Thursday, 1 November 2012

Jaisalmer and the Thar Desert

Pay attention class.
Open your geography books and turn to north west India.
Today we are located in the harsh Thar Desert and the amazing fort town of Jaisalmer.
The focal point here is the imposing 11th century golden sandstone fort.  As you approach by road this incredible and ancient engineering masterpiece rising from the desert is something to behold.

Jaisalmers Golden Fort

This is a living fort and home to 4000 people.  The rabbit warren of narrow lanes that snake through the fort complex is incredible with people living on top of each other and multiple generations of family living in the same shoebox stone house.  Pedestrians and motorbikes compete for the limited space in the fort but the narrowness of the lanes ensures plenty of shade and only the direct overhead midday sun reaches the cobblestone below.

Life in the fort

The Royale hotel at the base of the fort is our home for the next 3 nights and offers us a perfect view point.

A few Kingfisher beers consumed at this location.

If we are not walking around the fort or through the fort we can be found sitting at our rooftop restaurant enjoying a Kingfisher beer mesmerised by the stunning view of this incredible structure in the ever changing desert light.

We are not usually big souvenir shoppers but Robyn has bought a couple of nice embroidered Muslim rugs that she thinks will go well in our home.

 International bargain hunter on the loose

Can't imagine why the Maharajahs and warriors of olden times would fight over this god forsaken country but the savage history and museum artifacts of ongoing battles between the warring clans is mind boggling.

A short walk to a nearby fetid lake gives us another good vantage point of the fort.

A night in the desert.

We venture further west and within 60 kms of the Pakistan border is the village of Khuri and our sunset camel ride through the dunes. 

We enjoy a 60 minute camel ride out into the desert to watch a beautiful sunset before returning to the local village for dinner and traditional dancing.

Romantic night out with a very attractive camel.

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