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Top Desert Destinations of Rajasthan

Jeep Safari, Camel Safari, and Desert Safari are popular in the Rajasthan Desert. You may explore the wildlife and vegetation of the desert in its national park and wildlife sanctuary. Another way to appreciate the Rajasthan desert is to go camping in the Thar Desert.

Famous Desert Destinations of Rajasthan Rajasthan Desert comprises the three cities – Jaisalmer Bikaner, Pushkar, and Jodhpur which is commonly known as the desert triangle. These three cities are entwined in such a way that they form a desert circle. The cultural and historical significance and the glorious hoary past of these cities have marked Rajasthan as 'the most colorful desert in the world'. Jaisalmer known as the golden city or the city of sandstone houses the majestic 12th century Jaisalmer Fort and the famous Sam Sand dunes which are beautifully carved out of sand by the wind and exudes a golden charm in the sunlight. The regal city of Jodhpur is famed for its splendid forts and palaces and is steeped in Rajput history. Bikaner is located at the north of Rajasthan and oozes the medieval charm. This desert city is flecked with sand dunes and is known as the camel country for its best safaris on camels. Thus, Rajasthan desert with its illustrious past and exotic beauty of the present is a feted tourist attraction in spite of being a barren land. The glittering sun- bathed golden sand allures the traveler who is trapped in a mirage in the desert. The Desert of Rajasthan is situated partly in India and partly in Pakistan. Bordering the desert on four sides are, Indus plains to the west, Aravalli Range to the southeast, Rann of Kutch to the south, and Punjab plains to the north and northeast. Also known as the "Great Indian Desert", Thar covers an area of approximately 77,000 square miles (200,000 square km). Thar constitutes one of the five major physical divisions of India, the other being Himalayas, Northern Plains, Central Plateau and the Eastern and Western Coastal Plains. It occupies the western and

northwestern parts of the state of Rajasthan. The other states of India into which the Thar Desert stretches are Gujarat, Punjab and Haryana. High and low sand dunes, sandy plains, low barren hills, etc characterize the landscape of the desert. Most of the sand dunes are forever in motion and keep on changing their shapes and sizes. The older dunes, however, have stabilized to quite an extent and may rise to a height of almost 500 feet (150 m). Thar Desert is also dotted with playas (saline lakes), locally known as dhands, which are scattered throughout the region. The desert tract receives low and erratic rainfall annually, ranging from about 4 inches (100 mm) or less in the west to about 20 inches (500 mm) in the east. The maximum rainfall is received during the period of July to September. Thar Desert supports vegetation consisting of mainly stunted scrub and a few sporadic trees. Gum arabic acacia and euphorbia on the hills and khajri (Prosopis cineraria) tree in the plains are some other vegetation in the desert. Black buck and chinkara (gazelle), amongst animals and francolin, quail and great bustard, amongst birds can be seen inhabiting this region. Sand grouse, ducks, and geese are the common migratory birds to the area. A tour of the Rajasthan Thar Desert of India takes you on a brilliant ride of the golden hues. The camel rides as well as the beautiful sunsets of the desert enchant both your mind as well as your soul. Don't forget to include this magnificent desert on your tour to Rajasthan. You will definitely love every part of your trip to this marvelous and outstanding destination. Suggested Tour: Udaipur Jodhpur Jaisalmer Bikaner, Jaipur Sightseeing Tour,

Camel Safari in Jaisalmer The town of Jaisalmer is the most popular destination in Rajasthan for all travellers wanting to take a camel safari. The most popular camel safaris are the short, daily tours around Jaisalmer town or from nearby dunes such as Sam and Khuri, which include sunset camel rides and a traditional Rajasthani dinner along with cultural programmes at a desert campsite. For tourists who want a longer and more relaxed schedule, there are many camel safaris that stretch for a longer duration, often to two weeks for enthusiasts. Many camel safari operators work from Jaisalmer, mainly through hotels, resorts and guest houses in and around the city. Some of the camel safari operators. They generally have blocked tours which include individual camels for every person, accommodation and food in the desert, as well as at hotels nearby, village visits and cultural evenings. Amarsagar, Mool Sagar, Kuldhara, Ludhrva, Damodra, Kanoi and other desert villages serve as night- time campsites where tourists are treated to the experience of sleeping under the stars, near the sand dunes. The prices for the camel safaris vary with the daily ones being around Rs. 700 to 800 per person to the long- duration camps going up to Rs. 3,000.

Camel Safari in Pushkar The town of Pushkar is 11 kms away from the Sufi pilgrimage spot of Ajmer. The world-famous Pushkar cattle fair happens in the months of winter, mostly in November. Camel safaris in Pushkar are a beautiful experience that tourists have to include in their itineraries. While there are the more popular sunset and sunrise camel tours, along with the day-long tours to the nearby Rose Garden or small hamlets and villages, tourists are strongly advised to go for the long-duration tours and desert treks on camels or camel carts to Nagaur, Mandawa and Jaisalmer from Pushkar. These exciting and adventurous tours include mouth-watering food cooked on the fireside, tent accommodation on the desert under the beautiful desert sky, and the occasional cultural evening with gypsies and other traditional artists of the area. The safaris are available from many operators including the numerous travel agencies around the town of Pushkar. The rate for the sunrise and sunset safaris is Rs. 400, while the more long-drawn-out safaris cost up to Rs. 1,500 to Rs. 2,500. Some operators in Pushkar are the Pushkar Camel Safari Tours, Vinayak Nagar and Royal Safari Camp. Suggested Tour: Jaipur Ajmer Pushkar Tour

Camel Safari in Bikaner Bikaner, often called the the Camel City, offers spectacular sights of the desert for tourists who like their holidays to be unconventional. Many tour operators in the small town provide camel safaris at various rates. Like the other towns, Bikaner operators also have day-long trips, sunrise and sunset rides and longer one- to two-day trips as well as long term cross-desert sojourns. Day trips and shorter rides take the tourists to nearby places of interest such as Deshnok, and halt for desert photography and other such activities. Sand-skiing is very popular in Bikaner and most of the camel safaris include this in their itineraries. Long-duration trips such as the 3-days, 2-nights safaris involve staying in international standard desert camps with food, water, blankets and entertainment facilities. Some of the more prominent operators in Bikaner town are the Royal Camel Caravan Tours and the Thar Camel Safari. The rates of camel safaris in Bikaner are very reasonable and interested travellers can opt for daily tours which cost around Rs. 500 and the longer tours starting from Rs. 1,400. Suggested Tour: Rajasthan Tour Packages

Camel Safari in Jodhpur Jodhpur is one of the more cosmopolitan cities within Rajasthan and while it does not have desert vistas around, it is the gateway to many luxurious and five-star desert safari experiences because of the prominence of the city itself. One of the most visited dunes around the Jodhpur stretch is Osian, a beautiful desert village which now flaunts some of the most luxurious desert safari camps in the area. The most prominent one, which can be opted by travellers who like splurging is Reggie's Camel Camp run by Reggie Singh, from the local royal family. For the more modest travellers, home-stays such as the Hacra India are highly recommended for an unparalleled experience of the world of the locals. Other nearby areas such as Bishnoi village, Ranakpur, etc., are also beautiful and many operators such as Bishnoi Village Safari or Gemar Singh Private Tours in Jodhpur operate in the area for all kinds of prices suitable for travellers with varied budgets.

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