Jaisalmer – 11 October 2016
Leelan Express – Indian Railway – Jaipur to Jaisalmer:
When we started by Leelan Express from Jaipur towards Jaisalmer, we could see it was barren land all over and no green. We started to feel the real dessert! We were wondering about a lengthy water source all around suddenly after certain distance! Then, we came to know that, its – The Sambhar Salt Lake, India’s largest inland salt lake, a bowl shape lake. Its 96 km south west of the city of Jaipur and 64 km north east of Ajmer along National Highway 8 in Rajasthan!
Dinner at Leelan Express – Jaipur to Jaisalmer – The unknown scene behind dinner ordered:
We ordered for food for dinner as we knew we will reach Jaisalmer only in the next morning! The coach attendant said they arrange food only for those who need and order. And food arrived at around 9pm near Nagaur. It was kind of full-meals with multiple sabzis and rotis. We and one of our co-passengers (a foreigner) had our dinner and were almost getting ready to sleep. The attendant said its 200 INR per meal. We paid and tried to sleep. I could not sleep properly, neither Prasad!
From Nagaur, we felt train speeded up and when we reached Bikaner, due to its noise and speed (as train was almost empty hence a lot of sound with bumpy ride) we were sleepless. During that time, we could hear the conversation between, train in charge Railway police (RPF) and these attendants that, they get these meals for around 50 INR and utilize not having pantry and make some money in the name of helping passengers!
Today, when we read about Vasundhara Raje’s Annapoorna Rasoi project, we remembered this incident suddenly and recalled, in Rajasthan, it’s not tough to get food at cheaper rate. This is how people like these attendants defame Indian Tourism!
Hotel Radhika :
When we reached Jaislamer at 5 am in the morning, as usual the taxis and hotel agents surrounded us saying they are offering the cheapest offer, including safari at Sam! We ignored all of them and came out of Railway station. Then, there was a jeep driver who told us he will drop us at 20 INR to the Hotel. He started chatting with us as if he is the only person offering cheapest ride to Sam. We now came to know his intension and said we would call him if required and we really do not have any plans as of now. Standing in-front of Hotel Radhika, we started to ring the bell for the door to be opened! Finally, after connecting with Oyo rooms’ customer care, we could enter in!!!
That morning, we had our breakfast there at the hotel and I felt irritated with the taste of tea! Then, Prasad told me its Camel’s milk! Ah! It was a different taste and I had no other choice at dessert!
Jaisalmer Fort and Patwon-Ki-Haweli:
Then, we started to roam around and entered Jaislamer Fort – It’s a living fort! 3000+ people still live inside the Fort there. We met a guide and had no choice other than accepting his offer. He started guessing and immediately made out that we are from Bangalore and like others; he too is under the impression that these 2 IT kids make lot of money and from Bangalore! Huh! Ignore as usual. Marvelous fort with mixture of Hindu and Jain culture. Really great spiritual and cultural heritage of Rajasthan and India! That is on the sandy expanse of the great Thar Desert, on Trikuta Hill.
Then, we headed towards nearby Patwon-Ki-Haweli – massive five-storied construction has five intricately decorated huge suites. The guide explained us about the beauty and historical importance of it and I was flattered by its beauty! Meanwhile, at one of the shops near the fort, we bought two habur stone items – kind of vessels. They say, it has lots of Scientific importance and available from Habur village and the blah blah stories. Since Prasad is an artist and he loved it, I ignored the rest and agreed to buy it. It’s really beautiful
We had our lunch at Jaisal Italy, where we had Jaisalmer Thali, which included the very tasty Kair Sangri curry which both o us loved so much. It was really delicious. It’s a memorable lunch and the view of Jaisalmer fort and the haweli is really beautiful.
We returned to Hotel Radhika by an auto of an old man. When we reached, there were few others waiting for an auto and just because this fellow was an old man, they opted for another young auto-driver who actually offered them the hire at a higher rate. We could hear the old man murmur himself, “pata nahi kya zamana aa gaya; aap bhale eemandar ho agar bhudde ho to uski koi izzat ya kaam nahi hai. Aaj kal ke bacche ko lagta hai ki sirf apna generation unki madad karega.” 🙂
Sam Sand Dunes:
We enjoyed the SAM sand dunes, camel safari and the usual SAM viialge folk songs, music and dance, with an authentic Jaisalmer / Rajasathan delicious dishes. We had a real good conversation of life style, culture, politics, border and army relationship with the local taxi driver during our visit to Sam.
12 October 2016 – Gadisar Lake:
The next morning, we went to Gadisar Lake, This is a rain water conservation lake built by Maharawal Gadsi. There are many small temples and beautiful nature around.
We left Jaisalmer to proceed towards Jodhpur with lots of beautiful memories of the yellow city. To enjoy the local life style beauty, we decided to travel by local bus.
To be continued…