Guest blogger Giulia Mulè shares her photos and experiences travelling to Jaisalmer in Rajasthan.
If you have been to India already, it is likely that you have visited Rajasthan. It is after all the largest state of India and certainly the most common destination for Western tourists travelling to this country.
The tours of Rajasthan usually start from Delhi, but if you are already in Mumbai for leisure or work, you can still plan a trip to the land of the Rajputs. Mumbai was the starting point of my road trip to discover beautiful Rajasthan. Willing to experience “the real India”, I decided to travel by train and local buses. Reaching Jaisalmer was my first goal.
The journey to cover the distance of more than 1,000 km from Mumbai to Jaisalmer was long, but not boring. Travelling in the Sleeper Class, you will encounter many different people and if you are lucky enough to travel with a Hindi speaker, you will end up spending most of the journey chatting and eating, sharing stories and food with your berth neighbours.
Railways in India are an institution and travelling on trains will give you the opportunity to discover the country and its people. It is not always the most comfortable way, as any 18-hour journey in a third class train would be, crossing three states and going from the humid 40°C of Mumbai at noon to the dry 0°C of the Rajasthani night. Certainly it will be an experience that you will never forget!
I arrived in Jodhpur just after dawn and, without much time to stretch my legs, I jumped on a bus to Jaisalmer. Squashed in my seat and wrapped around my bags, I sat on the bus for 6 hours and was very grateful for the two rest stops to breathe the fresh air and drink chai by the side of the road.
In the early afternoon I reach my destination, just in time to reach the top of the Maharaja Palace and admire the sunset.
Jaisalmer is nicknamed the “Golden City” and a look at these photos will make you understand why. Overlooking the city from the fort, you will see thousands of houses in the colour of golden sand. All around them, the Thar desert.
It is a stunning and breath-taking view, especially when the sun sets and casts shades of crimson red over the buildings.
While at first you will be amazed by the monochronism of Jaisalmer, once you start walking thorough the alleys and squares, the colours of the city will hit you. The bright colours of the women’s sarees, of the exotic fruits sold in the streets, of the clothes left to dry outside the windows, of the Diwali decorations that have been hanging for weeks but nobody really wants to take them down.
I loved shopping at the many leather shops, where you can get genuine camel leather footwear and bags custom-made to your needs, at genuine Indian prices!
A trip to Jaisalmer is not complete without visiting the sand dunes in the outskirts of the town. Choose one of the many packages available at hotels and travel agencies and spend the night in a desert camp. You will be able to ride on camels at sunset and sunrise, taste a typical Rajasthani dinner served in a ‘thali’ and admire a show of Kalbeliya dance and music. A truly memorable experience.
About the guest blogger: The photos and travel guide were provided by Giulia Mulè, a freelance photographer with a passion for food and travelling, author of the food blog Mondomulia
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