Cover photo by Ivy Aralia Nizar
The city that glistens every dawn and dusk, Jaisalmer has won the hearts of tourists from all over the world. It does not boost luscious greenery because the sheer simplicity of the Thar Desert is enough to take your breath away. Its unique geography and warm locals are always ready to welcome travellers as well. One of the most appealing factors about Jaisalmer city is its sand dunes. You cannot have a vacation in this part of the country without camping in the sand dunes of Jaisalmer.
However, it can be difficult to make the bookings at the last moment. This is mainly due to the fact that the city is popular among domestic and international tourists all year round. So, finalizing the perfect Jaisalmer tour package early on would be a wise decision. To make the most of your trip in the Great Indian Desert, the village called Sam, situated 40 km from the main city of Jaisalmer should be visited. This particular area is famous for its Sam Sand Dunes in Jaisalmer where you can go on a desert safari or even relax near a campsite. To know more about this enchanting place, mentioned below is a complete travel guide about the sand dunes in Jaisalmer city:
History of the Sand Dunes
The importance of the Thar Desert can be traced back to ancient times through several texts written in our country. Out of these, the Mahabharata provides a vivid description of the Kamyaka Forest that was located near the Kuru kingdom. Set on the banks of the Saraswati River, the Pandavas found this forest while on their way to exile. It is said that they stayed in an ascetic asylum for three days, very close to Sam Sand Dunes in Jaisalmer.
Along with this, the Desert National Park that is located 35 km from Sam, Jaisalmer, has a collection of fossils that are more than 180 million years old! Besides this, the historical background of the Thar Desert is very limited due to the shifting nature of sand dunes in Jaisalmer. People tend to move from one place to another, leaving little to no traces. But the city of Jaisalmer makes up for its as its cultural heritage is one of the most vibrant ones in the whole country. Travellers can explore numerous forts and monuments to understand their historical significance after visiting Sam Sand Dunes in Jaisalmer.
Things to Do at the Dunes
A vacation in Jaisalmer cannot be dull whatsoever. The city is blessed with so many tourist attractions that are located close to the sand dunes that you will need quite a few days to explore every single one of them. The quintessential activity that every tourist should partake in is enjoying a camel ride in the desert. You can choose between an hour-long Jaisalmer desert safari or opt for the one that lasts for 6 hours. Carrying water, sunscreen, and a cap are suggested in order to keep your skin and body hydrated. If this does not seem like your cup of tea, then a jeep safari can also be availed here.
The Sam Sand Dunes in Jaisalmer is a true delight for people who like the adrenaline rush from an adventure activity. Paramotoring, paragliding, and parasailing are some of the most popular thrilling activities in the desert area. Evenings in this region are best enjoyed sitting in one of the tents with a sheesha lit up for you and your loved ones.
Popular Campsites in the Area
It is a widely known fact that tourist in Rajasthan is centred around lavish resorts and luxury properties in cities like Jaipur, Jodhpur, and Udaipur. When it comes to this city, there are several options for you to stay in but the most memorable experience can only be found at the camps in the sand dunes of Jaisalmer.
There are several campsites set by various renowned travel companies. The key is to book one that has a solid reputation in the market. You can do your research a few weeks in advance by going through customer reviews and ratings on the web. This will help you shortlist the best camps in the area and then make the final choice based on the price of the camp at the Sam Sand Dunes, Jaisalmer. Rajputana Camp, Dangri Desert Camp, and K Resort and Camp are some of the most popular ones. Do make sure that your itinerary has enough space to accommodate a night or two at the campsite in Sam, Jaisalmer.
Best Time to Visit Sam Sand Dunes
Like most Indian vacation spots, the ideal time to visit the sand dunes in Jaisalmer is during the winter season. The months between October and March are perfect for a trip in this desert area because the climatic conditions are fairly cool.
February is considered to be the most happening time at Sam Sand Dunes because of the Jaisalmer Desert Festival organized for three days. The entire desert is alive with cultural programs and activities that tourists can enjoy wholeheartedly. In fact, the campsites and desert safaris in Sam, Jaisalmer are fairly uncommon during the summer months. So, you will not be able to experience the desert properly in the months between April and July.
Places to Visit in the Vicinity
There are several places to visit in Jaisalmer such as the Jaisalmer Fort, Gadisar Lake, the Badal Palace, Patwano ki Haveli, and Bada Bagh. These places are known for their natural beauty or architectural genius that you can appreciate on your trip. Next up is paying a visit to the mysterious village of Kuldhara situated an hour away from Sam village in Jaisalmer.
Offering an escapade of a different kind, this village is abandoned due to the presence of paranormal activity. According to legend, the inhabitants of this village left the area 300 years ago due to a brawl with Salim Singh who wanted to marry the daughter of the village head. Before leaving the village, the people cursed it and since then, no other family has lived here. Sounds exciting, doesn’t it?
Top Food Recommendations
Anybody who knows even the slightest bit about Rajasthan would be aware of the fact the food prepared in this state is simply mind-blowing. Be it vegetarian delicacies like daal baati churma or non-vegetarian delights such as laal maas, the sheer magic of Rajasthani food is beyond comparison. Jaisalmer’s Sam Sand Dunes do justice to this cuisine with several restaurants set up nearby. Ghoomar Restaurant is a favourite of the locals as authentic dishes are prepared here.
Camps such as Suryagarh and Kanak Jaisalmer are liked by couples and large groups of friends as they offer candle-lit dinners right on the sand dunes. People with a strong stomach can even try out some camel meat here! Customized meals are available at most desert camps, especially for tourists who are on their honeymoon or anniversary.
The alluring sand dunes are awaiting your presence. Stop procrastinating and start planning your trip to Jaisalmer right away!