It's a particularly beautiful desert and it's a great place to go exploring.
Situated in the heart of Rajasthan, the Thar Desert is the only, real large desert in India. In places it resembles the African bush more than a desert, but there are still areas filled with sand dunes through which guides organize tours.
This semi-arid landscape surrounds the town of Jaisalmer. One of the biggest tourist attractions is to climb up the huge Sam or Khuri dunes to watch the sun go down. Even if it does get a little crowded, it's, nonetheless, an amazing sight!
Another popular Thar Desert activity is the famous camel safaris, which can last from one to several days. I decided to do one that took several days, so that I could take my time and plunge myself into this arid environment. I had the most amazing time.
Visitors wanting to book a camel safari should check out the options available via the Tourist Office, their guest house or ask other travelers. That way you'll find the best deals. Prices from one guide to the other can vary enourmously and some agencies are a rip-off. So don't accept the first offer you receive, take the time to look at all the alternatives.
The icing on the cake during a trip to India, is camping on the dunes under a starlit sky. Obviously it's better to go during the dry season, even if the Monsoon rains don't often hit the desert region.
Be on your guard, however, as street sellers in Jaisalmer, as well as in the desert, may offer to sell you 'bang lassi' drinks or 'bang cookies', which contain hashish! Give them a miss - they can be very strong and you could find yourself having a major panic attack in the middle of the desert.
At the heart of the Thar Desert, you'll find the fortified town of Jaisalmer. It looks like a mirage rising out of the desert, with yellows and ochres reflecting off its huge 5km long rampart.
It's worth staying for a few days. The guest houses are beautiful, with rooms and restaurants overlooking the rampart and the sands beyond. It's certainly a romantic spot!
It has to be one of my favorite places in the country and I would advise any traveler to include it in their tour of India.