On the 4th day After I'd visited the ruin civilization of Dholavira, I decided to not stop to any hotel rather to keep riding towards Jaisalmer. I moved back to Rapar and started riding on NH-27 that goes towards Udaipur. The highway goes from the midst of the Wild Ass sanctuary, the only home left to the wild asses in the world. I was not lucky to see any one of them. But I was desperate to enter the land of golden soil so I didn't care about those donkeys. From Santalpur I left the highway and took left turn towards Sanchore. This was a state highway and in the worst condition. To add to the misfortune, it started raining heavily. This road is merely 20 km away from India-Pakistan border. Moreover, it was the night of 'no moon'. This was going to be the most horrible night of this trip. I don't remember how many times my tires were jumped into and out of the those potholes. I had fear of getting flat tires. For 40 kms I even didn't find any shop open or any fuel station. Only trucks were there on the road.
Anyhow I reached Tharad on NH-68. Then I took a great relief but was unaware that that was just the beginning of the cruelty of the night. I found a dhaba and had dinner at 9 pm. I took rest for half an hour and was in two moods whether to go ahead or wait till morning as it was still raining and I was completely unaware of the road ahead. But then the thoughts of not wasting time which I was already short of, won over the fear of the cruel night. I started riding on the NH-68 which goes upto Jaisalmer through Barmer. I crossed the inter-state border of Gujrat and Rajasthan just befor Sanchore. I entered into the third state of this trip. I was extremely excited. But this excitement could not last longer. It started raining heavily again. The visibility reduced to less than 50 meters. The road condition was getting worse after every kilometer I crossed. The size of potholes I never imagined. Even now these were filled with rain water to add to my crisis. I didn't find any vehicle before 10 minutes. Every 10 minutes I would cross a truck. I would smile that I am not alone but that smile wouldn't persist longer because the same truck while crossing used to throw the heaviest gust of water on me and my motorcycle. What could I do, nothing? I would taste the water pushed into my mouth without consent and smile again with another thought! This game happened with me till 3 o'clock in the morning. Now I was completely wet and tired. I had been driving for last 4 hours in such calamitous conditions. I even couldn't find a single shop for tea. Then 30 kms before Barmer, I found a tea shop. I stopped my motorcycle and rushed to the shop. There was no light in that shop except the light of the oven he was using to prepare tea. I asked for a cup of tea. After that he also slept and again I was alone in that terrific situation. But I was too tired and wet to go ahead. So I lied on a khaat and slept in no time. In that jungle, there were only two of us. And I wasn't afraid of anyone even if I had mobiles , wallet and motorcyle and I was alone. This is the beauty of travelling alone. There comes a point when you stop getting afraid of such things. There were mosquitos and insects because of rain. I wore gloves , hide my face with bandana and slept. That was possibly the best and most satisfactory sleep I had during that trip. Then I woke up around 5 am by the horns of trucks. By that time it stopped raining. I was proud of myself that I had passed the most horrible night of the trip. Then I started riding towards Barmer in no time. The last night had taught me a lot. When I was driving alone in the rain and dark, I thought about many things happening in my life. Sometimes I would think about the lives we live in cities and at the next moment I would think about the wilderness of human mind. I thought about everyone I know. I would think that no one knows where I was and how I was. Only I could know the implicit excitement of this fear. I was driving , driving and driving in the dark. Sometimes I would start thinking about the metaphysical ideas of abstraction of life. But now I had passed the thrilling night. I was riding again on the same highway. The road condition was the same till Barmer. I reached Barmer at 7 am. Then I moved ahead towards Jaisalmer as I had only that day to visit Jaisalmer. After Barmer I could witness the color change of soil from white to yellow. The Barmer-Jaisalmer highway goes parallel with the India-pakistan border. So I could see a lot of military activities in this route. I booked a hotel in Jaisalmer fort area on the way. I reached Jaisalmer at 11 am. I checked in within 15 minutes and slept in no time.
I woke up at 2 am. I had lunch and stepped towards the Jaisalmer fort. In the sunlight I could witness the beauty of the Jaisalmer city. This was the first time I was visiting any of the fort city of Rajasthan. I was mesmerized seeing the golden hue everywhere in the city. Every single house in the city is made of yellow sandstones. Every house, every hotel, every shop looked like a royal place. With the yellow background, every shop has clothes, toys, jewellery in the most vibrant color. Everything was so vibrant and colorful that you can not imagine a city lies within the thar desert tracing geologies dating back to 180 million years ago.
I walked towards the fort. The fort is so huge that it does not look like a fort but a city in itself. Jaisalmer fort is known as the 'Sonar Quila' (Golden Fort ) as it emerges with the golden hue from the thar desert.
You might require at least two days to visit the fort in entirety. This royal landmark is visible from all over the city. Inside are the streets, shops wrapped in the most vibrant colours, art and craft objects and numerous vendors looking for tourists.There were tourists from all over the world to witness the magnificent beauty of this golden fort.
The fort has numerous shops for eateries from Italian to French. This fort has such beauty that the filmmaker Satyjit Ray wrote a novel 'Sonar Quila' based on this fort and later made film on the same novel. I visited to almost every corner of the fort. There are villages, hotels, museums, temples, restaurants, shops inside the fort.
After visiting many streets inside the fort, I walked towards the museum inside the fort. This museum is actually the Maharaja's Palace which is now converted into a museum. I got to know various things about the lives of the royal family in the fort. This palace has got various domestic items from the time of Maharaja.
Then I walked up the stairs to the terrace of the palace. I could witness the view of the whole city from the roof. Every house in the city is made of yellow sand stones. The view was mind blowing as it was covering the whole jaisalmer city.
Then I spent some time visiting the shops inside the fort.
I visited some more streets and jain temple inside the fort which was about to close when I reached there.
Then I walked out of the fort area. Then I walked from the narrow streets of the city towards the Patwon Ki haweli. A very beautiful haveli with a museum. The terrace view was amazing from the haveli. Although it is situated in the midst of the narrow and congested market, the intricacies of the architecture are definitely worth to visit.
It was 5 pm and I was tired as I didn't sleep last night too. Again, I was sort of time. I had still not witnessed the great Thar desert, the yellow soil and sand dunes. I had only that day to visit Jaisalmer. So I decided to ride towards the 'Sam Sand dunes' which was 40 kms from Jaisalmer city. As I was riding on this road, I could witness the transformation of earth to the barren lands of yellow soil. I reached there around 6 pm. Then I could witness the sand dunes first time ever in my life. I had seen these dunes in movies and read about them in the Geography classes. And the biggest irony was that, the previous day I was in the desert of Kutch, land of white salt and today I was on the lands of yellow soil. How amazing it was to witness the transformation of the earth in two days.
It was around 7pm when the sun was about to set. I left the sand dunes with the greatest memory of this trip. I rode back to the hotel. The sun was setting and I was still in the thoughts of the marvelous architecture and solitude of desert. I had collected many stories from Jaisalmer to tell my next generation. Now I knew how does it feel like when you walk on the sands in the desert. I had learnt many things that day. Jaisalmer was the beginning of some new kind of paradigm for me as I had always lived in the area of vast gangetic plains. I could never have imagined how did the desert look like. Though I was tired, I could not resist my thoughts of the experiences I had gained so far from that trip. Every day I was getting more experienced of my nation and the Earth.
I reached Jaisalmer around 8 pm. I had dinner and moved to my hotel. I was extremely tired today. I took a bath and lied on the bed and started thinking of the next destination to the land of red soil, another great city in the heart of Rajasthan. Next day I was going to see another transformation in the earth. I was going to witness the oldest mountain ranges of India. Moreover , from the next day I would be moving towards my home! Alas, I had to travel for three more days!