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Friday, October 5, 2012

Jaisalmer


We started from Ajmer to Jodhpur at around 4.30 pm from a local bus. Our bus moved only at 5.30 pm. I was worried if we will be able to catch our train to Jaisalmer from Jodhpur that was scheduled at 11.45 pm at night. The roads were empty with no street lights. I was scared of night for if the bus would stop at far away from the Jodhpur railway station and if we will be able to get an auto rickshaw in the dark empty roads.

Luckly, bus stop and railway station was nearby. This is the best thing in India. It was chilled cold in Jodhpur. I was wearing jean, jerkin and sock to save myself from the cold. But it was too hard to resist. We spent for almost 2 hours at railway retiring rooms. We boarded on train and I took out my shawl. We had side berths. My hubby asked up to sleep on upper birth as it wouldn’t be cold as that of lower berth. But I insisted my husband to sleep on upper birth and he didn’t agree. Atlast, we decided, if he finds it hard to resist cold, he will accompany me on upper birth.

That night was terribly cold, unable to resist. I couldn’t sleep. My husband came up in between and he slept for some time. I had lot of difficulty in that congested place. I was sitting beside him holding his legs with drowsy eyes. We reached Jaisalmer city at 5.30 AM. It was still dark. My husband decided not to move out in the chilled winter until at 7.00 AM. So we were again in the retiring room of Jaisalmer. My hubby went out to get some tea or coffee to resist cold as I needed something hot to drink desperately to get rid of sleepiness in that winter. A cup of tea offered to me bought lot of strength in me.



Pawan went out of the retiring room again at 6.30 am for taxi. But luckily, we got an auto for 150 bucks to take us at Sand Dunes, an RTDC hotel, Sam Dhani which we had booked during our stay in Jaipur. I never understood why my husband was crazy to visit that place. On the way, auto driver had warned us against empty roads and asked us if we wanted to halt at a hotel in the city to drink tea, coffee or water. We refused. He drove us through the jungle, barren roads to sam dhani. I could see God’s cruelty and humanity on the way. The auto driver had stopped in between to warm up himself. He lit fire on the dried roots as his hands were freezed.  He was very friendly guiding us on the city, terrorism, violence etc which he said, it never happened in that city. A woman can walk alone through the barren land during mid-night safely. Jaisalmer is the only city where crime doesn’t happen. I guess the gram panchayat system still exists in that city as shown in television serial, Balika vadhu.  We were back to our journey and reached Sam dhani at around 10.00 am. The check-in time was 11.00 am but the person at the reception had let it. In the entire hotel, there were only 2 couples. One was vacating and the other one was getting in.







The room was cozy. We were inspecting our new place. It was amazing, just like a dream had come true. Visiting Sand Dunes on Thar Desert had been my childhood dream and my adulthood wish which had come true. I am thankful to my husband whole heartedly. My husband went in to refresh. For 45 minutes, he didn’t come out of the bath room. I knocked at the door and started screaming at him. He opened the door and dragged me in. He was enjoying the shower. Looking at the free flow of water, I was wondering at the scarcity of water in the city. We refreshed ourselves and went to dining room. We ordered for tea and poori-bhaji. But the manager got us tea, poori-bhaji and aloo paratha. We were damn hungry and started eating savagely. The aloo-paratha was offered to us at free of cost. The manager described us about the folk dance event that happens every evening after sunset where all the tourists from various hotels join together to watch folk dance in traditional set-up followed by snacks and dinner. We were excited and asked him to book camel for a ride at 4.30 pm.



We went on the sand to click some pics. We then took some cola kind of drink to digest that heavy brunch. We went back to our room and slept for a while. Later at 4.30 pm, the manager knocked the door. I was scared to get on the camel and my husband was thrilled with it. The camel was named as Shah Rukh Khan, after the bollywood hero. The boy with the camel helped us to climb the camel. He took us on a ride. He showed us some of the places of interest, like the old India-Pakistan border, place were the Pepsi advertising was shot, etc. The last one was the sunset point. My hubby insisted on camel race. I was very nervous. We reach to the place of event on camel safari.





The traditional set-up was lucrative, with warm welcome by cheerful Rajasthani girls in their traditional outfit. The sitting arrangement was similar as that of kings on the beds. There was fire camp, my another dream; music, dance and we were served hot tea with poha (a traditional healthy snacks). Later, we went for the buffet. Dinner consisted of delicious traditional food, daal-bati, churma, roti, gate ki sabzi any many more varieties.  The boy’s brother dropped us back to our hotel after the dinner. My husband ordered for kanda-batata poha (bitten rice pulav with onion and potatoes) for next day morning breakfast. I hit the bed without even taking out my socks living my husband wondering if it was our honeymoon or just package tour.


 





   

Next day morning was check out. We packed up our luggage and got ready for our mouth-watering breakfast. We were offered again aloo-paratha together with our order. We had stuffed our stomach with their delicious dishes. At the time of check-out, we enquired about how to reach the city of Jaisalmer. The manager advised us that some of the muslim merchants who delivers milk in the city can drop us there in their tempo for 20 bucks per head and they travel in that route only upto 11.00 am. My husband paid tip to the manager. He then politely said, that he is a cook and the manager was on leave for a week. We hurried up and raised our hands for lift. One such merchant dropped us nearby railway station. I was enquiring about the milk can in the tempo. The fellow traveller was unaware of anything. We had our train to Jodhpur same evening.

We decided to keep our luggage in a railway dormitory and then go on a city sight-seeing. My husband had done enough google search to study the entire geography of Jaisalmer city. The dormitory wasn’t empty and the waiting rooms were not safe to park our luggage. The station master offered us the cabins and he claimed that the keys will remain with them. My husband was reluctant to leave our luggage in their custody. The major difference between me and my husband is that I believe people blindly and he finds it hard to trust easily. Finally, we decided to get into an lodge nearby railway station. In the meantime, my mobile ranged. My uncle called up to congratulate me for my marriage. Due to his ill health, he couldn’t make up. He invited us to his home in Jetpur, a city in Gujarat.

We went by walk exploring different places. Jaisalmer city is just 5 kms radius which can be covered in a day by walk. Hiring an auto is not just expensive but utter waste. One advice to the travellers is not to get in with unsolicited drivers who are self proclaimed guides.

The fort: It is the biggest and only fort which accommodates around 5000 people. It is known as the living fort. This fort has residential houses and commercial shops that are occupied by the localites. I am attaching the link to find more information about this fort. Dairy products are very delicious in this area.

Gadisar Lake: A scenic rain water lake with numerous beautiful shrines around and a spectacular avian variety. The lake is an idyllic spot for outings.

There are many more places like Tazia tower which is now converted into hotel, different havelis like Patwon-ki-Haveli, Salim Singh-ki-Haveli, Nathmalji-ki-Haveli etc. These places now preserved by the Department of Archaeology. We didn’t feel like exploring the remnant. We went to a hotel and had again daal-bati.

We went back to our lodge. My hubby had downloaded Kamasutra movie. We watched it together on his mobile. During evening at 6.30, we went to the puppet show and museum nearby that was organised by a retired school professor. They taught us the basics of holding strings and play the puppet. Puppets are made of wood and were on sale. I was tempted to buy it but then I didn’t want to increase my luggage on our next destination Jodhpur.

We had dinner at a dhaba. We ordered for butter kulcha. He offered us roti. For them, every such Indian bread was similar, be it Kulcha, roti, rumali roti, naan, etc. We then went back to our lodge and checked out. Our train to Jodhpur was at 11.30 pm. I got cotton role to avoid chilled cold and boarded the train.













3 comments:

Pushkar tour said...

Really nice pics.. Thar Desert, the Jaisalmer city commands premiere position among the tourist attractions scattered all over the desert land of Rajasthan.

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