Triple-J or JJJ stands for Jaipur, Jaisalmer and Jodhpur - the three major tourist destination in the state of Rajasthan. In the world of tourism, these cities are synonymous with the tags Pink City, Golden City and Blue City respectively. This is first post in the travelogue series of this trip. I am starting with a summary post regarding places visit we places visited, accommodation etc and in subsequent posts will share experiences in detail.
Next posts in Rajasthan Series
- Places we saw: City Palace, Jantar Mantar, Jaigarh Fort, Nargarh Fort, Amber Fort, Gator ki Chatriyan, Jal Mahal, Chokidhani(5 star village resort). All of the places I liked City Palace and Nargarh Fort, former because of novelty factor and the latter because its calm atmosphere.
- Accomodation: Stayed at two places. Day-1 at Sureli Haveli in Banipark and Day-2,3 at Hotel Residency Inn which affiliate of YHAI.
- Moving Around: All credits to Raju and his auto. Right from pick up from the railway station to drop back, Raju took the responsibility of our intra-city travel. We were very much relieved of catching an auto, negotiating the fare, later on negotiating the compensation for waiting time and so on.
- Food: Had traditional Rajasthani food Dal-Bati-Churma at different restaurants. Also tea and kachories at Raju's shop used to be perfect start for the day.
- Shopping: Bought a few kurtas, saree and dress material which were uniquely printed with vegetable colors. But I was irritated with excess marketing of "100 gm quilt" at all the handicraft shops which I visited or forced to visit. On top that if you are resident of place where temperature hardly goes down below 10 degree celcius, excess marketing increases you irritation levels exponentially as there will be no need of such warm stuffs.
- Places we saw: Khuri Sand Dunes, Sam Sand Dunes, Jaisalmer Fort, Gadi Sagar Lake. [Any Sand Dunes is the place to be in evenings].
- Major activities: Camel ride on Khuri Sand Dunes, Walking on Dunes at Sam which we liked more than normal Camel ride.
- Accommodation: Day-1 at Badal House(Khuri) which is a lonely planet recommendation and Day-2 at 'Hotel Payal' which is an affiliated to YHAI.
- Food: Bajre ki Roti and Dokhla at Badal House. Also nice to have was "Pakwaan", a big papad with masala toppings available in a tela near Jaisalmer bus stop.
- Moving around: Local Bus, Auto and Bike. Renting a bike is a good option considering cost and convenience. Never dared go for taxis and jeeps, as there was very high chances of getting ripped off.
- <Places we saw: Mehrangarh Fort, Jaswant ka Thada, Umaid Bhavan Palace. Other than these, not many places of interest were there in the city.
- Accommodation : Stayed at "Hotel Nirvana" which is 1 km from the railway station.
- Moving around: we tried to emulate Raju type of auto business-model with a local autowallah but ended up paying a bomb. So better go for a seperate autos. But traveling in Jodhpur's auto with mega leg-room was an amusing experience,
- Food: Masala Cheese Omelette at "Omelette Shop" in the market around clock tower. We also had lassis at a nearby shops which was perfect complement to the omelette.
- Shopping: National Handloom shop is a good place to buy souvenirs, designer wallets-n-purses.
- Faced with series of drop outs, so had to entire planning on my own.
- My major online references were wikitravel and Arun's indiatravelblog. I also bought Hapercollins Rajasthan Travel guide and it was a handy reference for the entire trip. The strategy was to see less places with more dedication rather than being a normal vacation tourist i.e. visiting places for formality sake.
- Some part of the travel the planing was so foolproof that even if I miss a train, there will be another itinerary as plan-B. Even though I ended up paying 20 INR to irctc per cancelled transaction of plan-B tickets, it was nothing compared to peace of mind with a back up option.
- With this trip, we contributed around 6000 INR per head (excluding to-n-fro train tickets to Jaipur) to the GDP of India.
- Badal Singh Guest House at Khuri is a must visit place. Hats offs to his simplicity and down to earth personality.
- We got saturated with sightseeing, especially forts and temples in last leg of the trip. So our initial decision to travel less and see more was very appropriate. Looking forward to cover other parts of Rajasthan in subsequent trips.
- Timing of our trip i.e two weeks before Chrismas was perfect, we experienced decent weather throughout, a must while traveling in Rajasthan and completely avoided crowds of holiday season.
- Raju aka Raj Kumar Lakhiwal : for his auto service in Jaipur.
- Arun Bhat: for his indiatravelblog rajasthan series.
- Naveen aka Ande: accompanying me for this trip. Traveling alone in a week long trip drains you off mentally.
- Arun VM: for cancelling my back up Railway tickets.
Next posts in Rajasthan Series