Exploring The Thar

Tripoto
5th Feb 2017
Photo of Exploring The Thar by Harleen Sandhu

We went for a 5 day trip to Jaisalmer and Jodhpur. Starting point: Ludhiana

Day 1: Ludhiana to Ramdevra

Photo of Exploring The Thar 1/1 by Harleen Sandhu

Jaisalmer is 793 Km from Ludhiana if you go via Bikaner, however, there’s a shorter route via Suratgarh. We made a stop at Ramdevra and used the opportunity to check that place out too.

On way to Ramdevra

Photo of Ramdevra, Rajasthan, India by Harleen Sandhu

This left us with another 120 Km to cover the next day to reach Jaisalmer. We reached Ramdevra to catch the beautiful sunset in a sky so clear and the air pollution free.

Photo of Exploring The Thar by Harleen Sandhu

Kikar trees at sunset captured in moving car

Photo of Exploring The Thar by Harleen Sandhu

Ramdevra is a religious place and has a temple dedicated to Baba Ramdev, who was believed to be a reincarnation of Lord Krishna. The place is sacred to Muslims as well. On your way, you’d see many people walking their way to the temple carrying multi-colored flags and you would also see some places that are meant to provide rest to the pilgrims who are walking. There can be really long queues of pilgrims depending on the time of your visit. We didn’t find any rush during our visit in February. The pinnacle period is August to October.

Day 1

Ramdevra Temple

Photo of Ramdevra, Rajasthan, India by Harleen Sandhu
Photo of Ramdevra, Rajasthan, India by Harleen Sandhu
Photo of Ramdevra, Rajasthan, India by Harleen Sandhu

Day 2: Ramdevra to Tanot

On Ramdevra to Tanot Road, you can see numerous windmills spread over a wide area.

Day 2

Ramdevra to Tanot Road

Photo of Tanot Road, Tanot, Rajasthan, India by Harleen Sandhu
Photo of Tanot Road, Tanot, Rajasthan, India by Harleen Sandhu

Next morning, we headed on to Tanot. I would advice you not to follow google maps blindly and keep your eyes on the road for signboards instead of your phone/GPS. We tried to take Jaisalmer bypass as per google maps to reach Tanot. We drove long haul and there was no sign of any humans anywhere. We felt lost. All we could see was windmills. We were running out of fuel. Well, thankfully we found some local people who told us that there’s no trace of petrol station for next 50 Km. And we could only find a petrol station at Ramgarh, the only place with some human population there. We were also out of water and really hoped that we don’t have to walk on this sunny day to reach Ramgarh. We drove at an economic speed, and there were, apparently, so many speed-breakers on the road! Well, thankfully, the little fuel that we had let us reach Ramgarh. Further, Tanot is about 50 Km from Ramgarh

Finally, we reached Tanot Mata Mandir

Photo of Tanot Mata Mandir, Tanot, Rajasthan, India by Harleen Sandhu

The temple is clean and well maintained by the BSF. It's famous because none of the shells and bombs thrown by Pakistan could explode here.

Photo of Exploring The Thar by Harleen Sandhu

Below, in this picture, it says that about 450 bombs and shells were thrown by Pakistan but none of them exploded, owing to the blessings of Tanot Mata. A scientific reason behind this could be soft sandy earth!

Photo of Exploring The Thar by Harleen Sandhu

Tanot Mata Mandir(Maintained by BSF)

Photo of Exploring The Thar by Harleen Sandhu

you must visit Longewala for a thrilling experience. You’ll have to watch out for a road turning towards right as soon as you get out of the temple. Alternatively, you can reach Ramgarh and then take the road to Longewala, but this will be the longer route.

Photo of Exploring The Thar by Harleen Sandhu

Outside Tanot Mata Mandir

Jaisalmer is 54 Km from Tanot

Photo of Exploring The Thar by Harleen Sandhu

When you reach Longewala, you’d be invited to watch a documentary based on the Battle of Longewala. The Battle happened in 1971, after which Pakistan ceded East Pakistan/Bangladesh. Pakistan’s motive behind the attack was: The attention of the Indian Army was focused towards the East border with Pakistan(Bangladesh). Pakistan saw this as an opportunity to capture Jaisalmer, Jodhpur and eventually reach Delhi. The Indian soldiers guarding the Longewala post in Jaisalmer were least prepared. The Pakistan Army outnumbered Indian Army. However, Major Kuldeep Singh and his battalion fought with bravery and intellect. The war was between 100 Indian soldiers and 100 tanks of Pakistan.

Today, you can see the captured tanks and trucks of Pakistan lying around there, where civilians can climb and click pictures with pride.

Photo of Longewala, Rajasthan, India by Harleen Sandhu

Some inspiring lines said by our war heroes are mentioned on way that heads to captured Pakistani tanks.

Photo of Exploring The Thar by Harleen Sandhu
Photo of Exploring The Thar by Harleen Sandhu

Don't miss to see the Pakistani flag on the captured tank.

Photo of Exploring The Thar by Harleen Sandhu
Photo of Exploring The Thar by Harleen Sandhu
Photo of Exploring The Thar by Harleen Sandhu
Photo of Exploring The Thar by Harleen Sandhu

After exploring Tanot and Lonewala, you can reach Jaisalmer by evening and find a comfortable hotel. You can spend the night by shopping in the local Jaisalmer market which surrounds the famous Jaisalmer Fort. Hanuman Chowk is the center of the city, everything you need to find surrounds it.

Jaisalmer Fort at night

Photo of Exploring The Thar by Harleen Sandhu

Jaisalmer Fort is whole city in itself with shops and people living inside it. The Fort is visible from almost every place in the city.

Day 3

Day 3: Sand dunes, Kuldhara, Lodurva and Jaisalmer Fort

The next morning we headed on to see the above three mentioned places, all in the same direction and really close to Jaisalmer.

On your way, you can also do some paragliding. On reaching sam sand dunes, you'd be offered camel rides. The view here is mesmerizing. A film shoot here is not uncommon.

Photo of Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, India by Harleen Sandhu

A good place to click pictures.

Photo of Exploring The Thar by Harleen Sandhu

Now, comes the most crucial part! Kuldhara the Ghost Village

The locals say that the villagers abandoned the village about 200 years ago and nobody knows why the village was abandoned. As we entered, we saw small broken structures made of sandstone. The whole placed looked golden. As we got closer, I tried to catch a view of the entire place from a high place, and here’s how it looked like.

Kuldhara Ghost Village

Photo of Kuldhara, Rajasthan, India by Harleen Sandhu

Most of the houses/rooms didn’t have roofs. The village is quite big and you would also at times feel as if you’re in a maze.

Photo of Exploring The Thar by Harleen Sandhu

Ghost search showed error 404 but we did find a temple.

Photo of Exploring The Thar by Harleen Sandhu

Heading on to Lodurva now. Lodurva has a Jain Temple with unique architecture. You can have your lunch here and also taste the Jain cuisine at the temple. The thali is INR 60.

Photo of Lodurva, Rajasthan, India by Harleen Sandhu

There is also a "Kalpa Vriksh" in the temple.

Temple roof

Photo of Exploring The Thar by Harleen Sandhu
Photo of Exploring The Thar by Harleen Sandhu

The Jaisalmer Fort is full of colours inside.

Photo of Jaisalmer Fort, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, India by Harleen Sandhu

And lots of Rajasthani tradition

Photo of Exploring The Thar by Harleen Sandhu

Jaisalmer Fort is not well kept. Auto rikshaws, scooters, bikes and maruti 800, all are allowed inside the wide fort corridors. Oh, and cattle too!

And this my readers, is the golden city of Jaisalmer as seen from the top of Jaisalmer Fort.

Photo of Exploring The Thar by Harleen Sandhu

Day 4: Jodhpur

290 Km from Jaisalmer, we reached Jodhpur by noon. Unlike Jaisalmer, Jodhpur is a very big city. It can be tricky to park your vehicle to find a hotel because nobody follows traffic rules here, plus the cattle ramp walks the road like they own the road!

The main attraction in Jodhpur is the Mehrangarh Fort. It clean and well maintained unlike the Jaisalmer Fort.

Jodhpur as seen from Mehrangarh Fort

Photo of Exploring The Thar by Harleen Sandhu

You'll have to buy a ticket to see Mehrangarh Fort, but it's totally worth it.

Mehrangarh Fort

Photo of Exploring The Thar by Harleen Sandhu

Another place you should not miss out in Jodhpur is the iconic clock tower, which is something you can find in every city in India. Anyway, the market around it reflects the true culture, so hence, you must visit. There's no need to get out of the fort. You can reach the clock tower right from the Fort's terrace. Ask someone to help you find the way.

Photo of Exploring The Thar by Harleen Sandhu
Photo of Exploring The Thar by Harleen Sandhu

Day 5: Back to Ludhiana via Bikaner.

Can spend about half an hour in Bikaner to enjoy Raj Kachauri.

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