Planned a week-end trip to Jaisalmer for the much speculated Desert Festival. Packed our bag, boarded the Delhi Jaisalmer Train in the evening from Delhi Cantt. The Journey can't be said a pleasant one in the evening as Friday evening long weekend commuters boarded the train and it was jam packed in such a way that we had to request for our own reserved seats. But things eased out after three hours. A big thanks to IRCTC meal on wheel pre-booked orders; had a very nice dinner at Alwar. Its a good trip advice to book your food from IRCTC, if you wish to have nice food on train.
Reached Jaisalmer at 11:30 AM. We dumped our extra baggage in the guest house booked by my friend and straightway moved to tourist guide office in the car lent out by him. Took map out from there along with the Desert Festival Program.
We missed the morning procession. The assigned stadium for the festival was crowded and all sort of activities were going on. We got to see Mr Desert, Ms Desert, and some foreigners performing various entertainment activities. The men, women, kids and the camel are dressed in traditional attire with abundant of jewelleries. We quickly realised that this is not something we are looking for.
We sped up to our pre-booked Mangalam resort, in Khuri village a place 40 Km away from city of Jaisalmer. We drove past the well built narrow roads, mesmerized by the scenic beauty surrounding us. The wind mills, the cactus trees, the dried soil, the far reached villages, and the complete deserted roads actually gave the feel of tough life of Rajasthan and its villages. Received a warm welcome in the resort and we choose a nice tent with all basic requirements to stay. We sat out for much awaited Camel saffari in the desert at 4 PM, something which we were carving for long and trust my words, its an amazing experience to ride a camel in the desert. My wife and I got thrilled to the limits. The guide took us from various picturesque places of desert and we enjoyed the desert sand, the feel of actual desert. The guide then took us to the sunset point after two hours of desert safari. Witnessed a beautiful sunset along with some Rajasthani Traditional folk songs at the background sung by the locals. In the evening, at the resort, we witnessed Rajasthani Folk music, Dance, around a bonfire. The hell of an evening is ably complimented by an excellent dinner which included some typical local dishes.
We were given the option by the resort owner to stay in the resort tent or spend the night in the desert. We jumped at the opportunity of sleeping in the desert in a full moon night. They arranged the beds in the middle of the desert with quilts and bonfire. The night atmosphere at desert was so serene. The clear sky above which is hardly visible in cities and we could count all the stars, the full moon was in full control glowing.... its an amazing lifetime experience. Heard of sunset, but this time we witnessed moon-set, the moon turned out red and said bye for the night. A night worth remembering lifetime. We waited there till sunrise which is again an wonderful experience.
We checked out from the resort and moved for Tanot, 120 km from Jaisalmer City, near to Pakistan Border. Driving in excellent deserted road is quite an experience (don't mind the speed). It was a hell of an experience. Tanot Mata Temple is famous bcoz, in 71 war, it is said that not a single shell exploded, fired by Pakistan in the vicinity of the temple. BSF is looking after the maintenance of the temple and all the un-exploded shells are also kept there. Then we went further ahead to see the Pakistan Desert Border and place where JP Dutta shoot his Border film. We also went into a village with only four to five houses in the middle of the desert and returned back to Jaisalmer.
The trip would not have been complete without witnessing Sonar Kella, the Jaisalmer Fort. Its a living fort, where people lives apart from the palace exclusive for queen's apartment. Needless to say about Indian Architect, the beauty of its creation and must watch experience. The view from the top of the fort is wonderful. The sunset rays on the fort makes up for its name Sonar Kella.
So, here we concluded our weekend trip to Jaisalmer as we boarded the evening train to return to Delhi from Silent Place to Noisy busy life. But the break was worth to keep us energize for some more time.