About twelve years ago, I visited Jaisalmer for the first time. My most memorable moment was admiring the shimmering landscape at dusk.
I was eager to re-live that moment when I travelled with Suryagarh Jaisalmer recently. Not only did the moment come back to me, but it also wove in new memories.
A village called Khaba
Under late morning sun, we drove 22 kilometres away from Suryagarh, via Dedha, towards Khaba. Dating back to 13th century, the Khaba Fort was a part of Kuldhara village. The village was inhabited by the Paliwals. They fled away owing to mysterious legends and superstitions that continue to make Khaba an eerie ghost town. I saw the ruins of the village lying at the feet of the citadel. This was where I was introduced to the fascinating chhatris or structured canopies. These chhatris were made by interlocking sandstone, one above the other, using the cantilever technique. These continued to dot my way around Jaisalmer.
A drive to the other side of the road disclosed vertical slabs of sandstone jutting out. As I walked closer on coarse terrain, these had small figurines on them. Nakul Hada, the general manager of Suryagarh, said that these are the sati tombs. The figures on these relics depict the women who passed on along with their husband.
The Royal Cenotaphs of Bada Bagh
Contrasting the neighbouring green, royal mango garden (Bada Bagh) are the magnificent beige chhatris which are cenotaphs of kings. These chhatris commemorate the passing on of the royal lineage in the region.
The sun was strong and time limited. Yet a couple of us walked up, photographing the chhatris. The designs had changed over time. At a hilltop the oldest ones bore the cantilever architecture. The newer ones were a blend of Mughal architectural elements.
The magic of Brahmsar
Words fall short to describe my moment at Brahmsar. I entered this temple complex and immersed myself in its magical vibe. There was something about this place.
Through a covered hallway, dilapidated chhatris, locked temple, faceless figures on pillars and a peaceful oasis, I walked around exploring it. I wanted to get better acquainted with Brahmsar and wish I met someone who could answer my questions about this mystical place.
As I made my way back from Jaisalmer, I recalled these moments. My travel with Suryagarh had seamlessly added thrice as much to my memories of Jaisalmer.
What are your Rajasthan moments made of?
Note: I was invited by Suryagarh Jaisalmer.