Wonderful Travel Experience of Jodhpur and Jaisalmer, Rajasthan: A Photo Essay
‘Travel expands the mind, and fills the gap.’
‘Travelling—It makes you speechless and then turns you into a storyteller.’
Amazing Trip to Jodhpur and Jaisalmer, Rajasthan
The end of a calendar year is usually celebrated with family and friends. And most of us want to welcome the New year with the entire family, on a positive note. The joy of being together is enhanced, if we go on a vacation, to a familiar place or explore a new place. Traveling, is not only educational, but it helps us with new enthusiasm and energy. It helps to de-stress and rejuvenate us.
This year, my family decided to welcome the New Year, among the majestic forts, magnificent palaces and the vast deserts of the Indian state of Rajasthan, and that too, via road trip.
Road trips with family is a wonderful and enriching experience. You have the flexibility of time and you are able to see all the remote places, all along on your way.
The Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India
The Indian state of Rajasthan is the most popular tourist destination for Indians and foreigners alike. It may be because of the lifestyle of the local people, who still live and believe in the age old traditions and have well preserved their culture, in the fast changing World and the urbanisation all around, in general.
The Rajasthani people take great pride in showcasing their age old art, craft, folk music and dances, and in welcoming the guests.
Our first stop was at the majestic Mehrangarh Fort, built on a rugged cliff and located almost at the centre of Jodhpur.
Jodhpur is also known as the ‘Blue city’, because the roofs of the houses are painted blue. One of best maintained and well preserved Forts of India. It was an amazing experience to see the well preserved belongings of the Maharajahs or the kings and the Maharanis or the queens of those times.
The Fort gives special focus to the art, music and dances by the folk artists. At different locations, inside the Fort premises, one can find folk artists performing live.
There are many dedicated museums, inside the Fort, featuring the ancient artifacts of the Royal kingdoms. The museums have an impressive collection of the Royal memorabilia, their personal collection of precious stones, jewels, weapons, arms, paintings, thrones, turbans, Howdahs, palanquins and many other extraordinary articles of those times.
The belongings of the Royal kingdoms at display.
There were lifts available to reach to the top of the Fort, which was at a great height. But we preferred to walk through the well preserved paths of the Fort. In those times the elephants or the camels were used for this purpose.
The Fort museum has many segments, the portraits of the ancient Emperors, former Kings, Queens, their costumes, jewellery, weapons, coins, turbans, utensils etc. Details about each item is well explained through boards, in Hindi and English language.
The Queen’s Fort and some of the significant pictures.
In the earlier times of the Royal kingdoms, the Kings and the Queens had separate forts, and their helpers also lived in huge forts. The Queens also had important roles to play in the administration of the state, the social work and other management.
Some pictures from their extravagant and luxurious lives.
The Queen had separate baithaks, court room, temples, kitchen, dining room etc.
Some pictures to show their extraordinary lives.
The Royal Howdahs.
Those were the times, when animals such as horses, elephants, camels and others were used for traveling. Fine quality of wood, silver, gold and other such materials were used to make these Howdahs, meant for the Royal movement from one place to another.
There were so many of them. Some pictures of the Howdahs, showcased in the Fort museum.
Besides, many portraits of the Royals, and the significant details about their rule, the coins, costumes, jewellery are showcased in the Fort museum. They give a good idea of the Royal life in those times. Altogether it was a great learning experience.
The Ummaid Bhavan Palace, Jodhpur, Rajasthan
Rapid modernisation by the turn of the 20th century, was taking place and it was not considered fashionable to live in the forts. It is then that the royal family built an opulent Palace for themselves, The Ummaid Bhavan. They moved from the Fort to this palace.
The elegant palace has preserved it’s share of the Royal memorabilia in the museum of the Ummaid Bhavan. The collection of the vintage cars, used by the Royals, is a treat to the eyes. The museum at the palace gives an idea of the extraordinary and extravagant lives of the Royals, whether their drawing room, dining room, libraries etc.
A section of the palace has been converted into a luxury hotel.
The Badabagh or the ’Chattris’
The Badabagh, which means the big garden, is an impressive and beautiful row of Cenotaphs. It is around 6 kilometers from the Jaisalmer city, and is accessible through the road.
One can find the gardens, tanks, pillars and dams. They are made of locally found yellow sandstones, and appear beautiful golden in colours.
The Cenotaphs are known as Chattris and have been constructed to honour the various royal kings and rulers, in their memory.
The Gadisar Lake:
The Gadisar lake was constructed before 1367 A.D. to preserve the rainwater and it provided water to the entire Jaisalmer town. Nowadays, the lake gets it’s water from a canal and fulfils the requirement of water in the town.
The artistically carved entrance gate to the lake is called Tilon ki pol.
All along the bank of the lake, one can find temples and shrines. Another attraction of the lake is, the many different species of migratory birds, in and around the lake.
Jaisalmer, The Golden City.
The Golden City, as it is popularly termed, Jaisalmer, is famous for it’s rustic beauty, golden looking Fort and houses.
The Jaisalmer Fort is constructed on a yellow sandstone ridge. The whole city looks golden and Sun kissed, due to the yellow colour of the sandstone. Especially, during Sunrise and Sunset, the view is breathtakingly beautiful.
The Thar Deserts, The Sand Dunes, The Camel Safari:
The Thar Deserts on the northwestern part of India, is also called as the Great Indian Desert. It is the 17th largest desert in the World and the 9th largest subtropical deserts. (References at the bottom).
It is spread across 77, 000 square miles, (200,000 square k.m.), and forms a natural boundary between India and Pakistan.
We were mesmerised to see the SAM, Sand dunes of the Thar Deserts, rising abruptly high and low, with sandy plains, in between. There was sand everywhere, as far as the eyes could see.
The Mother Nature never fails to amaze us. It is full of beauty, in any form or colour, and watching the Sand dunes was indeed a lifetime experience.
The Camel Safari all along the Sand dunes is an unforgettable experience. The dessert view is celebrated with well organised folk music and dance festivals. The dessert camps can be pre-booked through travel sites to witness these extraordinary celebrations of culture and traditions.
Some useful references, if you are planning a Rajasthan trip
Best Tourist destinations in Rajasthan, Source: YouTube
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Chitrangada Sharan