Jodhpur to Jaisalmer Road Trip [A Guide]
The 190 miles (307 km) stretch from Jodhpur to Jaisalmer traverses what locals call “the desert magic” while taking you on a wild ride through one of the most picturesque, quirky, and offbeat places in Rajasthan.
So, without any further ado, let’s learn what’s in store for you on the beguiling Jodhpur to Jaisalmer road trip.
Jodhpur to Jaisalmer Road Trip Facts
How far is Jaisalmer from Jodhpur? How is the route?
The direct route from Jodhpur to Jaisalmer is around 281 km which is roughly 175 miles. The entire road stretch is a paved National Highway. However, with the detours that we highly recommend (i.e., travel via Pokhran), the distance will be around 307 km (190 miles).
On this route, you will travel on two National Highways – on NH 114 till Pokhran and on NH 15 from Pokhran to Jaisalmer.
You will find the route mostly uneventful and comfortable; however, there will be a few patches where the road will be unpaved and might cause you discomfort. So, do look out for these patches and try to drive slow on them.
If you are worried about the number of petrol pumps and eateries, then let us tell you that there are ample of them on the entire route. So, even if you head out early in the morning, do not worry.
What is the drive time for the entire Jodhpur to Jaisalmer Road trip?
If you were to drive straight through, the drive would take you on an average of 4-5 hours, given that the roads are clear without any congestion. However, there are many eateries that you’ll want to stop along the way and many detours that you must not miss. So, add a variance of at least one hour for food, and estimate the rest as per the number of detours you are willing to make.
What is the best time to take the Jodhpur to the Jaisalmer Road Trip?
Ideally, the best season for a Jodhpur to Jaisalmer is between October to February as the weather during this time is pleasant and not unbearable for Jaisalmer.
However, if you ask us, we would suggest you take this road trip early on, maybe in September end or October first week, given that you can bear some extra hours in the sun
That is because this way, you can save yourself from the maddening crowd that flocks here during the peak tourist season.
Note: May is the hottest month in Rajasthan, averaging 40° C ( 104 ° F). If you do not want to bear the brunt of the scorching sun, avoid taking this road trip at this time.
Also, avoid August, too, as the frequent rain showers might spoil all your travel plans.
What is the recommended timeline for a Jodhpur to Jaisalmer Road Trip?
See for this road trip; you can either start early from Jodhpur, take a few detours and reach Jaisalmer on the same day. Or you can take your time with the detours and complete this road trip in 2 days with a night stay in Osian.
The choice is yours, and to be honest, it boils down to how long you sit behind the steering wheel? If you think you’ll be able to drive for six-plus hours and enjoy everything that comes your way, then completing this trip in a day makes sense, otherwise not
Do note that to explore Jaisalmer and Jodhpur properly; you need two days each. So the ideal timeline of this road trip is around 5-6 days, depending on your preferred way of covering the Jodhpur Jaisalmer stretch.
Do you need to plan this road trip asap? Ping our travel specialists now for their expert input and for planning your road trip to bits. Do this, and you will thank us later.
What to see between Jodhpur and Jaisalmer by road? – possible detours
Rajasthan is a colossal land of incredible people, culture, and stunning natural terrains. Years after years, people have visited and revisited this state in search of a luxurious escape from everyday life.
So it only makes sense to say that there is a lot to see and do on this road trip. In fact, all the possible detours on it are very much awe-inspiring—one of the reasons why we refrained from the itinerary concept on this road trip. There was no way in which we could fit these diverse places in a themed itinerary box.
So let your imagination run wild while you shortlist the detours from the following that you may want to add on your Jodhpur to Jaisalmer road trip.
1. Balsamand Lake
If you want to start your drive with some tranquility and peace, then, do visit the Balsamand Lake on your way to Jaisalmer from Jodhpur.
Balsamand Lake is an artificial lake built in 1159 AD. The lake is a kilometer long and is set amidst a manicured garden of trees not far away from Jodhpur.
You can easily cover it if you’ve made it early on the Jodhpur – Jaisalmer highway
Now a part of a heritage property, the lake was once a primary water source for the city of Jodhpur. You will find this property reminiscing its glorious past with its many red sandstone structures that are sprinkled all across its shores.
Visit this place early in the morning to spot monkeys and peacocks.
Mandore is the second pitstop that will grace you with its presence on your road trip.
Often referred to as the abandoned treasure trove of the desert, Mandore is located some 9 km (5.5 miles) from Jodhpur city.
What you are destined to see in this former capital of Marwar is a unique blend of melancholy and luxury, which is a rarity on its own.
Spend at least one to two hours here exploring the much-infused history of this town. In this pursuit, live an incomplete fairy tale straight out of a history textbook at the best-preserved structures.
If not for this, come here to get some fantastic pictures clicked.
To do so, go to Mandore Gardens for what can be undoubtedly called the town’s glorious past.
- Cenotaphs or Chattris of the many Maharajas of Jodhpur – a group of red sandstone buildings with intricate carvings, pillars, and elaborate corridors dating back to the 17th- 18th century.
- The Hall of Heroes that showcases beautiful images and statues of Rajput heroes.
- The temple of 33 crore Gods consists of a myriad of murals and sculptures dedicated to Hindu gods.
- Mandore Palace and Fort: You can avoid this if you wish; however if you want to catch a glimpse of how a 6th-century structure looks, you should certainly go there.
Mandore Gardens remain open daily from 9 am until 10 pm and charge INR 50 or ($ 0.78) per person.
Not even 100 km from Jodhpur lies your next pitstop, which is best known as the “Oasis of the Thar Desert.”
Like many others, you too may mistake this town as a small and uneventful getaway. However, to your surprise Osian or Osiyan will sprawl before you, enormous, stately, and strangely intimidating.
This town was once the major religious and cultural center of the Mewar Kingdom. It was home to a plethora of shrines, most of which got devastated with time, leaving behind a few temples that speak of the legacy of that era.
A rugged terrain, glittering sand dunes, and an array of ancient temples make Osian an offbeat delight, even today.
Besides basking in the gorgeous terrain, there are a plethora of activities you’ll be able to indulge in while you are here.
Here are some:
- Visiting Sachiya Mata Temple. During your time in Osian, we’d highly recommend you see the beautiful Sachiya Mata Temple. This temple is perched on a hill and is dedicated to Lord Indra’s wife, who is of equal significance in both Hinduism and Jainism. Reach the temple complex after climbing a flight of hundred steps.
- Surya Temple: Famous as the “Khajuraho of Rajasthan,” the Surya or Sun Temple is a 10th-century shrine of the Sun God best known for its architectural splendor and intricate carvings.
- Mahavira Temples: 15 km from Osian lies another set of gorgeous ancient temples, that can make your heart skip a beat. Once there were around 108 of these beautifully carved temples, now only a few remain for pilgrims and tourists alike.
- Indulging in camel safari is another great thing to do in Osian. Even though you’ll be heading to the safari city of Jaisalmer, there is a certain something to the camel safari in Osian that may not be found in Jaisalmer. Maybe it is because of its rural vibes or the less crowded camping scene, or its more pocket-friendly nature.
There is no entry fee per se for any of the temples in Osiyan. Plus, anytime before dusk and after dawn is suitable for a visit here.
4. Khichan Village
If birds fascinate you and make your heart happy, then taking a detour to Khichan Village (in winters) makes absolute sense for you.
Located some 150 km from Jodhpur, Khichan is the village of the migrating birds.
Every year tens of thousands of birds flock to this village to demonstrate the unique man bird relationship Khichan is famous for.
Note: Take this detour only if you travel in the winter months somewhere after October and before March
Pokhran is not only the halfway milestone on the Jodhpur to Jaisalmer road trip, but it is also a mesmerizing town that was once a favorite place of the Rajasthan royals.
Exhibiting the authentic Rajasthani flavor and an array of beautiful structures, a small halt at Pokhran can render you beautiful photography spots and fascinating views
Here are the places that you should definitely see in Pokhran:
- Pokhran Fort is a beautiful structure smacked right in the heart of this town. It is several hundred years old and is home to some of the region’s most magnetic palaces. Do visit the Pokhran museum inside the fort to view relics, sculptures, clothes, and frescos.
Entry to the fort is allowed from 8 AM onwards. The fort closes at 7 PM, and you can enter the fort by paying only 50 INR as a foreigner (20 INR for Indians). A visit to the museum will cost you extra. It will be around 200 INR (50 INR for Indians).
6. Ramdevra Temple
About 12 km from Pokhran is a village called Ramdevra dedicated to a Hindu saint with the same name.
You can make a brief stop at this temple as it holds in high reverence by both Hindu and Muslim devotees.
The temple is not out of the ordinary. Still, it attracts a lot of tourists and devotees.
If you stop here, you will totally find some solace, especially after hours of driving.
7. Jaisalmer War Memorial
Located 10 km before the Jaisalmer city, right where greenery slowly begins to disappear and sand dunes appear, is this beautiful memorial of the Indo Pak war.
If you stop here, you will be subjected to a sight filled with glorious memories of wars, the struggles, weapons, etc.
You can spend an hour reminiscing in history if you may please. Entry to the park will cost you around 30 INR, and watching a documentary on the same will be another 30 bucks.
What are the places to see in Jodhpur?
Jodhpur, the second-largest city of Rajasthan, has a treasure worth of places that you can see. The sheer variety of its attractions will give you an idea of its diversity and colossal roots.
Here are the places that you shouldn’t miss before embarking on your Jodhpur to Jaisalmer Road trip:
- Mehrangarh Fort: You can’t really come to Jodhpur without exploring the Mehrangarh Fort. This structure defines the skyline of the city and flaunts the absolute delight that Rajasthani craftsmanship is.
- Jaswant Thada: It is an intricately crafted cenotaph that features a white marble lattice screen and a whimsical dome. Often regarded as the perfect place to grab the stunning views of the Fort and the city, Jaswant Thada is not the place to miss on this road trip.
- Rao Jodha Desert Park: This park is a 70-hectare expansive park with more than 80 native species of rock-loving plants. This is the perfect place for nature enthusiasts and for anyone who is remotely attracted by unreal landscapes.
- Umaid Bhawan Palace: It is one of the last grand palaces to be built in India. The royal family still inhabits a part of this palace. The other half is converted into a museum and a palace hotel.
These were our top picks that you shouldn’t miss while you are in Jodhpur. If you want to read about Jodhpur in detail, click here for in-depth information on the city.
What are some places to see in Jaisalmer?
You’ve taken the Jodhpur to Jaisalmer Road trip and reached Jaisalmer, now what? You need to know what to explore there, right!?
Here are places you need to see in the Golden city of Jaisalmer:
- Jaisalmer Fort or Sonar Fort is the main attraction of the city. Situated at some height above the now-famous Jaisalmer city, the area enclosed inside the fort was once the city itself. The fort is made with yellow sandstone and still houses over 5000 people. Visit this place to see the various structures inside the fort and eat at some of the fort’s cafes.
- Sam Sand Dunes: Go on a desert adventure at Sam Sand dunes. Have fun dune bashing, camping under the sands, and going on camel safaris.
- Gadisar Lake is where you can rekindle with peace. It is an artificial lake once built to serve the city. Today it is a popular tourist spot with temples and statues.
What are some road tips that can come in handy on a Jodhpur to Jaisalmer Road trip?
- Avoid driving at night or after the sun goes down. That’s because there will be some patches on the Pokhran route that might not be the smoothest. Plus, if you are stuck, getting help at night will be an issue.
- Make a lot of stops so that you get ample time to recharge yourself. This won’t be a problem as there is an awful lot to see on the road trip.
- Don’t underestimate the time it takes to get to places in Rajasthan. There are so many other factors like traffic governing when you will reach your destination. Being prepared mentally helps big time.
- There will be tolls along the way, so keep changes in handy. However, if you are traveling with a travel agency, they will take care of everything.
We hope you enjoyed this guide on the Jodhpur to Jaisalmer road trip. Here is another Jodhpur road trip that you might like. We are looking forward to seeing you soon raiding the roads of Rajasthan. However, if you are still not sure about it or want assisting in planning your road trip, feel free to ping us!