Jaisalmer, also known as “The Golden city”, is a town in the Indian state of Rajasthan. Located in the heart of the Thar or the Great Indian Desert, it is a World Heritage Site. This town stands on a ridge of yellowish sandstone and is crowned by a fort which contains the palace and several ornate Jain temples.
The small, picturesque town of Jaisalmer evokes the magic and vibrancy of a desert. It’s straight out of an Arabian Nights fable. The hostile terrain notwithstanding the warmth and colour of people is simply overwhelming.
Towering above the town of Jaisalmer, the imposing structure that is the Jaisalmer Fort is one of the great heritages of India. This magnificent structure was built in 1156 AD by the Bhatti Rajput ruler Rawal Jaisal. This fort has been the centerpiece of many battles and has much history associated with it. Its massive yellow sandstone walls are a tawny lion colour during the day, fading to honey-gold as the sun sets, thereby camouflaging the fort in the yellow desert. Hence, it is also known as the Sonar Quila or Golden Fort.
Unlike most forts in India, the Jaisalmer Fort is a living fort. There are shops, hotels and age old havelis (homes) inside the fort area where families have lived for generations. When you’re at the fort, be sure to visit the Raj Mahal (Royal palace), Laxminath temple, the four massive gateways that stand guard of the fort and the Merchant Havelis.
Gadsisar Lake is one of the major tourist attractions of Jaisalmer. Contrary to the popular belief, it is not an oasis, but a water conservation tank made around 1400 A.D. by the then Maharaja of Jaisalmer, Maharwal Gadsi Singh. This marvelous piece of engineering once controlled water supply to the entire city!
If you are lucky enough to venture out in winters, you might get to see a variety of migratory birds. Also, the vast number of temples in the vicinity of the lake has earned this place the status of a pilgrimage spot.
Desert Cultural Center
This is a one-stop place to learn more about the rich cultural heritage of Jaisalmer. The place is well maintained and harbors rare coins and manuscript related to Jaisalmer history and the history of Rajasthan as a whole. This museum has some eye-catching collection of traditional Rajasthani textiles, utensils, weapons, musical instruments and fossils. One thing that is very popular among foreigners is ‘Karal’, the traditional opium mixing box.
Sam & Khuri Sand Dunes
If you want to experience the mystique and the aura of the Thar, the Sam and Khuri Sand Dunes are places that one must visit. Sam has a truly magnificent stretch of sweeping dunes, with sparse or no vegetation. The Khuri Sand Dunes are a bit less crowded and you can spot many houses of mud and straw decorated like the patterns of Persian carpets. And this experience would not be complete without traveling here on a camel! A camel safari in the sand dunes of Jaisalmer is an unforgettable experience. One can also be a part of the camel caravan at Jaisalmer and enter the heart of the Thar.
Jaisalmer also celebrates its desert culture with the action-packed Desert Festival in January or February each year.
Putting it all Together
With so much history around you, there is always going to be a disconnect of sorts if you reside at a truly urbane hotel or resort. Sure, all the modern amenities and conveniences are a must, but what about the architectural or culture style that Jaisalmer exudes?
Enter Club Mahindra. The resort is built on the lines of a haveli and exudes the royal aura of an arch-traditional space. The view from the haveli-resort is enchanting as it is situated near the Great Thar Dessert.
Located away from the city, the place offers much needed calm and serenity. Staying at Club Mahindra’s Jaisalmer resort mainly involves pampering one’s own self by just lazing around the resort, enjoying an open-sky barbeque dinner and listening to the artists playing folk music.
And that’s not all; Club Mahindra provides something truly exciting – vacation ownership. With as many as 12 membership options, you can choose the plans you’d like. You can enjoy a seven night and eight day vacation every year for twenty-five years. And with 39 other resorts in India and abroad just as awesome as this one, why wouldn’t you want to..?
Reaching Club Mahindra Jaisalmer
Jaisalmer is about 300 km from Jodhpur by road, where the nearest airport is located. The nearest railway station to the resort is in Jaisalmer at about 14 km. Jaisalmer is easily accessible as it lies on National Highways that connect to Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Delhi in addition to other amazing places in Rajasthan like Udaipur, Jaipur, and Jodhpur.