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Spread spaciously over north western India and continuing into Pakistan, the Thar Desert is a perfect example of a desert ecosystem, which sustains not only a healthy biodiversity but also a rich culture and people. With the Aravalis to its northeast and Rann of Kutch towards its west, the Thar desert stretches for long miles covered by shifting sand dunes, a scorching round sun, camel safaris, the Luni river and scattered vegetation. The night presents itself with millions of starts lighting up the horizon and the camps being lit up with festivity, dance, chatter and food. Thar Desert tourism is a perfect mix of the desert landscape silhouetted against its thriving wildlife and equally interesting culture and society.
How to reach
The Thar Desert can be accessed from Jaisalmer which is situated at the edge of the desert. Rail – Bikaner and Jaisalmer are the closest railway junctions. Air – Jodhpur is the nearest airport destination. Road – Buses and cars travel frequently to Jaisalmer from Jodhpur, Bikaner, Jaipur, Barmer, Jalore, Mount Abu
What to see
The Thar Desert is beautiful in its own way. The large expanse of sand and nothing else for miles besides the dunes will envelope you in a world of your own and connect you to your innermost self. Walking barefoot on the sand as your feet sink into the softness, your spirits will only rise and touch your palpitating heart. The sheer vastness, dotted by colorful camels and the soft tinkling of their bells transports the best of us into a dreamy state. Welcome to the nucleus of Rajasthan- The Thar Desert. The best thing to do when in Thar, is to take the camel safari. It is the way to explore the desert, watch its varied landscapes and glimpse its wildlife and avian beauties. The Sam Dunes at a distance of about 45km from Jaisalmer are the tourist hub with folk dances and campfires for the night. Dressed in colorful costumes, adorned with jewelry the organizers make it a point to entertain the tourist and engage with them to showcase the folk culture and lip smackingcuisine. The Desert Festival organized every year brings a new lease of excitement and the desert is fraught with colorful costumes, folklore, snake charmers, acrobats, puppeteers and much more. Visiting the Desert Festival during the winters is a great way to explore the Thar holistically. And of course for wildlife lovers, Thar offers a great variety of fauna and avian diversity. With the Desert National Park, Tal Chhappar and Wild Ass sanctuary located in close proximity, the Thar is home to a number of species such as, golden fox, Indian Wild Ass, blackbuck and the Great Indian Bustard. Migratory birds throng in numbers here, and various species of eagles, falcons, vultures, buzzards and more are seen in the desert area. There are a few villages and tribes that live in the desert, and for those interested a sneak peek into their daily lives would be a great tourist attraction as well. The Bishnoi village is popular amongst travellers. Finally, Jaisalmer is from where you can make your way into the Thar Desert. It goes without saying that Jaisalmer must be on your list of places to visit. Visit the impressive and absolutely magnificent Jaisalmer Fort. Known as the Golden City, Jaisalmer is a tourist hub, rooted deep in history, architecture, culture, spirituality and hosts a wide range of ethnic cuisine. Bikaner (325km), Jodhpur (285km), Barmer (153km) and Jaipur (638km) are some of the nearby destinations that one must seriously consider visiting, since each is fraught with deep historical, architectural, biodiversity and spiritual richness.
Day 1 – Arrive at Jaisalmer by noon and post lunch we start towards the Desert. Reach the interiors of Thar and watch the sunset against the splendid openness of the dunes. Spend the night at the camp watching the dances and enjoy a filling authentic Rajasthani dinner. Sleep under the starts. Relax you will have more such nights to soak it all in.
Day 2 - Good morning! You are waking up in a desert, surrounded by sand seas and nothing can be more heavenly than this. Enjoy a sumptuous breakfast and we start the desert safari today. The salt lakes of Sambhar, Kuchaman and Didwana are surrounded by thorns and great to spot the desert wildlife and landscapes. Return to the camp in the evening and enjoy a bonfire before saying good night to the stars as you sleep like a child.
Day 3 – We head out for another desert safari today and discover the different desert landscapes. The night is again a treat with folk dances, stories, chatter and sharing of photographs.
Day 4 – Today we travel for the last safari on this journey before heading to Jaislamer post lunch. Explore the city and be awed by its various attractions. You may choose to stay over in Jaislamer or continue with your onward journey.
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