Hop on to the hump of a camel, the king of the desert. Lets its slow and bumpy gait take you through India’s glorious golden desert, the Thar. End the day by lying on the soft sand and staring at the intense orange sunset turn into the glittery night sky. There’s no reason to move, local chefs will serve you a tradition Rajasthani feast, cooked in front of you, right in the middle of the desert. And when you’ve had your fill, you only have to walk a few steps to rest your head under a beautiful white tent while the moonlight keeps you company. This is the average day of a desert safari in Jaisalmer and it’s easy to see why it must not be missed.

After exploring the vast desert, come back to the city to soak in views of the Jaisalmer Fort. This golden structure dominates the city, purely on the magnitude of its size alone. Unlike most forts in the country that are not inhabited, this fort is alive and kicking even today. This means that there are people who actually still live inside this fort. It is filled with old homes and markets that blend perfectly behind the structures classic interiors. It is also home to seven beautifully curved temples that were built in between the 12th and 15th century. All this, while providing a vantage point to look out at the Thar Desert as the sun’s rays reflect off its gold sand.

Sights & Activities

Jaisalmer Fort

Nicknamed the Golden Fort for the golden hues of its yellow sandstone façade at sunset, the Jaisalmer Fort is one of India’s few living forts. Located on a hillock in the heart of Jaisalmer, it is the soul of this desert city. Within its grand walls, it houses ornate merchant havelis (mansions), some of which have been inhabited for centuries, along with the Raj Mahal (royal palace), ancient temples, heritage hotels and a dizzying array of food and shopping options. It dates all the way back to 1156 AD, and unfortunately the age shows – the foundation of the fort is slowly weakening under the pressure of its local and tourist population. The World Monuments Fund has undertaken large-scale restoration work, and while a visit to the fort to explore the traditional Rajasthani way of life is a must, it is advised to stay outside of the fort so as to not encourage its haphazard hotel construction, a major drain on its resources.

Sunset came ride on the sand dunes

Jaisalmer is perfectly poised as a gateway to the stunning golden sand Thar Desert, where camels, often called the “ship of the desert” are an essential part of everyday life. Travellers can rent a camel, and make their way into one of the most memorable travel experiences in this part – a camel safari along the dunes of the Thar Desert, past traditional desert and gypsy villages, culminating in a desert sunset that lends the sands a golden glow. It is a feast for photographers, nature lovers and culture seekers alike, and the more adventurous can choose to camp overnight in the vast nothingness of the Thar Desert, under the spectacular, starry desert skies! The Sam and Khuri sand dunes are extremely popular with tourists, while the Lakhmana dunes are relatively quieter.

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