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Games and stakes in playgrounds

Games and stakes in playgrounds

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Jaisalmer and Bikaner, welcome to the desert

Posted by Floriane Romain Worldtour on October 17 2014, 10:35am

Categories: #India

Who never dreams about calm and a zen place ? We found what we were looking for in the desert. Riding a camel, we spent 3 days in the great Thar Desert, near Jaisalmer.

Not really like the image we have when we think about desert (like nothing but sand and maybe one oasis), we found here a rocky desert with a lot of small trees, vegetation and small villages.
Though we found sand dunes…. And we slept there under the stars! Amazing! We could even make a wish after seeing a flying star and then we had fun trying to make picture with the camel’s shadow in front of the moon! 

3 days and 2 nights of calm, riding with camel in the morning, eating and having a rest in the very hot hours of the day, riding again and finally drinking chai on the sand dune while looking at the sunset!!!

We also used these few days in Jaisalmer to visit the city and the fort; a beautiful architectural monument.

By train, we went to Bikaner. It is not really a touristic place but it is well known for its rat temple (the temple is in Deschnok in fact, but Bikaner is the nearest city with facilities such as accommodation, restaurant…). To be honest, we were a bit disappointed by this temple. We were expecting a small closed temple with hundreds of rats running everywhere, but we found a big open temple (with a courtyard) and rats staying along the walls… not always in good health! So, don’t go there extra for it…If it’s on your way you can make a quick stop!

Bikaner is also famous for its camel national research centre. They have for different camel species, which are studied, analysed..  

The Bikaner camels have a sandy colour and got long eyelashes to protect them from the sand (because of wind). They are used for transportation and for racing!
The Jaisalmer camels are a little darker and are used for transportation.
The Kachchhi camels are black and are very good runners while the Mewari camels are white and used for milk. (good for diabetics)

A camel can live up to 27 years. Adults weight up to 750kg and measure 2,50m (from ground to hump) while a new born is only 40 kg for 1m. Its maximum speed is 40km/h and it can carry (not on its back, on a wheel truck) up to 1,5T. A female will give birth to 6 to 7 babies in her life (one at the time). The gestation period is 13 months and the female produces between 6 and 7 litres milk per day.
Camels can stay 7 days without eating and drinking in summer (more than 50 degrees) thanks to the fat they stock in their hump. But usually they eat 15kg grass per day and drink up to 100L water.
We just regret that the camels are controlled by pain and fear and not by training: 2 wood pins are “installed” in a sensitive part of their face (above the nose) where the camel guy put 2 ropes. When he wants to turn left, he pulls the left rope, this makes the camel feeling pain on the left hand side of his face, so he goes left… We don’t really like this way of doing, but all camels we met had the same pins!

After this small « lesson », we spent few time in Bikaner to discover the fruit market, the spice market and the sari market: a lot of colours, a lot of odours and a good atmosphere! 

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