Major Places to visit in Jaisalmer
1) Jaisalmer fort
2) Patwa ki haweli
3) Nathmal ki haweli
4) Sam sand dunes and camel riding
5) Gadisar Lake
Jaisalmer was our next destination and on our return journey we planned to cover Bikaner. We decided to start after getting fresh in early morning so that we do not end up wasting time in Jaisalmer. We reached Jaisalmer by around 8:30 AM, luckily found a local guide and took some guidance from him and by 10 we were in the Jaisalmer fort. Took a guide (he was just hovering around there) there and started the fort visit. We booked the tickets for the Swiss camp in the Sam sand dunes from the fort only.
It is advisable not go to Sam and then book there. Book from the agencies in the fort and prefer KK. Both the guide and the local person suggested the same. They are government approved and very good. Do bargain for a thousand bucks or so, they will negotiate. Around Rs 3500 for a night in the camp (3-star facility) for 3 people and everything included (including camel ride, dinner, evening snacks, morning breakfast) is quite reasonable. Jaisalmer fort is more about residence for Brahmins in one side and the Kshatriyas on the other side. The guide showed us the places of shooting in the fort, the various gates, the famous temple inside. Do not miss the amazing Jaisalmer view from the fort top and the view of the Last railway station of India (Jaisalmer junction). A special thing about the fort architecture is the interlocking system being used, using the Jaisalmer stone for the construction of the fort, temple, havelis and all.
We completed the fort in an hour, and from there on the guide took us to the for Patwa ki haweli through the awesome Marwari houses in the galiyas. It’s almost incredible to describe the architectures of the houses of the Marwari people there.
Each house has its own architecture identified by the amazingly created balconies. Patwa ki haweli is about a Marwari garment seller during the time of king. It’s another similar haweli worth noticing for its architecture.
The guide explained about the descendents of Patwa who are currently staying in the haweli. Then the guide took us to Nathmal ki haweli. We did not enter it, but look at the architecture from outside. In Nathmal ki haweli one thing worth watching the difference in the haweli of two brothers. The haweli are adjacent and one could not actually find out the difference quickly.
Did some shopping, where the guide himself took us. We purchase some beautiful glasses created with Jaisalmer stone. By 1 PM we were done and then went for lunch on a cafe on way. And this is the ideal time to taste some special Rajasthan Dal Baati. We could not cover Gadisar Lake.
Started for SAM sand dunes by 2:15 PM. Be sure, you have your petrol tank at least half full, there are no petrol pumps on way to Sam and beyond. And then starts the awesome journey of the Thar deserts. Awesome straight road to the SAM around 42 KM and takes around 45-60 minutes. After the BSF toll, no issues in finding the KK resort.
Checked in our luggage in the Swiss camp. Its very good with wonderful attached western style toilet cum bathroom. Got an extra bed for me. Car parking was outside the campus. After an hour of rest, started for Camel riding at around 4:30 PM through the lovely sand dunes. Sitting on a camel is altogether a different experience. Till the sunset we sat on the sands for. Watching the sunset is the most beautiful part no doubt in that.
After the sunset, came back to the camp and the evening snacks was ready with the stage about to be set for the Rajasthan local music and folk songs program. There were snacks along with tea served and also there is a bar where one can have drinks. This was followed by the dinner and DJ night. It’s really cold during the night as the sand gets colder very quickly. It’s advisable to take warm clothes. Went for a sound and had a wonderful sleep in the tent. Woke up in the morning. Got fresh. Hot water facility is also available. The breakfast with hot tea was ready. Nice lovely breakfast with poori bhaji, bread butter, poha.
This completed our Jaisalmer trip and it was time to head towards Bikaner
Best time to visit: November->January
Bikaner was not in our plans but with our travel itinerary, we reached Bikaner around noon on Day 4. Still having half a day, before we could start for Delhi, we decided to at least visit areas which we can within the limited time. So we started with the Junagarh fort and the museum. And no doubt, it is better than the previous two forts in Jodhpur and Jaisalmer we visited. The amount of armory in the museum and the way they have been arranged, the POP work of the walls, the height of the fort and the overall architecture, assured us we did not wasted our time. There are free guides available.
After that we had our lunch and then toured around the city with our car. Finally we went to a shop to get some bikaneri famous mixture, they are quite good. Please get them for sure, otherwise you will miss something. Another two things worth purchasing are the canned roshogullas (canned roshogullas were first started in Bikaner) and special Rajasthan papad. After that we came back to a hotel arranged by one of my dad’s friends had a nice lovely sleep and next day early morning started for Delhi.
Best time to visit: November->January
This finished one of the more beautiful drives of mine. Overall it has been an excellent experience and new insights came in terms of the highways and historic places of Rajasthan. I hope this description will be really helpful to many. Please put in comments on the areas where I can improve my posts.