The golden city, or Jaiselmer, is one of my favorite cities in the state of Rajasthan, India. It got its name, the golden city, due to the amazing architecture, which is mostly made up of yellow sandstone, giving a yellowish golden tinge to the city.
This heritage city provides a lot of attractions to the visitors which include, the famous Jaisalmer Fort, which is the second oldest fort in Rajasthan and the impressive camel safari in the Thar desert.
The Jaisalmer Fort :
The Jaisalmer Fort also declared as a UNESCO world heritage site in 2003, is a quite historic fort, having a rich heritage. This fort is huge, usually bustling with people, having a ton of narrow alleys, temples, shops, hotels, rooftop cafes, and many more delightful attractions. Nearly one-fourth of the old city’s population still resides within the fort. Due to the sandstone, this fort turns into a beautiful color of honey gold during sunset, camouflaging with the desert, for this reason, many people also call it the Sonar Quila which translates to The Golden Fort. Apart from this, it has a lot of craftwork and art. One can see many handicraft shops and spicy street food in various corners of the fort.
The fort is usually very crowded during the day time, however, I also did a little night tour in the fort, in which I walked through the exquisite architecture, also meeting some of the local people who lived inside the fort, asking them about their lives, and then visiting a rooftop cafe, from which I witnessed an amazing view of the city, that was however quite peaceful than the daytime, but experiencing the fort in the warm sun has a very graceful charm.
The Thar Desert :
The camel safari, amidst the Thar desert, is a whole new experience… The safari includes, being amongst the camels and then riding on the back of the camels, which was quite thrilling. Then we stayed in the tents organized for us, and had an experience of camping in the desert.
I went to Gujarat last year in the month of september with my family. It was a short trip, and we covered just two places which are little Rann of Kutch and Ahemdabad.
We first stayed at the Royal Safari Camp at Bajana which was near the wild ass sanctuary and the resort was pretty good and comfortable, the staff was friendly and the food was tasty. Even in the month of september the afternoons were crazy hot and it started getting cooler at about 5 pm. We decided to take the safari in the evening.
Little Rann of Kutch :
I never imagined that it would be such a unique and delightful experience! The word rann means “salty desert” and while driving through the Little Rann of Kutch, a salty desert is all you see. The ground in the little Rann of kutch is all dried and cracked, the air felt hot and dry. I think this saline desert had a lot to offer to wildlife lovers, birdwatchers and wildlife photographers having an amazing variety of flora and fauna. I could see pink flamingoes, nilgai, hyena, hares, hedgehogs, foxes and many other beautiful birds and animals, and as this place is well known for its wild asses, we too saw many of them…We also saw some people who sheltered there and manufactured salt, they even showed us the real salt crystals and told us how they make salt, which was quiet interesting
Moreover I liked Little Rann of Kutch because it was, silent, free of any noise pollution, had an amazing wildlife and was a very different experience.
Next day first we went to a place near the sanctuary, in a town called Patan that was called “Rani Ki Vav” which was a huge stepwell, had a wonderful architecture and it is also one of the UNESCO world heritage sites. Designed as an inverted temple highlighting the importance of water and its storage system ,this stepwell was built as a memorial to a king Bhimdev by his wife Udayamati during 1063 to 1068 AD
We also went to the Patola House near the Rani ki vav which was a museum of the Patan Patola Saree and they gave us a demo of how they weave the saree, thread by thread, creating beautiful and detailed designs on them. I found it very creative…
After the “Patola House” we went to the “Modhera Sun Temple” which was no less, it also had a stepwell and a beautiful temple. This temple is situated on the banks of river Pushpavati and is dedicated to the Sun god The exterior walls are engraved with beautiful detailed carvings and many carved pillars. It was definitely worth a visit!
After a long drive, we went to the famous Akshardham temple in Gandhinagar. It is a large Hindu temple complex inspired by Yogiji maharaj. The temple was beautiful and we also saw the light show which was very colorful and interesting.
In Ahemdabad we stayed at Novotel, which was near the SG highway. On the Second day we first went to the Gandhi Ashram commonly called the Sabarmati ashram built along the banks of Sabarmati river.There were different small rooms in the ashram and a museum which provided the knowledge about many historical movements that took place during the freedom struggle such as the Dandi salt march led by Mahatma Gandhi. It was very informative..
In the evening we went to diner at The House Of Mg which is a heritage hotel and also had a walk in the market nearby. We got to eat proper Gujarati meal in a proper Gujarati way, the meal was quiet heavy, specially for me because I don’t really eat much but it was really delicious, there were starters and then the real big Gujarati thali which contained a lot of vegetables, rice etc. Almost everything had a little bit of sweetness in it which complimented the saltiness. Gujarati’s are famous for sweetness I guess, in their food as well as in people.
So that’s all that we did in our very short trip but I am really glad we made this trip happen as even in the few places that we visited my family and I got to experience very different things. Hope you like my blog!!