The delicate pagoda like Tazia Tower rises from Badal Mahal (Cloud Palace). Rising in its five tiered splendor, with each storey graced by a delicately carved balcony, the tower is of historical significance. Muslim craftsmen built it in the shape of a Tazia and gifted to their royal patron. Tazias are ornately decorated bamboo, paper and tinsel replicas of a bier carried in procession during Mohurram.
These are large houses often built by wealthy merchants in Rajasthani towns and cities in North India, with beautiful, ornate sandstone carvings. Some havelis are many hundreds of years old. In Jaisalmer there are many elaborate havelis carved from yellow sandstone. Some of these have many floors and countless rooms, with decorated windows, archways, doors and balconies. Some havelis are today museums but most in Jaisalmer are still lived in by the families that built them. Among these is the Patwa’s Havelis, which is still occupied by the descendants of the original builders. Another example is the Salim Singh’s havelis which was once inhabited by the prime minister of Jaisalmer. Some of the doors and ceilings are wonderful examples of old carved wood from many hundreds of years ago.
Nathmalji ki Haveli:
The late 19th century Haveli with intricate architecture a display of sheer craftsmanship. The left and right wings of the mansion were carved by two brothers are not identical but very similar and balanced in design. The interior walls are ornate with splendid miniature paintings.
Patwon ki Haveli:
The most elaborate and magnificent of the Jaisalmer havelis. It has exquisitely carved pillars and extensive corridors and chambers. One of the apartments of this five story high Haveli is painted with beautiful murals.
Salim Singh ki Haveli: This 300 years old haveli of Jaisalmer's Prime Minister to Maharaja Rawal Gaj Singh - Salim Singh, has a beautiful blue cupola roof with superbly carved brackets in the form of peacocks. The extraordinary mansion in yellow stone is covered with intricate carvings and has an elaborate projecting balcony on the top storey. The mansion is one of the most notable of the array of havelies.
Being the financers of the Rajputs, the rich and influential Jain community was given full religious liberty; and they built many temples in and around Jaisalmer. The Paraswanath temple is the oldest and the most beautiful of the Jain Temples. The walls of the sanctum are carved with animal and human figures and rising above is a tall Shikhar, which is crowned by an amalak and a waterpot containing a lotus flower.
Folklore Museum: For anyone interested in seeing the culture of Jaisalmer on display through the ages, the Lok Sanskritik Sangrahalaya or the Museum of the Folk Culture situated on the bank of Gadisar Lake in Mehar Bagh Garden is a must. This museum was established in 1984 by N.K. Sharma, a local connoisseur. This well organized museum is divided into six sections and has a rich collection of paintings, photographs, costumes, hairstyles and jewellery, utility articles of rural life, camel and horse decorations, fossils, ornamental arches, as well as articles connected with folk and cultural lifestyles.
The Government Museum of Jaisalmer is situated on Police Line Road near RTDC Hotel Moomal. It was opened in 1984. the large collection of wood and marine fossils in the museum gives an insight into the geological past of the area. The sculpture from the ancient townships of Kiradu and Lodurva dating back to the 12th century pulsate with youth and grace and depicts the artistic skill of the time a glass case exhibits the Great Indian Bustards and Tilor which are birds of the desert.
Gyan Bhandar & Library: Some of the oldest manuscripts of India are found in this library established as a part of Jain Temples.
Lodurva (16 km):
Northwest of Jaisalmer, Lodurva is an important center of Jain pilgrimage. It is town of great antiquity. Lodurva was the capital of Bhati Rajputs before Rawal Jaisal founded Jaisalmer in 1178 AD. Lodurva was flourishing town in 10th and 11th century AD. It was a center of art and architecture. The exquisite carvings and other remains of ancient monuments provide a glimpse of Lodurva's glorious past.
Desert National Park:
the vast tracts of desert sands around Jaisalmer, with their wood fossils, have been designated the Desert National Park. To the lay person, there may be little about the desert that calls for "protection", leave alone support wildlife, but the desert has a fragile eco-system that has a unique variety of wildlife species. These include the somewhat ungainly great Indian bustard which, because of these efforts, has made a comeback in recent decades, though it is still on the endangered lists. Since the sandy desert has only a few grasses and shrubs, and a low scattering of indigenous trees, the leaf cover is limited.