Live like royalty In Jaisalmer, Rajasthan

Rajasthan, always conjures up images of swashbuckling royalty, dramatic folklore, magnificent castles and stark beauty. The land of the Maharajas and their extravagant opulence is still there to be witness in the palace hotels , which are exquisitely rendered emblems of wealth.

While Jaipur and Udaipur are known for their luxury holiday experiences, it is Jaisalmer that we have found truly fascinating. Most of the Rajasthan can be seen from inside the Palace On Wheel luxury train, a return trip from Delhi. Jaisalmer is reached in the 5th day of the trip and it is the day we recommend you to take a break and breathe in the warm desert air. The return journey will take 3 more days back to Delhi.

Nicknamed the “Golden City”, Jaisalmer lies in the heart of the glorious Thar Desert and is steeped in history and fables. The city is dotted with historical monuments and is renowned for its sandstone architecture, surreal golden crests of sand dunes and locals that epitomize the famous Indian hospitality.

See the fort in 4K

To experience how the royalty lived, check in at the highly acclaimed Suryagarh Jaisalmer luxury resort. A glorious display of history and modernity, the palace hotel offers spectacular views of the desert.

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The first stop for anyone in Jaisalmer has to be the awe-inspiring Jaisalmer Fort. One of the largest forts in the world, the fort stands tall on the Trikuta Hill and has been nicknamed the “Golden Fort”, as during sunset its sandstone walls often fade into muted gold and camouflages into the desert.

Spend time exploring the alleys and the alcoves and once you take in the exquisite architecture, make your way to the seven beautiful yellow sandstone Jain temples within the fort.

brown concrete building near body of water during daytime
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These holy places of worship date back from the 12th to the 16th centuries and are open to the public, though timings vary according to the seasons. Once you are done exploring, head over to the five-storied Patwon ki Haveli, which is the largest of its kind in Jaisalmer and is a stunning medley of art and architecture. The mansion is speckled with pillared halls, spacious corridors, opulent chiseled ceilings and flamboyant walls. The “haveli” is just one of a large number mansions, so large that exploring all of them in a single day would be an impossible task. Hence, its best to space out your sightseeing and experience the local cuisine, for which we recommend Saffron, which serves authentic Indian dishes and has a sandstone terrace seating space, that overlooks the city.

Since the heat in Jaisalmer can be excruciating, it’s advisable not to cramp all the sights into a single day. So after a languid lunch, get in touch with a camel safari operator (your hotel will have the details) and take a camel ride through the mystical Sam Sand Dunes. Be careful not to get lost in the honeydew sand dunes, that come alive when the rays of the setting sun touches them. After the unforgettable ride, stopover at the Natraj Restaurant to sample their take on the local food and do grab a table on the rooftop.

brown concrete building under starry night
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Those who want to experience the expansive Thar Desert, should definitely visit Jaisalmer. With its luxury palace hotels, rich strong culture and incredible architecture, the “Golden City” promises a spectacular adventure and some unforgettable memories.