The city of Jaisalmer was the last stop of my Rajasthan tour, and WOW to this beautiful Golden City. Jaisalmer was one of my bucket list places since I came to live in India, and I am so glad I made it to visit it. The minute you arrive here, you feel like in an actual dessert city, but if you were walking back 2000 years ago! I swear, is this impressive!
Traveling in a General Class Indian Train
To get to Jaisalmer, I was coming from the city of Jodhpur. I took an overnight train there. Even if I laugh about the journey now, this was one crazy -not that pleasant- a type of Indian experience. I think it was due to the kind of train class I was traveling in and maybe the hour (overnight time). The good part of this place is that it’s a very small city so you won’t need a lot of days in here, or even you can take it as a place to rest for a bit (just because it’s not as wild or busy as other cities of Rajasthan). I took the sleeping class, which is the general one and at least for me, for a long ride as spending your whole night there is not the most comfortable place for traveling. The bed is very uncomfortable (you barely fit, and I am pretty small). It is super noisy and cold (bring with you always a blanket and a pillow), and practically you have to share your space with hundreds of people simultaneously. Now, why am I taking this class?
Because I couldn’t find any other way to travel for that time, in the end, winter is the most common season to travel to Rajasthan. But like I say now, today I laugh about it!
TIPS for traveling on the train!
- Choose the upper bunk beds because the lower ones (the ones closest to the floor) function as the seats for all the train passengers until they decide to jump into their upper beds later at night. Thank God someone told me this before, so I managed to take the upper bed! And I’m proud and happy I did it by myself.
- The train is fun and a very iconic thing to experience in India. Traveling with Indians is always very entertaining, but if you take the sleeping class, try to do it for day rides instead of the night.
Another option is to travel by bus, which many don’t dare to do (because of the crazy roads and the way Indians drive can be pretty shocking). Still, I enjoy it, especially the ones where you can pay for a sleeping bed (they are usually pretty big). Also, it is straightforward to book them online on redbus.
Jaisalmer, The Golden City of India
Jaisalmer has a giant fort with the most beautiful ancient golden stone buildings and temples, and the rest of the city is outside this fort. Even if it was a little more expensive, I decided to stay inside the fort (just because it is so pretty) in a hotel near 500 hundred years old. It was such a pleasure to wake up here, and the hotel had one amazing terrace on top of the building where you could watch the most beautiful sunrise and sunset. I loved to watch all the possible scenarios a place like this can bring to you, like the Rajasthani people in the desert with all the camels passing by.
Things to do outside the fort
You can visit the lake here, which is pretty near the city and it’s very peaceful. You can just stay there, feeding the catfish in the lake, or maybe you can rent a boat and spend some time in the water.
Another thing you can do is watch the sunset on the highest mountain, where you can watch the beautiful fort from far away. It’s pretty easy to get there, you just ask a tuk-tuk driver to take you there, and from there, you climbed up.
Also, you can visit the Thar desert, which is so cool. Coming from a tropical country like Costa Rica, for me spend time in a desert was just extraordinary! Actually, I filmed my whole experienced there. Starting in a jeep, then hoping to a camel and finally sleeping under the most bright stars I have ever seen in my entire life! It was a dream come true. You can check this blog post here.
In Jaisalmer, I spend Diwali, a famous Indian celebration known as the Festival of Light, marked by four days of celebration, which illuminates the whole Indian country. Even though I read that this festival is one of the most beautiful ones, to be completely honest in my case I didn’t find it this way. Probably because I was expecting a lot of this festival, or maybe in other places of India the celebration is more significant. Still, this year in Jaisalmer, I found it a little disturbing, and I explained to you why. Instead of seeing all the light and praying, I thought I would know, and it mainly was four days of children playing with fireworks all day. To be honest, I wouldn’t say I like fireworks as most people do. I find them very contaminated in all ways possible: a lot of sound pollution, they are very dangerous (walking in the street with lots of fire going on in the sideways it’s not my favorite thing, plus seeing so many young ones playing with them it’s odd) and after the celebration ended, the streets and especially the fort couldn’t be more polluted. So, it was kind of sad seeing this.
The good part of what I experience with Diwali is watching the people celebrating it (taking away the fireworks). It’s impressive to see so many people gather for the same reason. It’s unique because they offer you lots of sweets! (it is part of the Diwali celebration) and the Indian sweets are so yummy! You are just walking, and they just give them to you. It’s charming to experience this. Also, Indian culture tends to be very caring with foreigners. They usually include you in their celebration, especially in terms of food!
So please, if you are coming to Rajasthan, you cannot skip coming to the Golden City of Jaisalmer. It is extraordinary to experience this uniquely beautiful place.
Thanks for watching! Much love,
Hotel where I stayed – Hotel donde me quedé: Suraj Inn
Camel Safari: The Real Desert Man Safari
Buses reservation – Reservaciones de Bus: Red Bus India
Watch Golden City of Jaisalmer Video