Jaisalmer – A beautiful mirage or a land of Gold

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I had been to several mountains and beaches in India, so for this trip I wanted to explore a desert. Initially, the plan was to visit the white desert ‘Rann of Kutch’ in Gujarat but due to lack of time and budget issues, we planned a trip to Jaisalmer.

Our journey started from New Delhi to Jaisalmer via “Ranikhet Express”. After a journey of 19 hours we reached Jaisalmer.

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Jaisalmer Railway Station

All the major attractions of the Jaisalmer city are very close to the railway station i.e. within 5-25 km vicinity. The Jaisalmer fort is located at a distance of 2.2 km only from the railway station and there are several great hotels located nearby the fort. The fort also has a great market inside where you can buy several traditional Rajasthani items.

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The Jaisalmer Fort

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Jaisalmer Fort Market

You can visit the Maharaja palace, Maharani palace, Jain temple and several other temples inside the fort.

The best attraction is of course the ‘desert’ itself.  So, we headed to Sam Sand dunes where we camped overnight at Rawla Resort. The temperature is very high in the afternoon but the weather becomes soothing after 5:00 PM in the evening. We headed towards the dunes in the evening and the view was breathtaking. The view of the golden sand and a beautiful sunset certainly left us mesmerized.

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Sunset – Sam Sand Dunes

The resort organised a great Rajasthani cultural program for all the guests. The temperature got really low at night and dancing around a bonfire in the cold added to our delight.

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Next morning we again took a walk in the desert to watch the sunrise and later took a Camel Safari.

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Then we headed to Kuldhara village , which is said to be one of the haunted placed of India. As the story goes, the villagers vacated this village in a single night and since then no body has ever lived in this area.

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Kuldhara Village

Other architectural places we visited included ‘Bada Bagh’ and ‘Patwon ki Haweli’.

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Bada Bagh

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Patwon ki Haveli

Patwon ki Haveli is a great place to visit if you need to get an insight into one of the ancestral families of Jaisalmer.  Patwon ki Haveli is not a single haveli but a cluster of 5 small havelis built by one of the richest trader Guman Chand Patwa.

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Utensils: Patwon ki Haveli

Finally, our trip came to an end and we said good bye to Jaisalmer. Jaisalmer’s tag line:  “Come as a tourist, leave as a friend” seemed true as I actually felt a connection with this place.

A little piece of advice if you have are planning to visit Jaisalmer: carry a lot of sunscreen , light and full sleeved cotton clothes to avoid sun burns. Also, don’t miss the fun of riding a bike on the roads of Jaisalmer with a breathtaking view of the sand around you.

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