Thar Desert Camel Safaris of India are now one of Asia's fastest selling adventure holidays. These include camel treks ranging from short rides around Jaisalmer to extensive trips that remind you of Lawrence of Arabia on his epic journey across the Sahara, Marco Polo, on the historic silk route, a medieval trader leading his caravan through the hostile spice route or a royal caravan serai heading for one of the medieval kingdoms of the Thar desert- without many of the hardships of course! They are a great way to see the desert and to enjoy a novel and adventurous holiday.
The Great Indian Desert may not have great expanses of sand dunes and incredible spaces of wilderness as large as those of the Sahara and Namibia, but more than makes up for it with some glorious citadels and extremely colorful and unspoilt villages. Its sand dunes are more easily accessible from airports and railway stations than those of many African countries.
Camel Safari Circuit in India
The Camel Safari Circuit in India comprises of Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, and Bikaner, all in Rajasthan. They were the princely kingdoms in the desert belt of India Rajasthan. Each was comparable in size to many modern nations of Europe. All the former capitals prospered from trade with the camel caravans that traveled from West Asia and Europe to Mongolia, and were impressively fortified to protect these riches. The result was a wealth of palaces built for royalty, havelis or courtyard mansions built for merchants and nobility and intricately carved temples for the subjects. Materials used were normally sandstone, which was easily available and provided a better medium to the silavats who specialized in making stone resemble lace.
A camel safari is a great way to see the desert - visiting the villages, seeing wildlife, and riding across the open desert sands. Typical camel safaris organized around Jaisalmer take in the architectural ruins of Lodurva which was the former capital of the Bhatti Rajput desert kingdom before the founding of Jaisalmer, the Anasagar oasis, the sand dunes of Samm and the water source of Moolsagar where village women gather with pitchers at dusk. Night halts on basic safaris are at villages on the way or temporary bivouac camps in the desert scrub where camels are hobbled and let out to browse.
Camel Safari in India -Travel Kit
The climate is extreme in the desert-afternoons may seem much hotter than the actual 26-30 degree temperature may suggest. Night temperatures may drop below zero on the dunes. It is essential to stock both woolen and cotton clothing. Shorts and skirts are comfortable wear for camel safaris but remember some of the off beat routes visit villages that have not seen many tourists and locals may look askance at ladies who do not wear ankle length clothing and men in shorts. Sun hats with large rims or cotton caps that can be dipped in water when it gets too hot around midday, are essential preferably with a balaclava or scarf for covering the neck and forehead. At Jodhpur you can buy umbrellas that are quite convenient for camel safaris. Sunscreen cream, moisturizers and lip salve area must. A water bottle can be comfortably slung on the camel saddle and it is practical also to carry tangerines as even on a deluxe safari it may not be practical to dismount each time to drink from the carted water supply. Bottled mineral water is available at Jodhpur and Jaisalmer. Find out if the baggage is being transferred by camel cart or vehicle. In case of the latter, a small handbag can carry the essentials you are likely to need on the way.
If prone to sickness, carry suitable medication against the swaying gait of the camel. A torch, penknife an even cutlery will be required. Finally patience is an important piece of baggage on a camel safari as it takes time to get to grips with camel travel and to reach destinations that may be on your travel priorities.