Thar, India: Sound of Desert
#Desert #Nature #Lonliness #Relax #Unconventional
Watch the Trailer Video of ‘Great Desert – THAR’ and GET the Feel
It was always my wish to draw a desert’s sketch in my drawing-book during my childhood days; desert used to be a wonderland for me, as I belong to central part of the India, so never got any chance to envision how desert looks like. The only thing I could hallucinate about desert was yellowish, golden, glittery landscape enveloped with sand, surrounded by camel and cactus, but fortunately these were not the only features you find in the desert, it has enormous secrets to unleash. The hunt of infancy illusion to draw a perfect desert portrait took me to THAR, the Great Indian Desert.
After exploring desert city Jaisalmer, I really wanted to perceive a real sandy desert which I used to mesmerize. In the mid afternoon, our guide called us to start our desert journey; he handed over a vehicle called ‘THAR’ a kind of jeep to us. The journey to Thar from the city was quite exiting; the paths seemed to blend naturally into the barren landscapes, grime and caravan of camels.
Finally, we reached to our Royal camp which was set on middle of Sand-dunes; it was an amazing experience for me; staying inside the desert was like hanging around in a sandy Island. I could not see anything but sand sand and sand only. After having camel milk tea, we decided to go for desert safari; we were given two options of safari, one was desert vehicle and another was camel ride, as I always wanted to do a camel ride, so I choose Camel safari; but I was bit scared though ‘Shahrukh’, my camel was so endearing and decorated with lots of bright cloths & ornaments and in-fact he started grunting to greet me.
Riding over the desert atop a camel was an awesome experience; suddenly I started feeling that I became very tall. The desert was so patiently quiet and arid; the loudest sound I could hear was the grunting of my camel. I found it very gigantic, massive and endless but it was also so gentle, composed and courteous; despite being uninhabited, it nurtures lives, shelters wild animals and plants; though it has nothing to cultivate but it cherishes whoever comes in to its asylum.
Thar’s loneliness is its uniqueness, it has its own barren beauty, it always encourages for the ‘survival of fittest’ in most awful situation, and its really a great teacher. After a few hours of riding we stopped at middle of the Thar to rest and to sight the desert’s other traits, the place was quite palliative and relaxing, surrounded by cactus shrub, some rare birds and a herd of sheep and goats, I also had a glimpse of desert Jackal and Chinkara (Indian gazelle).
Thar is extremely dramatic abode; everything was so dynamic nothing is motionless, especially its Dunes; it change very frequently, builds and disappears so quickly along with the wind-gales, so never set any dune as your landmark, you could be lost. Again, these fickle dunes preach the realism of the life that ‘nothing is constant except change’. These pristine dunes were so beautiful; the whole dune surface was wind- engraved patterns, seemed like carving on golden wood, and untouched by footsteps. I was walking very carefully to evade crushing the beautiful wind patterns; having through the most of my prior trips in the Himalayas and other mountains. The Thar was unusual experience for me but unlike mountains it never blocks or hides anything it is virtuous for everyone.
After this incredible desert ride, we headed towards the sunset point. We were all set to watch the magic of the desert. The sun was quickly disappearing from the sky; the sand started glowing gold; it was like a ritual for us, as everyone was so quiet and curious to witness the best show if the desert. The red ball of fire was getting settled down below the horizon, what a sunset it was. It was a marvelous feeling. There were no lights for miles & miles but desert on the skyline; it seemed like whole world collapsed into desert. Slowly-slowly the sun was dwindling down to the horizon, sensing the setting sun troupes a yellowish-brown light as well as shady gloom of the sand was really a fabulous sensation. After this astonishing sun set we turned to our desert camp.
The camp was beautifully decorated with all lantern and sand lights along with ‘Chauki & Maslan’ (kind of floor sitting sofas); we quickly secure our position for the upcoming celebration. A local group of men and women shortly attained with their traditional musical instruments; the women were stunningly ornamented with silver and antique jewelries and vibrant ghaghras, while men carried extremely colorful Rajasthani dhoti & pagdis (caps).
The function began with the greeting song ‘kesariya padharo mare desh’ , this tune really fueled energy on us for that evening; they also sang lots of sang melodics Rajasthani tunes using different folk instruments like ravanhattha and khartal; ladies who were wearing black long dress performed a unique dance called ‘Kalbeliya’ dance; they also involved us to their dance and we got chance to dance to melodious Rajasthani tunes.
This cultural program was splendid and camping underneath Moon n’ Stars was awe-inspiring experience for us. It was a cold at night, sand was completely icy but the it was actually quieter and gazing at the stars in this soothing night was miraculous feeling, I have never seen a sky so brightly lit with countless stars.
“Thar is an amphitheater of the human life, and name of the show is ‘stay alive in the lonely sphere”
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If you are planning a Trip to THAR (Rajasthan), Check out the below information’s:
HOW TO REACH – THAR:
- By Air: The closest airport to Thar Desert is Jodhpur airport, which is ~ 365 kilometers away. Though, air travel is usually not considered as an idyllic mode of transport for Thar Desert.
- By Train: The nearest Railway-station is Jaisalmer Railway station, Jaisalmer is connected with various cities through broad gauge and meter gauge railway tracks. There are direct trains from the cities of Delhi and Jaipur to Jaisalmer. The distance from Jaisalmer to Thar is ~90kms and takes ~ 1:30 hrs. Train works best and economical as well. The ‘Palace on Wheels’ also connects Jaisalmer, but its very costly.
- By Road: The driving distance between Delhi and Jaisalmer is 765 km via NH11. There is no direct bus from Delhi to Jaisalmer as the 13-15 hour drive is too exhausting. One can yet switch buses in Jaipur from where a state-government sleeper coach operates frequently.
WHAT TO CARRY DURING TRAVEL:
Desert is a entirely different terrain unlike beach and hills, so you need to really maintain your travel inventory. Things to carry –
- water pouch (for drinking)
- Torch with extra batteries and charger.
- Camera + battery.
- A large cotton scarf, Warm Hats
- Sunscreen, lip-balm, Hand sanitizer.
- Tissue / toilet papers.
- Jacket (as nights are cold in winters).
- Sports shoes
- First aid kit.
- Insect repellent.
- MAP print out.
- Extra Mobile and Postpaid SIM.
WHEN TO TRAVEL:
Though tourists visits Thar Desert across the year, but the Best season is Winter (November – February) and full of festivals, we would suggest to Go in winters with pre bookings.
Desert Festival and Camel Festival are the main festivals of Thar which is celebrated in the month of February every year. During festive season, you can enjoy folk music & dance, Local acrobatics and march of elegantly decorated camels.
WHERE TO STAY:
There are no Hotels/restaurants available in Thar Desert, you will only find Camps. So, its better to book in advance to get good accommodation.
We stayed in “Royal Desert Camp”. Website: Royal Desert Camp
THINGS TO EXPLORE IN THAR, DESERT:
- Safari: You can enjoy Camel safari and Zeep Safari in the desert.
- Desert Tribal life: Desert villages like Khuri, kanoi, Sattasar village can be explored as Thar region is primarily populated by Gypsy, Bishnoi Tribe, Bhils ,Minas, Lohars, Garasians, Sahariyas and Rabaris.
- National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries: There are 10+ national parks and wildlife sanctuary situated in the Thar region. The major ones are Nara Desert Wildlife Sanctuary and the Rann of Kutch. Apart from these other wildlife park includes Desert National Park , fauna, Tal Chhapar Sanctuary (Bird Sanctuary)
- Tanot Mata Temple: ‘Tanot Mata Mandir’ is in district Balmer near Thar Desert. It is closed to the Indo-Pak border. This temple is under Border Security Force (BSF) also called as ‘Temple of Wonders’ because it is said that Goddess protected the soldiers of India from bombs in during India-Pakistan war of 1971.
- Kuldhara a haunted village: Kuldhara is an isolated village near Thar desert, established around 13th century. Lots of ghostly stories are associated with this village.
SOME USEFUL LINKS FOR YOU:
“& as we always say: When you’re in doubt. TRAVEL”
Padharo Mhare Desh