On this chilly morning in Delhi, a thought came to travel the Golden City Of India - JAISALMER to celebrate this new year.
Jaisalmer is 750 kms from Delhi. We started our journey from dhaula kuan, Delhi in a sleeper bus to Jaipur. On reaching Jaipur, we took another bus to Jaisalmer which took 8 hours to reach there.
Jaisalmer is located close to Pakistan border and in close proximity to Thar Desert. This place main landmark is the Jaisalmer Fort also known as Sonar Qila. The other attractions one can find are Patwon ki Haveli, Nathmal ji ki Haveli, Gadisar Lake and the Sam sand dunes.
Day 1 started with exploring the Jaisalmer city. It was 3 PM and was a bright sunny day in December, although the evenings are cold. We first went to Patwon ki Haveli. It is the largest and most elaborately carved havelis in jaisalmer, this dive storey structure sits in a narrow street. You can find the paintings, old antiques, archaeological items and mirror work in some of the walls. The entrance fees for this is Rs 100.
Next close to this was Nathumal ki Haveli. Minituare style paintings, tuskers carved out of yellow sandstone are the main attractions of this haveli.
Later we proceeded to Salim Singh ki Haveli. This haveli is still occupied by the descendants of the original resident. The high arched roof is supported by carved brackets designed in the shape of peacocks. It had two additional wooden storeys to match the Maharaja's palace in height.
Later in the evening, we went to Gadisar Lake. Our driver cum guide explained the history and story revolving around this lake. It was originally conceived as a water conservation tank to fulfil the water requirements of this city. Considering its importance, many small temples and strikes were constructed around it transforming it into pilgrimage centre. This place is famous for celebrating the Gangour festival on a larger scale.
Though it no longer serves the historic purpose of serving water to the city, but is a picnic spot and can enjoy boating in the lake. Also the locals sell the breads to feed the catfish in the lake.
Near the lake is the Desert Cultural Center and a museum made from the collections of a teacher Mr N.K. Sharma. The centre runs the puppet show in the morning and evening. The tickets costs for Rs 200. The show is worth watching and it's the pure talent to the people performing. It's a must watch if you what to know the cutlure of Rajasthan.
After having local rajasthani good, we checked into our hotel to explore the second day in the Desert.