Rajasthan (Day 5) - TrustVishwas
Day 5 : 9.4.2012 : Monday : Jaisalmer local sightseeing & Sam dunes – 85 km
Today was reserved as local sightseeing day and so was the first day on this ride when we woke up around 8 am. Got ready. We both decided to do all local sightseeing on Amit’s bike because of bent rim of my bike.
Called up one of my friend in Pune to ask for good hotel for breakfast. He suggested ‘Riddhi Siddhi Restaurant’ at Hanuman Chauraha as the best.
We both got out and rode towards the restaurant. Amit was suddenly consumed with an idea of having Daal Baati (a traditional Rajasthani dish) for breakfast. He enquired at couple of places and everyone (including a police) directed us towards the same Riddhi Siddhi Restaurant saying that it is the best and cheapest place to get good food.
Sun had already started shining brightly and we ducked inside the restaurant. The restaurant was really good but the prices were eye popping. Even basic dishes like Poha / Upma were 60 bucks each. Daal Baati was 160 bucks. If this restaurant was the cheapest around, god save us. . .
After breakfast, we moved towards the first point in today’s sightseeing - Pattwon-ki-Haveli. The haveli façade was intricately carved but there was nothing to see inside the haveli. This theme continued throughout the day.
In 10 minutes, we moved on towards Salim Singh Ki Haveli. Again the same story. Fantastic carving on façade and nothing inside. In fact, in this haveli, there are two portions. One is retained by the Salim Singh’s family and another is owned by Govt. The family has put up a museum inside.
If you wish to go inside either of the two portions, you need to pay entry fee. We paid for one portion and went inside. There was absolutely nothing to see inside. No furniture, no statues, no fountains. . . absolutely nothing.
Intricate work of Ceiling
Again sightseeing of haveli was over in 5 min flat. Amit tried to buy a detailed roadmap of Rajasthan at a roadside stall. He was asked for 500 bucks for a map. He came away disgusted.
We both decided to skip all remaining havelis and move towards Jaisalmer fort. Luckily, we were told in time that we could ride up the fort. (BTW, the fort is located on a hill of around 20-30 feet high J)
Locals guided us through a short cut comprising of small lanes leading towards the fort –
Met various moving speed breakers in between –
Entrance to the fort –
There are several havelis located inside the fort which also serve as hotels. Only a small portion of fort is retained as a monument and all other area is like a bazaar.
View of town from the fort –
Had some local sweets at a mithai shop. Here is the proof of me eating Mawa Kachori –
We then moved on towards Gadsisar Lake. Entrance to the lake -
It is just a lake with beautiful ghats. One amazing spectacle here was large fish present. It is considered unlucky to catch those fish. Just see size of those fish –
We had finished all the local sightseeing in 2 hours flat. We both were running a bit short on cash. Tried to withdraw money from ATM but it seems that all the ATMs from Jaisalmer had run out of cash. While searching around for alternate ATMs, we found out that we had been doing rounds of the city within couple of km of our hotel all this time.
Went back to Riddhi Siddhi restaurant. Amit satisfied his wish of eating Daal Baati. It was ok. Nothing great. . . . absolutely nothing like home cooked daal baati. Went back to our hotel for siesta.
We had decided on visiting Sam Dunes after various discussions with locals. We wished to visit Khuri village but locals said that Sam was far better. Sam being 40 km away and we both wanting to ride our bikes to the sand dunes, decided to take both the bikes.
First obstacle was filling up air on my bike. In Rajasthan, none of the petrol pumps (even the company operated ones) have operational air filling machines. I went to the best pump in town and requested the manager to start the compressor. He obliged but his air gauge was busted. So he came up with a mini air gauge. Somehow, he was unable to register any air pressure in the rear tyre. He guided me to nearby puncture shop to fill up air. As usual, the puncture shop had a busted air pressure gauge. He estimated that the rear tyre had less than 10 psi air and he filled up air as per his judgment (whatever that may be)
Met up with Amit and we started riding slowly and steadily towards Sam Dunes at around 80 kmph. We had ample of time and wanted to enjoy the ride.
Nothing new. . . just the endless pothole free straight road -
Couple of km before reaching Sam, lots of camel herders were standing in the middle of road hoping that we would stop. I didn’t slow down at all and they all had to scatter.
Finally reached Sam sand dunes. I was gheroed by at least 15 camel herders; all shouting at 100% of their lung capacity for me to hire their camel. I simply told them that my boss is coming shortly and they should speak with him J
As soon as Amit reached, the scene repeated and now they did not allow him to even get down from the bike. It was complete mayhem. Finally we both managed to calm them down by finalizing two camels for us. We told them that we first need to take couple of photographs of our bikes against sand dunes. Those camel herders were suspicious thinking that we are trying to find a cheaper alternative and came pillion with us under the guise of guiding us to proper photo spot.
Here is the result of this photo session –
This was our first look of sand dunes of Rajasthan. TBH, I was extremely disappointed. I was the person who pushed Amit to make plans for ride till Jaisalmer just because I wanted to see Jaisalmer and sand dunes. However, this was nothing like what I had expected. Actually the name – ‘Sad Dunes’ would had been more appropriate. May be I had hopes of these dunes matching those of Dubai or Egypt.
Some photographs of our camel ride & sunset –
The only time when amit was laughing. After this photograph, the camel rider took offence and started racing his camel J
Different hues of sunset –
Amit getting a butt break –
Amit smiling that the camel ride would soon be over and his butt will have some time to recover
After the camel ride, we rode back to the hotel. It was still hot and had not cooled down even a bit. Reached hotel without any issue, had dinner at the so called roof top restaurant of our hotel, decided to wake early next day and went back to sleep.
Flavour of the Day
Jaisalmer kid to father : “Papa, what are those yellow lights on all corners of your bike?’
Father : “Beta, these lights are to provide festive décor for our festivals.”
Even roadside vendors quote prices in Euro & Dollars
- Author: by PTR