It has happened to me before, and I know it shall happen again. The feeling that I have had enough of taking photos and now its time to throw in the towel and give up, but then, my muse keeps me ticking.
Muse, when used as a noun is defined as a person, especially a lady, who inspires creative talent. If I go by that, then this is that lady right here.
But then, extrapolating the definition a bit more, the extraordinary sights during my travel, maybe they make me creative, so, these too are my muse.
Creativity may not always be original, it may be a tiny trick for the eyes. My muse is inspiring awe.
Finally, the last stop, Jodhpur, and from here, I turned back homewards. I arrived at Jodhpur in the morning, around 7, and I had my train back in the evening. So, I didnt have a lot of time to spare. I chose to visit the Mehrangarh Fort only.
I returned back with enough time to get some sleep and then the long train journey back home.
I hope you have enjoyed reading about this trip. Check out the other destinations here: Delhi I and II , Jaipur, Jaisalmer I , II and III.
For my travelogues, check out the category : TTL
The next trip, would be an interesting one, because I shall be shifting base to the western side of the country, to Pune, for pursuing my masters degree. Until the next travel post…
Informative, imaginative and above all, soothing. That’s how I describe the books in my tiny library. I know them all, literally back to front, and yet, I would read them many times over. This is my entry for the weekly challenge of ROY G. VIB
From Right to Left…
The complete short stories Hercule Poirot- Agatha Christie
Raaj Kahini (Stories of the kings) – Abanindranath Tagore
The Yard – Alex Grecian
Digital Fortress – Dan Brown
Asura – Anand Neelakantan
Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
Dictionary of Chemistry – John Diantith ( School time nostalgia)
Now, for the final point of attraction of my Jaisalmer trip, the Sam Sand Dunes. These sand dunes are a part of the Thar desert, that exists on the western side of India. Dust storms, fine ever-shifting sand, camels and along with them, tourists, all are found in plenty here. Almost all the places to stay in Jaisalmer offer day and/or night trip. The day trip is generally made up of a trip to Bada Baagh, Kuldhara Village and wrapping up with sunset in the dunes. Camel ride charges extra. The camel safari kind, is the overnight type. Here you shall be picked up in the evening and watch the sunset and have a camel ride. Then you shall be escorted to camps set up within the dunes, have local food, enjoy folk dances, and then retire under the stars, within the tents. Next morning, they ll drop you back to your hotel. The prices are negotiable, and it helps a lot if you have good rapport with your hotel owner.
Now, I give you, Sam Sand Dunes! Enjoy!
An advantage of going to this place, this hot, dry desert in the off season is, the lodging and entertainment, namely camel rides are immensely cheap. As per my driver, yes, I had a personal driver and an AC vehicle to myself for two days, the camels now would cost around ₹200, I paid ₹300 though, while during the season, about August to March, they charge about ₹1500-2000 and still there are shortages for camels. Also, dune bashing on the Mahindra Thar is available. I was tempted, but they wouldn’t let me drive it, so…not interested.
My train at the dead of the night would take me to Jodhpur next. See you there, on the next post.
Kuldhara, is a village on the outskirts of Jaisalmer which has not been inhabited continuously for more than 300 years at least. The folk lore is that the local king made life unbearable and everyone of the entire village left, along with their belongings and also the deity, all in one night. And since then, the place is abandoned. Some say there are spooky vibes, but for me, I felt sad. Sad, at the thought that this village, once thriving and home to so many people is empty now. There are 2 or 3 standing structures, the photos have been mainly shot from the roof of one of the remaining houses.
There are at least a hundred houses in the village, and all except for the one I was standing on, are in similar ruined state. It is curious that all the houses are devoid of roofs, where as the roof seems very solidly built.
Within the preserved rooms, the names of many couples have been engraved in the walls in horrible hand writings, nevertheless, one way to let the world know of the undying love. There are signs of vandalism too.
The place is protected under the local authority but is clearly not maintained. With time, Kuldhara would be engulfed by the vegetation and sand.
With a slight feeling of lingering sadness, we hit the road towards Sam Sand dunes. Coming up next.
From Jaipur to Jaisalmer, it takes approximately 12hrs by train. The journey was eventful, in the sense that the external scenery shifted from a greenish Jaipur to a semi arid Jaisalmer. It is also referred to as the Golden City, owing to the color of the stones, which are golden in colour. Also amazing is the Jaisalmer Fort, which is one of the few forts, which are inhabited by people who are not of the royal family.
Jaisalmer, being close to the desert, and being in a semi arid region, is hotter and dryer than Jaipur and the other cities. Keep drinking loads of water, and you shall be fine.
Near the fort are some havelis, old palatial homes, built by erstwhile businessmen. Worth a visit, for the display of exquisite rock cut and marble carvings on the homes.
On the outskirts of the town are hamlets or villages. Famous of them is one called Bada Baagh. It houses cenotaphs of the royal family of Jaisalmer.
Next up, are two more attractions of Jaisalmer, the Kuldhara village and the Sam sand dunes. Stay tuned 🙂
Jaipur, the capital city of Rajasthan, was the next stop for me. An early morning train took me from the Old Delhi (DLI) station to Jaipur (JP). I had been forewarned that Rajasthan would be hot. That too, in the summers and that it was the “Off Season” for a reason. Call it fate, call it luck, every single day I spent in the state, it was cloudy and overcast sky. I was happy.
Rajasthan, has an immensely rich cultural heritage, lots of forts and palaces to roam about, but the famous ones, are pictured here.
I begin with the City Palace. Centrally located within the city, this is the palace of the monarch. Its a nice place to take a tour around. Observe the intricately carved gates and the richly decorated archways. It puts you right in the middle of a rich, bygone era.
Nearby, are two more beautiful buildings, the Hawa Mahal, and the Jantar Mantar.
The Hawa Mahal is an impressive bit of architecture and from the top storey, offers a panoramic view of the Pink City. But, the most iconic and prettiest view of the building is not from within, rather from the adjoining street. Have a look.
The Jantar Mantar at Jaipur houses the biggest sundial of the planet. Here is a view of the observation deck viewed from the base.
The next place to visit, are two of the most famous forts, the Amer Fort and the Jaigarh Fort.
Before you take on these forts, its advisable to eat something and hydrate yourself properly. The climb is long and steep too. But the views, are totally worth it.
The last stop for the day was the Jal Mahal. The palace is located within the lake. As of June, 2015, visitors are not permitted to go to the palace.
With this, my Jaipur trip came to an end, and on the same night, I boarded a train to Jaisalmer, the golden city. Up next, stay tuned and follow me.
Day 1 ended on a sad note, that I cracked my phone. But, Day 2 was happier, because, my replacement phone would reach me in some time. With a happy thought in heart, we left in the morning for Red Fort and Jama Masjid and other places like Lotus Temple and all. Except, it was Monday and all the monuments were closed. A little disheartened, we went directly to the Jama Masjid, which was open, thankfully.
Post Jama Masjid tour, we returned to the hostel, to find my phone waiting there already. Happy, the next outing was to the corridors of powers of the Indian govt. namely the Parliament complex and India Gate.
The India Gate has special place in the Indian hearts, as it houses the tomb of the unknown soldier and pays respect to all those who have been lost in battle. The eternal flame, Amar Jawan Jyoti can be seen blazing.
With this, my Delhi trip came to an end. Next stop being Jaipur, Rajasthan.
If you are in the northern hemisphere, and near the tropics, you ll know what heat is, during the month of June. And, in this summer heat, I decided to take an Off Season desert trip. This was pretty much my view and trust me, it was oddly satisfying knowing that this big ambling ship of desert will get me home safe, plus, the prices are almost 1/20th of that of the peak time.
Am back from my solo trip from Delhi and Rajasthan, and let me begin by saying, it was simply amazing. I met some exceptionally awesome people from all corners of the world and different fields of work and upbringing. The common factor that gelled us together, wanderlust. For everyone reading this, go backpacking. If you havent done it yet, please do it. Pack a bag, set a destination, and just set off. Leave your worries, issues, emotional baggages, all behind, and just go!
My trip began at Delhi. I was scheduled to meet up with an old friend of mine at the Qutb Minar complex.
Off course I did a photo shoot of my friend and guide, Miss Mitra here, I wasnt going to give up such a nice opportunity at all. For the ones who plan a trip to this place, be advised, there are lots of photoshoot locations in the complex. You shall be happy.
During the shoot, a little over enthusiasm and extreme carelessness on my part rendered my phone’s screen cracked to pieces and hence useless. This saddened me enough that I lost interest in the Qutb, and we came back for the day.
Day 2, more photos, and some more tidbits, coming up soon. Stay tuned.