Jaisalmer- The cultural hub of Rajasthan!

The most magnificent city I have ever visited in my lifetime is Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, India. A place rich in culture in the Royal state invites you to enjoy cultural performances, distinctive meal characteristic of Rajasthan, camel ride, sunset point, grand architecture and much more. The history of Rajasthan reveals the life of noble people who lived through ups and downs still maintaining their dignity.

5 main tourist attractions in the Golden city

It was a couple tour arranged by a trip advisor who organized everything from hotel to guide to make the journey hassle free as he provided us with the best Jaisalmer package. The four nights five days expedition was awe-inspiring as we explored the nook and corners of the city of Jaisalmer. The trip was grand and entirely organized by the conveners. If we planned it for ourselves, we should have paid an arm and a leg.

Jaisalmer palaces

Jaisalmer, Rajasthan
Jaisalmer, Rajasthan

One of the best tourist attractions in Jaisalmer are the palaces; many of which converted into hotels. We landed in one of these lodgings on dawn after traveling the whole night. The hospitality shown by the hotel authorities in the elegant palace exhausted half of our fatigue.

The atmosphere was calm enough to feel fresh and rejuvenated.
We moved to our rooms to take rest for a short while then invited for refreshment typical of Rajasthan. Many items along with the onion kachori made us salivate.

The palace was big enough to take a walk after a meal. The magnificence of the hotel provided evidence of the splendid life of the kings and queens in the previous time. The architect worked wholeheartedly to make this masterpiece. Many of these palaces are converted into hotels with few modifications. The other untouched mansions are still present in the city to admire the original art of the artisans.

Patwon ki haveli

Patwon ki Haweli, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan
Patwon ki Haweli, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan

The tour began with a visit to an exceptional piece of art-Patwon ki haveli. The building is a combination of five havelis, each with unique architecture- a part of India’s rich heritage! I have a keen interest in discovering the ancient sites and history of a place to admire the flair of the designers.

The haveli had a museum displaying various work of art and craft. The carvings, mirror work, paintings amazingly decorated the masterpiece. It is also called ‘Mansion of Brocade merchants’as the dealers used it for trading purposes.

Patwon ki Haweli at Jaisalmer, Rajasthan
Patwon ki Haweli at Jaisalmer, Rajasthan

You can walk the narrow streets with comfortable footwear to avoid foot sores and back pain. We had the trip in February, so the weather was friendly but if you are planning in summers, I suggest taking sunglasses, and sunscreen with hat to avoid scorching heat and harmful rays of the sun. Keep yourself hydrated!

Jaisalmer forts

Jaisalmer forts
Jaisalmer forts

Our troop moved to Jaisalmer fort to see the artistic architecture characteristic of Rajasthan. UNESCO has declared the Jaisalmer fort as the world heritage site. It is the largest fort in Rajasthan and is the tourist attraction for all who are fond of art and architecture or discovering the history of India.
We were taken by bus to the famous site, and a guide made us reconnoiter the citadel. The fort was golden thus deriving its popular name –‘sone ka quila’.The guide told us that a Rajput ruler had built this fort which survived many attacks in the past.

It was a pleasant experience as I am fond of exploring the history of my country and yes I have physical fitness to move around to see various palaces and temples inside the fort. The excitement makes me forget the weariness. I recommend the use of sports shoes and comfortable clothing to enjoy the real tour by walking.

The typical meal of Rajasthan- Alas! We were tired and hungry after this historical site visit and thanks to the trip organizers who arranged the delectable meal-spicy and mouthwatering- Gatte ki sabzi made from gram flour, Dal Bati Churma, kalmi vada, and Ghevar in sweets made us salivate at the sight of food. Being a food addict and fan of spicy meals, I ate till my tummy allowed me. If you are fond of Indian cuisine that is spicy and tasty, then I recommend this meal otherwise you can opt for a lighter one.

Camel ride

Desert of Jaisalmer
Desert of Jaisalmer

The most exciting feature of the princely state is the Jaisalmer desert and the king of the sands, camel. At dusk, when the sun is waiting to complete its day journey, all the couples were set to go for watching the sunset on the back of the camel.

An impressive scene of Jaisalmer, Rajasthan is where sands are scattered all over with camels decorated with colorful clothing and accessories. All the couples got ready for the exciting ride to reach the sunset point.

We crossed the desert with the animal showing its proficiency in walking through the soft sands. It was the first time I experienced a ride on the back of the camel. Now, comes the point when the sky turned red depicting the end of the sun’s trek which is waiting to set in the west to rest for a while. The scene was picturesque and engaging.

Sunset in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan
Sunset in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan

We waited until the sun reached home then the organizer instructed the riders to move back to reach the other end. A surprise was waiting for us as we were going to dwell in tents for the whole night.

It was in February, and the weather was cold enough to feel algidity. At first, we were upset at the idea of spending the whole night in a tent, but soon the fear went away with the wind. A planning authorities arranged the whole programme in the open with bonfires served with soft drinks and eatables. The star of the show was a dancer who was ready with typical dress and accessories to display a cultural presentation.

Cultural performances in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan

Cultural performance in Jaisalmer
Cultural performance in Jaisalmer

The most characteristic feature of Rajasthan is its culture that is depicted in costumes, dances, festival celebration and artistic taste of the people. The organizers properly arranged the trip and we did not miss a single event in the arty city.

Dancers and musicians performed the two cultural enactments that made our trip memorable.

Folk dance of Jaisalmer
Folk dance of Jaisalmer

The combined effect of the troop was marvelous as they were excellent in combination with each other. The vesture of the dancers was typical Rajasthani, and the performance was just brilliant.

The planners arranged the first performance for the day of arrival. When we came back after a hectic day, the tour planners arranged a breath-taking programme for us. It was excellent refreshment that rejuvenated our mind and soul. The culture of the golden state is the major tourist attraction that fascinates foreigners to visit India.

We attended the second programme on the last night, when we had to return to hometown the next morning. An open ground was selected for the performance beside the tents where we were intended to stay at night.

Jaisalmer is the cultural hub of Rajasthan; a city full of colors, art, and architecture! I suggest you to research about the city before beginning your excursion to take full benefit of the journey time. Never miss the magnificence of the site, or you will rue until you get a second chance!

Mt. Abu (Rajasthan)- A heaven on earth!

I love traveling to places with a lovely weather as the sights and sceneries provide more pleasure if the atmosphere is friendly. Mt. Abu is one of the best tourist destinations that I have ever visited in my lifetime. I chose the monsoon time to visit the location as the fog falls from the sky making the environment impressive.

A Foggy evening in Mt. Abu

Mt. Abu is the only hill station of Rajasthan situated on the highest Aravalli hills at the southwestern end. As the place is sited close to the Gujarat border, it is close to my hometown, Vadodara. I usually go to visit the location whenever I want a break from the hullaballoo of the city life. The atmosphere is serene and beautiful in rainy season. When it rains in the afternoon, you can take a walk in the evening to appreciate the beauty of nature.

I suggest you stay in a cottage in Mt. Abu or search for the best hotels situated at a distance from the city among the forests. You can enjoy the trip to the brim if you are a nature lover. Although you will find the sights at a distance, you can hire a taxi for the whole day to reach the places.

How to reach?   

If you are living at a short distance from the site, you can take your car with driver to reach Mt. Abu. Otherwise, book a luxury bus or reserve seats in train up to Abu road then take the bus to reach your destination.

Best Places to visit in Mt. Abu   

Mt. Abu is the favorite destination for honeymooners and is ideal for families also. The beautiful surroundings are compatible with lovers, and incredible sightseeing attracts everyone to visit the place time and again.

• Dilwara temples, Mt. Abu

These ancient temples are exemplary of the best architectural construction of 11th to 13th century AD. The temple has a grand architecture carved with marble stone. It is surrounded by greenery all around and is situated at a remote place from the city. It is famous for Jain temples devoted to five main Jain saints- Shri Adinath, Shri Parshavnath, Shri Neminath Ji, Shri Rishabdaoji and Shri Mahaveer Swami.

We went on a family trip and spent the first two days appreciating the beauty of nature. On the third day, we went to visit the sights. The Dilwara temples are the excellent example of marvelous work of marble in ancient times. A great work of art and sculpture especially for those who wish to explore Indian history to admire human effort in creating exclusive architectures.

• Nakki Lake

A popular activity in Mt Abu, Rajasthan is boating in Nakki Lake, one of the best tourist destinations of the hilly area. As the sun is about to set, we began our journey by walking to reach the lake. I must tell you I enjoyed walking as the weather was favorable enough to tread and the trip becomes unforgettable as I revel in the lovely nature.

This is another beautiful view of nature depicting scenic magnificence pleasing the aesthetic senses. The clean waters of the lake with images of lush green trees and colorful boats exhibit a brilliant appearance soothing the eyes and heart. We all tried boating when suddenly showers began to add to our exhilaration.

After boating, we went to Raghunath temple situated on the hill near the lake. There is no entry fee to Nakki Lake, but boating is not free. The lake is open during daytime till evening for tourists. As the sunset point is close to the lake, we plan to visit the creek about one and a half hour before sunset.

• Sunset point in Mt Abu

 

The sunset point is yet another landmark to watch the nature’s beauty at its peak. We reached the place just before the sun is about to hide behind the hills.

A massive ball of fire, round and red, might be tired was about to rest. The sky turned orange by the rays of the setting sun. The photographers present there were trying to capture the moments in their imported cameras.

The place was crowded as it is popular among tourists. The dense forests area on the other side of the hill is banned due to the presence of wild animals.

 

• Gaumukh Temple

 

Gaumukh means the ‘mouth of the cow.’ Although the temple is located in the dense forest, and it is risky to visit in the rainy season, but we went when the sky is clear during the daytime. The site is a popular tourist destination for devotees and culture lovers.

The temple has idols of Lord Rama, Lord Krishna and Rishi Vashisht besides the bull statue which is a symbol of Lord Shiva. The God is known to ride the bull. We climbed 700 stairs to reach the main temple.

It is said that Saraswati Ganga flows through the mouth of the cow. The floor is slippery, and you need to be careful while walking to the shrine.

 

• Brahma Kumaris

Brahmakumaris, Mt. Abu, Rajasthan

As said earlier, Mt Abu is a perfect choice for those seeking peace and not only the atmosphere but also the hermitages adding to the amity. Brahma Kumaris offer many spiritual courses apart from meditation in Mt. Abu. You can also stay at their ashrams to watch the live sessions.

We sojourned at a hotel only 10 minutes away from the Brahma Kumaris monastery. We walked to visit the place painted in white- a color symbolizing peace.

It was made in a vast area with universal peace hall for spiritual lectures with sitting arrangements and greenery all around for oxygenated atmosphere. We attended some lectures in the room and moved around the place.

A lot more to describe but I conclude herby saying that Mt. Abu is the must visit place for everyone to live in the lap of nature for few days. I love this place and used to travel off and on. The other places of interest are Achalgarh fort, Gurushikhar and Honeymoon point in Mt. Abu. Browse through the places before planning the trip so that you can visit all the sites in the available time.

Precautions– Take special care while walking through honeymoon point and visiting temples situated among dense forests. Do not try to cross the hill at the sunset point as wild animals might be present at the site.
Plan an Mt. Abu tour and feel the heaven!