A tryst with Royalty - Bikaner and Jaisalmer - Day 1 - Camel Research Farm , Royal Cenotaphs


           After Karni Mata Mandir, our next stop was Camel Research Farm. We started cruising on beautiful roads to Camel research Farm. Driving on Rajasthan roads is a delight.


          After driving for about half and hour we were at the gates of Camel Research Centre. This place was very highly ranked on Trip Advisor. This is an institute under ICAR ( Indian council for Agriculture research ). We were told to be there by 3.00. At this time all the camels, which go the the jungle nearby return and it is a scene worth watching, as we were told. However we were a bit late in reaching there. I talked to the care takers there just to understand what we missed, but nobody could explain it well to the extent to make me fell sorry for having missed it. Anyways first thing first. There was a ticket counter at the entrance with very nominal entrance fees. Adjoining was a stall run by institute selling camel milk products. They had a variety of them sweet milk, curd, icecream etc. We opted for Kulfis. We bought just 02 Kulfis @ Rs. 40.00 each to minimise the risk in case we do not find them tasty. The taste was okayish, the consistency thicker than the normal cow or buffalo milk. 

            After enjoying Kulfis, we got our tickets checked and entered the complex. This guy was there to welcome us.


                 This welcoming guy was pulling the camel cart, which was there to joyrides around the institute. The Institute had a lot of enclosures with lots of camels in them. 




             We were roaming around clueless, till I caught hold of a caretaker. He told us that they have been segregated on the basis of their age and various other parameters. Like there was a separate enclosure for soon to be mothers and another one for newborns with their mothers

             This little one is cute isn't it. There was an enclosure for the camels, which were to be auctioned next week. On asking how much does a camel fetch, he told that it was nearly Rs. 15,000.00 . 

                    For us this whole spot was not so great. However it was drawing Foreigners by hordes. They were really enjoying it as they might be seeing Camels that too in such a huge nos for the first time. After some time we started back towards the gate. Near to the gate, there were a few shops selling handicrafts/souvenirs made from camel bone, hair, skin. If there is a shopping opportunity, and how could ladies resist it, and I had two of them in my company. I just asked किसी ने कुछ देखना है . This was enough activate attack mode in them. Anyways फटका ज्यादा नहीं था। A few camel bone souvenirs and a bag was the damage for the day.

                             We bade goodbye to these cute creatures and started our journey towards Royal Cenotaphs.


                           These cenotaps are the cremation ground for the Royal family of Bikaner. 

             There was a board saying not to carry shoes inside. There was a caretaker with whom you can deposit the shoes and borrow bathroom slippers to venture inside. 

                          The cenotaphs or Chatris were of different sizes, depending upon the position of the deceased person in Royal Family. They were made up of marble and sand stone.

              Each Chhatri had a small board in front of it indicating the name of the deceased, Father's name, year of birth and year of death


                              All the Chatris were beautifully carved 


                                      The Chhatri of a Male has a vertical slab and that of a female has a pair of feet engraved on it. The whole complex was walled and there was a small door which led to a pond. The pond was not so well maintained. A view of the complex from outside


               All the chattris looked mmajestic.  We were told that the view of sunset from a hilltop near cenotaps is awesome. I wanted to witness and shoot that. But the team was not interested और जब पता चला के पहाड़ी के ऊपर चढ़ाना है पूरी बगावत हो गयी।  Anyways final resolution was to head for city and do some पेटपूजा।  

                      Soon we headed for city centre. Most of the traditional and famous shops were on Station road. Recommended ones were Chotu Motu Joshi for Rasgullas and Kulfi, another shop recommended by locals for Namkeen. We had a taste of Bikaner traffic, when we inched through the traffic near railway station. There was a bit of jam as the railway gates were closed due to some train movement. However the traffic is well behaved and disciplined to a large extent.

                              Soon we were at the crossroads and we asked a traffic policeman about the Namkeen shop we were looking for.  It was just opposite where we were standing. We chose a calm side lane and parked the car. When we asked the same policeman about some place to have evening snacks he suggested a sweet shop which was literally engulfing the Namkeen shop which was our target. I hove forgotten the name of both the shops. So we went inside and ordered. The Kachoris, and other stuff was Yummy. 

                             Had our tummies full. Now it was time to take a stroll in the market. First attack was on  the namkeen shop. It was a tiny shop choc a bloc with locals. Fundamental is if any shop is frequented by locals it has to be good. Bought a few types of namkeens, but the star was Bitter Gourd ( करेला ) chips. During the stroll we came across one shop selling a variety of beetle nuts. The whole shop was selling just the mouthfreshners and beetle nuts. Anupma is a big fan of these and she went bonkers. भैया ये भी दे दो।  वो वाली टेस्ट करवाना।  ये भी अच्छी है ये भी दो।  In the mean time I was chatting with Mr. Aggarwal, the owner. He also recommended a few must tries like a pan shop in the opposite lane.  चलो ये भी लपेट देते हैं।  Paan was really tasty. Then we located lalji sweets another Highly recommended eatery. Final stop was Chotu Motu Joshi. It was a old fashioned shop . We ordered Kulfi. Very Tasty. बीकानेर आ के रसगुल्ले न खाये जाएँ, वो भी उस दुकान पे आ के जो रसगुल्ले के लिए मशहूर है।  Rasgullas were ordered, but everbody was so stuffed, so we got them packed and returned to the hotel.

contd............ 
     

A Tryst with Royalty - Bikaner and Jaisalmer - Day 1- Ludhiana to Bikaner
A Tryst with Royalty - Bikaner & Jaisalmer - Day 1 - Karni Mata Mandir
A Tryst with Royalty - Bikaner & Jaisalmer - Day 2 - Laxmi Niwas Palace
A Tryst with Royalty - Bikaner & Jaisalmer - Day 2 - Junagarh Fort - Part 1
A Tryst with Royalty - Bikaner & Jaisalmer - Day 2 - Junagarh Fort - Part 2
A Tryst with Royalty - Bikaner & Jaisalmer - Day 4 - Sun and Sand
A Tryst with Royalty - Bikaner & Jaisalmer - Day 5 - The Border Run                   

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