# The Tour

EDUCATIONAL TRIP TO RAJASTHAN

     The Zest of the Department of English, DDUC, organized an educational trip to Jodhpur and Jaisalmer from 15 to 20 January 2010. It was enthralling to come so close to the ancient history of Rajasthan. During our trip we were reminded of the images that were created in our minds while we studied about Indian history during our school days. Along side visits to historical monuments, we experienced life in a desert in Jaisalmer. The experience was one of its kinds; it had a life of its own.


       16th January 2010, day one, we arrived at Jodhpur. The second largest city in the state, it is also famous as the Blue City. After checking in to a hotel and having breakfast, we visited the famous Mehrangarh Fort in the afternoon. It is the oldest fort of Jodhpur enclosed by imposing thick walls.  Inside its boundaries there are several palaces, which are known for their intricate carvings and sprawling courtyards. We enjoyed the view of the entire blue city from 400 feet above on rooftop of the fort. The most remarkable memory of this day was when the girls danced to the beats of the men playing the welcome song on one of the entries of the Fort. Everyone enjoyed this moment and a special dedication was made to Dr. Anubha Mukherji Sen.


     On the same day our last stop was at the Umaid Bhawan, the palace of the Prince of Jodhpur. It is one of the largest private residences of the world, a large portion of which has been converted to a heritage hotel. Named after Maharaja Umaid Singh, grandfather of the present owners of the palace, this monument has 347 rooms and serves as the principal residence of the erstwhile Jodhpur royal family. Umaid Bhawan Palace was called Chittar Palace during its construction due to its location on Chittar Hill, the highest point in Jodhpur. Unfortunately, we could not meet the Prince but had a good time in the evening watching the sunset together in its lawns.


     We left for Jaisalmer the following day. It was a six hour ride to the Sam Dunes where we spent our entire day. I believe that this was the best day of the entire trip as all of us enjoyed staying in the tents in middle of the vast desert. In the evening, after a 5 km camel ride, we reached the sunset point. The soft sand and the beautiful sunset were simply amazing. In the night, under the clear sky we had a bonfire where we saw a Rajasthani folk dance performance. Although we had some water problems the night we stayed in tents can never be forgotten.


     The next day, we visited the Jaisalmer Fort, one of the largest forts in the world.   The fort stands proudly amidst the golden stretches of the great Thar Desert, on Trikuta Hill and had been the scene of many battles. We visited the famous Raj Mahal inside it. An entire township is located within this fort and thus, it is one of the major tourist attractions. This was the last day of our site visitng. The day ended with shopping and like every other day, dancing to the beats of famous bollywood songs.


      The last day was dedicated entirely to traveling. Most of the bus journey was spent on sleeping and listening to Dr. Ratnakar’s famous Haikus. As it is said “Every good thing must come to an end…”, so was the case with us. 20th January 2010, all of us were back in Delhi, we parted from our friends from the railway station and everyone had tears in there eyes. This only proved how immensely the trip was enjoyed by each and everyone.


Sonal Pandey (2nd Year)