From the land of fascinating Havelis, magnificent forts and palaces, the royal lifestyle to the desert of Rajasthan, one has to travel a few extra miles to experience the complete contrasting lifestyle which co-exist in the same place. We often talk about the royal lifestyle of the Rajputs in India with so much pride that we tend to ignore those vanishing communities which have been contributing immensely in maintaining the royal lifestyle till date. Being a traveler, going places, knowing the unknown, experiencing something unique, is what defines me. So, in my recent visit to Jaisalmer, I could not resist myself from exploring those golden shimmered sand dunes and the lifestyle of the people living in the desert.
One of the most celebrated Photographer and Film Maker , Manuj Mehta has contributed some incredible photographs to this blog post.
Being an offbeat traveller, I tend to run away from crowded and chaotic places as much as I can. When I decided to spend the night in the desert of Rajasthan, my obvious choice was not Sam Sand Dune of Jaisalmer. So, I chose to travel a few miles extra to find my solitude in the lap of those golden heaps of sands and landed up in a village called Dhoba in Khuri. Located 40 km south-west of Jaisalmer, Khuri Desert was a great discovery. Far away from the hustle and bustle of the city, Khuri allows you to celebrate the splendid moments in a gorgeous location.
While taking a stroll, I noticed the quintessential Rajasthani women taking out water from the well which was right under a Neem tree. I decided to join them. It was so much fun talking to them.
And when I wanted to be photographed with them, they were laughing their heart out. Though I managed to capture one epic picture.
It was around 3.30 pm. I was asked to get ready for Desert Safari by my host. Since I never experienced the camel safari, taking this new adventure just made me excited. But the difficult part was to sit on the camel. After a lot of struggle I managed to make myself comfortable and started the journey towards the desert.It was a journey like never before. The sound of wind was slowly getting more prominent, those shimmering golden sand dunes became visible and the soulful songs of the desert dominated the surrounding. It was too beautiful to believe.
Spreading across miles after miles, those rolling sand dunes with their windblown peaks looked like a large sheet of golden carpet with thread work on it.
I decided to sit back and see the incredible sunset in the desert. Being lesser known, Khuri offers the overwhelming desert experience in Rajasthan. While seeing those sand dunes changing its shape with the wind flow, I noticed the changing colours of the sky. Watching the sun fading away, leaving behind the tint of orange in the sky in deserted hills was undoubtedly one of the priceless moments I had ever experienced.
It was great fun to strike a conversation with local people, especially when you were in a remote area. While returning from the desert, I enjoyed my conversation with the camel herder who was one of the charming personalities I met there. He entertained me throughout my camel ride with his funny stories. By the time I reached my camp, the whole set up was ready to make the night a memorable one. The campfire, folk singers and Kalbalia dancers added to the charm of the evening. I was treated to some mouth-watering Rajasthani delicacies. While gazing stars in the sky, sitting next to the campfire, the sound of soulful folk songs echoing through my ears in the middle of a desert, I found absolute solitude that I was yearning for.
About The Photographer :
Manuj Mehta is an awarded photographer and have few fine works in his kitty. He has worked for Airtel, Vanish by Reckitt Benckiser, Maharaja’s Express, the world’s leading luxury train for Indian Railways and many more. He is a trained documentary film maker and a self taught photographer who fearlessly throws himself into the streets to capture hidden stories and document which needs to be revealed.
By Train : Jaisalmer is well connected with a wide network of trains covering most of the Indian cities like Delhi, Jodhpur, Jaipur etc. If you are traveling from Delhi , then Jaisalmer Express is the best option.
To Khuri Desert : Khuri is approximately 40 km from Jaisalmer city . One can avail bus or cab to travel to khuri desert .
Where to Stay
There are multiple options available for your stay. I recommend Registhan Guest House for an absolutely unique experience . This place is not over priced and offers you great hospitality .
When to Go :
The best time to visit Jaisalmer is between November to March. The winter in Jaisalmer is pleasant for outdoor activities .