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Old 2nd February 2010, 20:32   #46
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Default Day 5 Cont - Mc'D & Karni Devi Temple

By now it was 12:30 and we were absolutely famished. We went to Mac & HAD THE FULL MENU on display there !!! Literally !

And we were on the way to Bikaner. The road was wonderful and smooth. Kaushik drove all the way, whereas Varun & Mihir slept most of the way.

On way to Bikaner, we visited the Karni Devi Temple – the mouse temple. This temple has thousands of mice inside it. They run freely around all over the temple, running over the feet of tourists. They do not bite, though i would still ask you to look before you make the next step ! The mice are present even inside the shrine & even eat the prasad !! This is one of a kind temple in India and has to be seen to be believed.

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Old 3rd February 2010, 11:05   #47
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Default Food @ Bikaner

We had our dinner at a place called Chotu Motu Joshi. I would like to specially recommend that place since the food available there gives a true picture of what rajasthani food tastes like. A must visit, i luv that food. Few other good places to eat in Bikaner are - Mumal, Basant etc.
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Old 3rd February 2010, 17:15   #48
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WOW. Umed Bhavan looks amazing! Rajasthan is always a different world, kind of place. Great show.
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Old 3rd February 2010, 17:25   #49
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Originally Posted by KSM-Vtec View Post
We had our dinner at a place called Chotu Motu Joshi. I would like to specially recommend that place since the food available there gives a true picture of what rajasthani food tastes like. A must visit, i luv that food.
Ok. Chotu Motu Joshi noted for our visit which may happen in coming October. BTW, nice palace pics. Waiting for more.

Last edited by LongDrive lover : 3rd February 2010 at 17:27.
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Old 3rd February 2010, 19:18   #50
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Default Day – 6 – Bikaner Fort

Date – 17th Dec 2009

o Start Point – Bikaner, Start Time – 13:00 a.m.
o End Point – Jaisalmer, End Time – 5:00 p.m.
o Distance - Travelled – 320Kms

This morning we woke up late and decided not to spend too much time at the fort. I ve realised, again, that all forts are the same leading me to make the conclusion that the architects and interior decorators for all these forts were the same ! The same high, gold plated ceilings, the same durbars, the same windows, same walls. Also, the weapons suppliers must ve been the same for all kings of those times !

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Old 3rd February 2010, 19:19   #51
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Default Day – 6 – Bikaner Fort

Anyways, Bikaner fort was finished quickly and we left for Jaisalmer deciding to have lunch on the way. The road was “makhan” and the land on both sides was barren, absolutely barren. Barring some greenery and shrubs for a few metres inside on both sides, it was pretty much dry. Absolutely no traffic and smooth roads meant that we were travelling at over 120 kmph for most of the distance. We covered the 320 km distance in 4 hours inclusive of a lunch break and photo stops.

Last edited by KSM-Vtec : 3rd February 2010 at 19:24.
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Old 3rd February 2010, 19:28   #52
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Default Day – 6 – Bikaner Fort

Some more pics of the fort...

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Old 3rd February 2010, 19:47   #53
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Default Day – 6 – The Camel Race

And, then began the chaos. A biker came next to us at 120 kmph from nowhere and offered us “the most reasonable rates and best service” for our night stay, camel ride and desert safari. We stopped at his hotel and he quoted 5250 for 3 people for a bouquet of things – dinner, camel ride, gypsy desert safari, breakfast. We decided to look further and then decide. As we moved towards Sam, a horde of such bikers kept coming to our car and bargained through open windows. A host of rates were discussed, debated as we tried speeding further, but they kept on coming like a swarm of flies ! We managed to get rates of 2500 before we got a smooth straight road and managed to lose the bikers. Finally we booked a package for 2100 !!

Then came our camel ride into the desert for seeing the sunset ! We took 2 camels for the 3 of us and Mihir’s bad experiences with this species continued. The camel that varun & he were on was a “trainee” camel and sat and got up with jerks that could throw down any normal rider, but after Mihir’s “hanging on for life” practice at the camel farm at Bikaner, he was a tough nut to crack – he hung on yet again and was still atop the camel when it was up !

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We reached the sunset point, which was quite crowded. Apparently a lot of tourists visit here even in off season. This was the first time that kaushik & varun had seen sand dunes and sam offered them the perfect opportunity. Beautiful smooth sand dunes. The sunset was beautiful and offered us the opportunity to click amazing snaps !

Here Mihir & varun decided to have a camel race (of course with their handlers sitting behind us). The real effects of this on our groins will only surface tomorrow ! Here, again Mihir got the trainee camel who, when he got onto it, tried to bite my head off ! Like the camel at the breeding farm ! No clue how Mihir has ended up on their “favourite foods” list ! The race began with our handlers speeding the camels. Mihir was literally bouncing clear 6 inches up in the air and landing back on the camel back. he was scared **** of falling, especially as his camel saddle didn't have a grip on it to hold on to ! Thankfully, the camel didn't go faster. The same was the case with Varun, though he got a better / trained camel and a better saddle. After this exciting “race”, it was time for us to return. And yes, mihir was again on the trainee !


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The night at the camp was made lively by some rajasthani folk performances – singing, dancing, and playing music instruments. They made the spectators also dance in the end. Fun ! Dinner was typical Rajasthani and quite good.


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The night ended with the 3 of us sitting around a bonfire, heating our feet, drink in our hand, without a care in the world.

Dil chahta hai;

Kabhi na beetein chamkilein din !

Dil chahta hai;

hum na rahein kabhi yaaron ke bin !
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Old 4th February 2010, 11:42   #54
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Ok. Chotu Motu Joshi noted for our visit which may happen in coming October. BTW, nice palace pics. Waiting for more.
Mouth watering food i must say

Thanx a lot!!! Have posted till Jaisalmer 1st night....the BEST PART is coming up next
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Old 6th February 2010, 20:45   #55
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Default Day – 7 – The Brightest Red

Date – 18th Dec 2009

o Start Point – Sam-Jaisalmer, 13:00
o End Point – Jaisalmer Town, 16:00 p.m.
o Distance Travelled – 50 km

Our day began early with all of us waking up at 5am. We had planned to wake up at about 4, but could not. We had planned to go on a “Royal Desert Safari” which comprised a trip into the Ganga dunes (awesome, huge, unending sand dunes) for the sun rise, a visit to a rajasthani desert village, seeing some random man made wells and a short trip inside the desert national park.

We reached the dunes when it was still pitch dark – and then began the wait for the sun to rise. It was windy, chilly cold. We had worn shoes & woollens to protect us from this, but our fingers were unprotected and felt the chill to the maximum. But this not deter us from clicking photographs pretty much continuously !

The dunes – these are in a direction opposite to the Sam Sand Dunes and are less visited by tourists. Huge mounds of soft, dry, thin sand stretching horizontally for as far as the eye can see. The sand is so soft that climbing on a dune is tough– your leg sinks right in. You need to use your hands to sort of pull yourself up ! And climbing down the dunes is an absolute pleasure ! No matter how steep they are and what tangent they make, there is no way that one can topple or fall, coz as you descend, half your foot sinks into the dune ! but yes, it’s definitely better to slide down the dune on your *** ! We had a gala time on the dunes – climbing, descending and sliding down the tallest of the dunes on view !

Meanwhile, our guides had set up a bonfire of dry shrubs. All of us sat around it and thawed our frozen fingers ! Thank God we woke up at 5 and not 4, else the wait in this cold would ve been an hour long !!!



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Old 6th February 2010, 21:05   #56
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Default Day – 7 – The Brightest Red

The locals here prefer the cold to the heat, as they say that the heat is absolutely unbearable. Temperatures reach 50 degrees Celsius and the conditions are not at all habitable ! So, in a span of 4 months Kaushik & Mihir had seen places where temperatures ranged from -40 to +50 !!!

Anyways, the sun announced its arrival as the sky cleared and shades of red, orange n yellow were seen on the horizon. And soon, it peeped out. Varun shouted in pleasure, “ that’s the brightest red sun that I ve ever seen.” And he was right. It was a huge ball of red lava that we saw – perfect round and very very huge ! Slowly it made its way up the eastern sky and we went on a clicking spree. It was beautiful. After a while, we stopped clicking and just stood there, taking the sight in, preserving it in our memories for posterity. And, with our new camera – what we saw will be pretty much what we captured.

After the sun rise, we went on to the village, where the living conditions were the bare minimum required to sustain. It was a sad state of affairs. The land of rajasthan is absolutely barren and supports no kind of vegetation apart from cacti & small shrubs. Thus, the inhabitants here can’t grow stuff to eat. Their source of livelihood is from the sheep they rear – selling its mils, wool & finally meat. The kids here have no school to go to and thus are devoid of a comfortable life & education by reason of their birth into this society !

Moving on, we went further into the desert – saw wells with sweet water, ate wild berries and witnessed the dryness of the area further. The national park visit was a sham – there is quite nothing to see there !

On our way back, we driver took us back to the dunes, here we got the car to do some “sand duning / off roading” and clicked further snaps of the now golden sand !

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Old 6th February 2010, 21:18   #57
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Default Day – 7 – The Brightest Red

And thus, the visit to the dunes was over. Post lunch we moved on to Jaisalmer City, took a room and rested / slept.....

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Old 6th February 2010, 21:54   #58
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So, in a span of 4 months Kaushik & Mihir had seen places where temperatures ranged from -40 to +50 !!!
From the high-altitude cold deserts of Khardung la and the More Plains to the superhot Thar Desert - well said, Kaushik! Reminds me of my own 2004 drive to Ladakh and return via Jaisalmer. In the morning, I was shivering in the cold of Dras and the evening I was listening to gurban in the GOlden Temple at Amritsar, and the next day, marvelling at the havelis of Jaisalmer.
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Old 8th February 2010, 11:42   #59
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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
From the high-altitude cold deserts of Khardung la and the More Plains to the superhot Thar Desert - well said, Kaushik! Reminds me of my own 2004 drive to Ladakh and return via Jaisalmer. In the morning, I was shivering in the cold of Dras and the evening I was listening to gurban in the GOlden Temple at Amritsar, and the next day, marvelling at the havelis of Jaisalmer.
Wow!! thats a quick one for mortals...but ya HVK thats the basic expectation from superhumans like you..
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Old 8th February 2010, 15:19   #60
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One thing that struck me when I saw the sun rise photos. Desert photos can be tricky with exposure. But dude, where's your tripod?
Great adventure you people had there! keep it rolling.
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