Discover travel destinations of travelers writing a travel journal on FindPenguins.

73 travelers at this place

  • Day38


    January 11, 2019 in India ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    We've spent the past few days in Jaisalmer, an old trading city at one of the ends of the Silk Road. Once thriving, it boasts a huge sandstone fortress built on a Bluff surrounded by the Thar desert. Many of its inhabitants were wealthy in the time before the Raj. They built beautiful homes called havelis with intricate detailing carved into the sandstone.

    On our first day we wandered from our Kaku guest house up to the fort. The place was filled with Indian tourists. One Jaisalmerian explained that they come to take camel safaris into the desert. They ride camels to base camps in the dunes that are set up with hot water, tents, and cots. "The Indian tourist is not like the European or American tourist, they need their niceties. The foreigners like roughing it a bit." Several Indians asked us to take selfies with them as we sat and people watched.

    Inside we happened on an artist painting meditaively in the doorway of his gallery. He works in a variety of media using antique paper, cotton, and camel bone. Beautiful and intricate work. His pieces take anywhere from a day to several months to complete. We returned on our last day to buy two pieces. One for Grace's 90th birthday in August and one for ourselves. Kamal Swami also holds a masters in sanskrit. The piece that we bought for Grace has a sanskrit border which translates, "A good life is like a lotus flower held in the hand until it opens. If one is giving, then happiness will come to them in the later years." The border on our piece is in Urdu. He said that he had a friend translate it to make sure that it "didn't anything stupid." He talked at length about his art and its purpose in his life. He shared that he'd once been summoned by an emissary of the Majaraja of Jaisalmer to one of the closed galleries in the palace to look at the artwork on the walls and ceilings. He was asked to do restoration of the work. He declined the invitation. "It is not how I work. It is not what I do. Each piece is its own once it is done." Several days later the Maharaja asked him to come to his country house at 10:30 in the morning. He arrived and was "seated on a nice sofa and given chai." "First it was 11 o'clock, then 11:30, then noon. Finally it was lunch time and I expressed my regrets and went home." Later I met the Maharaja at a charity event. He said, "You are the one I have invited twice and you didn't come. I shared what my father had told me; that the light from a lamp in a regular house gives the same light when the lamp is in the palace."

    Grace's piece is a very special work. He changed his approach to mimic the traditional mud wall painting of the Thar. The women mix dung and mud to build mud walled houses in the villages in the area. The color is very deep. They then make paints from crushed minerals in the area to decorate the homes and low frontage walls of the home. Kamal depicted a different setting from his usual work to set off the background. The rest will have to wait until Grace's 90th birthday, but the effect on the subject is lovely.

    Next we're on to Jodhpur. We've changed up the schedule a bit. After a couple of days, we're then off to Udaipur. A few days there and we fly to Varanasi where Nancy will spend lots of time exploring and taking photos while I relax in the Inn that we've booked overlooking the Ganges. Unless I decide to take a special side trip to witness and take part in Kumbh Mela, the greatest gathering of people in human history.

    Could be interesting.
    Read more

  • Day57

    Exhausted enjoyment

    January 8, 2020 in India ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C

    Our lack of rest is catching up to us, feeling a bit under the weather. So just resting for now. Beautiful desert town, with lunch within the Fort walls with amazing city view. Dinner also within the Fort in a tiny bookstore with a cafe in the back. Lucky we're at the end of our trip cause we couldn't resist buying a few books!Read more

  • Day192


    November 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

  • Day16


    January 8, 2017 in India ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    We made it to India! 🇮🇳

    Coming to India played a large part of our second trip's itinerary as this is Mitch's first time here. Although Mitch has been immersed in the Indian culture over the years, seeing it first hand was definitely an experience we couldn't miss. We landed in Ahmedabad and got one day to recover from the busy Egypt, UAE and Oman schedule at my uncle's house where we'll spend some time later, however first we chose to do some sightseeing in the state of Rajasthan with my parents who decided to come to India as well.

    Our first stop was Jaisalmer a city close to the boarder of Pakistan known for its desert scenery and its position on the Silk Road. Merchants of the city traded spices, opium, nuts and much more to become very wealthy. One merchant in particular dominated the city's trading business and spent his money to create such detailed homes with hand crafted balconies typical to that region for him and his sons also known as a havelies. These were impressive to see for their beauty and unique architecture.

    Jaisalmer is also known for its fort like many other cities in India which were ruled by regional kings. This fort however is different in that it's still inhabited but not by the king! The city has given the fort to the local people to live in and it's occupied by homes, hotels, restaurants and shops. We got to walk around which was fun seeing a glimpse into the daily life of these people.

    However all this aside the most fascinating thing we learned about Jaisalmer was that it was only developed with electricity, water and roads in 1965! Although progress has been made since then there is a lot of work to be done in the city to bring it to modern times. Driving through small villages was interesting and eye opening to see how people still live in the year 2017. Many of these village people were definitely fascinated by Mitch as was Mitch of their roaming cows and sheep!
    Read more

  • Day9

    Jaisalmer Desert Frolic

    February 23, 2019 in India ⋅ ☁️ 22 °C

    We left Delhi’s chaotic six lane freeways, usually with vehicles ten across, and flew into Jaisalmer, where the road to the airport is a single lane only.

    There was no one there to meet us. Steve had his phone stolen, either from the taxi or the hotel. Off to a great start to our Rajasthan sector.

    Then we bought some beer and wine to take up to a sunset viewing area only to find we weren’t allowed to bring it onto the property - things were getting better and better, and the sunset wasn’t all that flash anyway.

    So we drank our beers and our wine - from plastic cups - in our ten seater bus and generally tried to put the day behind us.

    Jaisalmer celebrates the Desert Festival each February with signature events such as turban tieing contests and a tug of war. They also select their finest example of manhood to be crowned Mr Desert, and we had the absolute honour of being shown around the city by Vijay, Mr Desert 2013! At least, that’s how big a deal he made it out to be when he was telling us.

    He was also a teacher, an actor and, in his world at least, a movie star. He proudly showed us the photos of his 2013 victory that were still on display throughout the Jaisalmer Fort.

    Actually, Vijay was more into promoting his beloved Desert Festival than promoting himself, and he was a great guide, knowledgeable, easy to understand and personable.

    He took us to the Lake, built by the wife of the King for water storage and typical of peaceful Indian lakes. This means the shore was covered in rubbish and we seemed to spend a lot of time dodging vendors, cows and lactating dogs.

    We then walked up into the fort, built on a large hill and very imposing in the relatively flat country of the Thar Desert. We visited a Jain Temple and were astonished at the quality and detail of the stonework.

    We visited a coffee shop perched right on the very top of the wall of the fort, reached by a step set of stairs that the owner somehow climbs all day without spilling a drop.

    We visited a haveli, an old residence in the heart of the fort, which former prime minister Mrs Ghandi thought so photogenic she had some buildings knocked down opposite so as to give a better view.

    Late in the afternoon some of the intrepid travellers drove out to the Sam Sand Dunes for a spot of camel riding, an enjoyable pastime for all, except maybe the camels!

    Jaisalmer was smaller and dirtier than we expected; next we head back east to Jodhpur and, we assume, more civilisation.
    Read more

  • Day18

    Vergangener Glanz Jaisalmers

    January 10, 2019 in India ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

    Nach einer langen Überfahrt eilten wir neugierig in die Altstadt von Jaisalmer um die im Reiseführer gepriesenen, wunderschönen Steinmetzarbeiten der Wüstenstadt zu bewundern. Von den alten Häuser existieren ganze 3 , die einer Erwähnung würdig sind. Der Rest der Altstadt besteht aus chaotischen Nachbauten, Halbruinen und allgegenwärtigen Touri- Läden. Diese Stadt stinkt und ich mag mir nicht vorstellen, wie es hier im Sommerhitze auszuhalten ist. Unser Hotel ist von seinen 3 Sternen so weit entfernt, wie die nächste Galaxie von unserer. Aber das koreanische Essen im Hotelrestaurant und der grandiose Blick auf die " golden city" tröstet uns ein wenig. (Agata)

    Po długiej podróży podążylismy na stare miasto podziwiać zalecane w przewodniku dzieła sztuki kamieniarskiej. Z tych starych zabytków egzystują zaledwie 3 godne wspomnienia. Reszta miasta składa się z chaotycznych duplikatów, półruin i wszechobecnych turystycznych sklepików. To miasto śmierdzi i nie mam ochoty wyobrażać sobie, jak tu jest w lato przy 45-ciu stopniach. Nasz hotel oddalony jest od swoich 3 gwiazdek jak następna galaktyka. Ale pocieszamy się dobrym koreańskim jedzeniem i pięknym widokiem na " złote miasto" z hotelowej restauracji.
    Read more

  • Day19

    Golden City

    January 11, 2019 in India ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    Der Name bezieht sich auf die Farbe des Sandsteins, aus dem das Fort und die drin befindliche Häuser gebaut sind. Wie schon in der Altstadt drum herum gibt es nicht vieles, das erhalten geblieben ist. Das Gelände des Forts ist komplett zugebaut, lebten die alten Bewohner doch von Raub und Opiumhandel, so dass es besser war hinter mächtigen Mauern zu sitzen. Sehenswert waren die Jain- Tempel, die aus einem Komplex von 7 ineinandergehenden Tempeln bestehen. Der alte Palast bot nicht viel ausser einen schönen Blick über die Stadt und die Wüste. ( Agata)

    Nazwa " złote miasto" pochodzi od koloru piaskowca, z którego zbudowana jest forteca i domy, które wypełniają praktycznie całą jej powierzchnię. Gęste zabudowanie wynikało z faktu, że podstawą bytu mieszkańców był rabunek i handel opium, czyli lepiej było się schować za potężnymi murami. Najbardziej podobał nam się kompleks siedmiu świątyń zwanych Jain- Tempel. Stary pałac nie jest godny zainteresowania poza świetnym widokiem na miasto i pustynię.
    Read more

  • Day15

    Jaisalmer: Die Wüste Thar

    April 14, 2019 in India ⋅ ☁️ 31 °C

    Wir sind zurück von unserer Wüstensafari! Die vergangenen zwei Tage waren ein wunderschönes und unheimlich spannendes Erlebnis, das sich eindeutig gelohnt hat. Aber alles der Reihe nach:

    In weiser Voraussicht deckten wir uns gestern Morgen auf dem Markt in Jaisalmer mit Wüstenklamotten ein. Völlig perplex waren wir von der Freundlichkeit und der Unaufdringlichkeit der Strassenverkäufer; wahrscheinlich sind die Bewohner Jaisalmers, die in Indien als verschlossenes, ruhiges Wüstenvolk gelten, uns einfach ähnlicher. Ines gefiel die entspannte Shopping-Atmosphäre so gut, dass sie sich gleich mit einer neuen Schuhkollektion ausrüstete.

    Um der Mittagshitze zu entgehen, ging die Wüstensafari dann um 3 Uhr nachmittags schliesslich los. Zu Beginn fuhren wir eine Stunde durch die Wüste, übersät von Militär (wegen der Nähe zur pakistanischen Grenze) und Alkoholläden (wegen des Tourismus), begleitet vom gelegentlichen Kamel. Unsere Kamele warteten schliesslich an einem Strassenrand im Nirgendwo auf uns. Angeführt von unserem Guide Salim schritten die Kamele forsch in die Wüste, während wir versuchten, auf unseren ungewohnten Reittieren nicht ganz so ungelenk auszusehen. Ungewohnt war nicht nur das Reittier, sondern auch die Ruhe in der Wüste: eine wahre Wohltat, ausser dem schnaubenden Kamel unter sich und dem Wind nichts zu hören.

    Nach einer Stunde erreichten wir schliesslich erstmals richtige Dünen, wo Ines als Fotografin herhalten musste, bis ich genug Material für Instagram gesammelt hatte (Ich liebe sie für ihre Geduld!).

    In den Dünen schlugen wir schliesslich auch unser Lager auf, wo wir später unter freiem Himmel schlafen sollten. Salim bereitete über dem Feuer unser Abendessen zu: Chai, Fladenbrot und ein wirklich leckeres lokales Gericht (eine Art scharfer Kartoffeleintopf). Während wir uns langsam zu Bett begaben, wachte die Wüste um uns herum auf: Bald summten, surrten und krabbelten überraschend grosse Insekten um uns herum und läuteten die Nacht ein.

    Die Wüste sollte auch die ganze Nacht nicht mehr einschlafen: Zwar verabschiedeten sich verdankenswerterweise die Insekten, jedoch sahen wir von unserem Bett auf einer Düne aus bald, wie sich uns ein Rudel streunender Hunde näherte. Diese Kompanie wich die ganze Nacht nicht mehr von unserem Schlafplatz. Nach einiger Eingewöhnungszeit schliefen wir schliesslich - in der Obhut unseres selbsternannten, vierbeinigen Sicherheitsdiensts - friedlich ein.

    Die Streuner waren uns gegenüber friedvoll, untereinander aber weniger. Die Nachtruhe wurde regelmässig vom Gekeife der Hunde unterbrochen. Auf jeden Fall erzählte mir das Ines so, dass sie davon aufgewacht sei - ich schlief anscheinend tief und fest, während sich fünf Meter neben mir Strassenhunde zankten. Mitten in der Nacht wachte ich schliesslich doch auf und Ines deutete fragend auf ein grosses, weisses Tier unweit unseres Bettes. Ich antwortete im Halbschlaf, die Kuh würde uns schon nichts tun, und schlief sofort weiter, während Ines nicht an eine Kuh glaubte und erst wieder schlafen konnte, als das vermeintliche Raubtier ausser Sichtweite war (Randnotiz: Wie sich am Morgen herausstellte, war es tatsächlich eine Kuh gewesen).

    Nach dieser Nacht, die wir wohl als unterschiedlich nervenaufreibend empfunden hatten, stärkten wir uns mit einem von Salim zubereiteten Frühstück, sammelten noch mehr Fotomaterial im Licht des Sonnenaufgangs und wurden schliesslich wieder auf unsere Kamele gesetzt. Zu unserer Verwunderung drückte uns Salim einfach die Zügel unserer Kamele in die Hand, setzte sich selbst auch auf ein Kamel und ritt voraus. Unsere Kamele, die wir nun ungeführt ritten, spazierten hinterher und machten sich auf ihren Weg zur Ausgangsstelle, wo die Kamele jeweils ihr wohlverdientes Essen erwarten. Nach circa 30 Minuten auf teilweise trabenden, da hungrigen Kamelen erreichten wir unseren Jeep wieder, der uns zurück ins Hotel brachte.

    Dort genossen wir das Glücksgefühl, uns mit einer kalten Dusche den Sand aus dem Gesicht waschen zu können - und blickten auf ein einmaliges Erlebnis zurück, das uns zwei unerwartete Dinge in Indien offenbart hatte: Sanddünen - und Oasen der Ruhe in einem Land, das nie zu schweigen scheint.
    Read more

  • Day397

    Wist je dat ...? India

    September 15, 2016 in India ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

    Wist je dat ...?

    Wist je dat de overnachting van vannacht per persoon goedkoper is dan 1 kopje koffie op het terras in Amsterdam?
    In India zijn een grote assertiviteitstraining is? (Handen wegslaan als ze je net bestelde 'chai' dreigen over te nemen. Klauwen door het gat van het treinloket, met twee wachtenden voor je, om het formulier te bemachtigen. Strijden om je wisselgeld terug te krijgen)
    Wist je dat je in India naar alles en iedereen ongelimiteerd kunt staren?
    … dat je in India niet de eendjes, maar de koeien voert met brood op straat?
    En dat deze koeien aan niemand toebehoren, maar ooit na melkdienst op straat losgelaten zijn? (of hun voormoeder)
    Wist je dat het elke middag in de 40 graden is?
    dat het nu nog laagseizoen is in India?
    dat de meeste vrouwen hier een sluier dragen?
    En dat vrouwen nooit maar dan ook nooit een bloot been laten zien op straat?
    Wist je dat de straten voornamelijk bezaaid zijn met groepen mannen?
    dat we masala tea (chai) super super lekker vinden
    chapati met dahl (gele linzen) het broertje is van de Nederlandse equivalent bruine boterham met kaas?
    in India de cliché onderhandelstrategie "weglopen voor een lagere prijs" het beste werkt van allemaal?
    Wist je dat de Noord Indiër niet zonder zijn chapati kan en het daarom pittig vindt om in zuid India te zijn?
    we in twee weken tijd nog niet echt ziek zijn geweest?
    Wist je dat Jandaan altijd in lange broek loopt?
    het op veel plekken op straat naar pis stinkt en er overal poep en afval ligt?
    Wist je dat we elkaar vaak niet kunnen verstaan omdat het getoeter zo luid is
    Wist je dat Marleen de blikvanger op straat is
    we kamelen op straat zien die een vracht voortrekken?
    Indiërs enorm nieuwsgierig zijn naar ons?
    je in India je billen afveegt met je linkerhand?
    Wist je dat in de provincie Rajahstan veel steden enorm mooie forten hebben en huizen dezelfde heldere kleuren?
    Wist je dat de Indiërs hun water drinken zonder met hun lippen de beker of fles te raken?
    we na India een maand naar Nepal gaan?
    En daarna doorvliegen naar Maaike en Niall Quann in Chicago?
    Jandaan bijna zijn haar in een knotje kan doen en grijzer wordt?
    we ons eerste geld verdiend hebben via onze eigen website?
    Wist je dat er bij het handenwassen zwart water van je handen komt na een dag trein en een stuk lopen
    Wist je dat je ook regelmatig loslopende geiten en varkens op straat zien?
    we ervan genieten weer terug te zijn in India?
    in India restaurants hun keukens bijna allemaal buiten op straat hebben staan?

    Wisten jullie dat?

    Dikke X van ons!
    Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Jaisalmer, Горад Джайсалмер, জয়সলমের, জয়সালমের, Džaisalmér, Τζαϊσαλμέρ, જેસલમેર, Jailsamer, जैसलमेर, Dzsaiszalmer, JSA, ジャイサルメール, 자이살메르, ജയ്സാൽമീർ, जेसलमेर, ଜୈସଲମେର, ਜੈਸਲਮੇਰ, جیسلمیر, Джайсалмер, ஜெய்சல்மேர், 贾沙梅尔