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Old 4th March 2010, 17:21   #16
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Oh boy! Doesn't this thread bring back some good memories. Hey, I sat on a Michael Jackson in Sam too (many named that) and I recall one named as Sean Connery (!!!). These names are given so as to make foreigners relate to the camels. Hope you enjoyed the ride. Did you see a traditional dhani?
A dust storm from inside a four wheeler is a lifetime experience indeed with sand flowing like water on the road.
At Trio's, I remember how we guys all turned to look at a just arrived very pretty European girl in sleeveless along with two others and as they walked past us from 2 feet, boy did they stink of sweat. Haha.
Bring it on nix!

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Old 4th March 2010, 17:49   #17
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Nice log nix1976in. Jaisalmer is pending in our radar too. Last october we were at Bikaner but could not make to Jaisalmer.
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Old 4th March 2010, 19:25   #18
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Default Desert Sunrise, Tanot and Longwala - 12 kms from the border

Day 4

In the morning, we woke early and realised that it was a while before sunrise..so we called for camels (actually my wife did and I had no choice but to tag along) and went out to the dunes... This time if was separate camels, Hrithik for my wife and John for me

It was beautiful...calm and cool...total contrast from the day before.

An amazing sunrise awaited us...the sun, a faint shade of yellow rising over the dunes. It was amazing but again no camera!!

We went out further along the desert national park border to even bigger dunes and even saw some wild deer grazing around and an endless shimmering sea of sand.

Coming back to the tent we had breakfast and went back to Jaisalmer. Checked back into Nachana and took a long long bath to clean up all the sand and grime and then decided to drive to Tanot to visit the Tanot Ray mata temple (this temple is very famous since during the 65 and 71 war, more than 250 shells were fired by the pakistanis right over this place but the temple survived without a scratch).

Queens bed at Ranjit Vilas Suite
Royal Rajasthan - A 4200km road trip through Rajasthan-ranjit-vilas.jpg


The drive is amazing, desolate countryside, grey dried out tumbleweed and huge dunes with not a single vehice along the way. Clicked pics with my wifey's Nokia 5800 which did a pretty decent job.

Royal Rajasthan - A 4200km road trip through Rajasthan-road-tanot.jpg

Royal Rajasthan - A 4200km road trip through Rajasthan-road-tanot-1.jpg

Tanot is around 120 kms from Jaisalmer...the route is jaisalmer- Ramgarh - Tanot and border is around 12 kms from this place but no permission to visit it!!. The original temple is a small shrine but the BSF that maintain the place have built a bigger temple next to it.

Royal Rajasthan - A 4200km road trip through Rajasthan-tanot-ray-mandir.jpg

The road leads to pakistan...12 kms to the LOC
Royal Rajasthan - A 4200km road trip through Rajasthan-12-kms-border.jpg

Had some snacks at the army canteen there. Moving out we realised that Longewala (the battle field for the 71 war) is just 38 kms away and so we decided to visit it too. The landscape could pass off for the moon, absolutely no traffic except for a solitary military truck and huge sand dunes and greyed out vegetation

Royal Rajasthan - A 4200km road trip through Rajasthan-road-longewala.jpg

Royal Rajasthan - A 4200km road trip through Rajasthan-road-longewala-1.jpg

We reached Longewala in quick time. Its essentially a military outpost, there is a single pakistani tank and a recovery vehicle still preserved exactly at the spot where they were shot down.

Royal Rajasthan - A 4200km road trip through Rajasthan-pk-recovery-vehicle.jpg

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Tank engine
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India's old border pillar (BP638) too is decorated along with names of the 1971 martyrs (The military guys posted there told us that India's border was here before 1971 but then India pushed it back into pak territory by 12-15 kms after our victory).

Royal Rajasthan - A 4200km road trip through Rajasthan-bp-638.jpg

There is a well supposedly poisoned by pakistanis to pollute the water table there called Zaheerla Kua. All very poignant and one feels quite patriotic, here too the border is very close but the military guys told me that my Xylo wont make it through the slush and soft sand and they couldnt permit me to take a chance, bad luck!!

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Well..we drove back to jailsamer and visted Bada bagh (royal cenotaphs. Essentially the royal cemetry dating back to the 15th century) on the way back. The guide was very interesting and told us a lot of tidbits about the kings and their whims.

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After watching the sunset, we came back to the hotel, freshened up and went back to Trio for the last meal in jaisalmer. desiced to have a vegigie meal for a change...had besan ke gatte and rotis, very tangy and filling...washed it down with a couple of beers and crashed out for the night!!
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Old 5th March 2010, 11:42   #19
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What a road! Does it abruptly end at the border, or does the road go further into Pakistan?
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Old 5th March 2010, 13:07   #20
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@smartcat : The road ends adruptly enough...there is indian bunker facing a pakistani bunker 300 meters across a double fenced barrier.
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Old 8th March 2010, 22:51   #21
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Default Day 5 : Jodhpur....

Woke up around 6ish and moved out for Jodhpur at around 6.45am. It is an amazing drive, no traffic, straight roads and real high speeds. We covered the 285 kms in just over 3hrs and reached Jodhpur by 10 am. we went to the camera repairman directly and agreed to whatever he quoted and asked him to just get at least one camera in order. He decided to go for the Sony.

So with some hope, we checked into Ratan Vilas (its a heritage haveli of a prime minister of the maharana). After a quick shower and dumping our bags in the room, we moved to Mehrangarh, the direct road is shut for quite a few days since repair work is on near some bridge, so we had to travel quite some distance to get to the fort through the mandore area.

***All pics taken with a Nokia 5800 cell phone...aplogies for the quality.

Suite at the Ratan Vilas
Royal Rajasthan - A 4200km road trip through Rajasthan-ratan-vilas-suite.jpg

It is an imposing fort with a huge facade annd high walls. The 'must see' are the city views and the armoury, it has some unbelieavbly huge swords and guns. Bazooka's, elephant mounted portable canons and like...pretty amazing.

View from Mehrangarh
Royal Rajasthan - A 4200km road trip through Rajasthan-view-mehrangarh.jpg

Mehrangarh Palace Facade
Royal Rajasthan - A 4200km road trip through Rajasthan-mehrangarh-palace-facade.jpg

Royal Rajasthan - A 4200km road trip through Rajasthan-mehrangarh.jpg

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Royal Rajasthan - A 4200km road trip through Rajasthan-blue-city.jpg

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Part of the exhibit...now this has to be the best job ib the world!!
Royal Rajasthan - A 4200km road trip through Rajasthan-best-job-world.jpg

Then we went to Jaswant Thada...its similar to Bada bagh in Jaisalmer in the sense that its the royal cemetry dating back to the 12th century. Has some real nice marble cenotaphs.

Royal Rajasthan - A 4200km road trip through Rajasthan-jaswant-thada.jpg

Royal Rajasthan - A 4200km road trip through Rajasthan-jaswant-thada-1.jpg

We also wanted to check out the Umaid Bhawan palace but the guides at the fort told us that it closes by 5 and since the roads were closed it wouldnt be possible to make it by that time. So we abandoned those plans and went to check on the camera guy, he said he would get it done by 8...so in high spirits I decided to take wifey shopping for some antiques along the circuit house road...came back with a lighter wallet.

Met up with a realtive and she took us to have a makhiniya lassi at a sardar's shop near the station road (said it was better than mishrilal), also had mirchi vada, Pyaz pakoda, mawa kachor iat Janta sweets. It is unique stuff, picked up the cam on the way back. It was as good as new and I as thankful that the misadventure cost us just a couple of K's.

Came back to ratan vilas, had a nice long bath, we were still stuffed from the lassi and the pakoras, so had a soup each and decided to call it a day!!

Looking forward to click much better pics in Bikaner tomorrow!!
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Old 9th March 2010, 06:10   #22
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Man your are on a real royal trip ! Those places are really worth it. Bikaner brings me back lots of memories, esp. Karnimata mandir and the desert drive ! Waiting for that leg.

Last edited by ampere : 9th March 2010 at 06:30.
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Old 9th March 2010, 12:05   #23
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Hmm....where is the elusive description (oxymoron) of bhang pakaoras etc? Lovely write up and very enjoyable.
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Old 10th March 2010, 21:45   #24
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Default Day 6 : Rats and Palaces!

Left from Jodhpur at around 6:45, got on to the highway for Nagaur and it was a smooth drive till I bumped into a closed level crossing. The bikaner-bandra express seemed to be late and we were stuck for over 45 mins, vehicles of all sizes piled up on both sides and I was apprehensive of a huge traffic jam there but amazingly as soon as the crossing opened, we moved out smoothly and there was no delay.

Royal Rajasthan - A 4200km road trip through Rajasthan-desert-rail.jpg

After nagaur its a complete desert landscape and we sighted quite a few deer and peacocks near the edges of the highway.

Royal Rajasthan - A 4200km road trip through Rajasthan-desert-roads.jpg

Royal Rajasthan - A 4200km road trip through Rajasthan-deer-highway.jpg

Royal Rajasthan - A 4200km road trip through Rajasthan-deer-1.jpg

Reached Deshnokhe, site of the famous Karni Mata mandir, also known as the rat temple. Was quite nervous since I had seen it before on tv..but once you get over the initial fear of seeing a hundred rats crawling all over its quite a unique experience to see rats being revered...the rats are all over, in the milk, in the prasad, in the main temple area, outside near the periphery....everywhere...and the priests tell you to be very careful...if you step on one and kill or miam it...a golden rat has to be donated to the temple to atone the sin!!...

Royal Rajasthan - A 4200km road trip through Rajasthan-karni-mata-temple.jpg

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From Deshnokhe, its a quick 30 kms to Bikaner. We checked into Bhairon Vilas, which is just next to Junagarh fort. This too is 150 year old haveli with amazing antiques lyting around...even some regal dresses hun out in the rooms!

we had lunch at Gallops opposite the fort, a nice chilled beer and spicy Bikaneri Murgh, a local speciality. Then we walked to the fort which provides a free guide every half hour and we were just in time to join a group. The fort is humoungous, has an amazing collection of antique stuff, a real WW2 biplane and well preserved royal rooms.

Royal Rajasthan - A 4200km road trip through Rajasthan-junagarh-fort.jpg

Royal Rajasthan - A 4200km road trip through Rajasthan-junagrah-fort-kings-palace.jpg

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We came back to the hotel, fresehened up and the took a rickshaw to the old city, went to Bhikaram Chandmal, bought a lot of sweetmeats like ghewar, imarti, bhujiya, dalmoth, petha and had some rasmalai and other bengali sweets there. Also tasted their kachoris and samosas, nothing unique. Went to moolsa foolsa for a sweet pan, which we got packed and decided to have after dinner. There is a shop called Golcha Stores just in front of the pan shop, we purchased a lot of suparis and mukhwas from that place, very good service and friendly people. We took a rick back to the hotel to find a group of foreign tourists, there was a special program organised for them and we too were asked to be a part of it, there was some good folk music with traditional rajasthani dancers and lots and dancing...it was quite a lot of fun...though I cant dance even to save my life...wifey did some late night shopping at the inhouse antique shop...wallet's now featherlight!!

Royal Rajasthan - A 4200km road trip through Rajasthan-trad-dance.jpg

Retired for the night with some tired and aching legs...tomorrow we are off to Roopangarh near Ajmer...

Bonus Pic!!
Ratan Vilas at Jodhpur

Royal Rajasthan - A 4200km road trip through Rajasthan-ratan-vilas.jpg
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Last edited by aah78 : 10th March 2010 at 22:04. Reason: Title edited on request.
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Old 10th March 2010, 22:35   #25
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It seems Rajastan is becoming flavour of the season.
i find lots of people visiting Rajasthan.


Looks like this would be another great travelogue
good naration, great snaps, fantastic destinations.

subscribing to this thread so that i have some more reference for planning my trip. Other day wifey was asking when are we going to Rajasthan.
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Old 11th March 2010, 10:45   #26
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Thanks guys. Pardon me for missing out on captioning some of the pictures. Is there some way to edit past posts?
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Old 12th March 2010, 14:09   #27
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@ Sudev, Well...we did have the bhang cookies on Holi...Dont think I will jot the after effects down here...suffice to say its worth a try once in a lifetime!!
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Old 12th March 2010, 14:33   #28
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Very nice travelogue. Rajasthan is wonderful in these pics. Especially those palaces.
Hope make it one day soon
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Old 13th March 2010, 07:18   #29
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I loved your travelogue. Nice pictures as well. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 13th March 2010, 09:37   #30
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Karni mata mandir snaps are very nice. I remember getting a thrill when all kinds of rats ran over my foot in my childhood! Did you try it?
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