Rising from the Thar Desert is the giant sandcastle Fort Jaisalmer. A former medieval trading center located in the heart of the Thar Desert. Located in Eastern Rajasthan near the unsettled border with Pakistan. More commonly known as the Golden city because of the sandstone material that the Fort was constructed with.
Arriving at 6AM we were strategically hustled by a man who offered us a bed on the roof top of his hotel to sleep for a few hours. After a quick power nap we felt the easiest way to go about accommodation was just to stay where we were.
Accommodation was crazy cheap
From the south of Sri Lanka right up and across through to the isolated Jaisalmer, we had not come across anywhere else with so much value for money. 300 rupees for a luxury room, with bathroom, TV and heat pump. We quickly realised that the cheap rooms were just the bait. Selling their camel tours was where they really made their money.
Thar Desert safari
The main attraction to Jaisalmer is the camel tours through the Thar Desert. They vary in price and the experience you get will be dependent on the tour company you choose. Everywhere you go you are getting hustled by someone to go on their tour and it’s always ‘The Best’. Your best bet is to shop around. Tours range in what they offer. Top end tours offer tepee like tents where your sleeping under the stars. With catering fit for a king in your isolated Dune of the Desert.
Here is one I would recommend : http://www.desertsafarijaisalmer.com/
Our particular one- The Safari began mid-morning with an hour jeep ride from our guesthouse into the vast open Thar. We stopped at abandoned villages and passed through small settlements scattered among the dunes to meet up with our guides. We choose our Camels, which are loaded with supplies and slowly start riding into the desert.
Sleeping under the stars
After an hour we stop by the last village that we will see. Last minute supplies were gathered and we were offered local wine and opiates before carrying on. Riding for a further hour we stop for lunch. Our guides made a fire, brought us chai and cooked a traditional meal, it was delicious!
All meals were supplied, prepared and cooked for us.
When we reached our destination to camp for the night. While the guides tended to the camels we explored the surrounding area. Dinner was prepared and before we knew it we were sleeping under the stars. Wrapped up in blankets which were supplied gazing out into the universe was a unique experience. It was particularly good to have your own space for once.
The next morning we woke up to a cooked breakfast then headed back to Jaisalmer. With a quick shop to get some souvenirs we were heading west to Agra, home of the famous Taj Mahal.