The Thar Desert

Trip Start Mar 02, 2003
Trip End Jul 04, 2005

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Flag of India  ,
Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Jaisalmer, located in the Thar Desert, is one of the most remote outposts in Western India, only 40 kilometers from the Pakistani border. It is also home to the only living fort in all India. The center of the city is a huge fort in which thousands of people live, work, and have tourist shops. As a result of this, Jaisalmer is also rapidly disintegrating. With the introduction of piped water to the fort, increased tourism, and the arid climate, a lot of the fort's foundations are crumbling. However, regardless of this unfortunate fact, Jaisalmer was one of the most magical places I've ever been. The streets were narrow like in Venice, the shops were dark, and the people were phenomenal. The city is also home to really intricately carved havelis which stand alone in terms of beauty.

While in Jaisalmer we girls visited a beauty salon, or I guess the equivalent of a beauty salon. We all got mehndi on our hands (that's the traditional henna designs women wear on their palms when they get married). We also had our eyebrows "strung", which was the coolest plucking I've ever had. (Sorry about the details). This stringing involves using a long piece of thread that the women holds in her fingers and teeth. She then uses the string to pluck hairs. It was so quick, and so painless, and so cheap (only 25 rupees!).

We ended one of our evenings with an Italian pizza dinner under the stars where we all tried the infamous bhang lassi. Although in large part ineffectual on our travelling group, the following day was very gastrointestinally horrible. I ended up lying down in the back of the car as we drove into the desert to sleep on the sand dunes and take a camel ride. Thankfully that was the worst day I had (besides the day we flew out of Delhi)... whereas most of my travelling companions suffered even more. I'll tell you, as much as I love Indian food, when people tell you that you're going to get sick in India, they aren't kidding! Oh, but it was yummy, and totally worth it. :)
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