I really really love travel blogs. They practically take you to distant lands, sucking you from the computer screens and making you experience those wild exotic places. All you need is an imagination to feel it. I just wish I traveled more often so as to have a travel blog of my own. Anyway, until that splendid day comes I’m happy to share a travel experience.
I visited this mystical land in December 2012 or practically 2013 because we boarded the train on 31st of December- 12:00 am. Yep, we celebrated New Years at the railway station! It was a school trip we’d been waiting for and were practically on our toes when its announcement was made. Anyway, those 7 days were perhaps the most fun, magical and the highest level of amazing days I’d spent.
Right, so we boarded the train on the night of 31st December, 2012 and we cut the cake right there on the station along with the count down and stuff-Perfect Beginning. It was one of the coldest nights of winters and while most of the travelers snuggled in blankets and drank a hot cup of tea and even though we were shivering we didn’t mind, because it was all happening, we were all travelling to the far west of India-together.
To all those who don’t know, Rajasthan also known as the Land Of Kingdoms or Land of Kings is perhaps the most culturally rich state of India and has artistic and cultural traditions which reflect the ancient Indian way of life. It is a land of mystical stories and charms and while the whole world has moved to his era of machines and flat screens Rajasthan has still carefully treasured its values and culture.
We happened to visit the city of Jodhpur and Jaisalmer. One known for the innumerably scattered and architecturally brilliant castles built years ago by Kings who ruled the city while one famous for the inhospitable yet a beauty in its own-The Thar Desert. We’ll get to that.
So Jodhpur is also known as the Blue City because all the houses and I mean LITERALLY all the houses there are painted blue. So when you look at it from a wider point of view, the city looks like this enormous gigantic blue painting or to say it more poetically-it’s like the sky came down and perched on Earth.
Here’s a picture I took from the top of the famous ‘Mehrangarh Fort.’ Trust me, this fort was magnificently huge and cold. Yes, cold. What happened was, as soon as we reached our stop and hopped out of the bus it was pretty hot so we took off our jackets and headed towards that enormous gate. And believe me the moment we took the first step in the castle we had to quickly unzip our backpacks and rush for our windbreakers and sweatshirts.
The castle is built in such a way that it is NEVER HOT inside. And let me notify you that in the summer months of May-June Rajasthan is perhaps the hottest state with temperatures recorded up to 45.4 deg C but the castle always remained cool. THAT is how brilliant the architecture is. It’s like the hot summer winds become null here.They didn’t need air conditioners to survive summers. Haha. The fort stands four hundred feet above the sky line of Jodhpur. It is located at the center of the city spreading over 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) atop a high hill.
This is a picture of the Mehrangarh Fort I took from the bus:
And yes, the walls of this port still fashion the cannons which were used at the time of war and we kinda sat on them as we’re such bad asses while we were on the roof. Yep, the roof that means the highest point you can see on the walls. We visited several other places in Jodhpur, but I won’t go into their detail as this one stands out.
Our next stop was the city of Jaisalmer. It’s an 8 hour drive from Jodhpur and we stopped for a break on the highway in a nearby restaurant. After reaching Jaisalmer we had some delicious and purely Indian lunch and then we headed straight for the most awaited destination (at least for me) the Thar Desert.
Now the buses sure as hell cannot travel to the core of the dense and inhospitable sand dunes,so there is another more cheaper and economical way to travel to the epicenter of the desert-Camels. Yep, like taxi stands we were dropped at Camel Stands and there were hundreds of camels sitting in line waiting for a customer. Here’s a picture:
And this ship of the desert carried us to the core of it smoothly and comfortably. It was a bumpy and a fun ride! We spent our evening in the desert and as ironic it may sound but however cruel and merciless the deserts are thought of; this plethora of sand welcomed us with open arms. We’ve never had so much fun playing and running in acres and acres of sand. Miles of sand dunes stretching all around. Slowly the evening began to fall and the temperature started to cool, swarming the place with freezing cold temperatures desert nights usually are famous for.
We enjoyed the serene sunset and then made our way back to the hotel. Yes, HOTEL. In the middle of the desert. They are a series of 300-400 tents known as ‘Tent Hotels’ or ‘Osian Camps’ and believe me as incredulous as it may sound, they are a luxury. They are located in the heart of the desert so that you may have the raw experience of living in the wild.
And since Jaisalmer comes in one of the best destinations for star-gazing, when I looked up to the sky while on the phone with my parents, I was in awe. It was the most beautiful, cherubic and panoramic view I had ever seen in my life. There were so many stars, literally SO MANY and so close to each other and so low that I felt I could touch them just by leaning up a little.
We spent the night with bonfires and stories. Cheers and laughter, comfortable silences, keeping each other warm with love and appreciation and kind of nostalgic thinking that school would finish in just an year.The breathtaking view of the star studded ceiling above acted as a silent guardian watching us, amused seeing these little 17 year olds-ambitious to take over the world yet too innocent to face it alone. It was bittersweet, a kind of sad I did not mind and a kind of happy that made me appreciate these little things in life. I wanted that moment to freeze. Just stay still until I’ve had enough.
Travel often people, for it when you travel you understand the beauty of life. Far from luxury cars or high-rise buildings, from the traffic and chaos to this peaceful refuge eager to wash away your disconcerts and fears and embrace you in its purity.
Note: My apologies if the photos are not potentially accurate, I’m not a photographer. That’s all I could manage with my camera.
So that’s it for the Rajasthan Tour. Hope you all had a great time! 😀