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Old 23rd July 2016, 11:16   #1
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Default To the Golden City, Jaisalmer

Travelogue to the Golden City, Jaisalmer

Prelude

During Christmas holidays, I get to avail long leave combining with holidays and we normally plan our long trips during this time. We have been travelling to various places in India during Christmas holiday period, to list a few – Gujarat tour (Baroda, Ahmedabad, Junagarh, Mount Girnar, Palitana, Porbarndar, Diu, Dwarka), West Bengal (Calcutta, Mayapur, Tarapeeth, Ganga Sagar), Maharashtra (Shirdi, Pandharpur, Tryambakeshwar, Bhimashankar, Grishneshwar, Aurangabad, Ajanta Ellora caves, Ashtavinayak) etc.

December 2012 was one such long awaited trip to Jaisalmer, Rajasthan. I was happy that I was able to take my wife after a long wait. The stay at the desert Camps is what excited us. We explored the cities of Bikaner and Jaisalmer in this trip and going to some of the unique places, detailed in the travelogue.

This city of Rajasthan boasts some of the world’s best riding camels and is aptly nicknamed “camel country”. It is also home to one of the world’s largest camel research and breeding farms; as well as world famous temple dedicated to Karni Mata at Deshnok also known as Rats Temple.

We had booked the YHAI for our desert Camps at Jaisalmer for 4 nights from Tuesday to Friday. We then planned to spend couple of days at Bikaner, leaving Delhi on 23-Dec-12 (Sunday). While returning back from Jaisalmer to Delhi, we thought of spending a night at Jaipur. Eventually, I drove straight to Delhi bypassing Jaipur and believe me, it was not easy to convince my wife to drive back home as it might be late! After the trip is over, I usually prefer to head back home even if gets late rather than spending a night enroute with no additional place to visit.

Rajasthan & the deserts are best visited during Winter and it was a pleasant climate. We found it to be quite chill at Jaisalmer staying in the desert camp. It will be extremely hot to visit this place during Summer and must be avoided.

Total distance travelled during this trip from Delhi to Jaisalmer & back is 2230 Km in 7 days.


My other Travelogue


108 Divya Desams: Vishnu Sthalams Travelogue
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ravelogue.html (108 Divya Desams: Vishnu Sthalams Travelogue)


Spiti Splendour - Delhi to Spiti in an XUV500
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ti-xuv500.html (Spiti Splendour - Delhi to Spiti in an XUV500)



Travelogue Delhi – Bangalore – Navagraha Sthalams – Ganapatipule – Delhi in XUV 5OO
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...apatipule.html (XUV500 Travelogue: Delhi – Bangalore – Navagraha Sthalams – Ganapatipule)


Teasers from this trip to Bikaner and Jaisalmer



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Old 23rd July 2016, 13:33   #2
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Default re: To the Golden City, Jaisalmer

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Originally Posted by vittal View Post
[b]Travelogue to the Golden City, Jaisalmer



This city of Rajasthan boasts some of the world’s best riding camels and is aptly nicknamed “camel country”. It is also home to one of the world’s largest camel research and breeding farms; as well as world famous temple dedicated to Karni Mata at Deshnok also known as Rats Temple.
Interesting start. I am particularly interested after reading your Delhi-Bangalore-Pandharpur expedition. Ain't the camel research institute and Karni Mata temple both located in Bikaner. I visited temple once but could bring myself to enter because of my phobia for Rats and anything rodent. Would love to see if you cover the food of Rajasthan too.
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Old 24th July 2016, 18:06   #3
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Day 1

Summary of the Day
  • Start time - 5:20 am at Delhi
  • Arrival time at the destination – 3:50 pm at Bikaner
  • Total distance travelled during the day – 505 Km
  • Places visited - Laxminath Mandir, Jain Temple
  • Stay at Sri Ram Heritage, Bikaner


Enroute we were happy to see these colourful autorickshaws that seems to have been slapped from either side, making it look different. Feels happy to see so much of varieties even in the autorickshaws when we drive through the country giving it its own local flavor. We also witnessed bright flouroscent coloured turbans and brightly clad sarees of local village folks & women which were contrasting and complementing the dry sandy background. This immediately brings to our mind the pearl white dhoties, settu mundu of women in Kerala that contrasts to the lush green background. Ah! we love our country!


Autorickshaw with a different look - a local transport at Bikaner

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Colourful autorickshaw depicting the bright colours of Rajasthan

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Stopping for an early lunch enroute to Bikaner

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Wonderful roads of Rajasthan

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Beginning of desert and sands in Rajasthan

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Deserts of Rajasthan – we can notice the sands everywhere with roads in the middle of the desert. A unique experience to drive through these deserts.

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After reaching Bikaner, we checked into SriRama Heritage Hotel.
Our stay for these 2 days at Bikaner

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Lakshmi Nath Temple is one of the oldest temples of Bikaner. The foundation of Bikaner was laid here in the year 1488 A.D. by Rao Bikaji. It being a historical monument has special identity. This temple was erected during the reign of Rao Lunkaran and boasts of the superb archeological skills of artists and artisans. It was later developed by Maharaja Ganga Singh Ji. Statues of deities - Vishnu and Lakshmi - have all along received the unwavering devotion of countless people through the last four and half centuries.

The temple is situated on a mount in the middle of Bikaner. This temple is made of red stand stone and marble. The architecture, elegant sculptor and beautiful coloured pictures produce a charm which overwhelms a viewer. Deity of Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi abodes in this temple. The view from temple is very pronounced of the city of Bikaner.

Shri Lakshminath temple is located just 50 meters adjacent to Bhandasar Jain temple.


JAIN TEMPLE BHANDASAR
Jain Temple Bhandasar is a 15th century temple dedicated to the 5th Tirthankar (a person that has conquered the cycle of life, death and rebirth and paved the path for others to attain nirvana), Sumatinathji, and is one of the oldest monuments of Bikaner. The temple design includes intricate mirror work, murals and gold leaf paintings. Devotees throng to the temple from all corners of the country.


The rajasthani colourful paintings


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The gopuram of the temple - Lakshminath Mandir


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After our temple visit, we had a stroll exploring the streets of Bikaner. We were happy to see many Ghevar vendors, one of the street foods during winter. The unique way of Ghevar preparation, unique utensil which molds the shape of the Ghevar was good to see. We also had a tasty bite topped with kesar rabdi whole calories helped us to keep warm in the desert night.


Ghevar - a porous sweet being prepared - a local delicacy

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Ghevar topped with Rabdi - a local delicacy — in Bikaner.

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Ghevar - a porous sweet texture — in Bikaner.

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Ghevar - being prepared at the local sweet shop, specially made ghevar pot

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We rested our tired feet as we retired into a cozy room, and gathered energy for our next day's itinerary.
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Old 6th August 2016, 21:43   #4
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Day 2

Summary of the Day
  • Start time – local sight-seeing at Bikaner
  • Total distance travelled during the day – 25 Km
  • Places visited - Karni Mata Temple (Rat), Rampuria Haveli, NCRC Camel Breeding Farm
  • Stay - at Sri Ram Heritage, Bikaner

We were at the Karni Mata Temple at 9:00 in the morning. The drive from hotel to the temple was just 15 min with not much crowd early morning on this day.

We were happy to explore the possibilities in the Google maps, for the first time during this drive, my old black berry had a blue indicator that we had to trace, unlike today’s version of google maps, which enables ease of use.



The entrance Gate of Karni Mata Temple

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The Karni Mata Temple at Deshnok is a beautiful structure made of stone and marble, inside which resides an image of Karni Mata which is decorated with a ‘mukut’. It a well know temple all over the world for the presence of rats that roam freely within the temple premises.


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This is the most attractive (repulsive too for many) feature of the temple and is known that the rats (who scamper freely within the premises) if one touches your feet its considered auspicious. They are regarded sacred and devotees buy prasad (feeding) to offer to them.

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These are the famous 2 Khadai or vessels in the temple which goes by the name of Savan and Bhadwa, used to prepare the prasada or offering to the mata. We can also spot rats on these huge vessels with prasadas.

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One can find rats everywhere inside the temple, on the floor, corners, roof top, near the idol, inside the sanctum Santorum, drinking water, drinking milk, on the Prasad Kadai or vessel and are nicely fed inside the temple. With such huge number of rats inside the temple, we could not find any outside the temple premises.


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The temple priest also narrated his legend about the rats, that the priests of the temple and family take rebirth as rats.


The board outside the temple depicting it’s a world famous temple.

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The rats drinking water on a plate.

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As we exited out of the temple, we enjoyed eating spiced Kachoris with Imli chatni.

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After the temple visit we drove through the narrow gulleys of Bikaner, along the high walls and windows of the havelis. My friend was kind enough to get us entry to the heritage hotel at Bhanwar Niwas.

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We were also fed with a wide spread variety of namkeen and bhujia, for which Bikaner is famous for. We binged on the tasty snacks, bhujia, sev, ghevar, sweetmeats and decided to skip lunch and dinner.


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Old 6th August 2016, 22:47   #5
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Day 2 contd....


It felt proud to be able to see the grandeour of the Rajasthan Palaces and it felt royal while we clicked pictures at Bhanwar Niwas.




One of the corners of the Haveli


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Another angle of the Haveli - while roaming around the place

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Intricate artwork - the mirror and the horse

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Lord Ganesha - At the entrance

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A beautiful passage

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Close-up of the camel - the artwork is excellent

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the portrait of the royal family member

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an exquisite bullock-cart

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the elephant - look at the carvings

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take a break looking at the articles in the room at the royal place

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the royal bed

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the sit-out area with the friend

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Courtyard at Bhanwar Niwas (Rampuria Haveli) Bikaner.


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Royal Dining Hall

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The famous picture "look at the eyes" - as if it moves with you

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In conversation with the Artisans - they are responsible of the upkeep of these paintings in the Bhavan

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close-up of the artwork

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Beautiful lawns

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The entrance gate of Bhanwar Niwas

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Old 6th August 2016, 23:53   #6
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Day 2 contd.....




The stores in the market with names "Do Bhaiyon Ki Dukan" and "Teen Bhaiyon Ki Dukan".

The count goes on ...


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As we drove along the roads we had to wait at a Railway level crossing in the midst of a heavily crowded market place at Bikaner. Incredible India!!


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We headed to Junagarh Fort which was huge and had a proper paid parking service. The fort was worth the visit and had so much to tell us about the history of Royal family of Bikaner.


At the entry of Junagarh Fort - "Prachina" Bikaner Cultural Centre & Museum

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The parking area at Junagarh Fort - Bikaner

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History of Junagarh Fort

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An excellent structure of the Fort at the entrance

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The temple entrance

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the historic information of Veer Dhalla

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Welcome Board at Sadul Museum

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The beautiful structure of the Museum

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The painting depicting the procession

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Rao Bikaji Maharaja ... Trust

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The weapons in the museum


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The historic Plane

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A brief history about the plane

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Old 7th August 2016, 00:17   #7
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Day 2 contd....



As it has been a busy day, travelling to lots of places in Bikaner and hence lots of photos in this travelogue.


After Junagarh Fort, we proceeded to the Camel Farm - NRCC.


Information about Camel Farm.

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The National Research Center on Camel is one of its kind in India. It has great contribution towards conservation and breeding of the camel being an inevitable part of this fragile desert eco-system. This place is also known as a Camel breeding centre which houses 100s of camels. There are a number of scientists and veterinary doctors working here and doing research on Camels. The tourists are permitted only at certain hours of the day. While visiting this place, one can also enjoy camel rides in the Camel farm. One can also watch hundreds of camels come home at sunset.



One can spot lots of Camels everywhere in the Farm


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A closeup of Camels having their food

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In conversation !! — at National Camel Research Centre, Bikaner.

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Young Camels

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Camel Safari — at National Camel Research Centre, Bikaner.

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Feeling happy & in conversation — at National Camel Research Centre, Bikaner.


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The small outlet of the Camel Milk Parlour near the gate gives one a chance to sample the drinks & products made of camel milk. The Camel Milk Parlour at the Camel Farm is a special attraction because it vendors unique, value added camel milk products like ice-cream, hot and cold beverages. It was the first time for me to taste the camel milk! It has a unique taste and its different, am not used to this kind of taste for hot or cold beverages. It's quite a unique experience to try the camel milk Kulfi with its salty, cheesy texture. But the good news is it is supposed to be slim milk suitable for dieting.



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Tasted the Camel Milk - at Bikaner. A snap taken while we having Camel Milk Tea !!! — at National Camel Research Centre, Bikaner.

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The various camel milk products available are lassi, cheese, flavoured milk, tea, coffee, ice cream, kulfi, gulab jamun, milk peda / burfi, paneer, ghee etc.


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Beautiful Rajasthani paintings a the entrance of Camel Farm. Quite colourful

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After an exciting day travelling to various places in Bikaner, we retired for the day with thoughts of whats in store for us at Jaisalmer - as we were visiting the city for the first time.
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Old 7th August 2016, 01:25   #8
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Day 3

Summary of the Day
  • Start time - 7:00 am at Bikaner
  • Arrival time at the destination – 12:30 pm at Jaisalmer
  • Total distance travelled – 340 Km
  • Places visited - Gadisar Lake, Patwa Haveli
  • Stay at Camps, Jaisalmer


Samba deer crossing the road - enroute to Jaisalmer


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As we drove towards Jaisalmer, enroute Pokharan, we visited Ramdevra temple, which is village deity piligrimage site. Here they buy horses to offer to the Lord Ramdevra. We had a difficult time getting a parking here as it is visited by many localites.


RAMDEVRA TEMPLE
Located 12 kilometres from Pokhran on the Jodhpur – Jaisalmer route lies Ramdevra Temple. While most people assume it is a temple dedicated Lord Ram, it is in fact, dedicated to renowned saint Baba Ramdevji. The temple marks the eternal resting place of Baba Ramdevji and is visited by people of all faiths. Between August and September, a large fair known as Ramdevra Fair is held here, and it attracts large numbers of devotees who sing devotional songs all night long.


The temple premise is colourful with shops selling brightly coloured stuffed horses, bandhini turbans etc.


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Trying the local colourful, readymade turban after buying it

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It was a very long queue to the main sanctum darshan. Musicians singing added to the rustic beauty of this temple.


We later hit the drum. Ritual of beating the drum as "Sakshi" (witness) of having visited the temple — at Ramdevra Temple, Ramdevra Pokhran.


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musicians singing — at Ramdevra Temple, Ramdevra Pokhran.


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The roads enroute Jaisalmer from Pokharan

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We reached Jaisalmer the Golden city, with a real sandy golden look with turrets on the dividers as we entered the city. I could see my wife’s face beaming in the reflection the sun, as it was her long wait to visit here.


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If geology interests you, then Jaisalmer is where you need to travel. The Wood Fossil Park or Aakal is located about 15 km away from the city. Here, one can discover and trace geologic tragedies that occurred in the Thar Desert 180 million years ago. The city of Jaisalmer also acts as the guard to western Rajasthan (and India’s) frontier. This 'Golden City’ is located close to the Pakistan border and in close proximity to the Thar Desert.


The city’s most prominent landmark is the Jaisalmer Fort, also called Sonar Qila (Golden Fort). Unlike most other forts in India, Jaisalmer Fort is not just a tourist attraction. It houses shops, hotels and ancient havelis (homes) where generations continue to live. It was in 1156 that Rawal Jaisal constructed a mud fort, named it Jaisalmer after himself and declared it his capital.


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We drove along the road to reach our dessert camp site that was allotted to us by the YHAI. We parked our dear old Maruti Esteem VXi that has been with us on the journeys across the breadth of India, for over a decade. It had already run 90,000 km, and we had just changed the suspension as we did not yet want to let her go.


It was a sunny afternoon and we just made out bed with sleeping bags in the canvas tent that was allotted to us. It was sandy all over, and we expected to have lot of sand inside our tents, later during the day. We made friends over tea, a family from south and Maharashtrian families who had come on their bikes from Mumbai.

The camp site was spread well over a large area with countable number of trees to provide shade. The toilet was a good 500 m away from out tent. The kitchen and dining area were under the tree with chairs and tables laid out.



Our desert Camp in Jaisalmer.


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Jawahar Niwas Palace

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A local with ear-rings - quite a number of people can be spotted wearing an earring


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After getting the camp formalities done, we decided to visit the Gadisar lake nearby.


Gadisar Lake was constructed in the 14th century by Maharawal Gadsi Singh to meet the water needs of his arid lands. Considering its importance, many small temples and shrines were constructed around it, transforming it into a pilgrimage centre and a tourist attraction.



The lake is picnic spot, with good photograph shots with the Jaisalmeri structures at the background. As we entered the lake premises, the lilting music of the Mewar gharana music filled the air, my wife put her recommendations of music and folklore from the sarangi players. As we listened to music, we also snacked over some mung pakodas, with chat masala sprinkled over.


Lilting music from a rustic instrument — at Gadisar Lake.

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There also some antique sellers who have spread out some old museum pieces for sale.


Antiques on sale — at Gadisar Lake.

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At Gadisar Lake



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We later had some photo sessions, one can climb a fews steps along the structure to get better views of the lake from above.

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A view of the houses from behind the fort.

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The city of Jaisalmer from the top


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It was sunset and as the lake attracted many visitors, we drove from there to the patwa haveli, which was a bhul bhulaiyya massive residences of Rajasthan. We were amazed at the typical architecture and how one room led to another, easy for one to get lost. My wife seemed to like the carved exterior of the haveli windows and she did not fail to pose for some clicks.


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A vendor selling puppets

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Welcome to Jaisalmer "Circle" — in Jaisalmer.



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We reached the camp at dusk and joined the campfire at the desert camp. It started to get very chill and we adorned our warm clothing. The dinner hosted there was very special with Rajasthani cuisine, we had kher sangri, methi mirchi (a very tasty subji, prepared out of soaked methi seeds and large stuffed mirchis). Ghatte ki subji, dal bhati churma etc .

Our experience in the tents was one of its kind, as the cold entered our bones as the night went by. We had to walk ˝ km to reach the washroom. Our body favoured us through the night, but it was tough to sleep through in that extreme cold, as we were tired we lay asleep waiting for the morning sun.

Last edited by vittal : 7th August 2016 at 02:35. Reason: added information on places
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Old 7th August 2016, 01:55   #9
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Day 4

Summary of the Day
  • Start time - 9:00 am at Jaisalmer
  • Arrival time at the destination – local sightseeing at Jaisalmer
  • Total distance travelled – 170 Km
  • Places visited - Golden Fort, Sam Sand Dunes
  • Stay at Camps, Jaisalmer


Early morning, we had to fill our water in the large vessel provided and light our own fire to make warm water to bathe etc.

The warm tea and breakfast brought some warmth. The camp authorities also packed lunch for us for the day.


The Youth Hostel program for these 5 days during our stay at Desert Camp, Jaisalmer.


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We first headed to the Golden fort as we were told it would take long to go around the vast fort.


The Jaisalmer Fort also goes by the name Sonar Quila (Golden Fort) as it rises from the desert itself and seems to become one with the golden hues of the sand. The setting sun adds its own magic and shrouds the fort with mystique. The fort is constructed in the classic style of the royals by local craftsmen. This fort is a world heritage site and forms an important plot point in one of Satyajit Ray’s famous Feluda stories and corresponding movie, Sonar Kela (The Golden Fortress).

Golden Fort Jaisalmer


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City view from the fort — in Jaisalmer.


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The Golden fort was a beautiful place to be, and brought to life history of Jaisalmer. The large canons that were on the roof of the fort, reminded us of the movie, Guns of Navarone, where the Germans cover their ears to avoid the sound of the firing guns. We decided to pose for old memories sake.



Guns of Navarone —at Golden Fort - Jaisalmer.


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Gangnam Style — at Golden Fort - Jaisalmer.


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The Golden fort was full of tourists. The roads leading to the fort had shops on either sides selling colourful clothing, jewellery, footwear, paintings and puppets.



The fort also hosted a temple, where we had darshan and rested a bit on the cool marble floor.


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Colorful shopping — at Golden Fort - Jaisalmer.


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The history of Jaisalmer Fort


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The entrance to the temple at the fort


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Shopping of colourful puppets


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Dance on the rope - sighted near the fort


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We later had dal pakhwan a Rajasthani street food that had a crisp papad textured roti garnished with gravy, dhania, masala sev etc.



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Dal pakwaan - a local delight.


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An eventful day at Jaisalmer and our trip continues...

Last edited by vittal : 7th August 2016 at 02:37. Reason: added information on places
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Old 7th August 2016, 02:05   #10
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Day 4 Continues....

visit to Kuldhara



We later drove to Kuldhara, a village that was abandoned by its residents. The residents had united to protect a young girl from their families who was summoned by the king. The entire village had evacuated overnight to protect her. The remains and the raw brick construction of the is village is the proof to the existence of civilization in that era. The highlight of course was the Moral values for which the entire village stood for.


Kuldhara - 84 medieval villages were abandoned by the Paliwal Brahmins overnight. The two most prominent of them are Kuldhara and Khabha, located about 18 and 30 kilometres respectively from the southwest of Jaisalmer. The ruins of Kuldhara and Khabha are fine examples of architectural excellence of that era and are a treat for shutterbugs. Several stories abound, but nobody is really sure why the mass exodus took place. Villagers believe the place is cursed and hesitate to venture inside.


The roads in Rajasthan enroute from Jaisalmer Fort to Kuldhara

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A notice board at Kuldhara Desert Village describing the monument is under archaeological and protected

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The mud roads inside the village

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The remains of the houses !


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Posing with a friend from Mumbai


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Kuldhara Desert Village — in Jaisalmer.


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Kuldhara Desert Village remains — in Jaisalmer.


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Lots of people visiting the village


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We are now all excited to visit the much awaited Sand Dunes of Jaisalmer

Last edited by vittal : 7th August 2016 at 02:41. Reason: added information on places
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Old 7th August 2016, 02:27   #11
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Day 4 continues...

Sam Dunes



Finally, it was time for the Sam Dunes at Jaisalmer for which we had waited for many years. We drove along the sandy roads that lead to the dunes. As we neared the dunes there were camel camps which offered rides to some distance inside the dunes.

Roads leading to the Sam Dunes

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The first sight of Sam Dunes, the parking area and lots of Camels


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Sand Dunes - beginning of Thar Desert — at Sam Sand Dunes, Jaisalmer.

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camel caravans — at Sam Sand Dunes, Jaisalmer.

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My wife refused to climb the camel because of the steep acute angle bend the camel gave to stand. But I managed to convince her to take this ride.


Camel ride — at Sam Sand Dunes, Jaisalmer.

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Our foot marks in the desert

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We sat relaxed on the dunes, played with sand like little children, enjoyed the dance and music of the folk dancers as we waited for sunset.


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Sunset was an unforgettable experience and we managed to get the real silhouette shots on our camera of the camel caravan.


Sand everywhere — at Sam Sand Dunes, Jaisalmer.


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A much awaited click - at the dusk — at Sam Sand Dunes, Jaisalmer.


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a golden silhouette — at Sam Sand Dunes, Jaisalmer.

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The sun set silhouette — at Sam Sand Dunes, Jaisalmer.

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The traffic was much more when we left the sam sand dunes towards our camp as compared to when we arrived. After reaching our camp, we had a bit of cultural program organised by YHAI, Rajasthani fire dancers etc, who entertained us. It was a nice experience to view the local dance after having our dinner.
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Old 7th August 2016, 03:22   #12
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Thread moved from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 7th August 2016, 10:45   #13
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Rajasthan is such a beautiful state. I have always wanted to visit Jaisalmer and Udaipur. Finally I am going to Udaipur this new years. Did you not try the dune bashing in Jaisalmer? I am really interested in that. The one in Dubai is just mind boggling and I had read that they finally got drivers trained there and offer a similar experience in Jaisalmer now.
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Old 7th August 2016, 11:56   #14
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Excellent Photo-Travelogue. Your photos bring the place alive. The combination of excellent photos of historical places and the street photographs gives a unique flavour to your travelogue. Of course, Rajasthan is a photographer’s heaven and you have done complete justice to the places you have visited. Can you please give me some information about the camera setup you have used?


I am planning to visit Jaisalmer and Bikaner next winter and your travelogue will be a good guide for me. Thanks again.
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Old 7th August 2016, 13:01   #15
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Day 5

Summary of the Day
  • Start time - 8:00 am at Bikaner
  • Total distance travelled – 300 Km
  • Places visited - Cenotaphs, Tanot, Longewala, TV Tower, Canal
  • Stay at Camps, Jaisalmer


After another biting cold night’s sleep we started the day lighting our own fire for a warm water bath. We had breakfast at the camp and headed to see the cenotaphs. Cenotaphs are constructed in the memory of the Royal family cremated. It is something like a Hindu version of a tomb.


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After parking the car below one has to trek a little bit to the cenotaphs that are constructed on the top of a hillock. The place is a must visit for good photography with the beautifully carved structures behind. The place also gives a good panoramic view of surrounding Jaisalmer.


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cenotaph — in Jaisalmer.

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At the camp we had made good friends with a biker who had come with his wife and his 5 year old child on the bike from Mumbai to Jaisalmer. It amazed us to see how he travelled with his family on the bike. Also inspiring was his stories of his experiences. Kudos to his family who were ready to rough it out, with just a small luggage with minimum clothing.

As we started to drive to Tanot which was more than a 100 km distance away, out biker friend had problems with obtaining fuel on the way, hence they joined us in our car for the rest of the drive, after parking at the petrol pump. The petrol pump had hand pumping mechanism and they were waiting for fuel to arrive.

We drove to Tanot, where there was a temple managed by the Defense. We had darshan, and some food to eat. Later we drove to longewala, which had a history of the battle of Longewala.



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Tanot is a place located at a distance of 120 Km from Jaisalmer and it takes about 2 hours to reach the place. Tanot is named on goddess Tanot. No visit to Jaisalmer is complete without visiting the Tanot Mata Temple. You can find sand dunes all along the way from Jaisalmer to Tanot. We can also see the Canal on the way. One of the rare shrines in the country which is shared by a Pir Baba and a Hindu Goddess. This is the last point upto which civilians are allowed and further up is the border. The temple is also site of historical war and it is said that even though the surroundings were completely destroyed, the temple shrine remained unaffected. As feeling of public is attached with this temple a great care is taken to provide basic amenities to devotees visiting the temple.

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All tourists explored the captured tanker and one can actually go inside the tanker too.



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The place actually triggers one’s feeling of patriotism, with all of us in the group did shout out “Bharath Mata ki Jai”

Along the drive back the long roads with desert sand along the remote villages, made us understand the scarcity of resources with which people lived. The roads were long and felt like we were driving into the skies.

We also got to see some wild ass on the way and we were told it is a wild ass sanctuary.


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Awwww this kid definitely needs to be featured on National geographic cover photo.



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From here we proceeded to Longewala.




On the way back our dear friend picked up his bike filled fuel that had arrived by then and we drove back to our camps and retired in our sandy tents after a sumptuous traditional dinner of Rajasthani cuisine. Every evening at the camp we also had variety entertainment by the camp participants, singing and more.


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