How to get from Jaisalmer to Jaipur by train when you’re backpacking north India?!
First, get yourself oriented with Rajasthan!
Take a look at the Rajasthan map.
How long does it take to get from Jaisalmer to Jaipur?
By road in a private car or taxi, it’ll likely take at least 10 hours to get from Jaisalmer to Jaipur.
By train, it will likely take at least 12 hours, possibly several hours longer depending on which train you take, not including possible delays!
Taking the train to Jaisalmer
There are a number of trains that you can take on this route.
I took the Ranikhet Express.
Why is the overnight train the best way to get to Jaipur?
The best reason could be… you get a night of accommodation included in your train ticket!
The Ranikhet Express is an overnight train.
This means that you will be sleeping for a good portion of the 13 hour train ride.
Which class train ticket to book?!
Since I would be sleeping much of the time, I decided to go for 3AC, as opposed to 2AC. (Plus 3AC is cheaper too.)
3AC means that there are 3 levels of beds.
It also means that during the day, you are potentially sharing the bottom seat with 2 other people during waking hours.
With 2AC, since it’s just 2 beds on a side, you’re only sharing the seat with 1 other person when you’re not sleeping.
Although, it is possible that even with a 3AC reservation you’ll get a sleeper with just 2 levels if you’re assigned to a side seat.
What are the train timings for the Ranikhet Express from Jaisalmer to Jaipur?
- Jaisalmer departure: 12:45am
- Jaipur arrival: Around 3pm
My train fare for 3AC was 980 rupees (US$15).
So this train has a scheduled daily departure from the Jaisalmer train station at 12:45am.
Since this train starts in Jaisalmer, it means that there a good chance of an on-time departure.
It also means that you can get on board well before the train departs. I was on the train by midnight, which also meant I could start sleeping sooner!
The train passes through other popular tourist destinations in Rajasthan, including Jodhpur the blue city.
It also passes through Ajmer train station, which is near Pushkar.
Both Jodhpur and Pushkar can be considered to be on the main Rajasthan tourist trail.
So this train can be an ideal train for any of these routes too:
- Jaisalmer to Jodhpur (estimated arrival around 6:30am)
- Jaisalmer to Ajmer (estimated arrival around 12:00pm)
- Jaisalmer to Pushkar (train to Ajmer, then bus to Pushkar)
Or going in the opposite direction:
- Jaipur to Ajmer
- Jaipur to Pushkar (train to Ajmer, bus to Pushkar)
- Jaipur to Jodhpur
- Jaipur to Jaisalmer
How to store your luggage on the train
There are 2 main places you can keep your luggage on the train:
- You can bring it on the seat with you. If you do this, keep in mind that this can make for a crammed space.
- You can place it below the lowest seat.
If you’ll be placing your luggage below the seat, a lock can be a good idea to put on your India packing list, since you won’t be able monitor your luggage the whole time. (You’ll be sleeping!)
There’s a hook that you can lock your luggage to.
But no matter what, always keep your valuables with you.
Although theft is relatively rare on trains, especially when you’re in AC class, you can never be too careful.
Thieves are sometimes opportunists, not necessarily looking to commit a crime but will go for it if they happen to see a good chance, so don’t give them any ideas!
You might consider using your small backpack with valuables in it as a pillow (with a blanket or clothes to make it softer).
Is food provided on the Ranikhet Express train?
With such a long train ride, what about food?!
On the Ranikhet Express, no food is provided. So it would be best to make sure to come prepared with water and snacks.
You will also likely find people coming through the train and selling water and snacks during the day.
At one point, there was someone that came around selling meals.
“Khana” is a good Hindi word to know when you’re traveling through Hindi-speaking parts of India!
It means food, and that’s the word the guy was yelling as he was walking through the train.
I was getting a bit hungry so I decided to get some food. I paid 120 rupees (US$2) for this meal.
So it came with curries, rice, and chapati… and a small plastic spoon. 😉
It’s made for Indians, so I found it to be very spicy!
(And I didn’t get sick.)
More Jaisalmer to Jaipur trains
While I took the Ranikhet Express, there are also other trains available.
You can search for train options for any routes using trainman.
This also allows you to see what seat availability is like.
This means that it can give you an idea of whether or not you will be able to wait to book your ticket until just a few days before you leave Jaipur.
Using trainman, you can plug in Jaisalmer JSM and Jaipur JP to get a list of train options you have.
It’s also useful as it displays the train fare as well.
How to book a train ticket to Jaipur
If you don’t want to book your train ticket online, there are 2 main ways you can book a train ticket in India:
1. Go to the train station and book your ticket
You want to go to the reservation counter (advanced tickets), as opposed to the booking counter (same day tickets).
In Jaisalmer, the reservation office is located right next to the entry to the train station.
If you’re going from Jaipur to Jaisalmer, in Jaipur, the reservation office is located in a separate building near the train station.
If you go to the train station to book a ticket, you’ll need to fill out a form with information that includes the train number you want to take.
So be sure to have researched the train ahead of time and keep the train number handy.
The easiest thing to do may be to save a screenshot in your phone of the train you want to take.
2. Locate a travel agency that sells train tickets
This is pretty easy to find around popular tourist areas.
You can expect to pay an added charge for this, but consider it the convenience fee of not having to go to the train station yourself.
More transportation options for Jaisalmer to Jaipur
Aside from taking a train to Jaipur, there are a few other options to reach Jaipur too.
Jaisalmer to Jaipur by bus
This route also has a number of buses available.
To check out what the bus options are for any particular route, have a look to redbus.
There are several private bus companies that do the Jaisalmer to Jaipur bus route on a daily basis. There are also Rajasthan government buses.
The duration of the bus varies depending on the bus, but you can expect to be on the bus for at least 12 hours.
Because it’s a long journey, you will likely want to opt for a sleeper bus.
This will allow you to spread out and lay down, and give you more flexibility during your ride too.
Jaisalmer to Jaipur flight
The absolute quickest way to reach Jaipur from Jaisalmer would be to book a flight!
Have a look to makemytrip to search for domestic flights in India.
Okay, so now that you (hopefully) feel more comfortable about traveling from Jodhpur to Jaisalmer…
What to do when you’re there?!
Top 3 things to do in Jaisalmer
1. Go for an overnight camel safari
2. Eat at a rooftop restaurant with fort views
3. Walk the streets of the golden city
Top 3 things to do in Jaipur
1. Visit Amber Palace
2. Visit a fort with great views
3. See the iconic Hawa Mahal
See more of the best places to visit in Jaipur in 3 days.
HAPPY JAISALMER TO JAIPUR TRAIN RIDE!
- 3 days in Udaipur (city of lakes)
- 2 days in Jodhpur (blue city)
- 3 days in Jaisalmer (golden city)
- 3 days in Jaipur (pink city)
- 1 day in Agra
The need-to-know India travel tips!If it's your first trip to India, be sure to see these tips for getting around India on a budget, and more! Also be sure to see how to spend one month in South India and 2 weeks in North India, as well as tips for the Golden Triangle. And, overnight sleeper bus travel isn't so bad, and neither is traveling in general class on the train!
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India tourist visa tip!Access to India as a foreigner seems to be getting friendlier! There's an e-visa now and this visa fee is far less than it was before. See the current cost of an e-visa by selecting your country. That's a partner website to make the evisa application process less stressful - it's possible to apply on your own too. See about your options on how to get an e-visa for India.
Travel insurance for India - just in case!You get travel insurance hoping that you'll never have to use it. But if you do end up needing to use it, chances are that you will be VERY happy that you did get it! See how to figure out the cost of travel insurance for India.
How to book India train tickets online as a foreignerIf you don't want to go through the complicated process of setting up an IRCTC Indian railways account as a foreigner...
Then the most convenient way to buy train tickets online is through this booking website. I've used it, and it's super simple! You buy the ticket, and then show the electronic version on your phone once you're on the train. Compared to buying directly through an Indian ticket booking website (IRCTC account required) or directly at the train station in India, there is a small convenience fee, as well as a less flexible cancellation policy, though!
Retreats in IndiaFor relaxation and rejuvenation for health and wellness, see:
- Yoga retreats in India
- Ayurveda retreats in Kerala - ayurveda is basically healthy living through natural herbs and remedies, and Kerala is the birthplace of ayurveda!
Where to stay on the tourist trail in KeralaThese places basically go down the coast from north to south!
- Cochin: Try a homestay in the cute heritage area of Fort Kochi.
- Marari Beach: This is an "off-beat" location as Marari is mostly unknown to backpackers, but it can be a convenient stop to make between Cochin and Alleppey with chill laid back vibes. For an idea of what type of beach can be nearby, see my beach walk from Alleppey to Marari.
- Alleppey Beach:
- Funky Art Beach House again for chill vibes with a location among locals in a residential neighborhood
- And there's Zostel Alleppey too for another beach location to stay several days
- OR if Alleppey is a quick visit, try Dream Nest to be closer to town
- And see how to spend one day in Alleppey (short version: go for the backwaters village canoe tour instead of a houseboat!)
- Alleppey backwaters:
- Munroe Island: This is another generally kind of more off-beat location, and you can see a different part of the Kerala backwaters on a quiet island
- Varkala cliff: