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Hyundai Santa Fe Travelogue leg 4 01

The fourth instalment of our cross-country Hyundai Santa Fe journey takes us through the land of kings, Rajasthan, on our way to the national capital. Join us as we sample the beauty of the desert State and beyond

Story:Harket Suchde
Photography: Sanjay Raikar

In our previous leg of this journey, we had arrived at the village of Dasada and back to the Rann Riders resort, having experienced the wonders of the Little Rann of Kutch earlier that day. This story moves forward from that point.
Hyundai Santa Fe Travelogue leg 4 02The day started at a ridiculously early hour. We were ready to leave the beautiful Rann Riders by 4.30 am, and my newly made best bud, Princy the pug, was there to see us off, along with a member of the resort staff. So we set off towards Jaisalmer, with NH 15 as our route of choice, taking advantage of the emptiness of the highway to put some distance on the odometer. The highways of Rajasthan are a dream to drive on: straight as an arrow for long stretches. Smooth, and untarnished. They do, however, suffer from a distinct lack of animal control, because everything from dogs, sheep, cows, goats to camels and, yes, even the infamous (and endangered) black bucks are prone to walking, running, jumping, leaping and strolling across the highway according to their whims and fancies. It was extremely infuriating, having to slow down drastically every time you saw a quadruped anywhere near the road, and sometimes (black bucks, I’m looking at you) they just sprinted right across with no warning or prior notice. Needless to say, the Santa Fe’s brakes got a thorough workout.
Hyundai Santa Fe Travelogue leg 4 03As any petrol-head will tell you, it’s mighty frustrating to see highways like the ones in Rajasthan and not absolutely plough through them. It’s against the laws of motoring nature. So after a drive tarnished by waves of disappointment, we arrived in Jaisalmer. We checked in at hotel Moolam, run by the Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation (RTDC). The hotel was decent, with a reasonable tariff, but, sadly, its image was tarnished in my eyes by the woefully inadequate air-conditioning. Surprisingly, despite appearing to be a relatively new construction, it also followed the architectural philosophy that just about every building in Jaisalmer follows: Māru Gurjara or the quintessential Rajasthani architecture that uses intricate stone carvings as its signature. In Jaisalmer they’ve taken the State’s architectural identity a little too far in my opinion, as everything from hotels and government buildings to even public rest-rooms are designed in this manner. Overkill!

Hyundai Santa Fe Travelogue leg 4 05


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