Jaisalmer happens to be one of the most enchanting places in Rajasthan & India. When I planned my trip to Rajasthan with my dear friend Raghib, it was just an outing that I had on my mind, a week away from the normal life; however it turned out to be an experience that I will remember for a long time.
We covered Rajasthan as much as we could in a week’s time, travelling from Delhi to Jodhpur on a one way flight, and then catching a taxi to Jaisalmer spending a night and thereafter moving to Jodhpur, Udaipur, Ajmer and back.
It was a cool trip and we had a splendid time throughout the journey but what made Jaisalmer unique was the abundance of variety. If you are planning to explore Jaisalmer, then I’d like to explain what I mean by variety sharing my own experience.
What comes to your mind when you think of Rajasthan? Elephants, Camels, lots of tourists, Forts & Kings.
Well you are right, I thought the same. We did a little research about the place, checked the internet, spoke to my Rajasthani friend and made a list of things we wanted to do.
One can take an overnight train or bus from Delhi (17:30) to Jaisalmer (11:30). There are plenty of guest houses which can be booked without any deposit on 1 phone call alone. I personally like & recommend staying inside the Fort which is an experience of its kind; after all it’s not every day that we get to do this stuff.
Once there, your guest house owner takes the trouble of getting you in an auto himself “remember you have not paid till now”. Walking through the colourful, bustling narrow lanes, you will reach the resting place. Enjoy delicious, mouth watering European dishes if you like or order something Indian on top of the roof, feeling the breeze on your head. Foreigners playing guitar next to the fire is a common sight.
In the morning, a view outside the window gives you a reason to celebrate the decision of staying inside the fort.
Going out in the street means folk songs, dances, colours, music, shopping and how could I forget the traditional Pagri ‘bring it home as a souvenir if you like’. It is advisable to maintain distance from strangers offering to help or guide as this could be a tout trying to fleece some money.
The Sonar Fort which got its name, as a result of the sun’s rays falling on it and giving sand like colour is a big attraction.Right outside is a government licensed Bhang shop, which has caught the eye of some famous travellers and also got featured on TV. This person has a family business and prepares Lassi, shakes, biscuits & chocolates for fun
A taxi ride to the famous sand dunes (Sam & Khuri), camel ride, traditional greeting, snacks, dance, fire show and a Rajasthani meal with 20 dishes all come at a reasonable price of Rs1500 – Rs2000.
On the sand dunes one can see, a sea of camels crossing each other and stopping by the sunset point, beyond 40 KM is the Pakistan border
If you like what you see, there is an option to stay at the camp ‘of course there is an extra charge’ Otherwise the same taxi can drop you back to the hotel or the railway station.