All India Bike Trip: The Desert: Bikaner And Jaisalmer: Posted By Alokebanerjee



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Posted on: Wednesday , Apr 13, 2011 At 18:23 PM

The Desert: Bikaner And Jaisalmer

13 April, 2011

I was jolted out of my sleep. I was dreaming of a leopard brushing its tail against my hand.

A dog was trying to slide under my quilt and he woke me up. I was grateful.  Millions of stars were staring at me. The sound of the biting-cold wind was enormous. In front of me were waves of yellow mountains.

It took me some time before I remembered that we were in the middle of a desert. I was shivering. The dog, seeing me jump up so suddenly, ran away. Pat was sleeping happily. The young camel owner had left us long ago. His wife was waiting for him, in the village 10 kms away. I was alone, staring at those stars, which look beautiful only from a distance. When people die, they become stars – my grandmother used to tell me. I never believed in fairy tales except in one. Even till recently.

On 11 April, 2011 we arrived near the Sam village to be picked up by two camels. Riding a camel is not easy at all. (I now believe that Santosh Dutta’s expression in Shonar Kella was purely natural.) But this is the only way one can go near the sand dunes in the Thar desert in Rajasthan. The sky was overcast and the heat was no longer intense.  Within hours we left the villages and then even the thorny, bushy topography behind us and directly faced the sand dunes. We had lunch and then an early dinner and prepared ourselves for our first and only night in the middle of a desert. The photos portray only part of the experience.

We returned to Jaisalmer the next morning to see the “Golden Fort.” Built of yellow sand stone, this fort glows in the morning. So does most of the houses in the small city of Jaisalmer because they too are made of the same yellow sand stone.


Thirst II


The museum in the fort is not quite impressive because unlike in Jodhpur fort, the exhibits here are rather poorly displayed. The interesting part is that there is a small but functioning city inside the fort. But most of the houses have been converted into hotels and restaurants. Also, some young men have developed the habit of leering at the ladies – particularly those from abroad – and of seeking their friendship. I don’t know since when this started. But if this continues, the flow of foreign tourists in Jaisalmer is sure to decline in the coming days.


Shonar Kella: The Golden Fort and the city

Jaisalmer city

We reached Bikaner today.

The Route: Jodhpur-Mandore-Agolai-Balesar-Dechhu-Pokhran-Lathi-Chandan-jaisalmer. Distance: 298 kms

Jaisalmer- Chandan-Pokhran-Phalodi-Bap-Bikaner. Distance: 326 kms.  

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By alokebanerjee| Posted on:13 Apr 2011

@ MISTRAL, Roads in the Jodhpur-Jaisalmer-Bikaner segment were excellent. Dechhu gave us no problems.
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