I was amazed when I arrived early in the morning by train in the destination that carries the sobriquet of the Golden City of Rajasthan, Jaisalmer. We took an auto rickshaw to reach our guest house and after refreshing ourselves we headed out for breakfast. We went to a rooftop restaurant for our breakfast that was blessed with a majestic and unforgettable view of the Jaisalmer fort. As the sun rays illuminate the fort, it metamorphoses into a Golden Citadel. The fort is built with yellow sandstone and is a highlight of the region. Traveling in Rajasthan would truly be incomplete without a visit to Jaisalmer.
The intimidating Jaisalmer Fort
The 30 feet high wall lends the fort a formidable aura. Local musicians welcome you with Sufi music. I visited some of the Hindu and Jain temples, many beautiful palaces, and havelis inside the fort. The fort also provides a
panoramic view of the city and an opportunity to meet the locals and witness their lives’ daily activities. A visit to Jaisalmer can be more relaxing than you originally thought! The city is less crowded and smaller compared to other cities of Rajasthan. You can explore Jaisalmer through its narrow streets heading towards the fort. You may feel lost at times but do not hesitate to ask the friendly locals for directions.
The expansive Thar Desert and our camel ride
We embarked upon a jeep ride from the Fort and headed towards the Thar Desert, also known as the Great Indian Desert, the largest desert in India. The undulating sand dunes were dotted with the majestic yet graceful Ships of the Desert, the hump-backed and humble dromedary camel. We visited some of the villages that lay nestled on the way till we finally reached our camp in the late afternoon. We were received with a warm welcome by the camp staff with wet towels and a welcome drink. After a couple of hours we left for our camel ride. It was an exhilarating experience that culminated at the top of the dunes near the sunset point. It was at the sunset point that we truly realised why Jaisalmer is called the Golden City. The orange sky rippled like fire and was a mesmerizing sight. We enjoyed our dinner in the evening while watching a traditional dance performance by the local villagers. The most amazing moment was just after dinner when the lights went off and the clear sky was illuminated with countless stars. It was an unimaginable moment to be in the middle of a vast unrelenting desert, far away from the crowds and pollution of a city. Even tiny fireflies and insects turned into musicians and singers that night to entrain the guests.
I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to this magical city and as a customized travel specialist of India I would strongly recommend travelling to Jaisalmer, the land of Golden Sands.