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Located in the north-western part of the Indian subcontinent, the subtropical desert land, the Great Indian Thar Desert is a vast stretch of dunes. Surrounding the desert that extends from the Sutlej River are the salt marsh– the Great Rann of Kutch, the Aravalli Ranges, and the Indus River. The diverse habitat and beautiful ecosystem are the chief tourist draws of the desert. Thar is home to some of the endangered wild animals that are disappearing from other parts of the country.
The region called Marwar lies partly in the Thar Desert location, while Jodhpur, Jaipur, Bikaner, and Jaisalmer constitute the desert cities. The primary inhabitants of the desert are the Bishnoi tribe, Gypsy, Minas, Bhils, Garasians, Rabaris, Lohars, and Sahariyas, who live in the desert villages.
Every year in the winter months, Thar Desert comes alive with the colorful and vibrant Desert Festival. During the festival and fairs, one can see various performances showcasing Rajasthan’s folk culture with traditional performing arts and crafts performances.
State of Rajasthan in India
Jaisalmer airport (for Jaisalmer side of Thar)
Jaisalmer airport has flights from Delhi and Jaipur
October to April
WHAT TO SEE
Activities : Dune bashing, Parasailing over the Thar Desert, Enjoying sunrise and sunset over the sand dunes, Camel riding in the sand dunes, Visiting the ruins around the desert, Overnight Camping in the middle of nowhere, Bird watching at Desert National Park, Night sky photography
Things to do:
Staying overnight in a Desert Camp: Get away from the comforts of luxury hotels in this unique experience at the Thar Desert location. On its expansive area stand several desert camps with employees working hard for every need of the guest. While living in one of the desert camps, one gets closer to living the lives of the locals. It is an experience of a lifetime.
Dune bashing: Many SUV advertisements show the dune bashing with style. At the Thar Desert, a tourist can relive those ads with a thrill that surpasses any rollercoaster ride. One can choose between having a driver drive them around for dune bashing or do it themselves by renting an SUV.
Getting a birds-eye view of Thar desert: Yet another great option for adventure lovers is parasailing over the Thar Desert. The clear skies and vast stretches of sand will give one a view of the horizons beyond. The best times for parasailing in the Thar desert location are early in the morning or late in the evening. The rising or setting sun will be a great backdrop with beautiful colors.
Enjoying sunrise and sunset over the dunes: Sunrise and sunset have always mesmerized humankind with its marvelous colors. However, in the dunes, they are all the more beautiful offering one uninterrupted view of the natural phenomenon. The sun going from yellow to orange to red and fading in the dark, leaving a trail of colors on the horizon, is a sight to watch. Photographers will have the best time of their lives while capturing the vibrant colors, camels, and locals.
Camel ride in the dunes:In the Thar Desert, camels add the much-needed burst of colors in an otherwise stretch of golden desert. Included in everyJaisalmer desert safari, camel ride in the dunes is a unique experience. In the desert, one will find several vendors offering camel rides, which is their primary source of income. Sitting atop a camel, one will see the desert in a new angle, living the desert life.
Enjoying traditional performances: The traditional performance is a quintessential cultural experience in the Thar Desert. Coming to the desert and not attending one of these performances is sinful. Such performances usually include different forms of folk music and dance. The desert comes alive with all glory and colors as the artists perform.
Visiting ruins around the desert: The Thar Desert was, once, a sea. When it receded, human establishments were formed only to move away when the climatic conditions turned unfavorable for farming and living. As such, the desert has its share of abandoned and ruined villages, forts, palaces, and historical places. Visiting them will allow one to learn the history of the region.
Overnight camping in the wilderness of Thar Desert: Camping out in the wilderness of Thar Desert is an experience that every adventurer will love. Spending a night here, in the middle of nowhere, is a unique encounter, one that is contrasting to resorts or other desert camps. Nights in the desert can get chilly. Therefore, when setting out to camp in the Thar desert, be sure to have some warm clothes and blankets and plenty of water.
Stargazing: The opportunity of stargazing is the beauty of the Thar Desert location. For city dwellers, gazing up at a clear sky filled with shiny stars is a rare and uncommon experience. At the Thar Desert, the sheer beauty of stargazing is not to be missed. With clear skies, it is one of the must-do things in the Thar Desert.
Every winter the dunes of Jaisalmer come alive with music, dance, and colorful performances of the desert festival. The people of the desert, dressed in vibrant colors, sing and dance their hearts out ballads of love, valor, and tragedy. The Jaisalmer fort forms a beautiful backdrop for the annual festival that celebrates the traditional performing arts and crafts of Rajasthan.
The fair has a variety of performers including snake charmers, puppeteers, folk performers, and acrobats, and is something one must attend when setting out on a Jaisalmer desert safari. A desert festival in Rajasthan, showcasing its folk culture, is incomplete without a camel. Putting a beautiful cherry on top of the wonderful cake that is the desert festival is the light and sound show amidst the dune on a moonlit night.