Camel Safaries in Jaisalmer
Deserts have since long exerted an irresistible charm on the psyche of the humans, the landscape inspiring different emotions in different people. And what better way to explore this magical realm than on a camel back, for a camel safari is one of the most adventurous of experiences, and indeed a novel way to 'discover' the desert.
Camel safaris trace their origins to the time of trade between India and China, when camel caravans would journey along established trade routes laden with spices and herbs and jewels. They provide an opportunity to get a glimpse of traditional Indian life in the desert, with all the hardships, the beauty and the desolation.
The accommodation on the way consists of primitive thatched mud huts, and the way of life-though hospitable-is entirely ethnic.
Camel safaris generally cover the area around Jaisalmer, Bikaner or Jodhpur, popularly known as the desert circuit. The duration can vary between one day and two weeks. Big towns are not usually on the route though there is no definite route that you have to adopt.
Route navigation in the desert is an acquired art, and caravans must be manned by riders who not only know how to study the stars, but also recognise the shifting sands of the terrain.
A camel safari is exciting, but is not exactly a relaxing vacation. Unless you are accustomed to horse-riding, a day-long camel ride will be tiring. Even if you are accustomed to horse-riding, since the gait of the camel is quite different, it may take some time to get used to it.
Keeping in your seat as the camel raises or lowers itself to the ground, can appear at first to be a losing battle.
However, whether tiring or relaxing, a camel safari is bound to be a unique experience.
Traverse the lonely stretches of the Thar Desert, like the travellers of old ... on a camel. In fact, the most magical way to explore the sands of Rajasthan, especially the unending sand dunes of Jaisalmer and Bikaner, is on camel back.
Camp under the stars, listen to the haunting strains of folk music echoing across the sand dunes, stay at any of the many heritage resorts run by erstwhile royalty, marvel at the remote forts and palaces, or enjoy the gentle hospitality of villagers at an oasis ... India's camel safaris take you back in time to a more leisurely age, and make for a memorable experience.
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