Something about me

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Jaisalmer - Part 1

We planned our trip to Jaisalmer with friends, who were thereafter going ahead and visiting Jodhpur and Udaipur as part of a larger Rajasthan itinerary. I always tell people Rajasthan is best taken in small doses as it can become overwhelming otherwise - an option we fortunately have since we live in Northern India. We packed up and left for the Old Delhi railway station well in time - or so we thought. We managed to get caught in a minor jam near the old city, which took forever to clear. Our train was at 5.30 pm and our cabbie deposited us at the station entry gate at 5.27 pm precisely!! I had given up all hope that we could catch our train. We ran at top speed through the station, thankfully encountering a minimal crowd at the luggage screening. Up a long flight of stairs, panting and with a terrible stitch in my side (it's no joke running while carrying a 13 kg bundle!), down another flight of stairs, sure until the last minute that the train was going to draw away from the platform. Ahead of me, I could see S with our two suitcases hurtling down the steps, while behind me our friend was rapidly shepherding a nervous Ads through the bustle.
Thanks to the inefficiency of Indian railways, we managed to make it just in the nick of time to our coach, as the train departed at 5.35 pm :) Definitely the slowest train in the country, it took it's own sweet time to reach Jaisalmer the next day at 11 am. We stayed in the nicest little hotel, right inside the Jaisalmer fort. It was a tad expensive for the amenities, but the rooms, loos and sheets were clean, there was unlimited free chai and bottled water available, the staff was really courteous and friendly, plus we had a really nice view of the "golden city" from our room. The city does look luminous in the sunlight as all the buildings there are made of a particular golden-yellow shade of sandstone, very beautiful indeed.

The city view from our room
The room was cool even without the AC, so we had a nice long post-lunch nap, being all tired from our long rail journey and what not. After a refreshing cup of chai to wake us up, we set off to the Gadisar lake, a man-made catchment area created in 1537.

Tilon ki Pol at Gadisar Lake

Ads got his full paisa-vasool at the lakeside because it's common there to feed the catfish. People were throwing pieces of bread into the water and the catfish (big ones, though I was assured by Ads that they can grow upto 6 feet in length) fought over the choice bits. It all looked very slimy to me but Ads and Y were thrilled to bits.


The boatride across the lake was beautiful although we had to shield ourselves against the searing late afternoon sun. We saw ducks, geese and even a distant stork.

Gadisar lake
And some of it's inhabitants

Later, we went to the Sunset point (also known as Vyas Chattri) which has amazing views of the city. The Chattris of the royals are nothing much to look at, being arresting primarily because of the yellow sandstone they are made of which lends an undeniable attractiveness especially in the light of the setting sun.

Sunset through Vyas Chhatri

Can you see the Fort in the distance?
We also had our first taste of Ker Sangri, a desert and Jaisalmer speciality. It is a delicious dish made of Ker, a round pod-like vegetable and Sangri, which is some variety of cluster beans. It is peculiarly tangy, but mildly so. A very delicate and satisfying accompaniment to rotis and needless to say, we stuffed our faces full of this new discovery at every meal! Surprisingly, Y liked it a lot (another favourite of hers was the churma), confirming my suspicion that her tastebuds are rather more refined than her brother's.
So ended our first day in Jaisalmer city. Coming up - a half-day and a night in the desert!


  1. I just realised ( after reading your blog for so long), that you take very nice photographs. I guess I was so caught up with the reading that I didn't pay special attention to them.

    1. Thanks! I personally don't think they are great shakes, and we only have a standard point n click camera. But thanks :)

  2. I just love the view from your room. Feel like sitting at that window and staring into the distance

    1. It was lovely! I didn't think the golden sandstone would look so good but it grew on me.

  3. That must've been a real beautiful ethnically built and decked room! View looks lovely ..
    And the catfish do look really slimy even in the pictures .. Lovely pictures and nice account!

    1. Thanks aarthy. The view was great and the catfish were...ugh....:))

  4. Wow, Jaisalmer looks lovely! I especially loved the view from your room.. What a nice way to spend a lazy afternoon - sitting on that seat and watching the city!

    Rajasthan has been on our must-see list for ages. Should do that trip sometime soon.

    I always thought Ker-Sangri was made of raw mango, somehow!

    1. I'd never heard of the dish until I went to Jaisalmer. Its yummy!


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