It was our first Diwali, after 4 years, at Udaipur!! And it was his first as well… no one was more excited than our Rockstar – Oscar… he was simply mesmerized by the decorations, and at the sound of every cracker bursting, he would give out his own version of a cracker. Wasn’t scared at all and kept running around the entire house, almost toppling our crystal collection a couple of times.
We had just moved back to Udaipur again, and since we did not know anyone yet, at our new location, hence we decided to just pick up our Jalebibai (Vento) and explore Rajasthan. The trouble was that, Oscar couldn’t be taken along, due to the long distance that we had our minds set on. Hence after the Diwali pooja and celebrations, we decided to drop him off at a kennel house, where he could easily stay for 2 days, along with other friends. Well dropping him off wasn’t easy, but still had to be done. And to our luck, once he found a lot of other dogs there, he just wouldn’t look back at us.
Now, we decided on a road trip from Udaipur to Jaisalmer….though both of us are not early risers, but when it comes to driving…we love to start our journey before the sun wakes up … Jaisalmer is approximately 528 kms from Udaipur which means 8 hours by road. We started at 5 O’clock. The weather was perfect, cool breeze swept, sparkling stars wrapped the twilight sky, and the moon brightened the majestic Aravalli hills. The highway was smooth and soon the dawn melted away, and we were witness to a majestic sunrise, with red orange glow sweeping over the horizon as if the light itself was being poured from a molten sun. Powerful rays flooded over the landscape lighting every blade of grass, shining from each leaf.
As we travelled towards the west….we could feel the difference in air… the air became dry, the temperature rose and the earth became gasping. Drenched into royal grandeur and soaked into glorious history, Rajasthan is one of the most charming and captivating states I have been to…It has some of the most strange climate conditions on the map….. From tropical climate in Udaipur to hot semi-arid in Jaipur and significantly extreme in Bikaner …I feel lucky to have witnessed all of them. As we crossed many small villages the varied colors of Rajasthan swept on the canvas. Colorful printed large turbans, ghaghra choli, village women adorned with typical jewelry is a sight that one can miss if they take the straight highway…so we decided to unwind the colours of state.
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Huge wind mills on both sides, golden sand covering almost half of the road, every house bearing a yellow- golden colour, and scarcely populated thorny bushes is a mark that you have come to the ‘Golden City of Jaisalmer’. And believe that; when I say that every building is Yellow – Golden. We checked at Hotel ‘Gulaal’ Jaisalmer only to be showered with the royal treatment of the ‘Rajput Kings’. Located at the heart of the city… it seemed to be just a perfect choice to start a wonderful vacation. A Grand ‘Haveli’ converted into a splendid Boutique hotel with a backdrop of the Jaisalmer fort, and open courtyards with pillars and ‘Jharokas’ made him (Nikhil) feel like a royalty…..Trust me 8 hours on road didn’t seem to matter
I knew a lot about Jaisalmer even before I visited the place, as it is well captured on television. The first place had to be the ‘Sona Quila’ or popularly known as Jaisalmer Fort. Jaisalmer’s unique fort is a small lively town, with almost 3000 people residing within its walls. It’s honeycombed with narrow, winding lanes, lined with houses and temples – along with a large number of handicraft shops, guesthouses and restaurants. We entered the fort and passed through massive gates and zigzag routes. It is quite strange to believe that once it was inhabited by Rajput Rulers.
Next day, we woke up early to witness Sun rising up from the golden horizon. We went to ‘Sam Dunes’ about 50 kms from Jaisalmer. Our hotel staff suggested us to witness the incredible view of the sun rising from the mountains of sand. Situated in the middle of Thar Desert it is one place not to be missed. The view of Sun Rise is a worth display of radiant colors. Bright streaks of red, pink, and orange slowly overcame the dark blue twilight sky. The sky resembled a prism; all the colors blended perfectly into each other. The sun itself was just peeking out of the golden horizon, and its brilliant rays shined brightly and began to warm the air. We marvelled at the glistening sparkle, while sipping a unique hot cup of tea made of Camel’s milk …. Apparently, I was a bit apprehensive about the taste…. and trust me I was correct… I couldn’t stop laughing looking at Nikhil’s face….
Stretching at the length and breadth of desert it is like a vast ocean of golden gravel. We opted for a camel safari…. And guess what we found Ali and his ‘Ship of desert’ Sharukh (camel’s name) who took us on a desert safari…. Nikhil almost fell backwards, when Shahrukh rose up from the ground and he clutched on me so hard for the first few steps that the camel took, that my shoulder started to pain. But after a while, he became normal.
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We came back to our hotel to experience what Rajasthan is famous for – ‘the kalbelia dance’ an evening cultural performances before a sumptuous Rajasthani meal and a breathtaking view of illuminated Jaisalmer fort at the backdrop, refreshed us after the adventures of the day.
Well, it was time to head back to home, after spending wonderful 2 days at one of the most mesmerizing places that we had ever been to. And believe me, someone else was more than happy that we were coming home.. He came running hard when he saw both of us at the kennel gate and almost tripped Nikhil down and kept showing his angry face, as if he was complaining, why couldn’t you guys take me along??