Jodhpur and Jaisalmer; the two beauties of Rajasthan are a must visit to every traveler once in a lifetime for sure. More than watching the royal forts and remembering those luxurious life of kings, how can you miss the mesmerizing Thar Desert and of course the fun at sand dunes, camel safari and Rajasthani folk dance.
And all these fun in just 3 days! If you have enough time in bucket, make it 4 for your ease. While refreshing my memory of last year I am sharing a quick travel itinerary.
So we started our travel at night of 24th December from Delhi to Jodhpur by train with a group of 11 friends. Guys! Its winter of North India, so just be cozy and warm. Don’t forget to have baggage of proper warm clothes. (Train is a better option unless you’re ready to pay for flight.)
We reached Jodhpur early morning of 25th, the Christmas day, had tasty Poha near railway station only and then checked-in to Zostel, this is the backpackers’ hostel for a perfect fun stay. You can stay in hotels nearby railway station as well.
So from here your trip should go something like this (as what we did). Quickly get fresh and ask Zostel guys, they will provide you a van for sightseeing and here your travel starts:
Visit the beautiful Umaid Bhawan. A part of the palace is now used as Taj hotel by Tata group, rest half is for tourists, which also has a museum where you can see quirky collection of clocks, royal stuffs, photographs and paintings. There is a display of classic vintage cars used by Maharajas in the garden in front of the museum.
Average time to spend – 1 hour
Then we came back to the city, had our lunch and this was the time to visit one the largest forts in India, the Mehrangarh fort. Of course it has a museum too where you can see huge collection of elephant’s howdahs, palanquins, armoury, paintings, turban gallery, etc.
Here you can also see beautifully decorated palaces includes, Moti Mahal, Phool Mahal, Sheesha Mahal, etc.
Afer this, don’t forget to watch out the rampart of the fort from where you can have a breath-taking view of the city, old cannons and of course the famous Kilkila cannon.
Average time to spend – 2.5 hours
Then you can quickly visit Jaswant Thada, a beautiful and glowing marvel built mausoleum, but be noted that it closes at 5 pm so you need to manage your calendar wisely here.
Not to mention, but we missed it just because of my intense love with cannons and forts, thanks to my friends who didn’t complain for it though.
While returning from the fort, we reached Ghanta Ghar (clock tower) after passing all those blue houses foremost below to the fort. Here we purchased groceries for cooking dinner.
Oh! I forgot to mention, Zostel does provide you a common kitchen to cook food yourself. So we did it of course. It was fun as well as cost effective and definitely a unique experience!
It was the Christmas night, so we enjoyed the moment of bonfire with music. The Zostel’s manager, Mr. Bhom Singh arranged everything for us. A very helpful and cheerful guy, a fantastic manager definitely!
We left for Jaisalmer from Jodhpur around 7 am. The tempo traveler was at the door, since we had enough head count we booked it earlier from Delhi. It has a long stretch journey of 230 kms with a mesmerizing view of Rajasthan. We had our breakfast just before Pokharan. Make sure you do it too, else there is nothing you’ll find till Jailsamer except scorching heat of sun.
Around 1 pm we reached Jaisalmer and once again the excitement of seeing the Sonar Fort made us forget our lunch. Interestingly there is an entire city in the fort only and you know what, it is a world heritage site too. The main attraction of this fort has the palace of king and queen, Lakhsmi Nath temple and the rampart from where you can have the breath-taking view of the golden city and the far deserts.
Average time to spend – 1 hour
There are a few more hawelis to watch including Patwaon-Ki-Haveli, salim singh ki haveli etc. and Gadsisar Sagar Lake, which need to wrap quickly or else you can skip it too (we skipped it anyway).
Let’s move to Sam sand dunes now, which is 45 kms from Jaisalmer and should take another 1 hour. This is Indian army zone and you can frequently see Army vehicles moving around and their camps, armories too.
We reached Sam Sand Dunes at 4.15 pm, why I remember the exact time because the host was vigorously quoting, “don’t waste your time in getting fresh, dunes and sunset are waiting for you guys, make it quick!”
And then; that was the moment of lifetime, the dunes, camel safari, and the magnificent view of sunset with the softness of the sand.
Remember the scene of Suniel Shetty from the movie Border? Don’t forget to do that!
So once the sun is set, we reached back to our tents and in no time bonfire were ready with Rajasthani folk dancers and that most famous kickoff song “Kesariya Balam Padharo Mare Des”, the musical evening turned as DJ night too and believe me, you can’t have this fun in any pub or disc, what you can feel there dancing under the sky full of glowing stars. After all these fun, we had our dinner and sat outside tents while witnessing the shiny moon in that peaceful desert. (You can sleep too, if you like)
We woke up early, had our breakfast, and checked-out but before returning to Jodhpur, we decided to visit dunes once again, and this was awesome. The views at early morning is completely different and of course there is no crowd as like last evening (so perfect for photography, isn’t it)
We also had a plan to visit Kuldhara ‘A cursed abandoned village’ of Rajasthan, since it is only 15 kms far from Sam Sand Dunes, but we decided to skip it this time due to time limitations. You can make it, if you spend less time in photography at Dunes for sure.
Now while returning back, we had an interesting halt just after leaving Jaisalmer.
This was the time to be patriotic, a visit to the Longewala War Memorial. Well documented display of Indian army’s victorious history. Here you can also see the tanks seized during indo-pak war. A complete glory of Indian Army. This was just so awesome and if you’re with kids, please don’t miss it at all. A lot of learning for them about our glorious history of Indian army.
Average time to spend – 1.5 hours
Then we reached back Jodhpur, had our lunch (a little late of course) and boarded train to come back Delhi.
Before I reach to the end of the trip, let me tell you a secret, ‘gatta sabji’ is not a signature dish of Rajasthan, ‘sev tamatar’ is, a very tasty dish and you’ll find it everywhere.
Here the journey ends with a loads of memories and pictures!