Thar Desert Safari: Cruising the sand dunes



A safari of the Thar Desert is a refreshing as well as exciting sojourn with camels, caravans, and royalty. Nestled on the Rajasthan’s western frontier, the enormous expanses of this Great Indian Desert is among the unique topographical exhibit of India. The moment we hear ‘Rajasthan’, nothing but the shimmering pictures of extensive sand dunes butter up our vision. And it is this never-ending spheres of blonde sands that engulf a plethora of probing legends of merchants along with their caravans that even today has a say in the world of local traditions as well as story books.

If you are a valiant as well as inquisitive for plunging into the Thar Desert, then a festival of entertainment is just about to approach you of which the golden scenery is first to hit. So, get ready to explore the unspoken delight of these safaris giving you an opportunity to have an exhilarating journey on the dunes of time. In order to enliven the medieval history, the Tourism Ministry of Rajasthan along with a myriad of private tour operators organizes for many Camel safaris on the Thar Desert throughout the year. According to me, a camel safari on this sterile territory is one of the most enchanting ways for discovering the unseen gems of the Thar Desert. Virtually, all those who come to Rajasthan, never go back without a camel safari of the desert.

Even if you are about to take a camel trip for the first time, do take the safari as it is enjoyable as well as a bit creepy experience. These camels make loud voices, spit anywhere, and make one a bit fearful when it is about to rise after taking you while in seated position. The latter part is mainly true because a camel gets up by first raising its back legs putting a rider at an extreme sloping angle after which it pulls the forelegs. You just need to hold the loose strip of blankets and alter the posture at intervals. With this, you will experience how the locals adapt to their only lifeline in the desert.

As your journey start, you will nothing but only golden sand for miles altogether. However, it is this aridity that will make you see and explore a lot and that too beyond imagination. Expect groups of colorful women passing and vanishing with their water pots, some in small millet fields, girls eating berries, young boys with their sheep or goat herds, a peep into the many famous cities such as Jaisalmer and Bikaner, shimmering palaces, and historical ruins. And at each step you move further, the tinkling neck bells of camels act as an appealing music overcoming the silence of the desert.

The major attractions of a camel safari in Thar Desert are sunset view, climbing the dunes, exploring the pastoral life, and having a sand bash. There are many safari options taking different routes. One of the famous routes is Bikaner-Jaisalmer Safari that is of 11 days and makes you explore 25 to 30 km per day.

Jaisalmer is the gateway to Thar Desert where the safari takes you to the famous Sam sand dunes nestled at 42 km – a wonderful golden sand stretch. Alternatively, you can also start from the pink city of Jaipur or from Jodhpur. The latter one offers short safaris for 4 to 5 days including the destinations like Maulara, Lathi, Zarat, Delasar, and Jaisalmer.

Most of these safari trips will cost you anything between 650 INR to 1500 INR per day depending upon the durations, meals, camping options, and jeep transport for further journey. Each night is spent at a rural village where you camp under the twinkling stars and around a bonfire. If you are lucky, you might also be able to see a cultural show wherein the locals sing and dance traditionally along with their classic instruments revealing some local tales to you.

Famous agencies

  • Ganesh Travels – ganeshtravel45@hotmail.com
  • Sahara Travels – Ph: 252609
  • Vino Desert Safari in Bikaner
  • The Adventure Travel Agency in Jaisalmer for an off-beaten path experience

Duration

One day, two day/one night, or 7 to 30 day trip

Best time

November to March with cool days and cold nights

Packing tips

Do carry woolen garments, sun-glasses, hat, suntan lotion, flashlight, water bottle, something comfortable for sitting on the camel, and first aid.

Alternatives

You can also choose to explore the desert via horse, elephant, bike, and jeep safaris.

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