This was our favorite stop of the tour- Jaisalmer. A town located near the Pakistani border, it is smack dab in the middle of the desert. Once upon a time, a large fort was built here. But after invading Mughal armies took over, it was quickly abandoned. Why? Because no one wants to reside in a fort in the middle of a desert. So the city lost its luster. But when Pakistani armies invaded the town in the mid-20th century, an Indian Army post was set up in the city. And thus, Jaisalmer became a bustling tourist hotspot in India. So much so that many Jaisalmer residents are grateful for Pakistan’s attack! We began our tour of Jaisalmer with a peaceful paddleboat ride on Gadsisar Lake.
Then we went to the fourth fort of our trip, Jaisalmer Fort. This fort was unique because roughly a third of the city’s population still resides inside the fort! So the people living in the fort and their ancestors have been living there for hundreds of years. At one of the silver shops we stopped in, which was essentially a basement of a home within the fort converted into a display area for all of the work, the owner told us he was a 10th generation silversmith in Jaisalmer. The people living within the fort give it life and welcome tourists with open arms.
Patwon ki Haveli
After our sight seeing within the city, we went over to the camp we’d be staying in for the night.
We also got the chance to trek into the desert on a camel ride! A pair per camel, we all boarded on. It’s a lot like riding a horse, except they’re much larger.
Being on the sand dunes itself was surreal.
Then a traveling group of musicians/dancers approached us. They wanted to play us a few songs, sing and dance. How could we say no?
The camels were a hoot. So well behaved. But damn, their breath reeked.
We left the dunes as the sun was going down, and what a sight it was. This picture doesn’t even begin to do the scene justice.
On our way back, the camels went on a full on race with each other, trotting all the way back to our camp. They were fast little buggers! All in all, an exhilarating trip. When we got back to camp, the fun wasn’t over. We had traditional Rajasthani food and enjoyed some Rajasthani dance and live music.