Historically, Jaisalmer is named after Maharawal Jaisal Singh, a Rajput king who founded the city in 1156 AD. Jaisalmer means the Hill Fort of Jaisal. Jaisalmer is sometimes called the Golden City of India. It was the Princely state in the western India in the heart of Thar Desert. It was a main trading centre in the medieval period. It is believed that Bhati Clan of Yadu Rajputs of Chandrawasnshi (Lunar) race, the ruling family of the earlier Jaisalmer State belongs to the clan of Lord Krishna. The present district of Jaisalmer is mainly composed of the former Jaisalmer state, which was included among the Rajputana States that went under British protection at that time. A significant treaty signed by Maharawal Moolraj-II and the British government on 12th December, 1818 was guaranteed to the ruler and his posterity the principality of Jaisalmer. Under this treaty the ruler of the State was required to act in subordinate cooperation with the British Government. During the period of Afgan War in 1938-39 the then ruler of the state named Maharawal Gaj Singh made amazing arrangements for transportation of British troops for which British Government felt grateful to the ruler for timely help and cooperation. Then in 1844 the British seized Sind, the Forts of Shahgarh and Ghotaru, which are earlier belonged to Jaisalmer. Finally, in the year 1949 Jaisalmer was merged into the state of Rajasthan.
There are some other famous persons from the district. Mr. Sagarmal Gopal, born on November 3rd, 1990 was a freedom fighter and patriot from Rajasthan. He was an active participant of non-cooperation movement in 1921. The Government issued a postal stamp in 1986 in his honor. There is also a branch of Indira Gandhi channel after his name. Lt. Col. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, born on 29th January 1970, is a veteran Indian shooter. He won the silver medal in men’s double Trap at the 2004 summer Olympics in Athens. He was the first sportsperson to win individual silver for India since Norman Pritchard in 1990.
Geographically, the district covers total geographical area of 38,401 sq km. and on basis of this size ranks 1st in the State and 3rd in India As per data recorded in the year 2019, the forest cover extends to 0.85% of the total geographical area of the district. It lies at 26092'N latitude, 70091'E longitude and 229 m altitude. It is bounded by Bikaner district on the North East, Jodhpur district on East, Barmer district on the South and Pakistan on the West and North. It has only one small river called Kakni. The climate of the district is extremely hot in the summers and fairly cold in the winters. The actual rainfall in the district was 117.3 mm in the year of 2018-19.
Administratively, the district is divided into 3 sub-districts namely Jaislmer, Pokharan and Fatehgarh. It has 2 towns and 799 villages. In the state of Rajasthan with an allotted district code of 114 district of Jaisalmer came into existence in the year 1949. Its administrative headquarters is located at Jaisalmer which is situated at a distance of 570 km. from the State Capital. Hindi is the administrative language of the district.
Demographically, according to 2011 census, the district is home to a total number of 1,13,399 households with 6,69,919 including 3,61,708 are males and 3,08,211 are females. The population growth rate during the period 2001 to 2011 was 31.81% including 29.60% were males and 34.50% were females. The density of population of the district is 17 persons per sq km. The sex ratio is pegged at 852 (females per 1000 males) while the child ratio stands at 874 (females per 1000 males). As per 2011 census the percentage of major religions practiced by the people of this region are Hindu and Muslim with 74.19% and 25.10% of the total population. According to 2011 census the principal language in the district is Hindi with 95.09%. In the year 2017 the number of live births in the district was 20,873 out of which 11,472 were males and 9,398 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 2,508 out of which 1,645 were males and 862 were females.
Economically, agriculture is the backbone of the district. The Gross Domestic Product in the district during 2016-17 was Rs. 7,32,344 lakh at current price and Rs. 6,39,018 lakh at constant prices during 2011-2012. The Net Domestic Product in the district during 2016-17 was Rs. 6,48,650 lakh at current price and Rs. 5,68,091 lakh at constant prices during 2011-2012. The Per Capita Income or NDDP, at factor cost during 2016-17 was Rs. 89,378 lakh at current price and Rs. 78,278 lakh at constant prices during 2011-2012. It is one of the districts receiving ‘Backward Region Grant Fund’ (BRGF). The district depends on industries on the large extent. Major industries of the region are tourism, stone cutting and curving, khadi industry, mineral based industry etc. Khadi and woolen industry is famous all over the world. There are some industrial areas such as RICCO Industrial Area in Gandhi Colony and Ashapura Industrial Area in Pokaran. Baramsar and Hamira have recently been set up apart.
Educationally, according to 2011 census, the total literate population of the district is 3,08,653 including 2,10,415 are males and 98,238 are females. The literacy rate in the district is 57.22% with 72.04% are males and 39.71% are females. The district has a number of educational institutes such as Jagtamba ITI, Marwar Institute of Technology, District Institute of Education and Training, etc.
The district has some key personalities in politics. Bhawani Singh was born on 25th May, 1911 Jaislmer. He was an Indian judge and politician from Rajasthan. He was also the member of 1st Lok Sabha in 1952. Raghunath Singh Bahadur, born on 28th November, 1929 in Jaislmer, was a Maharawal of Jaislmer. He was elected as an Independent candidate in 1957 for Barmer Constituency, Rajasthan.
The district has a number of attractions for domestic and foreign tourists such as Jaisalmer Fort, Kuldhara Village, BadaBagh, Government Museum, Sam Sand Dunes, Patwonki Haveli, Tazia Tower, Gadisar Lake, Vyas Chhatri, Khaba Fort, Salim Singh-Ki Haveli, Silk Route Art Gallery, Jaisalmer Folk fore Museum, Thar Heritage Museum, Nathmalki Haveli, and Alif Desert Safari. During 2018, there were 1,36,406 foreign tourists and 5,92,695 domestic tourists who visited above places. Jaislmer Fort was built in 1156 AD by Rajput ruler Rawal Jaisal. It was declared as UNESCO World Heritage in 2013 under Group of Hills fort of Rajasthan. Bara Bagh is a beautiful garden. It was built by Lunkaran, son of Maharaja Jai Singh II, next to the lake built by Raja Jai Singh II. Gadisar Lake is a main tourist attraction of the district. It was originally a water conservation lake. Salim singh ki havelli was built in 18th century. It has amazing distinctive shape. It is narrow for the 1st floor and then the top storey spreads out with graceful arched balconies.