Friday, 1 February 2013

Delhi To Jaisalmer


2,500 km, 8 days, 8 destinations, 3 posts


            On the morning of the 31st of December we set off from Delhi at 6 in the morning. We stopped at a restaurant near Rewari which had a huge open area. It always used to be empty, at least the number of times I have gone there. We were curious to know the reason and we asked them why they have such a big place and still it is empty at all times. The person there said usually people come for lunch or dinner, many foreigners also come here. As I walked towards the open field I heard some shooting. Then I saw the mountain which was beside the field there was something written on it, it said ‘firing range’. I stayed in the field for some time enjoying the view of the mustard plants and the shots that were being fired. After eating breakfast we drove on, my father driving now. I kept thinking of stopping for lunch but then it would get late. We finally decided against stopping and reached Laxmi Niwas Palace, Bikaner at 4 pm. It is a heritage hotel which is taken on lease for 99 years by my fathers’ friend.

I took some photos of birds in the evening and at night we went to the main garden where the New Year celebration was happening. We ate dinner and went to sleep at around 12. I was very happy as 2013 came as there were many fatal road accidents occurring in 2012. In the morning we woke up a bit late and after eating breakfast we set off from Bikaner at around 12 noon, my father was driving again, 50 kilometers away from Bikaner he suddenly took a right turn off the highway where there was no road, just tracks of tractors on mud. We followed the tracks and they brought us to a mud house. We stopped there and started talking to an old woman who seemed to be the only person there but I was wrong, suddenly 7-8 children appeared from behind us shouting merrily, a man followed them and after that two women with one holding a small child in her arms. The middle aged man told us ‘we are all a joint family’ and pointed at two other mud houses not too far off, ‘these are also our houses’. The old woman was the mother of this man, he had three more brothers who also stayed in these mud houses. the nearest hospital from there was 50 kilometers away in Bikaner, the closest police station was 10 kilometers away. These people were very happy with their way of living. We said thank you to them and continued our journey.
            We planned to reach Jaisalmer before sunset. We were at Suryagarh hotel right before sunset. This hotel was made to look like a fort from the outside with luxurious rooms inside. This was also owned by the same friend of my fathers’. The entrance told me the grandiosity of this fort like hotel. I am always fascinated by old monuments and this looked just like that from the outside which made me feel good about this place. But as soon as we stepped in to the building it felt like I had suddenly reached 2050 AD after being in the 17th century a moment ago! This I thought was the best thing about this hotel, it gives you the humungous feeling the kings of the olden times had and it also gives you a feeling that you are in the future. As we got to our room I realised that the there was not just one similarity between the olden times and this hotel but there was another similarity, there was a great bath in our room! It soon got dark and I decided to go and explore this humungous hotel. The engineer of this hotel saw me taking photos and told me to come with him, he would show me even better views. He was right, he took me outside the building and a few meters away from it, then he told me took look back and the view was great! I saw the building with its lightings, for the next half an hour, he gave me a tour all around the hotel. I was tired by the end of the tour and went back to the room and called it a day.
Next morning I was woken up by my father just before sunrise. I took photos of the sunrise as it came up from behind a hill. Soon everyone was up and we went down for breakfast after getting ready. My father had planned the day for us. First we went to the main part of the city. We stopped at Kalakar (artisans) colony. My father knows a person who stays there, Ghazi Khan, a musician. We went to his house and started talking to him. He told us about his life as a musician. He gets to travel the world! He has gone to more than 100 countries but still stays in a small house given to many artisans by the government. He says, I want to stay here so that this place is exclusive to just artisans and was also dissapointed with the people who sold their house in this colony and started staying somewhere else. After thanking him for his time, we moved on to the Jaisalmer Fort. This fort houses 4000 families, 84 restaurants and 42 hotels! I had mixed feelings for this fact, one was a good feeling because it gives a home to many people who would have been on the road if this fort was not built but bad feelings about how people made it a market place through restaurants and hotels. There was garbage all around. We spoke to a woman who stays in the fort, she said our ancestors stayed here, the king of Jaisalmer made this fort so that it gives a place to stay for so many people. As we moved upwards we crossed narrow lanes and reached the top of the fort, the view was lovely. The whole Jaisalmer city was under our view. We soon came back down and were on our way to Suryagarh when Jasbir uncle told us that there are 84 villages in the surroundings that were emptied when the king came to one of the villages and said that I am going to marry this woman tomorrow. The 84 villages were emptied in one night! We asked someone where it was and went towards it. We reached soon enough and saw the ruins of the village. All we saw were a few stone structures all similar to each other. There were two rooms in each house. After about half an hour we head towards Suryagarh. We asked them where the sand dunes were. They booked camels for us and told us the way. It was about 30 kilometers from Jaisalmer city and 20 kilometers from Suryagarh. There was a lot of crowd there but we enjoyed our camel ride despite so much noise. After the camel ride we walked around the sand dunes and took photos of yet another sun set...
This is obviously not the end, wait for the next post which continues this adventurous journey...  

6 comments:

  1. abnerriiii this is so cuuute :) keep it going "asit is not the end" lolol! x

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  2. Hope there is more of your views in the next blog, could you please add some in the ones you have already written.

    So many sunsets surely there were some sunrises too, and a dust storm or a cold moonless night

    more adjectives please and not so many days, months and minutes.

    kamala

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  3. detailed experience .. It seems you really enjoyed this journey and you have a beautiful memories of this .. way to go Abner.

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