Thar Desert - A Visual Treat to the Eyes!

2nd Sep 2017
Photo of Thar Desert - A Visual Treat to the Eyes! by Karim S A

Does traveling 1756 KMs seem cumbersome? What, if you are promised a visual treat at the end of the journey? Game for it?

The journey from Hyderabad to Jaisalmer may sound too long, but for those who crave to travel to places new, it rather is exciting and distance is not daunting. So what, if there is no direct train to Jaisalmer from Hyderabad? What for, are flights meant for? Hop into an Indigo to reach Ahmedabad and take a State run bus from there.

Or if you insist on Train travel, get into the SC BKN SPL Train No. 17037 at 23.00 Hrs, forget the next 26 odd hours because you will reach Ahmedabad at 00.55 AM of day two. From there you can take a State run Bus to Jaisalmer. But don't be daunted by the time to travel nor the distance to cover, because train journeys have an interwoven story embedded in them. Be a little inquisitive, and weave your own sweet little story in the train.

After all, Nature's magnanimity lies in very many forms: The mighty Himalayan Mountains, the Deep Oceans and the Seas, and in the vast expanse of Deserts.

The Great Indian Desert also known as the Thar Desert which is in Rajasthan also extends into Gujarat, Punjab and Haryana. And interestingly 25% of the Thar Desert spills into the neighboring country.

Sand and sand everywhere you stretch your eyes. The songs of Bollywood movies have romanticized the beauty of the Deserts and immortalized the place. It's truly a place to fall in love with.

Rajasthan is truly majestic because of its royal roots. You find Palaces and Forts every where.

When in Jaisalmer, don't miss the following:

Jaisalmer Fort built in 1156 AD by Rawal Jaisal, a Rajput ruler, is one of the largest fully preserved fortified Fort in World. Like Hampi in Karnataka, this is also a World Heritage Site. This Fort majestically stands on the Trikuta Hill overlooking the vast expanse of the sands of the Thar Desert. This Fort is also called as the Golden Fort, because the walls built with the sandstone change colors during the day and turn golden honey during the sunset, which camouflages the Fort.

On the way to Ramgarh, witness the most beautiful Bada Bagh, meaning Big Garden. Reading to what the History speak, Jai Singh II had built a Dam during the 16th century in the arid sandy desert. After his death, his son Lunkaran built a beautiful garden and a cenotaph beside the lake. Rajasthan is always enchanting because of the history associated with this land.

Jaisalmer has a number of Havelis. Patwon ki Haveli is the first haveli erected in Jaisalmer and the beauty of Patwon ki haveli is that it is not a single haveli but a group of 5 small havelis, and its beauty lies in its ornate architecture. Patwa was a very famous and rich trader of those times. That's history but now, the Government uses it for its Offices of Archaeology, Art and Crafts Departments.

Other notable Havelis are Nathmal Ji Ki Haveli and Salim Ji Ki Haveli.

What is a visit to Rajasthan worth, if you have not done a Camel Safari in the Thar Desert especially during the golden sunset? And not taken any selfies...?

 No where will you find food so lip-smacking than in Rajasthan. You may be in a desert, but Rajasthan is an oasis of cultures and cuisines. Cuisines of Jaisalmer are unique and different than the rest of Rajasthan. Kadi Pakora, Ker Sangria, Masala Raita and Dal Bhati Choorna, and Ghotua the Rajasthani Desert are some of the items to die for. I recommend "Desert Boy Dhani" a fine dine restaurant to relish authentic rajasthani pure veg cuisine.

I will end up with a quote of Deborah Cater, " YOU HAVE TO TASTE A CULTURE TO UNDERSTAND IT"