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Heralding the rains in the desert

After experiencing the abundance of the monsoons in Kerala and Goa this year, it was a welcome invite when I got an offer to experience the magic of the monsoons in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan.

And I know exactly what you might be thinking. Monsoons in the desert? But then stranger things have been known to happen. So filled with anticipation and lots of hope, I hopped onto a plane to Jodhpur, which is the closest connection to Jaisalmer from Bangalore. It was a long journey but the thought of the destination was enough to keep the spirits high. Besides air travel has become quite pleasant these days, thanks to all our swanky airports (well, okay not all of them!).

At Mumbai airport, I met with Neelima and then with Anuradha (who I hadn’t met for years) and we killed some time chatting and catching up. After a short wait, it was time to board the flight to Jodhpur. A couple of hours later, we finally touched down in Jodhpur and our welcome party was there outside the small airport with a sign with the “Suryagarh” emblem. We were escorted to our waiting vehicles and then we got our welcome drinks (non-alcoholic, let me clarify!) to prepare us for the long road trip.

And then we set off on the last leg of our adventure – the long and straight road from Jodhpur to Jaisalmer spanning around 300 kms. The driver estimated it would take around 5 hours so we sat back and enjoyed the scenery whizzing by.

After a much needed lunch break at a place called Manvar, we were on the road again. As the vegetation got more and more sparse, we suddenly noticed rather dark clouds.

Could it be? Were we going to get some rain just as we landed in Rajasthan? The driver told us that a 25 km radius around Jaisalmer hadn’t gotten any rain at all so far. Maybe we had carried the rain with us from the South.

Well, apparently we had. As the rain drops started falling onto the windshield, much to our delight, we even heard a few claps of thunder. What a way it was to welcome the monsoons in the desert.

Not only did we welcome the rains, we also got to experience the magic of Suryagarh – a beautiful resort in Jaisalmer, where we ate meals fit for royalty under the star studded skies, in the middle of the desert; listened to haunting melodies of Mehboob Khan and his troupe, went on a nightly safari called the “Chudail trail” and walked around Jaisalmer fort and even got a peek into a government certified bhang shop! All that and more, coming up in Part 2.


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