Days: 8 to 11 of GIRT tour  

Jodhpur > Sam > Jaisalmer > Bikaner > Sri Ganagnagar



Sam Sand Dunes

Tapan on camel at Sam, Jaisalmer

Sun Set at Sam, Jaisalmer

Jaisalmer

Chatris .... at Jaisalmer

 Entrance to Sonar Killa, Jaisalmer 

Sonar Killa, Jaisalmer

Puppets for sale ... on the Fort wall

 Jaisalmer Town ... from fort walls

Tapan and me ... on a Fort canon

 Decorative work on balcony of  a Jaisalmer house

 A street muscian in Jaisalmer Fort

 The Sonar Killa .... seen from the roof balconi of Patwon-Ki-Havelis  

Bikaner

Above 3 pictures of Lalgarh Palace Hotel (?) ..... at Bikaner

 Junagarh Fort ... at Bikaner

 Junagarh Palace at Bikaner






Camel at Sam sand dunes .... in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan 

21st Dec 07 : Day-08 > Jodhpur - Sam - Jaisalmer 372 KMs

We left Jodhpur at 7:00AM and arrived at Jaisalmer at around 12:30pm,  a run of 288KMs, on very good roads with hardly any traffic.  Our route was via Agolai, Balesar, Dechu, Pokharan, lathi, Chandan, Jaisalmer.  Most of the route was desert sand with small shrubs and occasional trees near a village. At Jaisalmer, we did'nt get RTDC Moomal accomodation for two days together; so we checked into a private Hotel Saroj Palace nearby  at 550/- per day. At 4:00PM we went to Sam (84 Kms return) sand dunes and did a camel ride and watched an orange-red sunset (pic below): 

Sunset at Sam sand dunes .... a safari camp in foreground. 

22nd Dec 07 : Day-09 > Jaisalmer Local sightseeing 10 KMs

Today we stayed an extra day at Jaisalmer. At 8:00am we had breakfast of Aloo Parathas at Gandhi Chowk and then went and saw the Jaisalmer Fort. We hired a local guide to show us the important sights inside the Fort, for an hour. We saw the city sprawl from the ramparts of the Fort and the Jain temples, as well as some locations where Satyajit Ray shot some of the famous scenes for his movie "Sonar Kella".  Later we walked though the narrow streets of the town and visited Patwon-Ki-Havelis - the houses built in 1800-1860 by Jain merchants. The outside facade is covered with intricate honey-colored stonework, as in pictures below:    

 The intricate workmanship on the facade of Havelis, at Jaisalmer

 

Later we visited Gadi Sagar Lake, south of City walls that had boating. We were back in our hotel by noon and had Thali Lunch at the next door Kanishka Restaurant. In the evening, I went for  "Chai and Chat" with Aishah (of India Mike Forum) at her Desert Moon Guest House. From her roof-terrace,  I could get a panoramic view of the Golden Fort and the nearby Chatris on a hill-rise.

23rd Dec 07 : Day-10 > Jaisalmer to Bikaner - 354 KMs

We left Jaisalmer 7:15 AM and stopped at Pokhran at 9:30am for breakfast of Alu Parathas & Tea. The scenery continued to be desert sand dunes with small green shrubs. The roads were very straight, good and hardly any traffic. Perfect for enjoying the driving. We reached Bikaner at 1:00PM and after checking out some Top-class Palace hotels (by mistake) settled for a more modest Kishan Palace Hotel at Rs 450/- per day.

The awsome facade of Lalgarh (?) Palace Hotel ..... at Bikaner

We just rested for the rest of the day ignoring hotel staff advise to visit Karni Mata Temple (where the scampering Rats too are worshipped). We had decided to see only the Jungadh  Fort, in Bikanar, on the morrow.  

24th Dec 07 : Day-11 > Bikaner to Sri Ganganagar - 255 KMs    

In the morning after packing and loading the car and checking out of the Hotel we went and had breakfast, filled diesel and then waited a bit for the Junagarh Fort to open at 10 am. The Junagarh Fort & Palace turned out to be pretty amazing and interesting place to see in detail. The entrance fee included a free guided tour that was worth the money we paid. Some of the pictures I took inside Junagarh Fort & Palace are below and to the left:

Junagarh Fort Bikaner ......  outside front facade

Following pictures (below & left) were taken at Prachina - a museum  of Bikaner Arts and Crafts, adjacent to the Junagarh Fort:    

We completed our Junagarh Fort & Palace visit at 1:00PM and had a local Puri-Alu lunch at a famous roadside eatery in Bikaner, called Mahajan's and drove off on NH-15 towards Amritsar. The scenery started turning green and paddy fields appeared aplenty, as we neared Sri Ganganagar. We reached Hotel Sahil (double at Rs 450/- per night) at 4:30PM, after driving some 250Kms from Bikaner. We planned to cartry on to Amritsar, early  tomorrow morning.

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