I visited Jaisalmer for the first time when I was in 9th std. My parents, brother, sister and I travelled to Jaisalmer, Bikaner and Jodhpur. I remember loving the desert and wondering why it isn’t as popular as mountains or seas. For the last 2 years, I have been trying to make this trip but the 17 hrs train journey seemed daunting. But then I remembered my 33 hrs train journey from Chennai to A’bad alone 9 yrs back and how I didn’t find it unpleasant at all. I booked the tickets 2 months back for 1st Oct but the tickets were waitlisted. So I booked for 2nd Oct as Plan B incase the former didn’t get confirmed. We decided to stay 1 night in the city and a 2nd night in the desert.
Jaisalmer is still a small town with little development. This is strange because the Rajasthan Government has done a great job with tourism in the state. We spent the day exploring the Fort, Patwan Ki Haveli, boating at Gadhisar lake and shopping for trinkets. I will write in detail about this tomorrow and upload the pictures as well.
On the 2nd day, our camp guy picked us up from the hotel and proceeded to waste our time by taking us to the ruins of a village, a village with people living in it and the ruins of Khaba fort. All of this is avoidable unless you are an international tourist and will click pictures of naked kids in the village even though you are dressed like a beggar yourself.
What happens to their fashion sense when in India?
We were taken for the camel safari which was fun because it was short. I was quite guilty while leaving and could not meet the camel’s eyes. It has a sad life.
Our desert camp was in the quieter part of the district and the tents were superb. We are not fan of tents and have avoided them after terrible incidents. But these tents were superb. We had wine while looking at the stars and listening to Rajasthani folk music. The food was divine and hospitality grand.
We woke up at 6.15 am to see the sunrise but it was too cloudy. The rest of the morning was spent reading. Infact, we spent a lot of time reading and I managed to finish 3 books (I was almost at the end of 2 of them).
All in all, it has been a very relaxing trip and Jaisalmer deserves a visit. There isn’t much to see in the town- half day would suffice but staying overnight in the desert is a must.
Also, it isn’t as commercialized as other tourist destinations and doesn’t cost much specially at this time of the year when the peak season is about to start. Your train tickets will cost less than 1500 bucks both ways, food for two costs less than 500 bucks/meal, guides only charge Rs 100, entry to monuments is cheap. We decided to spend more on the desert camp which cost 10k for the sightseeing, camel safari, dinner and b’fast and overnight stay.
I have now covered every tourist destination in Rajasthan- Mt Abu, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Bikaner, Jaipur, Kota, Bharatpur and Ranthambore. It is also a state I have spent major part of my life in since I went to school here.
Ciao. Will post the photos and more details tomorrow.