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Jaisalmer - Desert Outputs
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Whilst the town of Jaisalmer hosts the remarkable treasure of heritage, the surrounding area of Thar Desert hosts all the fun, thrill and adventure. Thar Desert is a terrain of sand dunes spread around in Rajasthan. But around Jaisalmer it is most prominent, making Jaisalmer the face of Rajasthan as the world sees it.

 

From here passed a major ancient trade route that was used for centuries. Long caravans of traders and travelers would cross the Thar Desert riding camels. After a hard day’s trudging under the beating sun, they would set camps by sunsets. The festivities would then begin to beat the tiredness. Entertainers traveling with the caravans would bring the night alive by singing, dancing and displaying various skills around a crackling fire in a cool night. The merrymaking would go right into the night. This is up to where the origin of most of the Rajasthani Folk arts can be traced.

 

Sam and Khuri are the two scarce desert settlements, roughly 45 kilometers from Jaisalmer towards Pakistan border. Sam and Khuri attract thousands of tourists every day during the winter season. Various organizers from Jaisalmer provide elaborate packages that help enjoy the Thar Deserts to the fullest. It is recommended that while in Jaisalmer town, you ask around and find out a reliable organizer. It is wise to register for a camel safari and desert camp before leaving the town. You should set out preferably around 3.30 p.m.

 

Camel Safari up to the Sunset point is a popular way to kick off the evening. The ride lasts for nearly an hour, which proves to be an adequate experience for most of the tourists. However, if you are an enthusiast, you can go for a longer ride away from the hubbub of the major chunk of tourists. The Camel Safari can give you a feel of the real desert travel and that fantastical experience of being surrounded by nothing but sand dunes. If you plan to go for a long ride you may want to start an hour earlier, so you can return to the sunset point to join the electric atmosphere, which is particularly enjoyable.

 

At the sunset point, the festivities in the atmosphere are such that tourists from all ages shed their restraints and plunge into the most uninhibited ways of merriment. You see older folk and children jumping off and rolling down the sand dunes alike. People gather in circles and sing and dance. Several groups hire the folk artists easily available and enjoy authentic Jaisalmeri dancing and music. Soon, all eyes shift towards the magnificent display of the setting sun. The giant, red ball slowly immerses beyond the sand dunes and the crowd, content with a great start to the evening, departs. It is now time to move towards the next stage of entertainment.

 

Desert camping is a unique experience. Expert organizers of Jaisalmer ensure that you get an authentic feel of desert life, like the one enjoyed by the desert travelers of old. You move to the temporary premises of tents set by your organizer. Equipped with essential modern comforts such as power and hygienic food, not to mention delicious, you are in for a memorable night. A warm bonfire and a team of expert folk artists light up the atmosphere. Magical folk music is created by professional singers and the musicians wielding dhols and sarangis. Captivating dances are performed by the dancers who have inherited the art through several generations. Before long, the spectators join in and lose themselves in a delightful evening.

 

Then, it is time for delicious food. The true joys of desert camping settle in with a cool breeze and a pleasant dinner under a sky full of stars from horizon to horizon, a magnificent view almost extinct these days in the flooding lights of the metropolitans.

 

After an eventful evening, you gather around the fire or go for a quiet walk nearby with your friends and loved ones, to get as much of the memorable evening as you can. And when the cold begins to climb up, you retreat inside your warm tents laden with modern comforts you would not want to miss.

 

Over the past decade, more and more tourists from India and abroad have developed a fascination for desert camping at Jaisalmer. Resultantly, the infrastructure has grown solid and the service providers have grown competent. At any other tourist place, where the presence of too many tourists might prove to be a disturbance, proves to be a fuel for the exciting atmosphere at the Thar Desert of Jaisalmer. With its historical town and incredible Thar Desert, Jaisalmer is a wonderful combination of nostalgia and pure fun. Although it is located somewhat away from the famous golden triangle of Delhi-Jaipur-Agra, Jaisalmer is a place you must visit if you wish to truly experience the remarkable state of Rajasthan.

 

 

Note: Please visit Jaisalmer Town to find out about the famous attractions in Jaisalmer town.

 


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Quick Reference

The vivid city of Jaisalmer serves the cultural taste, especially during winters when you can enjoy Desert Safaris followed by folk music, folk dances and puppetry shows. Major tourist attraction of Jaisalmer is Jaisalmer Fort, an extremely interesting place, inside of which there is an entire town. In here, there are some more attractions such as Royal Palace, Jain Temples and grand Havelis. Outside the fort, Jaisalmer has some other interesting site seeing options such as Gadisar Lake and Desert Culture Centre and Museum. Sam and Khuri Sand Dunes is where the tourists go for Desert Safaris and night camping, which can be an experience to be cherished for a long time.

 

Destination Grade: A (What is this?)
Rating: 8/10
Population: 58,286 (2001)
5 Star Hotels: Fort Rajwada
Luxury Hotels: Narayan Niwas Palace
Airport: Jodhpur Airport
Railway Station: Jaisalmer Raiway Station
Nearest Major City(s): Jodhpur,Bikaner
How to reach: Jaisalmer Bus stand
Major Tourist Attraction: Desert Safari
Speciality(Famous for): Camel Safari
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Rating:
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Total Reviews : 10
 
 
Reviews by users : (10)
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Under the Starry Sky of Jaisalmer Desert - by Rohit Chawla  Dated : 2011-03-16
After an overnight bus journey we finally arrived at Jaisalmer from Aurangabad. We (I and my brother) had had a terrible night, our bus had broken down and we had to change the buses in the middle of the night, it was really tiring. Finally after an hour after changing the bus, all of us settled down. We had booked tickets for a sleeper bus, but since we had changed the buses we had got seats instead of sleepers, it was a really bad start for our Rajasthan visit.

We reached Jaisalmer and as soon as we got down the bus, we were surrounded by numerous touts who were offering to take us to different hotels for accommodation. But since we had already booked rooms in a hotel, we did not budge. The hotel owner surprised us by sending a car to pick us up, finally something good was happening. It is always good to book rooms in advance, the hotels in Jaisalmer are good and the food is also delicious.

Immediately after we checked in we booked a one night and two days camel safari through the hotel. We had to start for the safari next day. Next day at 8 am we were picked by a jeep that drove up through the town, across luxury hotels, empty villages and then we reached our destination, the desert. We were dropped in the middle of the huge desert next to our guide and two camels. We spent most of the morning walking through the sand dunes, we had our lunch there. The lunch was made by our guide. We then slept for a while, later resumed our journey, collecting firewood as we went.

The sunset we say there was amazing and the sky was the most beautiful sky I had ever seen in my life. There were a lot of stars in the sky and surreal silence around. Thankfully we had taken our sleeping bags, the guide had just provided us with two blanket, that too the ones that we had used with the camels. As we had come to Jaisalmer just for the sake of a camel safari, after the two days we started for our way back to Aurangabad. It was an exhausting safari.
Jaisalmer, a Holiday Destination - by Prithvi Munot  Dated : 2011-03-15
Before visiting any monuments in Jaisalmer, I would suggest, you get a good guide. You can request the management of your hotel to arrange for an experienced guide for you. You may have to pay Rs. 100 to Rs. 200 for a good guide, but it is definitely worth it. Actually, getting a good guide is a matter of luck. Without a guide, you won’t be able to understand the significance of the monuments in Jaisalmer.

As we were going from Jodhpur to Jaisalmer by road, we spotted a huge gathering of Cranes. These Cranes are migratory birds and are seen in the Khichan village near Jaisalmer, during the months of December, January and February. It’s during March and April that these birds go back to their nesting grounds in North India.

There is an oasis in the centre of the desert where the Cranes assemble. The villagers in Khichan feed these Cranes and thus the gathering of the Cranes has become common sight from December to February.

Jaisalmer is a small city, with a rich cultural background. Going to Jaisalmer is a pleasant experience, as the city still has an ethnic feel to it.

The camel safari, night stay in the desert, dinner by the camp fire and back to Jaisalmer, does not cost more than Rs. 1000 per head. One should also not miss the delicious thalis served by some of good restaurants in Jaisalmer.

The Jain temples in Jaisalmer are worth a visit. Do not forget to carry a camera along to capture the lovely sunrise and sunset amidst the beautiful sand dunes.
Jaisalmer, an Ancient Place - by Neha Jain  Dated : 2011-03-15
There are many good and decent hotels in Jaisalmer. I had gone to Jaisalmer with my cousins and we checked into a hotel and enjoyed our breakfast, lunch and dinner there. As Jaisalmer is a small place you can go touring in the morning, return to the hotel in the afternoon and then again go out in the evening.

One should not miss the bhontua laddu, which is the speciality of Jaisalmer. This is a sweet and can be found in the main market of Jaisalmer. The main attractions of Jaisalmer are the Patwon ki havelis and Sam sand dunes.

Jaisalmer is a small place, so there is not much to do there except for the camel safari in the Sam sand dunes and the boating in the Gadisar lake.

I would advise you to take a registered guide while visiting the Jaisalmer fort and the havelis, because without a guide the tourist places would look incomplete.

We also went to the Khuri sand dunes and had a great time there. We had dinner by the camp fire and soon it was time to retire to bed. We stayed the night in the tents and the tents were very comfortable. Spending the night in the desert was an extraordinary experience.

When we got up in the morning, it was fun to see the sunrise in the desert and just observe the sky change colors.

My cousins and I drove down from Delhi to Jaisalmer, via Jodhpur and we enjoyed each other’s company.
Jaisalmer, a Beautiful Experience - by Ninad Dalvi  Dated : 2011-03-15
In this article I want to tell you about the experience I had in the Sam sand dunes. A lot of people will think that almost all travel reviews about Jaisalmer have information on the sand dunes, but arguably, the sand dunes are the best and most beautiful part of Jaisalmer.

Camel safari was one of the best parts of my visit to Jaisalmer. I had bought a package for the Sam sand dunes, which included camel safari, cultural program and dinner.

We set out for our camel safari and soon realized that if we feel like going further inside the desert, we have to pay the camel operator more money, as he will take you only 100 meters inside the desert, in the package. You will have to pay Rs. 200 to Rs. 300 if you want to go further inside the desert, but I think it is worth it, because you won’t frequent Rajasthan regularly. Moreover, the camel safari is once in a lifetime experience, so paying the extra money is definitely worth it.

Let me also tell you something about the Khuri sand dunes. I had been to Jaisalmer with my wife and kids and my kids were trying to make castles out of the desert sand, but were unable to do so, as the sand was slipping through their hand, like water. We all were playing in the sand till dusk and then got ourselves ready to watch the cultural programme. There was a bon fire around which we sat to watch the programme.
Jaislamer, a Wonderful Experience - by Puja Ajmera  Dated : 2011-03-15
Let me tell you something about the Sam sand dunes. I had been to Jaisalmer with my college friends and when we took the camel safari, we went further inside the desert, but even then, all we could see is vast stretches of sand, sand dunes and no plants, but again, this vast desert is the real beauty of the camel safari. At least where my camel operator took me, there was hardly any vegetation there.

The rajasthani folk dancers and musicians started the cultural programme in the Sam sand dunes after dusk and it was a wonderful experience. As I had gone to Jaisalmer with my friends, our trip was a budgeted trip. So there was no one in the group who could boost the morale of the rajasthani folk dancers and musicians, by giving them money, as the cultural programme progressed. Thus the dancers and musicians didn’t really entertain us, as we had expected them to do.

We also had dinner after the cultural programme. The food was average, but in spite of all this, I would recommend Jaisalmer to any tourist, as it is a very good experience.

I also visited the Khuri sand dunes with my friends, and as we had learned from our experience in the Sam sand dunes, we didn’t repeat the same mistakes here. We paid handsome tips to the Rajasthani folk dancers and musicians and thus they preformed really well and we enjoyed the cultural programme to the fullest. The cultural program was held around a bon fire.
Jaisalmer, a Paradise - by Nikhil Agrawal  Dated : 2011-03-14
The Gadisar lake is a small and beautiful lake located in Jaisalmer. This lake should be visited by people who aren’t shopaholics, as this lake gives us a respite from the busy markets. I didn’t find time to visit the museums in the premises of the lake, but I will definitely make time for it in my next trip.

Next day we visited Badabagh, which has monuments of the kings of Jasialmer. This place is not well-maintained, so one can skip this place without any regret. We also visited Lodurva and Amarsagar, which are jain temples. You cannot enjoy these temples unless you have any religious inclination.

The following day, we visited the Sam sand dunes and we had taken a package of desert safari, cultural program and dinner.

The sand dunes near the Khuri village are also spectacular. There are cultural programs held in the desert at night. Women and men dressed in traditional rajasthani outfits perform beautiful folk dances and play folk music in the backdrop of the huge Thar desert. The experience is inexplicable.

Let me tell you everything about the desert experience. After tea time, we set out on our desert experience in the Khuri sand dunes.

We could accommodate 2 adults and 1 child on camel back and the ride was fun as we had never ridden a camel till then. The camel moved up and down on the gorgeous sand dunes, with the sunset in the background. After the camel safari, we sat on the sands and the children rolled on the desert sand for a long time.
Jaisalmer, the Desert Rose - by Purva Heda  Dated : 2011-03-14
I am a Delhiite and before visiting Jaisalmer in Rajasrthan, I asked a few friends, how to reach there. They told me that I can reach Jaisalmer, by car via Jaipur and Jodhpur. I took this valuable advice and reached Jaisalmer.

The first thing I realized about Jaisalmer, after I reached the city is that it is a very clean city. The people there are very helpful. The chances that you will get cheated in Jaisalmer, are very less, as the people are honest. The guides and the shopkeepers won’t fool you. There are also many good hotels which provide decent accommodation.

The best time to visit Jaisalmer is during the winter months. The activities to do in Jaisalmer are to visit the fort, go for a camel ride, go in for a desert safari and visit the havelis.
The Sam desert safari is an amazing experience. One can indulge in buying bandhni sarees and dress material and articles made out of camel leather.

Visiting the Fossil park and the fort will leave a lifelong imprint on your mind, as these are beautiful places.

Visiting the sand dunes in the desert is an experience that is simply gorgeous. These sand dunes are located near the Khuri village, which is an hour’s drive from Jaisalmer.
When we visited the sand dunes in the Thar desert, we spent a long time there. At night the desert sand gets very cold and we had the good fortune of feeling this sand.
Golden Jaisalmer - by Bina Mutha  Dated : 2011-03-14
There are various shops on Sonar killa, where you can indulge in shopping, but let me warn you that all these shops are very expensive. The reason behind these shops being expensive is that Jaisalmer is a tourist destination. You need to bargain a lot to get a good deal. The main purpose of your visit to Jaisalmer should be sightseeing.

The Patwon ki haveli is also a good place. There are 5 havelis here and 3 of these havelis are owned by a private party and the other 2 are owned by the state government. The private party has converted the havelis into a museum and the state government has also converted 1 haveli into a museum. The state government charges, Rs. 10 for a visit to the museum and the private party charges RS. 50 for a visit to the museum, but it is worth spending Rs. 50 for the visit.

Our next stop was the Nathmalji ki haveli, but it gets kind of monotonous to visit this havelis after visiting the Patwon ki havelis, as these 2 havelis are similar.

The Rajaji ki haveli has been built in a different manner and a part of this haveli has been converted into a hotel. There are arabian horses, who wander around the grounds of this haveli, and it’s more fun to watch these horses, than watching the haveli and the museum.
My next visit was to the Gadisar lake, which is a relaxing place, as we can go for a boat ride and feed the catfish.
Jaisalmer, a Golden City - by Dipty Savant  Dated : 2011-03-14
Rajasthani delicacies are delicious and yummy. Some of the Rajasthani dishes which should not be missed are dal bhati, kachori and gatta.

Some of the things about Jaisalmer, which should not be missed, are Sonar killa, havelis and palaces. There are lovely rajasthani folk dances, performed near the sand dunes and at many other places. These dances and the folk music are exquisite and wonderful.

The culture of the city is intact and thus when we visit this city we feel that we have gone back in time. I had been to Jaisalmer with my family. We visited the small and gorgeous fort, which is not as magnificent as Jodhpur’s Meherangarh fort, but all the same is a monument in itself. We also visited the old Jain temples.

There is also the Palace museum, which should be improved, as it can look and be a lot better. There are a lot of people who live inside the fort, so the fort is a little dirty, but moving around the fort is a treat in itself. You can move inside the fort in a rickshaw, but I would suggest that you should walk inside the fort and explore it. This is because; you will get a feeling of living inside the fort, if you walk inside it.

Our next stop was the Patwon ki haveli, which is built in yellow sandstone. These are five havelis, built by a jain family and the carvings made in the yellow sandstone here, are amazing.
Jaisalmer, a Vivid Experience - by Rajesh Mathur  Dated : 2011-03-10
When I think about it, I feel that Jaisalmer was the best part of my Rajasthan trip. I had been to Jaisalmer with my mother and 2 sisters.

We found many moderately charged and comfortable hotels in Jaisalmer. We stayed the night at the Khuri desert, out in the open air of the desert, which was an experience that was out of this world.

The Jaisalmer fort is beautiful. All said and done, the desert stay is spectacular and so is the camel safari. There is a wonderful Rajasthani sweet called ghotma, which should not be missed. The architecture inside the Jaisalmer fort is spectacular.

One should remember that if you are visiting Jaisalmer during the winters, you should carry a lot of woollens, such as sweaters, socks and caps, as it gets very cold in the evenings. The winter months in Jaisalmer are December and January.

You can reach Jaisalmer by road from Jodhpur or Bikaner. If you are visiting Jaisalmer during the summers, you should carry hats, sun-screen lotions and water, as it gets terribly hot in the summers.

One should not miss the sand dunes and the tent house stay. Jaisalmer is one of the best tourist destinations in India.

Jaisalmer can also be reached from Jaipur, and I should caution about the sand in the compartments of the train from Jaipur to Jaisalmer.

Since Jaisalmer is a small town, the rajasthani culture and tradition of the town is intact. This is a big treat in itself.