Dire Strait | The Great Indian Desert

Thar Desert Near Jaisalmer Rajasthan India
                                                            Thar Desert Near Jaisalmer

October embraces the winters in northern part of India and opens up the tourist season for otherwise hotter desert of Rajasthan. In late 2008,along with my flat mates, I headed for a trip to western Rajasthan. More precisely to Jaisalmer and Jodhpur. It was a bit planned and more than a bit unplanned trip. We had our tickets from Delhi to Jaisalmer but we decided to get down at Jodhpur. the trip starts in an usual fashion of catching train,shoving bags. occupying redundant berths..[ Berths are redundant when you are spending most of your time on the aisle or at the door side or at foot guards....

Mehrangarh Fort Jodhpur
                                                               Mehrangarh Fort Jodhpur

Soon after leaving Delhi, we could feel the shadows of dry Arawali ranges on both side of the railway track and train reached Jaipur in the Mid night. caught quick tea on the platform... experienced the serenity of the nights in Rajasthan which i badly miss elsewhere....

Jasawant Thada Jodhpur
                                                                   Jasawant Thada Jodhpur

Rajasthan is one of the least populated states of India so you will start feeling your space as soon as you enter the state. This Majestic state is blessed with rich heritage,amazing culture,stupendous architectural wonders,unique fauna and remarkable artwork. I can go on and on. but the most impressive facet of this state is its ever changing terrain with each mile. Rajasthan as a whole covers almost all kind of landscape including forests,Rivers,Mountains,Lakes. and the Great Desert of Thar...

Near Jaswant Thada,Jodhpur Rajasthan India
                                                               Near Jaswant Thada,Jodhpur

In this journey I will be proceeding from dry to drier terrain. Its not a cold desert of Himalayas but equally deplorable for any kind of life...

We hardly got any sleep in the train because there was some school tour in the same coach. we got down at Jodhpur very early in the morning. hunted down a place to stay and started preparing for one day tour to this arid but outstanding city...

The Blue City of Jodhpur,Rajasthan India
                                                            The Blue City of Jodhpur,Rajasthan

Jodhpur is a small town which attracts a very large of number of tourists each year. We hired a taxi for entire day from Rajasthan Tourism department itself. They rented it on a reasonable and affordable price. we started off with Umaid bhawan palace,a heritage museum and then headed to Mehrangarh fort from there. Mehrangarh fort is the most visited site of Jodhpur which is set on a hill top. A view of jodhpur from this marvelous fort seems like Blue thick distorted lines intersecting each others. that's the reason Jodhpur is called "Blue city"....Jaswant thada is also on the way to Mehrangarh fort. Its a placid site, not much crowded and has plenty of space for travelers seeking isolation in Jodhpur. The best part of Jodhpur is its food. You will get all kind of food but we decided to stick with local rajasthani food only. we had delicious lunch after first half day travel. some of us decided to go for a siesta and some went for window shopping...

Mandore Garden near Jodhpur Rajasthan India Jodhpur Pictures
                                                                   Mandore Garden near Jodhpur

In the evening we went to Mandore. Mandore is 11 km from Jodhpur and was once the capital of Mewar. Mandore has a huge garden,ancient temples and a ruined fort. this place is a perfect seclusion from crowded city life. we roamed here and there in the entire vicinity of Mandore. and again had mouthwatering dinner in Jodhpur. We had covered almost all the sites in the city and nearby so we decided to leave for Jaisalmer from a night train itself...

Ancient Temples at Mandore Garden,Jodhpur Rajasthan India
                                                     Ancient Temples at Mandore Garden,Jodhpur
We were having no idea about the landscapes of Jaisalmer and its surrounding. From my personal experience,Jodhpur is not a complete desert city surrounded by sand dunes but Jaisalmer is. As the sun rose from the east,We glimpsed sand all around us. and train seems like running through a sandstorm. it was an unique experience. train finally reached to Jaisalmer by dusk. Jaisalmer is the replica of those cowboys town in United States specially in Colorado or desert towns of Middle East. Jaisalmer lies on the edge of the great Thar desert. most of the hotels and houses in Jaisalmer are built in middle east style with low roof. you always need to watch your head in those tiny staircases and compact rooms. but the reward comes as a feeling of being deserted somewhere...

Jaisalmer Fort : Sonar Kila Rajasthan India
                                                                Jaisalmer Fort : Sonar Kila
Jaisalmer city has grown to the periphery of a fort situated on a hill top. this fort is called "Sonar kila"..most of the famous tourist sites in the city are in the Jaisalmer fort premises itself those includes Jain temples,Museums,market etc. In those congested lanes of Jaisalmer,there are some fine Havelis exemplifying ancient art. Jaisalmer city Tour wont take much time but its quite soothing and informative. Jaisalmer offers plenty of dirt trails for real desert safari through sand dunes. Sam Sand dunes are the most famous and attracts large number of tourists each evening. It falls in "Desert National Park"...its a picturesque terrain flourishing some exceptional flora and fauna. but this tour is getting commercialized day by day leaving less freedom to independent travelers..

Bada Bagh near Jaisalmer : On the way to Sam Sand dunes
                                       Bada Bagh near Jaisalmer : On the way to Sam Sand dunes
On the way to Sam San dunes,There is a range of quaint Jain temples and this site is worth stopping by. This site is called Bada Bagh. You will also get to see many wind power plants on the way to Sam Sand dunes. But the real aura of the desert was still unfelt when we returned on the first day from Sam sand dunes. We wanted to explore more so we decided to hire bikes from Jaisalmer to drive till Pakistan border crossing many old temples through real Thar desert. it was an audacious call to quench our thirst to larger extent. Next Day was a big day for us so we were filled with excitement while taking dinner..

Sam Sand Dunes Near Jaisalmer Rajasthan India
                                                             Sam Sand Dunes Near Jaisalmer
Sadly,bikes and bike owner were not available next morning. so we decided to hire a taxi for Pakistan border. we headed off further west from Jaisalmer. terrain was harsh. extremely dry with sand dunes all around us. We were traveling in the real desert with many small villages starving for rainfall since decades. problems in this part of the world are entirely different and quite genuine too. each drop of water is worshipped here and in my opinion it should be in remaining part of the planet too. we kept heading further west and landscape was getting drier and drier. finally we reached to the end of the road and no public vehicle was allowed from here onwards. it was the border area and completely controlled by army. there was a temple where army people do have daily Prayers. Border was just 20 Km away from this place. and we were fanatic to see the border..

On the way to Pakistan Border from Jaisalmer Rajasthan India
                                                        On the way to Pakistan Border from Jaisalmer
We waited for the Commandant Officer of the regiment and pleaded to provide us permissions for the border. and We got it. He had sent us with an army vehicle accompanied by two soldiers. we finally reached till the fencing. we could see Pakistanis' bunkers on the other end. the landscape on both sides was simply hostile but striking. Our quench to explore this terrain was finally satisfied. we returned back to the temple and then headed back to the Jaisalmer...
Jain Temples Jaisalmer
                                                                                
Jain Temples Jaisalmer
 

In the evening,We visited Gadisar lake. Its in the Jaisalmer main city itself and an attempt to preserve limited rainfall that blesses this deserted town rarely. it was a placid sun set in that wonderful landscape and we decided to say "Good bye" to this golden city of Jaisalmer

Gadisar Lake,Jaisalmer Rajasthan India
                                                                     Gadisar Lake,Jaisalmer
Return journey was quite rough as we took a direct over night bus to jaipur. We had spent the next day in jaipur where i acted as a tour guide. I would not cover Jaipur in this post as it had been my home town and this special town deserves a meticulous and exclusive coverage....
City of Jaisalmer
                                                                   
City of Jaisalmer
Unzipping the travel experience to western Rajasthan sometimes makes me stun with those running images encapsulating the reflection of the dawn on the golden sand...

Jaisalmer Fort in Night Sonar Kila
                                                                             Jaisalmer Fort in Night

Hello, Thanks for sharing

Hello, Thanks for sharing such a fantastic blog.I really appreciate your blog to share information about India ‚ĶVisiting in Rajasthan is amazing experience. This is amazing place with historical monuments and rich traditional culture. Specially dressing style culture, festivals celebration of Rajasthan  attract every tourist......nice blog

Thanks for your comment. keep

Thanks for your comment. keep dropping by Smile

I have never been to India

I have never been to India but this country is in my wishlist list of places that I wanna visit. It is the first time that I heard of the state of Rajasthan. It has never been popular because like you said, it is the least populated state of the country. The Ancient Temples of Mandore Garden is fascinating! Thanks for the pictures and the little tour. Will surely visit India soon.

Thanks for your comment. Keep

Thanks for your comment. Keep dropping by.

Great post on Rajasthan

Great post on Rajasthan tourism places. Thank you very much for sharing. Rajasthan is very popular in India for visiting. Here are lot of beautiful historical palces for visiting. Jodhpur is known for Blue city of India and Jaisalmer known for its desert and forts.

Soothing to read

remarkable articulation of a journey... Smile..craving to travel rajashtan soon...

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