Rajasthan tour: Day 4 of 7 days series:
Our train reached the remote westernmost corner of Rajasthan at 6 am; while it was completely dark outside. Before going to hotel, we planned to visit Gadisar Lake for sunrise view; car drivers were ready to drop us for just Rs. 20; we were surprised for this unbelievable cheap rate but later realized that their real intention was to build rapport for car and hotel booking at sand dunes.
We were dropped at Gadisar Lake entrance; photographers already started arriving. Exquisite view of golden ball and reflection of finely carved ghaats in deep still water pulled passionate photographers from Malaysia to Mexico.
Localites told us that nobody catches fish from this lake. They feed the fishes every morning. Hundreds of fishes gathered for the feast. We liked the place; sat on the stairs beside ghaat for about one and half hours; then roved around the small market beside lake. Good quality and economic clothes were on sale; bought few for family.
– Take bread to feed the fishes; otherwise you will feel guilty
– During evening watch puppet show in museum
Hotel Neeraj: We stayed here for one night. Hotel is 100 m from fort with very good view from roof top. They charged us Rs. 1400. Rooms were clean, a/c was working, but furniture and decoration were so so… Next day after check-out at 9 a.m we kept our luggage for 4-5 hours in the reception and they kept good care of that.
After breakfast we visited havelis. These incredible sandstone buildings were built by wealthy merchants during eighteenth and nineteenth century. Three havelis of Jaisalmer were recognised by World Heritage Centre: Patwa ki Haveli, Nathmalji Ki Haveli and Salim Singh Ki Haveli; all of them are located in the same block, nearly two km from fort.
Patwa Ki Haveli: This is the best of all three. The intricate stonework and exuberantly carved protruding balconies of Patwa Haveli are marvel of architecture. This haveli was built by five Jain brothers. Their collection of postcards, turbans, paintings, mirror-work, perfumes and household items are displayed in the museum inside Patwa Ki Haveli.
– No need to take guide. They say same things what are written in English language beside each item.
– See fort from its roof
Nathmalji Ki Haveli: This was Prime Minister’s house. Exterior of this building is interesting. Two sides of the building were built by two brothers; both sides are similar but, you will notice, not identical. This haveli is still an inhabited private house.
– Rajasthani dolls are sold in bargain prices in front of the havelis.
– You may buy good quality camel and elephant printed bed sheets/ dress pieces from shops near havelis.
At 4 pm we visited Bada Bagh, a cluster of cenotaphs built in memory of Jaisalmer’s rulers.
Domed roofs shade a small marble or sandstone slabs bearing inscriptions and equestrian statues. On the memorial of Maharaja Jeth Singh it is inscribed that on his death his queen and 10 concubines committed sati (burnt alive with dead king).
On your way to Bada Bagh you can see plenty of wind turbines on both side of the road.
Auto driver had taken us to the ‘sunset point’ atop a small hill north of Fort. From this place we could see majstic sunset and the whole city. We thanked our auto driver repeatedly for bringing us in such a nice place.
After sunset, we were dropped at the entrance of main attraction of Jaisalmer, the Sand Castle.
We strolled in the narrow winding streets inside Fort and ended up finding Little Tibet, our destination for dinner. Their momos, thukpas and other Chinese dishes were simply lip smacking.
As we reached fort after 7:30 pm, main attraction of fort, Maharaja Mahal, and Jain temple, built in twelfth century, were already closed for the day. We visited them next day before starting for Thar Desert, where we stayed the next night. Will write that next week.
- Vibrant Rajasthan: Day 1 – Blue City Jodhpur (tralect.wordpress.com)
- Vibrant Rajasthan: Walking Back Thousand Years at Ossian and Mandore (Day 2) (tralect.wordpress.com)