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Old 11th January 2010, 18:49   #1
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Default Year end trip to Rajasthan: Delhi-Bikaner-Jaisalmer-Jodhpur-Delhi

Despite being a resident of Delhi for 20 years now, only once before have we been to Rajasthan, that too 11 years back and only to Jaipur and Pushkar.
We had to put the record straight at some point. So Rajasthan it was this time.

With my daughter's school having a Christmas/New Year break of 12 days, we decided to take a week off and go for a 8-10 day trip. For destination, initially we had a few other options in mind; eventually settled for the desert triangle: Bikaner-Jaisalmer-Jodhpur. After spending a bit of time on various threads in this forum, decided on the following route:

Delhi-Chandwaji-Chomu-Sikar-Bikaner-Pokhran-Jaisalmer-Pokhran-Dechoo-Jodhpur-Beawar-Nasirabad-Kishangarh-Delhi:
Year end trip to Rajasthan: Delhi-Bikaner-Jaisalmer-Jodhpur-Delhi-rajasthantripmmiroutemap.jpg

Dec 25 was a friday, so we were planning to leave on 25th early morning, coming back on Jan 2 or 3. But then my daughter wanted to have a Christmas party with her friends/cousins, so we had to be home on 25th. Also, since both my wife and I had to join back work on Jan 4, we decided to come back on Jan 2, so that we have a day to relax. Of course the trip itself was meant to be a relaxation, away from the daily city life. But this was going to be the longest driving trip for us till now, in all likelihood we would be quite tired at the end of it. So wanted to have that buffer at the end. Thus we start on Dec 26 and reach back on Jan 2.
First halt will be in Bikaner, for two nights. Jaisalmer, the next stop, three nights. And finally Jodhpur for two nights. It would be in Jodhpur that we bid goodbye to 2009 and welcome the New Year. Decided on the places to stay based again on information gathered from this forum,
and booked over phone/internet well in advance:
Bikaner: Hotel Basant Vihar Palace
Jaisalmer: Hotel Desert Moon
Jodhpur: Indrashan Guest House



For information on these, and many other aspects that helped us make a plan that eventually worked to a nicety, I would like to thank everyone who has put up their Rajasthan travelogue and other related info here; in particular I have to mention gd1418, tsk1979, anainar and Umar. Apart from providing all the necessary info, their posts and pictures made me want to go to these places.

Immediately after making all the bookings, took out the cd of the movie “Sonar Kella” and watched the whole movie. This is the movie that made all these places, in particular Jaisalmer, very popular among bengalis and I am told this movie also gave a big boost to tourism in these parts. I first watched this movie as a small kid, and I was surprised to find that even at this age, I enjoyed it just as much now. It also got me excited in anticipation - the vast stretches of empty land and fabulous roads, camel rides - I was looking forward to it more than ever before.

Here is the car that will take us through the trip – much maligned for its pricing, but believe me, it is a wonderful vehicle to be in with your family, be it on a short drive in the city or a longish one out on the highways:
Name:  jazz.jpg
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Finally, here are a few snapshots from our trip – one from each day:
Name:  preview2.jpg
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Size:  82.8 KB
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Old 11th January 2010, 21:33   #2
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The introduction and the snapshots are good. Looking forward for the complete travelogues with lot more pictures. Those from the south, the Rajasthan will be a difference experience.

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Old 11th January 2010, 21:47   #3
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Default Day 1

Day 1 (26/12/2009):

We planned to leave at 4 am, so that we can cross Jaipur while the traffic volume is low. Eventually when we start, it was 4:45. Not too bad, considering that fact that it was pretty cold that night. And we had a hectic day on the 25th.

We reach Jaipur bypass around 8:30. Took the road going into the city instead of taking the bypass, by mistake - not by design. So decide to top up fuel and ask for direction. If necessary, will turn back and take the bypass, I thought. Turned out it was not needed. Few hundred meters ahead, there was a small right turn that takes you to Chomu.

Just after taking the road towards Chomu from Chandwaji
Year end trip to Rajasthan: Delhi-Bikaner-Jaisalmer-Jodhpur-Delhi-20091226_085626_cimg2439.jpg
From this right turn till Chomu it is about 27 km. We could probably have taken the bypass and reached NH 11 directly, but wasn't sure whether there would be any exit there. Anyway, even though this road was somewhat narrow and the surface not so good, there were no big potholes; with the traffic volume low, it was quite ok.

After the turn, we were going parallel to the Jaipur bypass for the first few kilometers before crossing it and proceeding towards Chomu.
Year end trip to Rajasthan: Delhi-Bikaner-Jaisalmer-Jodhpur-Delhi-20091226_085924_cimg2448.jpg

Now we are on NH 11 - it is a single carriageway, but fantastic road surface and very little traffic.
Year end trip to Rajasthan: Delhi-Bikaner-Jaisalmer-Jodhpur-Delhi-20091226_105640_cimg2457.jpg

Contrary to common perception (at least the perception I had anyway), there are lots of greenery you can see every so often.
Year end trip to Rajasthan: Delhi-Bikaner-Jaisalmer-Jodhpur-Delhi-20091226_105656_cimg2458.jpg

Stopped for a quick break.
Year end trip to Rajasthan: Delhi-Bikaner-Jaisalmer-Jodhpur-Delhi-20091226_110534_cimg2460.jpg

Landscape is slowly changing.
Year end trip to Rajasthan: Delhi-Bikaner-Jaisalmer-Jodhpur-Delhi-20091226_113722_cimg2467.jpg

Wish roads in India were like this everywhere.
Year end trip to Rajasthan: Delhi-Bikaner-Jaisalmer-Jodhpur-Delhi-20091226_113728_cimg2468.jpg

(contd.)
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Old 12th January 2010, 08:58   #4
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Default Day 1 (Contd.)

Stopped at this place called "Anokhi Hut" for lunch. The place looked nice. They had a nice lawn...

Year end trip to Rajasthan: Delhi-Bikaner-Jaisalmer-Jodhpur-Delhi-20091226_121002_cimg2475.jpg

with a few swings and...

Year end trip to Rajasthan: Delhi-Bikaner-Jaisalmer-Jodhpur-Delhi-20091226_121030_cimg2476.jpg

nice sitting space in the open. Unfortunately the good part ends there. Food was terrible. Probably the worst soup I have ever had.

After a one hour break, we hit the road again.

Year end trip to Rajasthan: Delhi-Bikaner-Jaisalmer-Jodhpur-Delhi-20091226_130204_cimg2481.jpg

Deserted stretches on both sides. Suddenly in the middle of nowhere you will see a house.

Year end trip to Rajasthan: Delhi-Bikaner-Jaisalmer-Jodhpur-Delhi-20091226_130222_cimg2483.jpg

Look at the road. It just keeps getting better and better.

Year end trip to Rajasthan: Delhi-Bikaner-Jaisalmer-Jodhpur-Delhi-20091226_134126_cimg2487.jpg

We could comfortably cover 150 km in the next couple of hours to reach Bikaner around 3 pm. After entering the city, we had to ask around a bit to reach the Hotel. At some point, we ask an auto driver. He tells us how to reach our hotel. A little further ahead, we get a little confused. The auto driver again appears. Tells us, go straight at this junction, and take right from the next, and so on. As we proceed, we notice that he already had got one passenger, and they have to go in a different direction. He came a couple of hundred meters in the opposite direction because he sensed we are confused and wanted to make sure that we do not get it wrong. His directions turn out to be just about perfect. After experiencing/reading about horror stories of auto drivers in the big cities, this was just so refreshing.

We reach the hotel. Heard a lot of praise about this hotel in the travelogues in tbhp, and the initial impression is good. Clean with plenty of space, nice lawns and adequate parking space. And the front of the hotel is very nicely done up. The room we got was also very nice and spacious.

Year end trip to Rajasthan: Delhi-Bikaner-Jaisalmer-Jodhpur-Delhi-20091226_155544_cimg2489.jpg



Looking out from the window.

Year end trip to Rajasthan: Delhi-Bikaner-Jaisalmer-Jodhpur-Delhi-20091226_162028_cimg2493.jpg

We quickly freshened up and proceeded towards the Fort which was just five minutes' drive from the hotel. But it was almost time for the Fort to close for the day. We were hoping for some kind of light n' sound show, but to our disappointment, there was none. We come back to the hotel, leave the car there and take an auto to the old city area, near the train station. Till now, the impression that we got was Bikaner was a well spread out city with nice roads and not too much traffic. Which is probably true. But on this road it was just so crowded, with two wheelers, pedestrians, dust, smoke - just like an old Delhi road. We quickly took another auto back.


Back at the hotel, had dinner at the restaurant downstairs. Food was quite decent. I was carrying a reliance usb modem. After dinner, spent a little time on the net, checked email and stuff like that. The connection was not too good, just about manageable. Retired early as we had had a long day.

Here is a view of the Hotel from outside the main entrance.

Year end trip to Rajasthan: Delhi-Bikaner-Jaisalmer-Jodhpur-Delhi-20091226_192928_cimg2501.jpg
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Old 12th January 2010, 09:15   #5
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nice snaps and description. waiting to seee some more if you have.lots of greenary i saw. by the way what is the FE you got from your beauty
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Old 12th January 2010, 09:24   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shishir_bn View Post
nice snaps and description. waiting to seee some more if you have.lots of greenary i saw. by the way what is the FE you got from your beauty
Thanks.

Overall FE for the entire 1970 km was 17 plus. I will give a detailed breakup over various parts of the trip at the end.
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Old 12th January 2010, 10:03   #7
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AKP your Jazz looks very funky. I liked the deep blue color and especially against the Rajasthani background it all looks amazing. Keep the pics coming.
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Old 12th January 2010, 12:37   #8
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@AKP: Good begining to the travelogue and brings back the nostalgia. The places you visited are my favourites, except that I've to explore Bikaner at leisure.

Pictures are a teaser till now. Would appreciate if you could for the benefit of fellow TBHPians give the contact numbers of the Hotels you stayed in and the tariff.
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Old 12th January 2010, 13:02   #9
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Very nice stuff. Liked the triplog!!

Waiting for the rest ... You did it just right. I don't see you mentioning Deshnok anywhere though!!
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Old 12th January 2010, 17:15   #10
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@cLJ, @ambivalent_98 : Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gd1418 View Post
@AKP: Good begining to the travelogue and brings back the nostalgia. The places you visited are my favourites, except that I've to explore Bikaner at leisure.

Pictures are a teaser till now. Would appreciate if you could for the benefit of fellow TBHPians give the contact numbers of the Hotels you stayed in and the tariff.
Thanks gd1418. I really benefitted a lot from your threads. The places are wonderful, and each one has a distinctly different character.
I will put up all the hotel related info as i go along or towards the end.


Quote:
Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
Very nice stuff. Liked the triplog!!

Waiting for the rest ... You did it just right. I don't see you mentioning Deshnok anywhere though!!
Thanks.
You know what, I too am a phamilyman! Naturally I have to go by what my family decides in such matters. Somehow both my wife and daughter were averse to the idea of seeing so many rats from so close. So skipped it this time.
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Old 12th January 2010, 17:38   #11
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Hi AKP
Nice pictures there.
Probably a first travelogue on the Jazz on TBHP.
Kudos to your ride . Average of 17 for the entire trip is very decent IMO.
Waiting for more pics and journey details.
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Old 12th January 2010, 18:31   #12
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Default Day 2 (Dec 27, 2009)

We are not among the fastest off the blocks in the morning on holidays. But I don't mind it much. After all the main idea of a trip like this is to enjoy ourselves and not present a long list of seen this, done that to others. Also, not covering some of the must-see or must-do's give one an excuse to go back to that place again. Anyway, coming back to the point, we knew that we can not go to too many places. So set ourselves a very modest target: go to Junahgarh Fort after breakfast, and visit the camel breeding farm afterwards.

Came down for breakfast. This was buffet breakfast, included in the package. Usual stuff, bread/jam/butter, egg, juice/tea/coffee, fruits, I think there was something more which I do not remember. What I liked best was genorous supply of papayas. On the next morning, there were lot more options, with Dosa etc.

After breakfast, came out to the lawn to enjoy the morning sun. The weather was pleasant, not too cold. But there was a bit of wind, specially in the evenings.

Year end trip to Rajasthan: Delhi-Bikaner-Jaisalmer-Jodhpur-Delhi-20091227_093048_cimg2502.jpg

View of the hotel from the lawn.

Year end trip to Rajasthan: Delhi-Bikaner-Jaisalmer-Jodhpur-Delhi-20091227_093448_cimg2504.jpg

Other side of the hotel compound

Year end trip to Rajasthan: Delhi-Bikaner-Jaisalmer-Jodhpur-Delhi-20091227_100548_cimg2505.jpg

We drive to the Fort. Parking space is inside the Fort complex.
Ticket prices are minimal. I had forgotten the exact rates, but here they are.

Year end trip to Rajasthan: Delhi-Bikaner-Jaisalmer-Jodhpur-Delhi-20091227_103154_cimg2508.jpg

Here is a brief history, if you are interested.

Year end trip to Rajasthan: Delhi-Bikaner-Jaisalmer-Jodhpur-Delhi-20091227_103730_cimg2509.jpg

Tickets are checked and visitors allowed in near that gate ahead.

Year end trip to Rajasthan: Delhi-Bikaner-Jaisalmer-Jodhpur-Delhi-20091227_105014_cimg2512.jpg

Visitors are allowed inside in groups and a guide is provided free of cost, who takes them around. As a result, he is invariably surrounded by lots of people all the time, and you can either listen to him, or see various things, but can rarely do both. I think a much better option would be to take an audio guide which you can get for Rs 150/- per device.

Year end trip to Rajasthan: Delhi-Bikaner-Jaisalmer-Jodhpur-Delhi-20091227_105326_cimg2513.jpg

Next you go through some beautiful parts of the Fort.

Year end trip to Rajasthan: Delhi-Bikaner-Jaisalmer-Jodhpur-Delhi-20091227_110102_cimg2516.jpg

Year end trip to Rajasthan: Delhi-Bikaner-Jaisalmer-Jodhpur-Delhi-20091227_110222_cimg2518.jpg

Year end trip to Rajasthan: Delhi-Bikaner-Jaisalmer-Jodhpur-Delhi-20091227_110652_cimg2521.jpg

Year end trip to Rajasthan: Delhi-Bikaner-Jaisalmer-Jodhpur-Delhi-20091227_110828_cimg2522.jpg

Floor pattern.

Year end trip to Rajasthan: Delhi-Bikaner-Jaisalmer-Jodhpur-Delhi-20091227_110940_cimg2523.jpg


Will go up the stairs now.

Year end trip to Rajasthan: Delhi-Bikaner-Jaisalmer-Jodhpur-Delhi-20091227_111218_cimg2526.jpg

The adjacent garden from the top.

Year end trip to Rajasthan: Delhi-Bikaner-Jaisalmer-Jodhpur-Delhi-20091227_111500_cimg2527.jpg

Year end trip to Rajasthan: Delhi-Bikaner-Jaisalmer-Jodhpur-Delhi-20091227_111522_cimg2529.jpg

Look at these. Absolutely fabulous.

Year end trip to Rajasthan: Delhi-Bikaner-Jaisalmer-Jodhpur-Delhi-20091227_111638_cimg2531.jpg

Year end trip to Rajasthan: Delhi-Bikaner-Jaisalmer-Jodhpur-Delhi-20091227_111654_cimg2532.jpg

Year end trip to Rajasthan: Delhi-Bikaner-Jaisalmer-Jodhpur-Delhi-20091227_111752_cimg2533.jpg

Year end trip to Rajasthan: Delhi-Bikaner-Jaisalmer-Jodhpur-Delhi-20091227_112054_cimg2535.jpg
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Old 13th January 2010, 13:07   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akp View Post
Stopped at this place called "Anokhi Hut" for lunch. The place looked nice. They had a nice lawn...

Attachment 263148

with a few swings and...

Attachment 263149

nice sitting space in the open. Unfortunately the good part ends there. Food was terrible. Probably the worst soup I have ever had.

After a one hour break, we hit the road again.

Attachment 263150

Deserted stretches on both sides. Suddenly in the middle of nowhere you will see a house.

Attachment 263151

Look at the road. It just keeps getting better and better.

Attachment 263152

We could comfortably cover 150 km in the next couple of hours to reach Bikaner around 3 pm. After entering the city, we had to ask around a bit to reach the Hotel. At some point, we ask an auto driver. He tells us how to reach our hotel. A little further ahead, we get a little confused. The auto driver again appears. Tells us, go straight at this junction, and take right from the next, and so on. As we proceed, we notice that he already had got one passenger, and they have to go in a different direction. He came a couple of hundred meters in the opposite direction because he sensed we are confused and wanted to make sure that we do not get it wrong. His directions turn out to be just about perfect. After experiencing/reading about horror stories of auto drivers in the big cities, this was just so refreshing.

We reach the hotel. Heard a lot of praise about this hotel in the travelogues in tbhp, and the initial impression is good. Clean with plenty of space, nice lawns and adequate parking space. And the front of the hotel is very nicely done up. The room we got was also very nice and spacious.

Attachment 263153



Looking out from the window.

Attachment 263154

We quickly freshened up and proceeded towards the Fort which was just five minutes' drive from the hotel. But it was almost time for the Fort to close for the day. We were hoping for some kind of light n' sound show, but to our disappointment, there was none. We come back to the hotel, leave the car there and take an auto to the old city area, near the train station. Till now, the impression that we got was Bikaner was a well spread out city with nice roads and not too much traffic. Which is probably true. But on this road it was just so crowded, with two wheelers, pedestrians, dust, smoke - just like an old Delhi road. We quickly took another auto back.


Back at the hotel, had dinner at the restaurant downstairs. Food was quite decent. I was carrying a reliance usb modem. After dinner, spent a little time on the net, checked email and stuff like that. The connection was not too good, just about manageable. Retired early as we had had a long day.

Here is a view of the Hotel from outside the main entrance.

Attachment 263155


Which hotel was this?
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Old 13th January 2010, 13:43   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderluster View Post
Which hotel was this?
Mentioned in the first post - it's Hotel Basant Vihar Palace.
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Old 13th January 2010, 18:30   #15
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Default Day 2 (Contd.)

Meanwhile my daughter is getting a little impatient and is rushing through the different sections now ...

Year end trip to Rajasthan: Delhi-Bikaner-Jaisalmer-Jodhpur-Delhi-20091227_112246_cimg2536.jpg

and she wants us to do the same.

Year end trip to Rajasthan: Delhi-Bikaner-Jaisalmer-Jodhpur-Delhi-20091227_112616_cimg2537.jpg


But in a place like this, it is difficult to be done with quickly. We arrive at yet another beautiful part of the Fort.

Year end trip to Rajasthan: Delhi-Bikaner-Jaisalmer-Jodhpur-Delhi-20091227_113104_cimg2538.jpg

Intricate carvings on the walls.

Year end trip to Rajasthan: Delhi-Bikaner-Jaisalmer-Jodhpur-Delhi-20091227_114022_cimg2543.jpg

People appreciating it . . .

Year end trip to Rajasthan: Delhi-Bikaner-Jaisalmer-Jodhpur-Delhi-20091227_114154_cimg2546.jpg

and taking pictures.

Year end trip to Rajasthan: Delhi-Bikaner-Jaisalmer-Jodhpur-Delhi-20091227_114306_cimg2547.jpg



This was a WW2 fighter plane, De Havilland DH 9, gifted to the royal family in the 1930's. This was later restored and exhibited here.

Year end trip to Rajasthan: Delhi-Bikaner-Jaisalmer-Jodhpur-Delhi-20091227_115212_cimg2550.jpg

At last, bowing to our daughter's wishes, we come out.

Year end trip to Rajasthan: Delhi-Bikaner-Jaisalmer-Jodhpur-Delhi-20091227_115942_cimg2551.jpg


Next we go to the "prachina museum" adjacent to the Fort. It was somewhat disappointing, with not much text to tell you about various objects exhibited. By the time we were done, we were a bit hungry. Sat down at this cafe near the museum (Prachina cafe) for a quick lunch. Utensils were not very clean, and food was cheap and average, but the garden was a great place to sit in winter.

Year end trip to Rajasthan: Delhi-Bikaner-Jaisalmer-Jodhpur-Delhi-20091227_123240_cimg2555.jpg


It faces the Fort, so you get a view of one side of it.

Year end trip to Rajasthan: Delhi-Bikaner-Jaisalmer-Jodhpur-Delhi-20091227_131924_cimg2568.jpg

Lunch over, now time to go to other places. The parking space was here.

Year end trip to Rajasthan: Delhi-Bikaner-Jaisalmer-Jodhpur-Delhi-20091227_132026_cimg2570.jpg

The Bikaner Fort has never been conquered by enemies in its entire history - possibly the reason so many parts of the Fort are still intact in all their glory. Still, as you can make out from this parking lot, it does not attract tourists, as much as some of the Forts and Palaces at other places do.


We get into the car and after asking around a bit, reach the Camel breeding farm, which is about 10 km from the Fort. You have to buy tickets, but they are quite cheap. You can also buy a small booklet on camels for Rs. 10/-. It was quite warm out in the sun. We saw some camels lazily while away their time.

Year end trip to Rajasthan: Delhi-Bikaner-Jaisalmer-Jodhpur-Delhi-20091227_142924_cimg2572.jpg

Year end trip to Rajasthan: Delhi-Bikaner-Jaisalmer-Jodhpur-Delhi-20091227_143656_cimg2579.jpg

This is the female ward – all these are female camels, smaller and possibly weaker than the male counterparts.

Year end trip to Rajasthan: Delhi-Bikaner-Jaisalmer-Jodhpur-Delhi-20091227_143248_cimg2577.jpg


Somehow we did not like the place much. They have not tried to make the place interesting for the visitors. Probably what also contributed to our not liking it was that the Museum was closed that day. So we just ended up seeing one bunch of camels standing at one place and another bunch sitting at another. Of course there was a 2/3 minute camel ride available, but you do not come to a place like this for a camel ride, you come here to know and see something interesting, which did not happen for us.

This was the most interesting part for me there.

Year end trip to Rajasthan: Delhi-Bikaner-Jaisalmer-Jodhpur-Delhi-20091227_144922_cimg2581.jpg

After this, we come back. There was a fair going on at a ground - my daughter was very keen to go there and enjoy the rides. So we had to cancel other possible plans. We came back to the hotel, rested a little, just waiting for the sun to lose its strength somewhat and went to this fair ground.

Year end trip to Rajasthan: Delhi-Bikaner-Jaisalmer-Jodhpur-Delhi-20091227_170714_cimg2585.jpg

Year end trip to Rajasthan: Delhi-Bikaner-Jaisalmer-Jodhpur-Delhi-20091227_173426_cimg2588.jpg

We also did some shopping there. Some small durries/carpets, thinking they were local products. After buying, came to know those guys had come from some place in UP and they have some godown in South Delhi somewhere near the place we stay!

After dinner, we sat in the lawn for a while. With all the illumination, the hotel looks lovely at night.

Year end trip to Rajasthan: Delhi-Bikaner-Jaisalmer-Jodhpur-Delhi-20091227_221540_cimg2593.jpg

Last edited by akp : 13th January 2010 at 18:36. Reason: spelling corrected
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