With three days in Jaisalmer, you'll be able to explore the city's historic fort and mansions, overnight in the Thar Desert, and try out local food, and you’ll still have time left over to explore the historic Jain Temples in Osian. Here's how.
Start your Jaisalmer trip with a visit to the desert city's most important attraction: Jaisalmer Fort. Also known as the Golden Fort (Sonar Quila), this 12th-century fortress is a popular stop on most city tours, and a guide can help navigate its narrow lanes. Inside, you’ll find Hindu and Jain temples and historic homes, some of which have been converted into hotels or guesthouses. Later, make your way out to the Sam Sand Dunes in the Thar Desert for an overnight excursion; some tours stop at local villages along the way. Take a sunset camel ride followed by dinner and a live folk dance performances before calling it a night.
Enjoy breakfast followed by a camel ride through the desert dunes before heading back to Jaisalmer and its Patwon Ki Haveli, the largest of a cluster of five old city mansions, or havelis, located near the Gopa Chowk entrance of Jaisalmer Fort. Dating to the 19th century, these intricate homes feature carved columns, arches, and balconies, along with frescoed murals and mirrorwork. Depending on how much time you spend at the havelis, you may want to head to nearby Gadi Sagar, a picturesque reservoir and a popular place for pedal boating to watch the sunset. When night falls, head back into town for a food-focused walking tour of the city, and fill up on local snacks before turning in for the night.
On your last day, get up extra early and head to the town of Osian, a desert settlement about a 4-hour drive from Jaisalmer. Osian is famous for its ancient Hindu and Jain temples, most of which date from around the 8th to 11th century, including the Sachiya Mata goddess temple. While Osian can be done as a day trip from Jaisalmer, many visitors come here on their way to other Rajasthan cities, particularly Udaipur or Jodhpur. Some tour operators offer transfers from point A to point B between Jaisalmer and other cities, with guided visits to Osian along the way—an economical option given the long distances involved.