It is rather difficult to not fall in love with Rajasthan once you visit it. I happen to visit Rajasthan at least twice a year; and the colors, the culture and traditions, the wide variety of sweets and spicy foods and the environment, in general, never failed to mesmerize me. What has awed me the most, however, have been the deserts.

Even as a child, I had formed a pretty beautiful sight of Jaisalmer in my mind. When I finally went there on New Year’s eve of 2010, I wasn’t disappointed. The place was crowded but it had preserved that aura of ancient times which only added to its splendour. The city is small but has a plethora of forts. “What’s new in that? We are talking about Rajasthan, right?”, you might rightly point out! Well, the number of forts per square kilometer area would be, I guess, much more in Jaisalmer as compared to, say, Jaipur or Bikaner! In the center of the city lies the main fort: it is so huge and prominent that it is the general point of reference for everything in the city. Every road leads to this fort: if you got drunk one night and fell on the streets, you can be sure that the road on which you wake up next day would take you to the main fort!

There is a restaurant, called Desert Bite, that serves authentic Rajasthani dishes: a must-visit for anyone craving for the local taste. The other must-do in Jaisalmer, without which a trip would be incomplete, is a desert safari. The foreigners call it ‘living under the stars’. At a distance of about forty kilometers from the town lie Khuri and Sam Dhani desert. The two are home to vast sand dunes and spending a night there includes a long camel ride to the dunes to watch a beautiful sunset, bonfire, folk dance performance by an artist and camping in the night: all of this in the middle of a desert; highly recommended!

Moreover, I’ve always wanted to visit Jaisalmer’s three day Desert Festival that happens in February each year. I missed it this year; I think I’ll go there next year!