JaisalmerNovember 14, 2017 in India ⋅ 🌙 10 °C
We caught a very early train to Jaisalmer and managed to get in a sleeper car so were able to relax in relative comfort for most of the 6 hour trip. The last time we were in India we spent many, many days and nights traveling on India Rail, so it was a very familiar experience.
Jaisalmer is a much smaller town than Jodphur and even closer to the Pakistan border. We spent an afternoon exploring a military museum that helped us to better understand the history of the Indian military and some of the border wars they’ve successfully fought with Pakistan and China (including some insane conditions high in the Himalayas). They have a huge border to protect and pour incredible resources into this effort. The military presence is everywhere in this part of India and we saw very large convoys of tanks and patrolling jets while visiting this area.
The dominant feature in the town is a beautiful hilltop fort. Built in the 12th century, it’s one of the oldest occupied walled cities in the world. We had a great guide who spent a day showing us around the Fort and part of the new town. The fact that people still live within the city walls somehow makes it easier to imagine how life may have been several hundred years ago. People here are very proud of their heritage, and rightfully so. The city is truly spectacular and the detail and beauty of the sandstone carved buildings surpasses anything we've seen elsewhere in India.
People here have been incredibly warm and friendly. One night after returning to our hotel after enjoying dinner at a rooftop restaurant, we had a knock on our door. It turns out that Christy had left her iphone at the restaurant and the manager had ridden his motor bike through the city to return it to us, despite it being worth many months of most people’s salary here in India.
We’d considered doing a multi-day camel trek through the Thar desert, but in the end decided for a shorter trip of a few hours. Phew, within minutes of getting on our camels we both realized that camels are not particularly comfortable to ride AND they are enormous and a little terrifying. In any case, we very much enjoyed a few hours with the camels, seeing the Thar desert and enjoying sunset over the dunes.Read more