Sand Castle Fort

Trip Start Feb 01, 2005
Trip End Dec 31, 2020

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Where I stayed
Hotel Rattan Palace

Flag of India  , Rajasthan,
Friday, November 18, 2005

 There was madness at the bus station when we arrived  in Jaisalmer.

Auto rickshaw drivers were making a real din clamoring for our business and trying to drag us off the bus. One of them tried to manhandle our luggage from the rear of the bus until Avan spotted him and yanked him off by the collar. There was only 2 other Westerners on the bus, a German couple, and they had a vehicle from a hotel pick them up and so we went with them to that hotel.

It turned out to be a good ,move. Firstly, because while it was cheap accommodation at $7.50A per room per night it was really comfortable and clean, and because once we had left the bus station Jaisalmer proved to be a lovely city.

The fort looks like a giant golden sand castle in the middle of the desert. It looks like the entries in sand castle competitions with the turrets and bastions made out of upturned buckets! It was built in 1156 and today is still a living fort with around 10,000 people still domiciled within its walls. It is on the monument watch list of 100 endangered sites worldwide.

We enjoyed some extra time at this place because we both had colds to get over and because the street we were staying in had a real village atmosphere. We could sit for hours on the rooftop of the hotel and watch the daily life unfold - the milkman arriving on his motorbike to dish milk from big pails to his customers little tin pots, the takeaway food man bringing his cart up the street and ringing his bell, and the children dancing and playing in the street. The first night we were there, a large wedding procession weaved its way down our street with lots of noise and commotion, music and dancing, a real old fashioned" tin kettling".

The fort was quite different to Jodhpur and we enjoyed exploring the little alleyways, temples, restaurants and the palace.

After 3 days we were feeling a little better with our colds (and the quieter atmosphere with less hassle) and felt ready to move on to Udaipur our next destination 12 hours away by bus.

Footnote: Jaisalmer Fort is featured in the book Unforgettable Places to See before you die.
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