TALF an initiative by NIIT University organized the heritage trip to Jodhpur and Jaisalmer from 19th December 2016 to 23rd December 2016 and was mentored by Faculty Mr. Abhisek Dutta and Forum Co-ordinator Ms. Susmita Singh.
- DAY 1
We started from the university at about 9 am after having some yummy parathas in a tempo traveller. We reached Kishangarh at about 2:00 PM and had lunch at Amrit Dhaba. After a tiresome road journey (total of 600 km) covered in 10 + hours , we reached The Marwar Hotel and Gardens at 7:30 PM in the evening. After being allocated our rooms and freshening up we left for Shastri Circle at about 8:30 pm about 4 Kilometers from the hotel. There we were given 1 hour to absorb the surroundings, explore and eat.
First we had Gol Guppe with 5 different types of chutneys!
Then we had “Pyaz Kachori” with Khari; it was something new for me and I got to savor it almost everywhere during the next 4 days of our trip.
Later on, we had a chicken roll from a famous Mughal cuisine shop there where I noticed how they actually make Seekh Kebabs (baking minced chicken in tandoor)
Finally, we came back to the hotel and ended our day with a good sleep.
- Day 2
We woke up at 8:00 AM freshened up, and had breakfast in the Hotel itself.
Later on, we met our guide Mr Kunal Singh Rathore. After that, we went to see Umaid Bhawan Palace, half of it converted into a 5-star hotel that was maintained by Taj Hotel then the residence of the royal family of Jodhpur and a little part of it converted into a museum. We saw many artifacts like clothes, clocks, weapons, etc. I was mesmerized by the architecture of the palace where the blocks were actually interlocked. We also saw the collection of rare cars of King Umaid Singh.
After that, we went to Jaswant Thada, also known as Taj Mahal of Rajasthan. A burial ground for the royal family. Beautiful shrines made in their memory with a beautiful artificial lake in view also known as “lake of angels”. The specialty of that lake, that it will never become dry.
Later on went to Jodhpur Polo Ground and watched polo match with the Maharaja.
It was truly a memorable experience. It was an amazing sport, royal in every sense but extremely intense. We also clicked a group pic with the Maharaja, a really friendly person I must say.
After that, we went to Mehrangarh Fort, which is a museum now and saw many artefacts.
We also saw the various ways of tying a Pagadi (headwear for Rajasthani Men).
We also met one of the best polo players of India in Mehrangarh fort who stays there with his family. Later on, we came back to the hotel and took some rest for an hour or two. Again we went to the market for shopping and dinner. At 10:00 Pm we came back to Hotel and went to sleep.
- DAY 3
This was our last day in Jodhpur. We went to Mandore Garden, where we saw idols of Lord Ganesha, Lord Shiva, Lord Brahma and other social workers of Rajasthan who saves many societies such as Ramdev Ji, Goga Ji, Bay Mata Ji, etc. All carved out of rocks. Mandore Garden was a memorial ground for many of the members of the royal family.
After that, we went to Osian Mata Temple – A Jain temple of the 24th Tritankar Lord Mahavira of along with the statues of many saints. The temple was extremely beautiful with a calm atmosphere, a good place to meditate.
Later we had typical Rajasthani food – DAL BATI CHURMA AND BAJRE KI ROTI. We went on to Jaisalmer which is approximately 400 Km from Osia Mata Temple. Jaisalmer is known as the Golden City of India.We reached Jaisalmer at 7:30 PM evening and checked into Hotel Hayat and later on went to Desert Boy’s Dhani for Dinner where along with dinner we had a fun with Rajasthani folk music and dance. Then off we went to the hotel and took a full rest that night.
- DAY 4
We had the breakfast at the Hotel’s Terrace. Then we went to see Gadi Sagar Lake where the Gate was made by a Prostitute Lady named as Tilon so as people always remember her even after her death. She also built a Satyanarayan Temple on top of the Gate so as to prevent the king from demolishing the gate. As this gate was made by a prostitute none of the family members of The Royal family pass through that gate but a separate way is built for them to enter the lake.
After that, we went to Jaisalmer Fort, built by King Jaisal Singh. There were many Jain temples inside the palace since Jaisal Singh did the business with Jain Traders, they had asked King to allow the construction Jain temples and the king as a favor fulfilled their wishes. The Temples contain a total of 6666 statues of Jain gods. Then after, we went to Nathmal Ki Haveli which was built for Prime Minister of Jaisalmer in the 19th century. The left and right wings of the mansion which were carved by two brothers, Hathu and Lallu, are not only identical but very similar and harmonious in design. It has a highly decorative facade with two yellow sandstone elephants guarding it at the entrance.
After that, we went for desert camping in the outside skirts of Jaisalmer, where we stayed in Oasis Sand Sam Dunes. At 5:30 PM in the evening we went for the camel ride in the Thar Desert where we went to old border line and clicked many photographs. Later on, we enjoyed the Rajasthani Dance night organized by the camp with Pakoras and Tea. Consequently, the dinner was and then DJ Night in the camp.
Around 11:00 PM in the night some of us went to Desert to relax and do some night photography since the sky of Rajasthan is full of stars and we can literally see the outline of our galaxy “THE MILKY WAY” there we lay on the cool sand listening to soft music and venting out our feelings with one another, a great way to connect 🙂 and came back around 1:00 AM. After a day well spent, we got into our tents and slept.
After spending our last night in Jaisalmer, we started our trip back to Neemrana.
On the way back, we stopped at Kuldhara Village which has a rather interesting history. The villagers abandoned their homes as it is late at night because of Salim Singh (a cruel minister who imposed high taxes on them). Till now the homes of the villagers are the same only a bit ruined due to the harsh environment and the time elapse.
An old man of that village told the story of Australian People who came as tourists but was actually smugglers who came to know about the old money and other costly things made up of gold etc. but with the help of other villagers they were caught red handed and sent to Jail.
We continued our journey back to university and reached by 2:30 AM early morning. It was truly a fun experience!! We got to explore new cultures and traditions across Rajasthan!