Let’s talk architecture. India has this in such an impactful way that you just cannot help but marvel at your surroundings. And this my friends is just one of the finest of the many Jaisalmer India points of interest.

Crowned a World Heritage Site, Jaisalmer India is famously known as the Golden City for its majestic buildings of sandstone hues, the surrounding fort, and its collection of gorgeous ornate Jain temples- sacred buildings for 4-6 million devotees worldwide to seek pilgrimage and practice their Jainism faith.

Jaisalmer Jain Temple - Jaisalmer India Points of Interest
Jaisalmer India Jain Temple

What is Jainism?

Jainism (ancient Sanskrit for “conqueror”) is one of the most difficult faiths to follow. It involves strict respect to living things and hurting any of them is forbidden. Even that pesky mosquito must be left to die naturally and not by a swat of a hand.

Walking inside on marble floors, you see carved deities within the walls and within the hallways. I truly respected these ornate 12th century buildings and the people loyal to this faith. To be so dedicated to your beliefs is incredibly rare in today’s society.

The 5 Principle Vows of Jainism:

  • Non-violence
  • Truth
  • No theft
  • Celibacy
  • Zero attachment

The temples are easily identifiable with the walls adorning artistic animal & human figures in traditional Dilwara. (Artistic style traditional to Jain Temples.) Dilwara style got its name from a famous hill known for its pilgrimage throughout the centuries. The carvings denote divine peace and are considered sacred.

Jaisalmer Jain Temple - Jaisalmer India Points of Interest
Jaisalmer Jain Temple – Jaisalmer India Points of Interest

 

Ornate carvings in the Jain temple - Jaisalmer India Points of Interest
Ornate carvings in the Jain temple

Jaisalmer India Points of Interest – Visiting a Jain Temple:

  • The Temples open early morning and remain accessible to visitors until 12 noon.
  • Crowds do form quickly so it is most ideal to arrive early for this experience.
  • You are allowed to take photographs as long as your respectful and purchase a pass.
  • Video is permitted, with a purchased video pass.
  • No footwear is permitted inside the temples.
  • You cannot enter a Jain temple wearing leather goods, furs, or any other animal product.
  • Nothing edible is allowed in the temple. This includes chewing gum!
  • Visitors must be as quiet as possible to respect those deeply in prayer or meditation.
In the Jain Temple - Jaisalmer India points of interest
In the Jain Temple – Jaisalmer India points of interest

Jaisalmer Local Walking Tour

After visiting the Jain Temples, why not take a local tour and learn more about the village’s strong reverence to the Hindu God Ganesh- the remover of obstacles, as well as their unique wedding traditions? 

Weddings are celebrated in a large way in Jaisalmer with various practices and traditions. You can tell when a wedding has recently taken place as houses display large shrines, dedications, and murals honouring Ganesh and other Hindu gods. Food is placed on porches, and large pots are left on the streets with offerings for deities in hopes they stop for a blessing.

Ganesh Mural after a local Marriage - Jaisalmer India Points of Interest
Ganesh Mural after a local Marriage

 

Ganesh - Jaisalmer India Points of Interest
Ganesh displayed in Jaisalmer India

 

Another mural in Jaisalmer post wedding - Jaisalmer India Points of Interest
Another mural in Jaisalmer post wedding

Jaisalmer India Points of Interest – Wild Animals

As you walk through Jaisalmer, your path is similar to a maze; a zig-zag frenzy of avoidable obstacles including groups of cattle meandering the streets. Cows are considered sacred in India and mustn’t be killed or harmed in any way. As you walk to avoid them, you will notice the many homes offering food to these beasts on their front stoops. They do this in hopes the cows will stop for a meal.

Living things move freely within India so do prepare yourself for live animals around every corner, crossing your path. Proceed with caution as cows can be unpredictable and charge at humans without warning. Besides cows, you are also guaranteed to see dogs, monkeys, goats, horses, cats, and in some cases, wild camels. With these animals comes litter, chaos, waste, and quite possibly a strain of rabies. Do not approach these animals, feed them, or touch them- especially if you were not inoculated with a rabies vaccination as you could be at risk for the disease.

Jaisalmer India Points of Interest
Sacred Cows roaming freely in Jaisalmer India

After a thorough tour through the busy and dirty streets, our guide took us to a roof top cafe for a break and a much-needed Masala chai. This drink is famous in India, is served everywhere for a reasonable price, and will warm the cockles of your heart while you explore the incredible cities and Jaisalmer India points of interest.

Rooftop cafe in Jaisalmer - Jaisalmer India Points of Interest
Rooftop cafe in Jaisalmer

Jaisalmer India Points of Interest- Textile Shopping

After spending quality and spiritual time in Jaisalmer admiring its incredible architecture and embracing its charm, our group went to a reputable textile shop to purchase authentic handmade items, supporting a local family business.

My wallet did not like me at this point and wished it could have hidden in my suitcase.

Not only was this place incredible with the largest selection of textiles I’d ever seen, but it was high-quality and reputable. I watched the demonstration amazed, wanting everything they showed us. I knew at that moment I had would be completing most of my Christmas shopping!

I left the shop purchasing duvet covers, a wall-covering, pashminas, and a scarf! The quality and sheen of the products were enough to bring on the buyer’s trance – an overwhelming desire to buy something. Let’s just say willpower wasn’t present during this visit…

The Textile shop Demonstration - Jaisalmer India Points of Interest
The Textile shop Demonstration – Jaisalmer India Points of Interest

 

Various Textiles - Jaisalmer India Points of Interest
Various Textiles in Jaisalmer India

My items were worth every penny.

I felt honoured to purchase authentic items from the family-owned shop that showed us their great hospitality and why they have been recognized by notable travel gurus as authentic and genuine.

If travelling on your own and not with a group, be cautious where you purchase textiles. Recommended shops usually have noticeable signs hanging in their windows,  advertising their authenticity and quality status. If you have any concerns, do speak with your hotel or guide beforehand.

And finally, before you leave-

Iconic Jaisalmer India Local: Don’t Miss this man….

And if India weren’t unique enough, when exploring Jaisalmer, you just cannot leave without meeting the man with the world’s longest mustache, featured in the Guinness Book of World Records! Get your photograph taken with him for a nominal fee and have an interesting memento of your time in the Golden City, It was weirdly fascinating!

World's longest mustache - Jaisalmer India Points of Interest
World’s longest mustache – Jaisalmer India Points of Interest

I cannot stress enough how interesting India is. There is so much to see and do. A world unlike any other. I hope you all get the opportunity to head over to this majestic kaleidoscope of culture and castes to learn of their unique culture and character.

Jaisalmer India Points of Interest
Jaisalmer India Points of Interest

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