As our bus entered Jaisalmer, we began to see the sweep of sand and the rocky patch of land on both sides with stunt thorny shrubs here and there. This was the same image most of us have in our minds when visualizing Rajasthan.
The whole landscape had a yellowish-golden tinge interspersed by small shrubs. We were lucky enough to spot the ‘chinkaras’ or Indian gazelle grazing along. We spotted a couple of black bucks too.The entire land was golden-hued hence the city was clearly justifying its name as the ‘Golden city’. The very idea of spending the night in a camp amid st the desert, made some of us cringe to it. Later when we reached our destination, the sight of elegantly decorated white Swiss-style tents with amber-colored lights was simply enthralling. A stark desert landscape in the background supported the rustic setting of lined-up tents. Moving along the paved pathways towards our fabricated little tents, lit from inside which seemed like pretty lanterns.
We were gripped by eeriness of the place. The silence seemed deafening.
The things to be experienced were a lot for a single night. The folk artists succeeded in gathering a wave of claps and appreciation for their performances. The chilly winds contrasted with the steaming hot dishes of about 12-14 varieties. They were all local delicacies served to us under the cloudless, star-studded night around a campfire shivering to bits. As the night grew older, the unbounded spaces faintly illuminated by moonlight were waiting to be explored. We wandered randomly in the desert looking for nothing, feeling the emptiness we had never experienced before in the bustling city lives. Somebody in my group hollered ”this desert stretches up to Pakistan”. It felt weird. I had never been so close to the border of any foreign country and suddenly it was so near.The feet-sinking base couldn’t deter us from enjoying the walk beyond our abode.
It is humanly not possible to put the picturesque scene into mere words. The day progressed, and nearer came the much-awaited experience of desert exploration. What can be more enticing than a day to spend on the ‘ship of the desert’ slowly making its way through the magnificent stretch of dunes. The bumpy camel ride brought us close to the wilderness of the desert traversing up and down through the dunes.
No walls, no evident boundaries in the country’s largest desert spread over 2,340,000 square kilometers merging with the adjacent country covered with golden dust, belittled our existence, bestowed us with a feeling of being lost.
Bounded by walls in the city life, we had no idea that this expanse would be so ecstatic. We were wandering about in a space where kilometers of nothingness was the only thing within our vision. Perhaps one of the best things this royal state had to offer to its visitors.