Top choice in Jaisalmer

The biggest fish in the haveli (traditional, ornately decorated residence) pond is Patwa-ki-Haveli, which towers over a narrow lane, its intricate stonework like honey-coloured lace. Divided into five sections, it was built between 1800 and 1860 by five Jain brothers who made their fortunes in brocade and jewellery. It’s all very impressive from the outside; however, the first of the five sections, the privately owned Kothari’s Patwa-ki-Haveli Museum, richly evokes 19th-century life and is the only one worth paying entry for.

Other sections include two largely empty government-owned 'museums' and two private sections containing shops.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Jaisalmer attractions

1. Kothari’s Patwa-ki-Haveli Museum

The first of the five sections of Patwa-ki-Haveli is opened as the privately owned Kothari’s Patwa Haveli Museum, which richly evokes 19th-century life.

2. Nathmal-ki-Haveli

0.12 MILES

This late-19th-century haveli (traditional, ornately decorated residence), once used as the prime minister’s house, is still partly inhabited. It has an…

3. Thar Heritage Museum

0.19 MILES

This private museum has an intriguing assortment of Jaisalmer artefacts, from turbans, musical instruments, fossils and kitchen equipment, to displays on…

4. Salim Singh-ki-Haveli

0.21 MILES

This 18th-century haveli (traditional, ornately decorated residence) has an amazing, distinctive shape. It’s narrow for the first floors, and then the top…

5. Laxmi Narayan Temple

0.25 MILES

The Hindu Laxmi Narayan Temple, in the centre of the fort, is simpler than the Jain temples here and has a brightly decorated dome. Devotees offer grain,…

6. Fort Palace Museum

0.26 MILES

Towering over the fort’s main square, and partly built on top of the Hawa Pol (the fourth fort gate), is the former rulers’ elegant seven-storey palace…

7. Jaisalmer Fort

0.29 MILES

Jaisalmer’s fort is a living urban centre, with about 3000 people residing within its walls. It is honeycombed with narrow winding lanes, lined with…

8. Baa Ri Haveli


This 450-year-old haveli (traditional, ornately decorated residence), once belonging to Brahmin priests that advised the maharajah, now houses an…