Saturday, 7 January 2012
Welcoming New Year in Aladdin’s castle: Jaisalmer!
Most of us spend our life as if we have another one reserved in the bank -- Ben Irwin.
I can relate to this as I know I don't have a reserve and I intend to leave no regrets in life and live this one dedicating it to my heart's desire J
Another year went by so quickly like speed of light. I began this year with many promises to myself including a positive outlook, my personal growth, wonderful memories, new achievements, a doze of maturity and lots of travel. Writing about how the past 365 days changed my life is definitely no easy task. People came and went, I cried, laughed, loved, cared, envied, desired, bitched, and above all discovered myself further.
2011 certainly hailed as super lucky to me. I began to blog, got deal of the year award, did bungee jump, participated in a car rally, got promoted, few dance shows and above all traveled a lot including one international trip. There could not have been a better way to end this wonderful year by adding one more chapter to my travel diaries and I chose to visit what people often call as Aladdin’s castle – Jaisalmer!
Traveling is exhilarating for me and the thrill of exploring things anew keeps the traveler in me tickling. I was excited to the core as I was about to spend this long awaited vacation with the people close to my heart. As soon as we arrived at the hotel we straight away went to the terrace. The views were unbelievable and the roof top was lovely overlooking an amazing red fort. It was lovely!
The attraction in Jaisalmer is a beautiful fort that looks like it is has been carved out like a sand castle on a hill. Inside is a living city where about 1500 people reside. The fort is the oldest occupied fort in the world and it was amazing walking though the tiny alleys. It was really something else wandering the streets. It really did feel like a scene from Aladdin and I portrayed like no less than princess Jasmine ;-)
After climbing a huge set of stairs and we came to roof top and I was amazed with the 360 view all around. That’s Jaisalmer for us - a wonder view. The architecture was incredible and the whole atmosphere out of this world.
But the most exciting part of the trip was still to be witnessed. Our trip to the golden sands of Thar Desert and to spend whole night there without a tent just below the open sky watching twinkling stars! Yes! You heard it right on the sand in the chilly December night J We hopped into the jeep. On our way we spent about half an hour in a ruined place which locals consider to be haunted [mostly getting ourselves clicked and just hoping if we could spot a ghost and the narrate story to our friends :P] lol
As the sun set it appeared God has painted a wonderful painting on the desert canvas.
We reached our destination for the night; a beautiful expanse of rolling sand dunes with not another soul to be seen. It’s mere 150km from the India/Pakistan border, and so has a strong military presence. As we took our seats around the fireplace in the star lit night sky, my friend started to play guitar and we all started singing sufi songs. Post our musical performance; it was time to treat ourselves on conventional Rajasthani cuisine. We made delicious “lal maas” in the desert. Rajasthan's traditional food is a national treasure, undoubtedly. After dinner, we all slept in the cold sand below beautiful sky in that cold night and made it a night to remember through out our lives …. Yes, this memory will stay with me for many years to come. I spent the wonderful night with equally cordial people discovering the enticing vast desert. Locals in Jaisalmer told me not to miss the sunrise, as it was one of the most beautiful moments of the day and I was fortunate enough to see it early morning as I woke up. I took some beautiful shots of the sunrise in the desert. I was surprised by the nature’s wonder J
As all good things come to an end so did this magical night and we headed for our hotel. I can’t forget to mention that sitting on the roof top terrace of “Little Italy” restaurant overlooking the fort, with golden lights in the night and spending many lazy hours discussing the beauty of life with my dear ones was one of the marvelous moment of my life. The next few days were spent relaxing and enjoying the delicious local food (not to forget onion kachoris and bhel) and soaking up the sun.
What a wonderful start of the year it was! And soon came the time to pack our bags and return to Delhi. Jaisalmer is a dream come true for any traveler and I was also mesmerized by its beauty. The charm and the beauty of the city are awesomely alluring and I would love to visit this golden city with my dear ones again for sure.