Suryagarh:Jaisalmer,The First Glimpse9:00 AM
Sometimes ignorance can be funnily fatal, sometimes bliss. When I said ‘Yes’ to Jaisalmer in the monsoons #monsoonmagic,I had my ignorance to the landscapes re-confirmed. How else could you relate Jaisalmer to than Sand Dunes? No, if buts. Of all the pictures I have seen of my friends in Jaisalmer in the recent years, I have had seen camels and the dunes.
Luxury in the Desert - Suryagarh
To my mind that day when I was about to board, a thought came; well Jaisalmer in the monsoons would be sand with waterholes and dirty patches of green. The vision never looked so appealing to me having seen those Facebook pictures of dunes so often I almost was sure of my lack of knowledge. May be it was the state of conflict that I was getting used to, that I saw my plane landing in Jodhpur. And no, I wasn't landing in an abandoned airstrip in the middle of the desert in Jaisalmer from which I had dreamt of clicking pictures of across the border(if at all I get to see! - which by the way I came to know is a no-mans land 100 km from Suryagarh and there's isn't much activity there) .It was a place called Jodhpur,4.5 hours’ drive from Jaisalmer. Wokay! I was wrong…to begin with and the wrong-ye - ness continues till the end.
Along The Way - Suryagarh
Colorfully Yours - Rajasthan on Jodhpur - Jaisalmer Stretch
So today for a start, I take you to along the way to “Suryagarh” and from tomorrow on to, near about places which were on yesteryear's silk route, the Chudail and Temple Trails, the Interesting Villages, The Opium Baba and the Opium community celebrations, the stories of unrequited love and the stories of conquer. Thanks to Suryagarh, Jaisalmer for bringing out their passion and love for Jaisalmer onto our platter and thank god we didn't do the usual!
Manvar where we had Chai and Pakodas
What started as a journey which we assumed to be long as until evening, we were folks from different parts of the country in our tempo traveler. The people who I met in the journey was Shrinidhi,Nisha,Anuradha ,Siddharth and many others who we later joined in.
Running Refrigerator made out of Cardboard
The trip started with our own luxury of time, from the beginning. I mean, yes it was a 4 hour drive, but with Chai and Pakoda at Manvar and our stopover of an hour and a half which we from the beginning was secretly wishing how Suryagarh should be, considering it was their folks who made us halt leisurely at the first stop at Manvar.
They Called Me Veerappan
Sawaar Loon in the Truest sense.
Just when I got time, in between his shots ,I had a sweet conversation with him.Click here to know what we talked about
Devilal:Baby,pehle bhot lambi thi kaan ke 3/4 anthe ate the,maine choti kara di
I asked:Ap dye karte ho?
Devilal:Abhi off season chap raha haina,tabhi choti kara di
Devilal:Mje log kisi jamane me Veerappan kehte the,jab me alwar me tha.
Waving the bhaiyaji thank you, we proceeded ahead to our destination after Chai, Pakodas and the Warm Welcome.
We Bring The Rain: Yo Suryagarh
#monsoonmagic:Can anyone see water ahead?
The road ahead looked pristine, almost swept in the rains that welcomed us.Just few minutes before, we could see the Sand Storm, running along with us as if trying to compete with our vehicular speed. Jaisalmer receives rainfall 8-10 times in a year and with each passing year, the rains are increasing as compared to the last, no thanks to the changing climate the world over.
Nonetheless the phase passed, and we all were still looking forward to Suryagarh. 20 minutes before Suryagarh, we could spot the open air jeep which was escorting us to the way. We felt like hopping in one, the rains and the wind made us much of a dreamer. Finally we got in Suryagarh:
Suryagarh -The Rain Washed Courtyard
And what we saw ahead was a warm welcome in the rains ,at first glance it looked like we were staying in a fort, its massive and it was superbly dim lit to go with the darkness that rain bought which were accompanied by the musical drums. The welcome included a refreshing drink and a cold ice-dipped wiping sheets. As we were tired ,we went onto our rooms. The time was up for dinner. And we had to go.
It was then I met Sankara, after my trip to Malaysia, this was the 2nd time I was meeting him, and I was more than happy to.Sankara had warned us before of hot weather but we bought in rain. After all we were here for creating a magic in the monsoons #monsoonmagic.
The dinner was set. And it wasn't the one I had assumed it to be - dipped completely in Ghee . The last time I had Rajasthani food was in Jaipur around 5 years back. No, it was different and it was authentic. From the locally grown Sangry Salad (vegetable) to the meat of the Rabbits and the Bater, the food was delicious. We knew for sure ,we would be pampered for the rest of 3 days.
Later in the evening ,we were joined by the owner “Manvendra Singh Shekhawat” and his beautiful wife who shared their insights onto the cultural Jaisalmer, what made them do that are doing currently, the secrets of Opium ,Chudail trail and much much more which we are yet to discuss. Often when we meet people for first time ,we are hesitant to talk or open up, all I would say is this journey of mine ,reminded me of school days, when I was curious, when I wanted to know, and wanted the world to know India beyond India as it is to that depth. Over the next post we will see what I mean!