was abandoned around 300 years ago. Most of the buildings walls are still standing however there really isn’t much left of the once prosperous village. Not that I was there 300 years ago, that’s just word on the street. It’s eerie and definitely worth seeing if you’re in to that sort of thing.
All in all it is well worth the trip out to Jaisalmer I doubt anyone wouldn’t enjoy his or her stay here!