Colourful, traditional and welcoming, these are some of those words that effectively capture the true essence of Jaisalmer. While thinking of this Rajasthani city, prominent images of simple villagers riding a camel through the desert cross the mind. However, that is not all to Jaisalmer as it is also a paradise for those, who take delight in being a part of a rich heritage and time-honoured culture. This golden city of India holds immense cultural importance, and that is why it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its culture is primarily characterised by the representative food, handicraft, music and lifestyle. Imagine turbaned singers playing folk music on their sarangis while local dancers, dressed in ethnic Rajasthani attire, gracefully move to the melodious tunes. You shall be prepared to witness this very experience when you embark on the traditional Jaisalmer safari.
Begin the safari trip with a visit to Bada Bagh, a royal cemetery that houses more than a hundred tombs. These cenotaphs were built in the memory of the brave rulers of the region. Also, see the magnificent Adeshwar Nath Jain Temple, an epitome of architectural mastery. Yet another major tourist attraction near Jaisalmer that you will take a trip to is the abandoned village of Kuldhara. Associated with this village is a local legend, which says that it is cursed and haunted. Travellers from lands faraway come here to witness something unworldly and reportedly supernatural.
Furthermore, enjoy a joyride on the back of a camel on sand dunes in Barna village. Relish an authentic Indian dinner and camp out in the expansive Thar Desert. With the meal, you will also be presented a mesmerising folk song and dance programme. At the end of the day, head back to the city of Jaisalmer.
At approximately half past one in the afternoon, leave the city for the traditional Jaisalmer safari. En route the campsite, visit three major tourist attractions in the area around Jaisalmer. Start with Bada Bagh, the royal cemetery housed inside a garden complex. More than a hundred cenotaphs of the kings of the region constitute this complex, along with a tank and a dam. Sitting atop a hill, which is located some five kilometres from Jaisalmer, Bada Bagh commands splendid views over the area. The cenotaphs found here are excellent examples of the architectural finesse for which Rajasthan is famous.
After you have been impressed by Bada Bagh, head to the next destination, the noteworthy Adeshwar Nath Jain Temple. Lying on the banks of the idyllic Amar Sagar Lake, the temple is absolutely awe-inspiring with elaborate carvings covering its surface. Truly a gem in the crown of Rajasthan, this breathtakingly beautiful structure is a renowned Jain religious site.
Following a memorable visit to Adeshwar Nath Jain Temple, be prepared to experience something unnerving in the village of Kuldhara. A story, explaining the desertion of this village, is prevalent in the region. According to it, the village is cursed, and this would not let people settle here. The ruins of the times gone by remain in Kuldhara that are explored by curious travellers from all over the world.
The final destination of this traditional Jaisalmer safari is the village of Barna. Since a trip to Jaisalmer is considered incomplete without a camel ride, this tour allows you to explore the golden-hued sand dunes on the backs of the animals till dusk. Return to the camp after sundown and enjoy a hearty dinner, comprising of scrumptious vegetarian delicacies. Depending upon the weather, a campfire may be lit while you admire the Rajasthani folk dance and music programme. This marks the end of this excursion, whereupon you head back to Jaisalmer to reach here at approximately half past ten at night.
Duration: 1 day
Region: Jaisalmer, Rajasthan
Activities: Jeep Safari, Camel Safari
Best Time to go: October to March