2013: I had taken my parents off to a Rajasthan travel trip. Our itinerary read New Delhi-Jaisalmer-Jodhpur-Rawla Narlai- Udaipur – New Delhi. This was like a ten-day long trip and we did everything from train, to by road to flight and from staying in five-star hotels, to desert camps to a boutique havelli to a uber luxury resort!
Our first stop was the Golden city of Jaisalmer and believe me, it’s absolutely golden with its sandstone walls and buildings as far as the eye can see. In fact the main fort here is called the Golden Fort or the Sunhera Qila.
After spending two nights in a city hotel to explore the various offerings of Jaisalmer heritage, it was time to head for the famous Sam dunes. It’s the Rajasthani desert which is populated by numerous camp sites and one of these was our destination. The camp director came to pick us up and offered to take us via a jeep or the touristy option of riding a camel through the desert. No prizes for guessing what I opted for. In fact my mom did too while dad took the jeep option.
Sashaying on a camel over the sandy dunes actually lulled me into a semi groggy state and I almost toppled over 😉 But the best part was sitting atop a sand dune and watching the sun go down slowly, as the sand beneath me turned cooler by the degree till it was cold to touch.
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Finally we headed to our Damodar Desert Camp for some freshening up, food and the cultural program that’s the epitome of every stay in Rajasthan.
The tented acco was a dream and we loved at how comfortable everything was. I befriended one of the other tourist who turned out was from Czech Republic and was volunteering at the camp for free food and stay. While talking to her, I discovered that she sleeps out in the open. I quickly checked with the camp director and he arranged another charpoy (cot) for me next to hers. My dad was aghast at the thought and I did get a fair bit of scolding for it 🙂
But I had an agenda to sleep out. I wanted to look at the night sky with its umpteen number of stars that seemed to be jostling for space in the inky blackness – that’s how crowded it was! It was like I had forgotten what its like to see a night sky and was dumbfounded with amazement and joy at it. I also saw many falling stars and made wishes upon wishes onto them 😉
‘One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.’ – Henry Miller
I was dying to capture the star trails; it’s a photographic process to capture the movement of the stars across the skies over a period of many hours. I set out my camera on the tripod and set it up for an hour’s capture while I stared at the multitude of celestial gorgeousness above me. (You can check here for more info on star trails)
It’s a thing of patience to capture the star trails and even then one has to process the pics to see if its been indeed shot. I dug deep into my quilt; oh yeah the night was chilling cold for a March evening and crossed my toes and fingers for a perfect capture.
Here is what I caught – it’s far from perfect but for my first one, its superbly Perfect!!!! 🙂
What do you think of star trails?
When is the last time you checked the night sky for stars?
How many did you see?
- Rajasthan is one of the most culturally colourful states of India with a rich heritage of forts, palaces and monuments.
- Jaisalmer fort was recently declared a world heritage site and is the largest desert forts in the world.
- Its major industry is tourism and its located in the heart of the Thar desert.
A ker Sangiri bush bursting to blooms in the middle of the desert. It’s a traditional vegetable of Rajasthan and the cooked version is a big delicacy
A trained Interior designer who loves to travel, photograph and write, I have done some boutique stays in limited budgets and some in extravagant ones too. My forte is in using locally sourced/ made products which would provide support to the local community. I am also an advocate of using sustainable practices in housekeeping, laundry,etc which lessens the use of harmful chemicals. The water used for such chores is clean enough to be fed into the garden directly.
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Other travel posts featuring Rajasthan
Japanese Kalbelia in Pushkar