On December 15th, 2021, I joined the MRS Hospitality Group at Suryagarh Jaisalmer as a Guest Experiences Manager. I work here now! I’ve been visiting their hotels ( including Narendra Bhawan Bikaner and Mary Budden Estate Binsar ), since 2017, as a guest. NOW I WORK HERE!
Disclaimer : while I had announced it on my Instagram and even changed by bio to include my designation etc., I was not entirely sure if I would be able to cope with the pace of the hospitality industry. Now, three and a half months later, I think I did, indeed, cope.
This is my first blog post about Suryagarh as an employee!
I look after the Guest Experiences Program and the VIP Program at the hotel. As part of my responsibilities, I take guests around for the hotel’s Experiences and Explorations. One of which is the Thar Trail. Sometimes, depending on the guests’ requirements, we tailor our experiences.
This Thar Trail was halved and a Sundowner at an Oasis was included. Temperatures at Jaisalmer have already been soaring unseasonally since mid-March. We didn’t want our guests to bear the brunt of the heat for too long, hence the chilled out Sundowner.
Chandra ji, who is the most experienced person at the hotel when it comes to our Trails, introduced us to the history of the land and its people, as well as some of the summer flora and fauna. Above : Salvadora oleoides is a small bushy evergreen tree found in India and Pakistan and southern Iran. The root and stem possess various antimicrobial agents and is traditionally used as toothbrush in Pakistan and India. Also known as kharo jaal / bada peelu.
Above : Euphorbia caducifolia, also known as Thhor/danda thor/leafless spurge. It creates a mini protected zone within its stems where rodents, small animals and a host of plants prosper in shade and safety.
Above : Capparis decidua, also known as Kair/ker/kareel. The flowers and fruit are pickled or cooked as a vegetable dish and the shrub is also used in traditional medicines. It is a sand binder that stabilises sand dunes.
Below : a view of the abandoned village of Kuldhara from Khaba Fort.
Above : inside Khaba Fort.
Below : Cenotaphs and grave markers.
After a tour of Khaba Fort and Kuldhara, we drove for a bit to find an oasis with a green patch, where we settled for some wine and cheese and watched the sunset.
Disclaimer : All images of guests have been used with prior permission. Our locations are not entirely publicly accessible – the group has worked closely with local villages for maintenance of the local water bodies and dunes and our explorations are made possible due to the grace and permission of these villages.