In India’s royal state of Rajasthan, Jaisalmer rises like a city of gold from the Thar Desert. In fact it’s the forts, Jain temples and palaces carved from the distinctive yellow sandstone that give Jaisalmer its nickname as ‘the Golden City’.

As part of our Imperial Rajasthan tour, you’ll spend two unforgettable nights in Jaisalmer packed with exceptional one-off experiences. From a guided excursion to a local farmers’ market, to dining under the stars while listening to live local musicians – here’s what awaits you in India’s Golden City

Jaisalmer Fort

On your second day in Jaisalmer, your Travel Concierge will take you to the astounding Jaisalmer Fort. Looming over the city from its perch on Meru Hill, this sprawling sandstone citadel is home to a quarter of Jaisalmer’s population – mostly made of descendants of the royal Brahmin and Rajput families who once lived here. It houses the Royal Palace (Raj Mahal) as well as seven extraordinary Jain temples, all intricately carved out of the same golden sandstone.

Explore the narrow alleyways, exquisitely decorated temples and climb to the walls of the fort for sweeping views over the city of Jaisalmer and the shimmering Thar Desert stretching to the horizon.

Experience it: Imperial Rajasthan

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Gardisar Lake

Rajasthan is a place of magic made real, of palaces, temples and cities that glow like rose gold in the pink light of sunset. Gardisar Lake is among the finest sights in the state, let alone in Jaisalmer itself – and after a visit here, it’s not hard to see how the Golden City got its name.  This man-made lake, originally created in the 12th Century by King Rawal Jaisal, is surrounded by intricately decorated little chhatri pavilions and shrines to Hindu gods and goddesses.

Fed by the Indira Gandhi Canal, it’s a serene, mirror-like oasis in the heart of this desert city. It’s especially beautiful at sunset, when the amber light creates a sequin effect on the water, and the yellow sandstone chhatris and shrines cast golden reflections.

Image of the 'floating' pavillions at Lake Gardisar

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Jaisalmer local markets

Even in 21st Century Jaisalmer, local markets remain the lifeblood of the city – especially within the gold walls of Jaisalmer Fort. As part of your exploration with your Travel Concierge, you’ll visit one of these local markets – and in so doing, get a glimpse into the timeless way of life that still thrives in the Golden City.

Although Jaisalmer is a desert city, season-dependent you’ll find traders selling bundles of fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices, arranged in colorful piles. You’ll also find hand-crafted leather goods, brightly-colored dresses and scarves, and handmade novelty items such as wooden puppets. Supported by your Travel Concierge at all times, this is a perfect opportunity to pick up a unique souvenir to bring back home with you.

Image of Luxury Gold guests visiting a local market in Rajasthan

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Sunset dinner with local musicians

Music is a vital part of Rajasthan’s cultural identity – its desert folk songs have been recited for centuries, passed on from generation to generation largely unchanged. There are several musical instruments that are only likely to be found within Rajasthan – including the 17-stringed kamaicha and the dholak drum.

You’ll get an opportunity to experience the distinctive and evocative sounds of Rajasthan’s desert folk music at an exclusive sunset banquet. As the sun sets over the towering sand dunes of the Thar Desert, you’ll dine on traditional – but elevated – nomadic dishes, watching the stars slowly appear in the night sky above you and listening to the music that has characterised this part of India for as long as anyone can remember. It’s a truly timeless experience that will leave you feeling even more in love with this country than before.

Image of a group of guests being served food by a man wearing a bright orange turban

When you journey with Luxury Gold, you’ll not only enjoy a timeless travel experience, but unique moments that you won’t find elsewhere. In Rajasthan – and Jaisalmer in particular – you’ll find a way of life largely unchanged for centuries. Join us for an exceptional journey, furnished with fine dining, five-star hotel stays, and rich cultural experiences that will leave a lasting impression.