Rajasthan is steeped in a rich cultural heritage preserved and celebrated today. From grand forts and palaces to vibrant festivals and traditions, every corner of Rajasthan exudes a sense of history and cultural significance. Bikaner and Jaisalmer are among the cities of Rajasthan which exhibit this richness in its true sense.
If you plan to travel from Bikaner to Jaisalmer, this blog will help you with complete details about how to travel, accommodation options, and places to visit!
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Distance and Time Taken from Bikaner to Jaisalmer
Even though Bikaner and Jaisalmer belong to the same state, they have distinct differences. Jaisalmer has more tourist footfall than Bikaner; it also has a slight change in the architecture of the forts. Bikaner, though is near the desert, does not have the vast expanse of sand that Jaisalmer has and the Sam Sand Dunes that come with it.
Jaisalmer is around 330km from Bikaner and takes 5 and a half – 6 hours to reach via road and train. It is well connected with well-built roads and daily trains between the two cities.
Modes to Travel from Bikaner to Jaisalmer
Taking the bus is a cost-effective and convenient way to travel from Bikaner to Jaisalmer. It takes 6-7 hours to reach Jaisalmer, and Rs.400-500 per person. Booking in advance will help you get seats at a lower price than during peak season.
For the ones who don’t mind a long drive, taking your own car is a good option and lets you enjoy the beautiful scenery along the route. It also allows the visitors to make stops and take detours as and when they want. It takes upto 6 hours to reach by car, and you can also opt for a taxi. Taxis start from 6000 rupees and go up as per the car model and detours taken during the journey. You can also opt to rent cars for sightseeing in the city.
One train, called the Leelan Express, runs from Bikaner to Jaisalmer, covering the route in 6 hours. It will take just above 600 rupees to travel in AC and less than 250 rupees in non-AC. It runs at night, so you can sleep and be well-rested for the travelling ahead. Upon reaching Jaisalmer, you can book Jaisalmer Taxi Service for a comfortable tour of the city.
Ideal Time to Visit Jaisalmer
Jaisalmer is a place to visit during the winter, as going to a desert in the summer does not seem like an excellent idea. The best time to visit Jaisalmer is from October to March to enjoy Jaisalmer’s activities and markets. It also helps escape the extreme winters in other parts of India and enjoy the pleasant weather in Jaisalmer. If you plan your trip in February you can also enjoy Jaisalmer Desert Festival.
Must Visit Places in Jaisalmer
Bikaner does not have the vast sands of the desert and follows a slightly different architectural structure and design. Though the snacks made in Bikaner are famous all over India, the delicacies dishes of Jaisalmer cannot be ignored. A few must-visit places in Jaisalmer that make it stand out of the crowd are:
Patwon Ki Haveli
The 5 havelis made by Guman Chand Patwon for his 5 sons hold great historical significance in Jaisalmer. This is a must-go in a Jaisalmer tour; its history and architecture appeal to many tourists. There are many versions of stories behind the Patwon Haveli family. The most common and widely believed story was that the family led an opium smuggling and money-lending business and used a gold and silver embroidery business as a front. This helped them afford the Havelis that they made.
You can’t visit Jaisalmer and not go to Jaisalmer Fort. The yellow sandstone used in making the fort gives it a majestic gold look and therefore got the name “Sone ka Quila”. Indians can visit for a meagre fee of 50 rupees and enjoy the beauty of the fort and the museums, restaurants and hotels built inside.
Sam Sand Dunes
What is a desert without sand dunes? Jaisalmer has tall and beautiful dunes in Sam. The best time to enjoy the dunes is early morning or evening around sunset. Desert safari on camels and jeeps is the best way to enjoy the dunes. At night, different shows are set up near camps for entertainment there, like folk dances and songs by the locals.
The Gadisar rainwater lake is an artificial lake and picnic spot. It has the most picturesque view of the Jaisalmer Fort. It controls the majority of the water supply needs of Jaisalmer and lies just outside the city. It has activities like boating available for tourists to enjoy. It has a quiet and calm vibe, with ducks swimming in the lake. What better place to relax than near water with a beautiful view of a fort?
Accommodation Options in Jaisalmer
Jaisalmer is a place that can be visited by anyone willing to do so, and thus the city has budget stays as well as lavish hotels.
The best hotels in Jaisalmer include- Marriott Resort & Spa, The Jaisalmer Resort, Hotel Swan Haveli Jaisalmer, Suryagarh Jaisalmer, Fort Rajwada Jaisalmer and more. They give you the best services while maintaining a touch of Rajasthani culture. The price range starts from 6000 rupees per night and goes up.
Budget hotels are also available per your needs in different parts of the city.
Hostels starting from less than 200 rupees per night are available, but make sure to book well in advance during the peak season. Prices increase as the quality and service also increase.
Airbnb and guesthouses have also gained popularity in Jaisalmer and are available in almost all price ranges. Families who have come for a vacation to relax and not have a hectic schedule should go for this option. Guesthouses can start from less than 350 rupees and go up, while Airbnb’s cost around 1000 rupees and can go upto 20,000 rupees for villas.
Zostels in Jaisalmer have an authentic Rajasthani look and start with a price of 450 rupees per night. It is an excellent option for backpackers or photographers who have come to explore the city in depth.
You can’t say you’ve been to or lived in Rajasthan until you’ve had an authentic desert experience in your life. The Thar Desert has attracted tourists worldwide, so it is only fair to ask people of the same state as Jaisalmer to visit the place in its full glory and take advantage of the short-distance yet well-connected roads. This is a call for everyone in Bikaner to pack their bags this winter and come to Jaisalmer for many fun and adventure activities.