When it comes to travelling, the land of Rajasthan is a place one never gets tired of going back to. It really keeps calling us back, be it the colourful shopping in Jaipur, the luxe living in Udaipur, the breath-taking views of Jodhpur, or the holy air that surrounds Ajmer. No, those aren't the only places to be visited in Rajputana. There is Pushkar that offers great respite away from the city; there is Bikaner with its temples and palaces; there is Alwar known for Bhangarh Fort - supposedly haunted.
And then there is Jaisalmer. The Golden City.
Nestled in the heart of the vast Thar Desert, the city is a five-hour drive from Jodhpur, and an overnight bus away from Delhi. Amidst golden sands of time and an unforgiving sun, Jaisalmer is that quiet faraway cousin that is warm (no pun), hospitable, and beautiful in its subtlety.
Laid out like a blanket at the feet of Jaisalmer Fort, home to artisans and citizens alike, the city bustles with a soft energy and tourists from all over the world. The golden sand, set against the bright blue sky, is sure to make you smile. A trip to Jaisalmer can be wrapped up in 2-4 days minus the travel time. Spend a day or two in the city and the other in the desert, the latter being the experience that you will remember all your life.
Then there are numerous cafes and restaurants inside the fort, some offering a beautiful view of the tawny city laid out below. Explore and discover. Pay special heed to the amazing carvings and sculptures everywhere.
Then there is Gadsisar Lake that you can relax beside, museums such as Jaisalmer War Museum, and Culture museum et al if you are keen.
At night, after you partake of some delectable laal maas, don't forget to behold the lit up fort, a golden jewel.
The sand dunes await your arrival, to witness the vast desert under the vast sky. But before that, check into a luxurious tent in one of the tented resorts that Jaisalmer is known for when it comes to desert safaris.
The stay in the tent (I recommend Winds Desert Camp) is an experience to remember not just because of how comfortable and fine the hospitality is but because you actually get to experience a night stay in the desert.
In the afternoon, they take you for a safari to the Sam sand dunes where you witness caravans of camels and a beautiful sunset.
At night, there are cultural events and a buffet dinner for your pleasure.
But most importantly, you can ask the staff for a personal bonfire in the desert (I recommend taking your own poisons along). There, you can bask in the bonfire and have your breath taken away by the countless stars above, so clear that you can spot constellations. It is here that you marvel at the fact that as great as the mountains and beaches are, the deserts are pretty majestic too.
And if you are wondering when the best time to make a trip will be, now is the answer - when the sun is still soft and the nights are blissfully cool.
And Jaisalmer is at its best.