On the Western border of India is Jaisalmer, a city poised on a golden ridge looking out at the stretches of sand dunes. Rich in history of Bhati Rajput Kings and a prominent place in the trade route of camel caravans that traversed from West Asia in the past, this city has witnessed many battles.
Racing to keep our date with the desert county of India, we were surprised to be driving along green areas with sand dunes nowhere in sight. The driver of our cab enlightened us that the Indira Gandhi Canal had transformed the region into a long stretch of oasis and the sand dunes receded further away. It was late in the afternoon by the time we arrived at Jaisalmer from Jodhpur. We needed to hurry if we were to enjoy the sunset at Sam Dunes which was another 40 kms away from the city. There are camel safaris that take you further into the Sam dunes or just amble around the periphery. But the sunset indeed was a sight to behold! People climbed up the dunes to take up vantage points and not miss what they came looking for. The sun gradually slipped behind the dunes in the horizon casting a fiery shade before mellowing and melting into the evening sky. A few local dancers performed the famed folk dance Kalbelia adding to the magic.
It is said that tourism is the only means of livelihood for most of the people here. So you might find them trying to sell their wares at every step. We found this interesting announcement painted on the facade of a home. It was of a marriage of one Giriraj with Varsha that took place in the year 2007 with the blessings of Lord Ganesha. It is common practice and considered auspicious to have this at the threshold of any home that has witnessed a marriage of their progeny.
|Wedding Announcement On the Wall Of A Home|
There are many other places that one can make an excursion to. If you are travelling by road from Jodhpur, you may stop at Urmul co-operative to buy their famous woven fabrics which is sourced by some of the leading brands of India. On the lines of Amul, Urmul started off as a way to sustain the local desert people by augmenting their livelihood especially after the drought that hit them in late 1980s. What started off with the aim to increase the production and procurement of milk through village cooperatives gradually enveloped encouragement of desert crafts of weaving and embroidery also. And so Urmul Marusthali Bunker Vikas Samiti was born. and this is where we stopped, which is right on the highway, on our way back
Since we were travelling with two kids we decided to take it easy and leave some of the other places like the eerie village Kuldhara, nuclear testing site Pokharan and Desert National Park for the next time. I sign off this post with this fantastic view we enjoyed of the majestic Jaisalmer Fort from a roof top restaurant while we relished the local dish laal maans ( red meat cooked in a spicy red gravy).
|Evening View Of Jaisalmer Fort|
This post was written for the A to Z Challenge.