Jaisalmer Situated close to the Pakistan Border, Jaisalmer is a major tourist spot located in the northwestern state of Rajasthan in India. It is called the ‘golden city’ due to its bounteous golden dunes flowing in the Thar Desert. Jaisalmer is adorned with lakes, ornate Jain temples, havelis and castles clad in golden yellowish sandstone. Climb on to the camel saddle and make your way through this desert or camp under the night sky in this golden land for an unforgettable experience.
The city’s most prominent landmark is the Jaisalmer Fort, also called Sonar Qila (Golden Fort). Unlike most other forts in India, Jaisalmer Fort is not just a tourist attraction. It houses shops, hotels and ancient havelis (homes) where generations continue to live.
The Jaisalmer Fort stands as a crown atop the city and provides a beautiful contrast to the landscape. It also has a lake and many magnificent temples, all made of sandstone. The narrow alleys surrounding the fort are inhabited by people residing there for generations. Jaisalmer is a sublime amalgam of exotic Indian desert culture, heritage and adventure. Jaisalmer traces its inception to the 12th century. History tells us of Rawal Jaisal, the eldest heir of the Rawal of Deoraj, was passed over for the throne of Lodurva and a younger half-brother was crowned king. Rawal Jaisal went looking for a new location to set up his capital when he came across sage Eesul. The sage told him about Krishna’s prophecy which said that a descendant of his Yaduvanshi clan would found a new kingdom at this same spot. It was in 1156 that Rawal Jaisal constructed a mud fort, named it Jaisalmer after himself and declared it his capital. So I suggest you to go and explore the wonders and sites that Jaisalmer has to offer you. There’s always something to see in Rajasthan.
Some of the Best Places to Visit in Jaisalmer
PATWON KI HAVELI
Among the largest and the most elaborately carved havelis in Jaisalmer, this five-storey structure sits proudly in a narrow street. While the haveli has lost some of its early glory, a few paintings and mirror work art can still be seen on the inside walls.
The underlying history of Kuldhara has piqued the curiosity of one visitor too many, and makes it one of the most enigmatic destinations to visit in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan. The story has a beautiful daughter, an unscrupulous minister, scared villagers, an exodus in the middle of the night, and no idea where the villagers vanished. This is not the story of a movie, but the unfathomable legend that lies behind the abandoned village of Kuldhara. Located about 18 km from the city of Jaisalmer is this old town that was abandoned by its villagers in the 1800s. It was like the entire town vanished in the course of a single night. With about 85 villages full of people, it remains a mystery as to how no one saw them leave; in fact, even to this date, no one knows where all of them went either. The village remains uninhabited to the day, in the same state that the villagers had left it, hundreds of years ago. The location has become a major tourist destination as people from all over the world travel here to revel in the mysteries of the past.
JAIN TEMPLES OF JAISALMER
The Jain Temples located inside the Jaisalmer Fort date back to the 12th and 15th centuries. The temples are dedicated to Rikhabdevji and Shambhavdevji, famous Jain hermits known as ‘Tirthankars’ (wise teachers who taught people how to attain nirvana). Like all other structures in Jaisalmer, the temples are carved out of yellow sandstone. They have been built in the famed Dilwara style which is known for its beautiful architecture.
Cuisines of Jaisalmer
Now its the time to discuss about the food of jaisalmer as you all know Rajasthan is a land of colors even in terms of Traditional cuisines and delicacies. Jaisalmer is a city that is rich in cultural heritage and it reflects in its cuisine. Jaisalmer cuisine is known for its wide array of dishes cooked in light oil. Jaiselmer cuisine is highly influenced by north-Indian dishes. Jaiselmer dishes are usually dry and very rich. Use of red chillies make these dishes very hot and spicy.There are a wide array of mouth-watering Jaisalmer dishes that satisfies the taste buds of people from all age groups. There are some popular restaurants that serve exquisite Rajasthani food. These restaurants introduce various kinds of Jaisalmer dishes to the tourists who visit the magical land of Jaiselmer for the first time. Some of the most delicious Jaiselmer dishes are Ker Sangri, Bhanon Aloo and Kadi Pakora. The most topical dish of Jaisalmer is Ker Sangri, which is prepared out of capers and desert beans. It is a unique dish which is prepared in traditional Rajasthani style. Those who prefer to eat light can opt for Kadi Pakora, an ideal Jaisalmer dish. This dish is prepared out of flour dumplings and yogurt. Bhanon Aloo is another vegetarian delicacy that is prepared out of potatoes having mint stuffings cooked in thick gravy. One of the most favorite non-vegetarian delicacy of the land is Murgh-e-Subz. It is prepared out of boneless chicken pieces and chopped vegetables. It is quite a juicy dish and is a favorite amongst the local inhabitants of Jaisalmer.
Top places to eat at in Golden Jaisalmer
Jaisalmer, the Golden City has a lot of amazing places to eat. One of such fine dining spot in the city, which attracts the crowd, is the Trio. This age old restaurant has served generations on end and presents its customers with an amazing view of the old bazaar. The regal charm of the place exceeds its royalty. The restaurant is known to serve authentic Rajasthani cuisine. Some of their specials are the Chane Ka Achaar and Dal Tadka.
Address: Mandir Palace,Gandhi Chowk, Near Bank of Baroda, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan 345001, India
This picturesque Italian joint nestled atop the Jaisalmer’s Fort boundary walls offers a spectacular take on Italian fine dining. The restaurant provides an open terrace that is brightly lit and an interior room that consists of embroidered cushions placed against a Jharokha. Enjoy a glass of your favorite drink along with marvelous Italian food. Be it pizza or risotto or pasta, they serve it all here, and each of the dishes is amazing.
Address: Aaakhe pol, Fort First Gate, Gopa Chowk,, Fort Rd, Khejer Para, Amar Sagar Pol, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan 345001, India.
Cafe Da Kaku
This place is known to serve amazing brunch items in the city. If you are tired after a long morning of sightseeing in Jaisalmer, then this is where you should end up! This open terrace restaurant is part of a bastion which is more than 853 years old. They serve Chinese, Mexican, Indian and Japanese cuisine. The place is ideal for families or large groups, providing seating arrangements in the form of large, comfortable khat (mattresses), blankets and a traditional hookah. The serenity of this rooftop restaurant together with the delicious and varied menu makes it one of the most visited places to eat in Jaisalmer.
Address: Malka Pol, Near Suli Dungar, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan 345001, India.
Desert Boy’s Dhani
The rustic restaurant is known to offer a lot of space for parties and large gatherings. They even host cultural shows which make this an amazing place to visit. Over here, you will not only enjoy the cultural experience but also the amazing food they serve. At Desert Boy’s Dhani you can indulge in a candlelight dinner, marvel the intricacies of a puppet show and savor Rajasthani cuisine at its best. The cultural restaurant showcases the glory of the local heritage offering live folk music and delectable dishes like Malai Kofta, Bajre ki chapatti, mixed vegetable curries and much more.
Address: Near Nagar Palika, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan 345001, India.
Free Tibet Restaurants
If you are a fan of Tibetan food, then there can be no other perfect place that offers Tibetan food and such an amazing view. The rooftop restaurant, set in a scenic location in Jaisalmer, gives visitors a glimpse of Tibetan culture and cuisine and has a friendly staff. They serve a delicious assembly of steamed Momos (dumplings) in a hot broth popularly known as Wonton Soup. You can gorge on Chicken Thupka (meat broth with noodles) served with spicy red chutney or enjoy a plateful of their cheese and spinach Momos.
Address:Fort Rd, Khejer Para, Manak Chowk, Amar Sagar Pol, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan 345001, India.
A quite recluse, which is a simple restaurant with a homely feel attached to it. This might go unnoticed but is a great place to enjoy your meals. This is especially true if you grab a bite of their meat delicacies. Fresh from the tandoor, the spicy Chicken Tangdi served alongside Jeera rice and mixed vegetables curry is an appetizing meal for the whole family. While the Lal Maas is a local favorite for meat lovers, the vegetable kebabs are popular with vegetarian and vegan diners.
Address: Manak Chowk, Amar Sagar Pol, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan 345001, India.
The castle-like restaurant is one of the rarest restaurants in the city, which serves many different cuisines within the closed doors of the restaurant. Its warm and well-lit interior showcases a sleek design with bamboo wood seating and enamel flooring. The restaurant provides visitors with a special dining experience, serving signature dishes like the Paneer Kissa or a handful of Sheikh Kebabs that you can eat while you enjoy the mellow folk music in the background.
Address: Gopa Chowk, Near Jaisalmer Fort, First Gate, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan 345001, India,
Zoya ka Zayeka
An open terrace restaurant – part of the boutique accommodation La Diva Homestay – Zoya Ka Zayeka gives visitors a taste of healthy, home-cooked Rajasthani cuisine. The scenic views of the Jaisalmer Fort coupled with the welcoming rooftop setting make this restaurant an ideal place to sample a few local bites. The food served here is strictly Rajasthani, with a lot of specialities. Some of their best are the Paneer Butter Masala and Bajre Ki Roti.
Address: Opposite Nagar Palika Bera Road Landmark- Montessari School, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan 345001, India.
Eat like a Local in Jaisalmer
The first time I visited Jaisalmer is in October 2016, I set out to explore the desert city of Jaisalmer in Rajasthan. Jaisalmer turned out to be just how it’s described in travel books and guides. The city is golden from sandstone structures, the culture and heritage is rich and the food is mouth wateringly delicious.
I was so lucky that I was having the company of some hardcore foodies. Needless to say, exploring local food in Jaisalmer was high on our list. And that we did! Rajasthani food is typically spicy. Food in Jaisalmer is influenced by local ingredients at disposal, which means mostly vegetarian stuff. But they are not far behind in churning out delectable Rajasthani non-vegetarian fare. Since Jaisalmer is a tourist city, cuisines such as Bengali, Italian and Tibetan are available and widely popular.
Behold, Mouth watering local food in Jaisalmer coming your way…
Dal Bhati Choorma
Hard wheat-bread balls seasoned with salt are cooked in a tandoor or firewood, and sprinkled with clarified ghee. It is accompanied by a delicious Dal of soaked lentils. For sweet, Churma is a traditional dish made from a mixture of Wheat flour, Besan (Gram flour), Sooji, Sugar, Ghee and Mixed Nuts.
A vegetable dish prepared from Ker and Sangari – desert beans and capers, locally found in the desert region of Jaisalmer. Ker is very sour and may need to be stored in salt water for 15 days to lose its sourness before consumption. Ker Sangri is slow cooked using locally available spices and chilly. It tastes great when combined with bajra roti.
You heard it right! Jaisalmer sees a lot of Bengali tourists. In fact, one of the highest numbers of tourist in Jaisalmer is Bengalis. A decent amount of ghetto-like Bengali restaurants and lodges have stemmed to cater to this huge tourist population. Expect to have some lip smacking Bengali food like Aloo Poshto and Sweet Tomato Chutney. The Thali is simple home-style food; but the taste is so good, you won’t believe you’re sitting in Jaisalmer and eating a Bengali thali.
Bhang – Drink made from Cannabis
No! I’m not telling you to go the illegal way. Handful of Bhang shops in Jaisalmer are authorized by the government. The owner proudly endorses his license to sell. Try their bhang lassi or bring home bhang cookies. There is a bhang shop near the east gate and west gate of Jaisalmer Fort. You definitely want to tick this off your list!
Kanchan Shree Ice Cream, popular for their Makhania Lassi, Best eaten with a spoon, Makhania Lassi is rich and thick with a creamy texture. I tried it and found its taste similar to shrikhand. But I won’t deny the joint’s popularity that comes from its strategic location inside Jaisalmer Fort.
As for the conclusion of this blog, the traditional Rajasthani food culture should not be forgotten by every generation as it shows the identity of the Rajasthani people itself in terms of culture and norms. Each of the instruments has its own tales and sentimental values along with it. Without them, the Rajasthani food will not have its own distinctiveness and cannot achieve the accomplishment that can be seen nowadays. With this rich information of this blog, I hope that readers will gain knowledge and benefits about the Rajasthani food culture. This is one of the things that made Rajasthani cultures are differs from others and put it on top of the list as one of the races that have diverse ethnicity and customary values in it.