Jaislamer – This beautiful city has stories of valour and love embedded in it. The golden sands surrounding this small city and the fort give an illusion that the Fort has suddenly risen out of the sands and Princess Tamina and Prince Dastaan of THE PRINCE OF PERSIA are still lurking here somewhere. While much has been written about this wonderful place, my endeavour is to highlight a recent road circuit that I had been on, something which has been oblivious to the travellers all this time.
A TRAIL OF THE DESERT SCORPION
Desert Scorpio is name given to the army special forces operating in deserts. I have named this so, because our circuit too involves covering a lots of distance from this country side.
The desert scorpions trail unfolds something like this -
Start early, almost at sunrise with your hired vehicle from Jaisalmer and hit the road junction which is also called Jaisalmer Chowk. From here, u start moving due West on a straight road to Ramgarh. Roughly 6 km ahead, you hit a spot with a heavy influx of wind mills. Going into a trigger happy mode is a quite a possibility here!!! Opposite direction you see the "CHHATRIS" which are structures, which bear the mute witness to "SATI". One chatri for each life sacrificed.
Next to them you can see the Jaisalmer fort rising from Sands. The rising sun provides a vivid red and orange mosaic behind the Fort.
Drive straight on road towards Ramgarh and along the way you will encounter the portraits after portraits of the Great Indian Desert....Crossing the locations of Mokal, Badasar, Lanela; Just short of Ramgarh is huge ONGC factory. Also from a distance we can see a huge telecommunication tower of Ramgarh which is an indicator that you are closing in to Ramgarh. A leisure and sumptuous breakfast can be done at Ramgarh and all water cans and tanks refilled.
Driving further ahead of Ramgarh on same road you will cross an Oasis called Ranau Tar, ahead of which you can go to Ghantiyali Ke Mandir. Continuing on the drive ahead you reach the final junction of this road and temple of Mata Tanot Rai (The story of 1965 war, the unexploded Pakistani shells and a repelled Pakistani attack needs to be heard from the temple priest himself).
From this location moving due south and covering a distance of about 40 km will land you to at the famous "LONGEWALA" (Remember Sunny Paaji in BORDER). Stroll around a while and you may still find battle trophies scattered around. You will not miss the legendary temple and the burnt Pakistani tank.
From Longewala you move along the road South and at a junction, take the road moving East, which while crossing Gamnewala will lead you back to Ramgarh from another direction. A late lunch or refreshments is worth the drive.
Finally drive back the same road from Ramgarh to Jaisalmer. Halt again at Lanela to see the sun settle in desert behind the windmills. Move back to Jaisalmer and you have finished covering the Trail of desert scorpion.
The trail can be made more interesting by carrying camping equipment and an overnight stay at Tanot or Longewala.
There are 23 odd locations in and around Jaisalmer which offer desert safari but the best amongst them is SAM, which is about 40 Km from Jaisalmer town. This is the only location where you find barren sand dunes as seen in the movies. The imposing look of various sand dunes is mesmerising. You can plan an overnight stay at Sam, starting in afternoon and reach the location after a drive of about 2 hours. A camel ride can be negotiated and the same must culminate by the time of Sunset. Local dance troupes and camp fire are readily available and even the hotels organise it. It is an experience of lifetime to sit near a fire and see the sun setting in the red background of sandunes and camels.
Tips for a Better experience
JAISALMER IS LIKE A CONSTELLATION OF MULTIPLE ATTRACTIONS. ONE CANT HELP BUT LOOSE HEART TO THIS LOCATION!