I was planning to visit Jaisalmer in 2019 but as it turned out it would happen in February 2020, and yes it was just before the lockdown due to COVID-19. In the 3rd week of February, there was a long weekend due to Maha Shivratri and since this was my solo bike trip I took 2 days off as well.
I have Royal Enfield ABS Signals Stormrider Sand. From Gurgaon, I decided to leave on Thursday evening as I was going to have a stop between Gurgaon and Jaisalmer.
Below are the routes and days that I planned for the whole trip –
Gurgaon – Sikar – Sam – Jaisalmer – Jaipur – Gurgaon
Day 1: Gurgaon to Sikar
Day 2: Sikar to Sam (Via Jaisalmer)
Day 3: Sam – Lonegwala – Sam
Day 4: Sam – Jaisalmer (Via Kuldhara)
Day 5: Jaisalmer to Jaipur
Day 6: Jaipur to Gurgaon
- Clothes – Summer clothes
- First Aid – Anti-allergic, Vicks, Dettol, cotton
- For Bike – Tie rope (2) keep one or two extra, Chain cleaner, Chain Lubrication, Bag cover to prevent from dust, Tool kit
If you are a photographer, please keep 2 camera batteries, filters, and a tripod stand.
Day 1: Gurgaon to Sikar
Gurgaon to Sikar is 280 Km. I want to save my day so I left from Gurgaon on Thursday evening at 5 PM on my bike. Till Kotputli you will be on NH – 48, so you can drive easily but from Kotputli you have to make a turn, and the road is in very bad condition. The stretch of bad condition road is approx. 50 KM. Unfortunately, it rained that evening, and I got some shade after driving for 5-6 Km in rain and then, I had to wait there for an hour. After the rain, I resumed my journey to Sikar. From Neem Ka Thana bypass you will get a good road. At 11 PM I reached Sikar and booked a hotel on the highway only. The next morning, I left for Jaisalmer.
Day 2: Sikar to Sam (Via Jaisalmer)
I woke up at 8 in the morning had breakfast, and then headed to Jaisalmer at 9:30 AM. Sikar to Sam is approx 600 Km via Jaisalmer.
One of my college friends was also in Jaisalmer that day, he was traveling from Gurgaon and had plans to cover major tourist cities in Rajasthan. Although I was not aware of his plans, luckily we connected on a call and decided to meet at Jaisalmer city and go to Sam together.
Roads are good and rarely you have to make turns, so enjoy the ride at the desired speed.
Since it’s a long journey, I took a lunch break just before Pokhran. If you want to taste some Rajasthani foods at Dhabas, you must try Sev Bhaji with Roti. Wherever I halted for a short break I could hear the sound of sparrows. Take breaks during this ride to see these beautiful sparrows and other birds. I got to see deer and Camel as well.
At 6 PM I entered the Jaisalmer city. You can see how the Golden city welcomes me
My friend stayed in the Moustache hostel (https://moustachehostel.com/). They had good clean rooms and amazing hospitality.
I met my friend at 6:30 PM at the hotel. We were meeting after 4 years! and meeting him made my trip amazing. He also came on his Royal Enfield (Stealth Black). Without wasting any time we left for Sam.
In an hour we reached Sam. The majority population in Sam is Muslim, and It’s a very small village. All the camps are put up just 2-3 kilometers before Sam from the Jaisalmer side.
We have seen multiple tents there and Oasis was best among all but unfortunately, there were no rooms available in Oasis for us. So guys for Sam please do booking 1 week before the trip. After spending 30 minutes we find Shiv Tara Desert Camp. We booked the tent for 2 nights for INR 3780 per head with breakfast and dinner included in it. Other than dinner, Camel and Thar Safari were included in it for one day.
Here you can see some pictures of the camp.
At the camp from 8 PM to 10 PM, they organize cultural dances daily for the tourists. You can also buy beer, whiskey, or any soft drink there, but they are costly. I will recommend you guys to take it from Sam village. There is a government beer shop.
Dinner time starts at 9 PM there. It was good Rajasthani food. Must try Gatte ki sabzi.
Places to visit near Sam
- Sunrise in Desert
- Thar & Camel Safari
- Thar Desert
- Tanot Mata temple
Day 3: Sam – Longewala – Sam
We asked the Safari guy to pick us up for the sunrise. He came early in the morning and we went to the sunrise point. The sunrise in the desert is really breathtaking. Here are some shades of sunrise.
The shooting of the border movie was done in this part of the desert.
Thar & Camel Safari
After spending 30 minutes for the sunrise we went for the Thar & Camel Safari. Safari point is 3-4 Km from the camp area. Thar safari was really amazing, but that was only for 15 mins. There is a Maggi and tea point in the middle of the desert. We had tea there and then we did Camel Safari for 15 mins.
You can also experience Camel race and Thar paragliding. I did the camel race. It was a good adventure experience. The guy charged only INR 200/- for this. If you want to do paragliding it will cost you INR 1000/-. The ride will be of 1 minute.
After that, we spent some time roaming around the desert and clicked some good photos.
We had lunch in Sam village and then headed to Longewala.
Longewala is a border town in the Thar Desert in the western part of Jaisalmer district, Rajasthan, India. It is very close to the border with Pakistan and is most notable as the location of the Battle of Longewala during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. The border is hardly 15 Kms from the Longewala post.
It is almost a straight road from Sam to Longewala and hardly anyone will be on the road. Most of the areas alongside roads have windmills. These windmills provide electricity to Sam, Jaisalmer, and other nearby
villages. Tourists are not allowed to go to the border. If you want to see the border then you have to take prior permission from the authority.
Longewala is a famous tourist destination now. I had seen many people who came from Gujarat. My plan was to see the sunset at Sam Sand Dunes and capture time-lapse but we were already running late. Sunset time was 6:40 PM, so I had to reach there before 30 minutes to capture the time-lapse of sunset. Then we decided to skip Tanot Mata temple, but I’ll recommend you guys to visit there as well. Distance between Longewala and Tanot Mata temple is approx. 50 Km and it will take you an hour to reach there.
We headed back to Sam at 5:30 PM at full speed. Unfortunately, I realized that we won’t be able to cover the distance in time, so en route Sam, I saw a wide place. We stopped there to watch the beautiful sunset and captured a time-lapse. You can see the sunset below.
The sky was really dramatic. I had also clicked some photos of our bike.
After the photoshoot, we headed to our camp. It was already dark. I asked my friend to stop the bike, turn off the light, and see up in the sky. He had never seen that type of dark sky. There was no sign of light. That made the sky too dark and we saw too many stars.
We reached our tent at 8:30 PM, had dinner, and enjoyed the cultural dance.
Day 4: Sam – Kuldhara – Jaisalmer
Sunrise Day 4
Before leaving the desert I wanted to see the sunset one more time. I reached there 30 minutes before and parked my bike in the parking area. There I asked one camel guy to give me a ride to the sunset point. The cost was INR 200/- for up and down.
I found a good spot to capture time-lapse and wanted to have one camel in the frame as well. There I met a camel guy and made a deal with him to make his camel sit in the frame of my camera for 30 minutes for 200 rupees. Camel’s name was Shahrukh.
Below you can see the sunrise pics.
While capturing the sunrise many people came and asked me how to capture time-lapse. One couple asked me to click their photos in the desert style. This is one of their photos.
There is a Desert National Park at Sam. You guys can plan this as well if you have time. You can see different species of Eagles. At 9 AM I headed to the camp, had breakfast, and got ready to leave for Jaisalmer.
Kuldhara (An abandoned village)
Sam to Kuldhara is approx. 20 KM. We reached there in 35 minutes. Entry fee with your two-wheeler is INR 50/-
Kuldhara is an abandoned village in Jaisalmer district. Established around the 13th century, it was once a prosperous village inhabited by Paliwal Brahmins. It was abandoned by the early 19th century for unknown reasons, possibly because of dwindling water supply, or as a local legend claims, because of persecution by the Jaisalmer State’s minister Salim Singh.
We spent 1 hr time there to roam around. The place was full of tourists.
We reached Jaisalmer near about 1 PM. We have already checked some hotels on booking.com but we wanted to take a room from where we can see the Jaisalmer fort. There are many hotels that provide you the fort view and I decided to stay at the Hotel Tokyo Palace. You can also take some hostel or hotel inside the Jaisalmer fort. Zostel is inside the fort but due to parking issues, I didn’t consider that option.
We booked the hotel online for INR 1700 for two people per night. We took the terrace room.
Soon at the reception, I asked the guy which restaurant do you recommend me for the best Laal Maas in Jaisalmer? Guys if you are in Rajasthan and you are non-vegetarian then you must try Jodhpuri Laas Maas. The guy recommended me to go to Milan Restaurant. We took a bath and went for lunch at the restaurant. Milan does not have a sophisticated ambiance but it’s pretty cool.
I ordered Laal maas with Tandoori butter roti and then biryani. It was delicious.
Places to Visit in Jaisalmer
- Jaisalmer Fort
- Patwon Ki Haveli
- Salim Singh Ki Haveli
- Gadisar Lake
After lunch, we headed to Jaisalmer fort. The fort was built in 1156. Rawal Jaiswal was the founder of Jaisalmer city, and Jaisalmer fort was built in his reign. This is one of the rarest forts where people are still residing inside the fort. The main attraction inside the fort is the Raj Mahal.
Ticket to enter in the Raj Mahal is INR 125/- with digital Camera.
We spent 2 hours visiting the fort and inside markets. You can buy really cool “Padharo mare Desh” t-shirts and also fridge magnets. You can also have a look at camel leather bags and dairy.
Salim Singh ki Haveli
We went to Salim Singh ki Haveli. His descendants live at the Haveli. Only a part of the Haveli can be accessed by tourists. The entry fee is INR 70/- per head. The condition of the Haveli is not good. There were no tourists.
We got tired of the forts so we decided to skip Patwon ki Haveli and went to our last destination that is Gadisar Lake. You can relax there, there is no entry fee. We ordered cold coffee and relaxed with the view.
The Gadisar lake was constructed by Raja Rawal Jaiswal. He was the first ruler of Jaisalmer. Later the lake was reconstructed by Maharawal Gadsi Singh. Gadisar Lake gets water from Indira Gandhi Canal, so it never dies.
We headed back to our hotel to see the beautiful sunset with beer of course. We relaxed and enjoyed the sunset.
Day 5: Jaisalmer to Jaipur
Coincidentally my friend was marrying that day in Jaipur. So he already made arrangements for my stay and food. I reached Jaipur at 8:30 PM, attended the wedding, and met many friends. Had a great night there.
Day 6: Jaipur to Gurgaon
Since I had to attend the office as well from the 2nd half. So I started my journey at 7 AM in the morning from Jaipur and reached Gurgaon at 1 PM covering approx. 230 KM.
That was my 6 days trip. In 2020 it was my 2nd trip.
Just after a few days, India got many cases of COVID-19 and Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced lockdown from 25th March 2020. In this situation, the most impacted industries are travel and hospitality. I hope this will end soon so that all of us can travel again, explore the world, and make stories.
So this was my travel story just before the lockdown.