Into the Golden City: Jaisalmer

23rd Feb 2017

Road to the Horizon!

Photo of Into the Golden City: Jaisalmer by Solaceonwheels

“Road-trip is the solution to all the problems of life”

For me, bliss is being inside a vehicle and the wheels are moving towards any goddamn place on this planet. Bunch of good mates and thought of some 2000 long kms for the next three days makes me jump off the couch ten times at least. Unlikely for a Delhiite over long weekend, we decided to visit deserts this time, The Thar deserts, Jaislamer!

This narration is going to give you certain eye-openers as in how to plan a trip when you are travelling this long. It is going to be a blend of criticism and appreciation which popped out of the travel experience to Aapno Rajasthan.

The Inception:

After marking Manali and Kheerganga, some 3 months earlier the trio were again reeling under the miseries of the daily 9 to 6 routine and decided to hit the roads again. The journey was long with a lone driver and car, which was not conditioning the air for us. The whiff of the trip blew and then we were four! The new member having a new car was an icing on the cake. The idea was to run the rubbers towards West this time. The day finally came and we were busy clearing the backlogs in office to attain nirvana during the short vacation. Alas, our minds were not so well engaged in work and we were merrily tangled scrolling through the route details on the internet.

The Journey Begins:

Photo of Into the Golden City: Jaisalmer 1/2 by Solaceonwheels
Objects in the Mirror!

1800 hours we finally got all the ingredients of the trip aligned and now, all we had to do was to wave the city bye bye. Gurgaon was what we had to cross in order to get ourselves to the NH-8. This would have took us to the destination, but as likely, it was choked just like any other weekend and this made our itinerary a bit tougher. We tried all the possible routes that one could have thought of for dodging the traffic snarls on the way but all in vain, we ended up losing some 2 and ½ hours of the crucial fun time trying to tackle the traffic of Gurgaon. Taking the Golf course extension to Sohna road and later straight to Kherki Dhaula escaping the NH8 we staggered up our way till the Manesar toll on NH-8.

One should always be wary of crossing this very patch before 6PM in the evening if the plan is to drive it pass during any long weekends, as the connectivity of the road to Jaipur and other catchable places near NCR overburdens it with heavy load of vehicles. 15-20 minutes were what the toll took us to cross. The faces brightened with grin again. This was the first time we felt that we are on vacation. Or else it seemed that the God of roads are punishing us for all the sins we have accumulated during our life time by flouting the traffic rules ☺

This seemed delightful and every forward inches were feeling ecstatic. We drove flew some 2 hours flawlessly and the moon moved along with the continuous vigil form the top. It was jolly jolly all around till NHAI burst our bubble again with a kms long tailed traffic jam on the very next toll plaza (near Neemrana). Beleaguered by trucks all around we felt struck at the mercy of don’t know whom! Although, they took their own sweet time to pardon us the way ahead after killing another 45 minutes out of our schedule.

Without being bogged down with sundry hurdles, we kept the tempo up with some good music taking rounds for tickling the feeling of buddy trip. The very next hitch landed us to a small Dhaba on the highway just in the periphery of Neemrana city and there’s where we rejuvenated our motivation and forged ahead with our Food safari. Rajasthan has some really good Dhabas where you can find Desi Khaats to keep you at ease, gatte ki sabji, dal and Chaas that will keep you drooling for years in memories. We consumed consciously, considering the availability of basic washroom facility on the ways to come ahead. The winter was at fag-end and this incited us to have a tea before we moved any west. After a comprehensive 1 hour break we kicked our asses again and put ourselves back on the seats.

Photo of Into the Golden City: Jaisalmer 2/2 by Solaceonwheels
The Bonfire!

The traffic from here has been grossly decent and allowed to speed up the journey, and we did so. The route that we chose to take was a road less taken, and costed us a bit more distance than usual, it was via Jaipur.

After crossing Jaipur, we took the Jaipur-Ajmer highway where the traffic on the roads are relatively lower and is quite wonderful to drive upon. The particular road takes you through the circumference of Puskar and Ajmer-Sherrif, which are quite famous for their own mythological importance. The only intruding part of driving pass this terrain is the numerous tollbooths which drives you crazy and kill the momentum of the journey. Continuously we drove till dawn broke on the way. Catching the sun coming out of the darkness was a quite a panoramic view in itself altogether.

Day 2

Somewhere during the Journey...

Photo of Dantiwara, Rajasthan, India by Solaceonwheels

We halted for using restroom in the middle of nowhere as we found out a relatively better hotel where one can do the daily chores and start the day. After resting for comprehensive interval of near about 1 hour, we again made our move towards the deserts. By this time we were on single road with very minimal traffic, this allowed us to move steadily. We still were a substantial distance away from where we had to reach- Jaisalmer. After driving around some 2-3 hours further, we started getting the occasional glimpses of the desert, which was highly craved for. The roads, particularly in this patch are pleasure to drive upon, not only for the quality of the concrete but also for the scenic surroundings, which follows you through.

We succumbed to hunger by around 12:30 in the noon and accorded ourselves some brunch for keeping tempo alive. The place was good, in the middle of jungle, besides the road and the quality of food was fabulous (or it seemed to be after such a long break to the stomach). After spending some 45 minutes or so, filling our tummies up, we again started towards Jaisalmer with the travelling tempo buoyed-up.

And that's Rajasthan for you...

Photo of Into the Golden City: Jaisalmer by Solaceonwheels

By this time, the roads were full of military trucks and vehicles moving in large fleets. The movement was so much in abundance that, if someone is not aware of the fact that army movements are a routine work and they keep it doing on regular timeframes, one might believe that there is something fishy at the border. The roads were mostly deserted in this patch and the condition is also not quite appreciable. We drove till very near to Jaisalmer to find better roads and windmills on both the sides. The view of fields with windmills till the horizon was a very different kind of feeling as none of us had ever seen that before. This lured us to take a halt and capture the beauty of science.

Driving on, we reached Golden city and purchased the essentials form the main city market as one does not has the luxury of getting the market where we were about to put up. From the city it takes around 30-45 minutes to reach Sam sand-dunes where we had our accommodation pre-booked. The place is into the middle of desert and the personb who has never been to deserts before must find it amazing.


We reached the hotel where we already planned our stay arrangements. It was a basically a desert camp with swiss tents that we booked for. The place looked wonderful and we started formulating the plan of unboxing the ideas of the enjoyment being at the place. Jumping we reached the reception, and our bubble was burst in the most brazen way. We were denied rooms inside that very camp and hotel authorities told us to take another one at a different place, which we found to be not matching our interests. The reason for denial was lamest one can consider- there was a group of girls staying in the camp who were on a college trip and have asked the hotel authorities not to accommodate bachelors inside the premise.

However, we plodded on the requesting thing and tried almost every nuance that can be orchestrated though words, but in vain. Frenzied, we written a complaint to the portal which booked us the stay at the camp and were intimated that we will be contacted within 48 hours. Just imagine, you have travelled 900 kms long, not even blinked eyes for the last 36 hours, broken by a strenuous journey and after reaching the destination you are told by your hotelier that you cannot be allotted rooms here and can opt a refund.

The arguments and behaviour made us even stubborn and the discussion heated up. We decided to accommodate in the same premise and moved to the local police for help. The police vehicle was on patrol and we stopped them by waving hands on the road. We found the personnel’s quite cooperative and they accompanied us to the camp. We finally managed our stay at the same facility once the cops came to the rescue.

Jeep Safari:

Following and tedious journey and an elaborated heat-up at the camp, we decided to trash the camel safari that was in our hotel’s package and make it to Jeep safari. They basically charge you some Rs. 1000 for an hour of drive on 4x4 in to ‘The Thar desert’ but oh boy, every nano-second of it counts, and your heart skips a beat every time the jeep turns just like a lone aircraft left into the sky with a doped pilot. The way these drivers are habituated of driving in the desert will infuse driving goals for you. There are defined paths amidst the sand dunes, which can be trotted only upon a 4x4 vehicle.

Into the Desert...

Photo of Into the Golden City: Jaisalmer by Solaceonwheels

Standing at the back of the gypsy, it will give you another kind of a high! It was about a sunset in the desert, which was another beauty to behold. The nature has its own skills when it comes to demonstrate the versatilities. The sunset (Pic below) in the mountains vs the sunset in to the deserts, both are differently picturesque and seems specially juxtaposed by the God. Capturing some memories, we moved back to the camp where our vehicle dropped us and we added some tip while paying him off for one of the most surreal drives we had ever experienced.

Beauty to behold!

Photo of Into the Golden City: Jaisalmer by Solaceonwheels

Night @ Jaisalmer:

We nestled into our swiss camps and rested with the evening refreshments. There was some arrangement for Rajasthani folk dance and some local cultural events, through which they showcase the history of the land to the visitors. We were a part of the evening events, but we volunteered to maintain a distance as we had our own plans to chill. The dinner was served in a while and we finished for day after a hectic drive all the way from Delhi and the special welcome we were transcended by the hotel staffs during the course of check-in.

Tanot Mata Temple:

Day 3

If you have watched the movie Border, you must be aware of the temple depicted in flick which was remained un-harmed by the numerous bombarding which happened across the LOC during 1971 war. This makes the temple special and encourages the belief in God. The drive from Jaisalmer to the temple is an experience in itself and is completely through the desert on both the sides. The seldom sight of other vehicles on the road adds to the fun in driving and instigates you to capture some pictures as well.

We reached Tanot after a drive of some 2 hours from the Golden city as the distance is anywhere between 115-120 kms. The temple and a Mazaar is amalgamated together which is quite an uncommon symbol of communal harmony (Pic below). Just to add, all the cellular networks, excepting BSNL are lost when you are at distance of some 25-30 kms from Tanot. We had an important professional assignment to do for which we required internet connectivity, and we had to take a drive back for finishing the task before we could drive ahead on our itinerary.

The Picture says it all!

Photo of Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, India by Solaceonwheels

Longewala Post:

It is one of the most magnetic location around the city which attracts most of the travellers to the place. The post is symbol of the valor of our army as we mowed down the evil intended Pak army in the year 1971 discouraging their vision of extending their territory, despite them being humongously outnumbered. The border is still some 10-15 kms (Pic Below) from the post, but still the Pak army managed their way till longewala post during the war.

One can see the milestone (Pic Below) which the opponent army brought with them for marking their extended territory during the war. Also, there are several war-tanks and vehicles around, which were destroyed by our army for violating the LOC. The scope of living there challenges the nerves as one cannot see any habitation for the next 30-35 kms around. The presence of army in such a vicious place earns tons of respects and wins our heart thousand times.

Photo of Into the Golden City: Jaisalmer by Solaceonwheels

Milestone brought by Pak Army.

Photo of Into the Golden City: Jaisalmer by Solaceonwheels

'Every clock that matters, ticks continuously.'

Counting on the days, we had to move back to our base as it was a long way back home. We started from Longewala towards Delhi by around 1500 hours and took shelter in Jodhpur for the night. The very next day, half-heartedly, we once again packed for ourselves and the nomads made their way back home.

Day 4

The journey was about to begin, before it just ended! :p