Travel far enough, you meet yourself - Cloud Atlas
This exactly happened to me during my recent road trip to a desert city called Jaisalmer (Rajasthan, India) also known as " Golden City." It took over a week for me and my pals to decide where to head for...It was crazy googling and finally one fine winter foggy morning, we packed our travelling rucks and decided to head for the desert. It was clear then as we hit the road and meet all the mountains, rocks, rivers & flock of sheep by the time we pass through Jaipur, we were meant to take this journey...
My work has taken me to many parts of India but Rajasthan remind unvisited. As we get closer to our destination, we started getting more closer to the ancient history of Kings, kingdoms and most of all ancient civilisation. This "Golden City" of Rajasthan situated in the heart of Thar Desert was once a princely city. This is it. Without further ado, let me unpack and dust off my travelling diary for you... Hope you'll enjoy it 😻
Jaisalmer on a sunny afternoon
Any traveller will find their own space and enjoy their stay in this city as people are generally simple and genuine i must say (well, except for some scammers and over enthusiastic shopkeepers, hotels and camel owners who are always on the prowl to extract few more dollars and cents from the travellers...so watch out for those black spots).
The Majestic Fort (Quilla) at the heart of the city...
Here's a little intro...
Known as Sonar Quilla (golden fort) was built in 1156 AD by the Rajput ruler Rawal Jaisal, from whom it derives its name. The fort stands amidst the sandy expanse of the great Thar Desert, on Trikuta Hill. Before the days of the British Raj, the fortress city served as a refuge and way-station for caravans and travellers along the Silk Road- wikipedia.
Sunrise at Thar Desert
I was so amazed to see how the sun rises in the city at 7:35am. I have never waited so long in my entire life (apart from those sleepless nights once in a while) for the sun to rise (hahaha).
But as the sun arrives, along with the group of sunrise watchers, we celebrated and I tell you, it was a pure joy... I was just awestruck by the beauty of the ray that catches the canvas of the sand dunes and most of all, the hope that brought with its warmness in the midst of the windy desert.
Waited through the twilight together. It was worth it.
Sam Sand Dunes
To my surprise, the Sam Sand Dunes is located in the outskirts of Jaisalmer city, 2 kms from the main town.
Once you reach the place, you will find many hawkers thronging towards you and negotiate with their best prices for Jeep Safari and Camel ride. Many of them are the local people. They are genuine.
However, some crazy ones will come running right in front of your vehicle and stop you in the middle of the road.
Here's some secret tips~
Avoid buying decorated Desert packages from hotels if possible. They charge you like no one's business. We were offered too... However, we took chances and got some of the budget friendly offers and enjoyed to the fullest. So, no difference! Just drive early and you'll catch the worm...
It was told that the local communities have been riding for centuries...
These great desert ships as famously known(camels) roam through the dunes, sunrise and sunset with its graceful confidence along with their master.
The uncrown desert KING!
Finding the correct balance on top of one of these animals is an exercise of calm, complete surrender and most of all character.
It was just crazy riding on the running camel. Felt like a Rajput warrior for a moment before I started screaming behind the hump (Lol)...
Shame on me (sigh).
The most thrilling activity after the caravan camel safari is the jeep safari. The jeeps used for the safari are 4X4, with an open top. It was so fun as our driver Mr. Raju drove us at 200km per hour. I experienced 'adrenaline rush' as the music gets louder and the speed gets faster. It was a total exhilarating experience and really you have to experience yourself...words are not enough!
|The local folksingers and musician enthralling the desert and the travellers...|
Seema ~ The original desert dancer
Musician in the city gate
Meeting some of the local greats!
The city is home to countless artists and story tellers. I just love the fact that they are still in tune with their values, culture and just so happy about it. In a real sense, to me these people are the crown of the golden city who watch over the fort and enchant the city with their music, dance and voices...
|Some of the crafted /metal souvenir|
|The famous puppet dolls (Kathputali in hindi) of the Rajasthan!|
|Anthony our great co-backpackers by the Kuldhara (the HAUNTED village) in the background!|
Towards Dusshera Chowk (near Cannon point)!
Make way for this "HAPPENING" cars 😍
|Hello! Please bow to the great inventors !!!|
Like the kings and nobles of Jaisalmer, we will also go down to posterity. Our children and their children will walk the same path and make their own trail like us today. It was a beautiful pre New Year 2017 vacation I took with my mate and co-packers. This journey will go down as one of the most exciting expedition. Thank you 2016 for the great year you are. God is so gracious.
Am not the same having seen the sun rise and set on the other side of the World
~ M A Radmacher
On a great journey of LIFE. Hello 2017! Be good and be kind to one another.