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iXiGOers Dec 09 2012

What are the different activities one can do in Jaisalmer?

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Any story that starts with ‘From that time in Jaisalmer...’ is surely going to end with, ‘I have never had such a beautiful vacation’. What happens during these trip that this timeless city manages to amaze each of its guests? The answer lies in all the activities this city has to offer! Read on and find out more about what to do, when in the Golden City:

  • Sightseeing

    One of the most obvious things in any tourist’s travel plan, sightseeing in Jaisalmer is surely going to take a huge chunk of time off your itinerary. Be wowed by the glittering Jaisalmer Fort which is home to about half the population of the city, get charmed by the colours of a barren desert when you visit the Sam Sand dunes, get hypnotised by the beauty of the Jain Temples or understand the pride of merchants who built grand havelis by looking into the Patwon-ki-Haveli and Salim Singh-ki-Haveli. Close your day with a relaxing boat ride in the Gadisar Lake followed up by a vibrant folk art performance at the Desert Cultural Centre. Amazed already? There’s more waiting for you in Jaisalmer!
  • Camel Riding

    A ride to the heart of the Thar Desert is never complete without hopping onto a camel back and taking a tour of the place! It is never difficult to spot a camel in Jaisalmer, they are pulling carts, being walked by their masters or simply soaking up some shade (they already have too much of the sun) by the roadside. Control your urges to climb onto these till you encounter a camel decked in colourful fineries from head to toe - those are the ones meant for us! You can usually get a short camel ride near Gadisar Lake or near the gates of the Jaisalmer Fort. You will be asked to cough up something between INR 100 to INR 200 for a ride, but make sure you don't settle for a price without bargaining. People with back problems are advised to be a little careful when on a camel as too long a ride may aggravate your problem.

    If you want to continue the adventure a little longer, you can opt for Camel Safaris which span anywhere between 2 to 15 days.
    Adventure Camels is one such operator involved in organising these safaris. Making your way through sand dunes and quaint villages, you reach Pokhran, Barmer or Bikaner. Accommodation is in the form of pitched tents and evenings usually see a lot of local song and dance, along with delicious Rajasthani food. You might want to give this one a skip if you are travelling with kids, as managing them on the fairly long camel rides may be a problem.

    Official Website:
    http://www.adventurecamels.com/
  • Jeep Safari

    Want to feel the rush soaring high? Get a jeep safari booked for yourself! Something which feels like its just out of the movies, jeep safaris give one the thrill of a lifetime. Just climb into one of these powerful 4X4 beasts driven by professionals and gear up for some sand dune slashing. Take a short trip (50 km radius) to the closer camps like Sam Sand Dunes, Desert National Park or Akal Fossil Park or simply head out to the Padholi Bird Sanctuary (150 km) for a longer ride! If you feel nauseated during the drive, you are advised to let the driver of your vehicle know the same without any delay to avoid medical complications.

    Jeep safaris often have luxurious tent camps waiting for you on the side, where you can enjoy invigorating dance performances and foot tapping music. Can’t resist joining the local women in their dance? Hop on to the stage and shake a leg with them! Follow this up with a romantic candlelit dinner in the middle of the desert and you have got the A
    1 ingredients for an enchanting evening. Ask assistance for a jeep safari at your hotel’s travel desk or get in touch with Sahara Travels for assistance on the same.

    Official Website:
    http://saharatravelsjaisalmer.com/
  • Boating

    How would enjoying a boat ride in the middle of a desert feel? No, its not a mirage but the Gadisar Lake in Jaisalmer is surely going to appear like a miracle. Built by the founder of the city Jaisalmer, Raja Rawal Jaisal, this reservoir is decorated by a necklace of temples. Take a soothing boat ride at sunset and enjoy the rippled views of the cenotaphs on the surface of the lake. You can also buy a pack of bread and feed the catfish of the lake. The fish is going to flock to you like bees to honey and seeing them squander for the feed is a sight which is exciting and scary at the same time; it almost feels like the fish will jump out of the water into your lap to get a good bite or two! Charges here start at a minimum of INR 450 and vary with the kind of boat and duration of ride.
  • Cultural Programmes

    Think Rajasthan and one of the first images in your head would be that of energetic dances and entertaining puppet shows, right? While most hotels make arrangements of a cultural show within their premises to entertain guests, you can also visit the Desert Cultural Centre established by a local school teacher to preserve and promote the dying folk arts of the area. There are two shows every evening, wherein you can see an act of puppetry performed to live song and music. The story of the puppets is narrated in both English and Hindi and the whole outing makes for a time enjoyed by both adults and kids.

With all the above activities you can do in Jaisalmer, don't you feel motivated to pack your bags and head to the place already? If I can see you head bobbing up and down, let me tell you, this holiday is going to be one you love!

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