A camel ride and dinner under the stars made this safari in the Thar Desert of Rajasthan, a memorable experience indeed
Stories about caravans crossing the Thar Desert on their journey along the fabled Silk Route had always captivated me. Today, I was standing in the middle of it, about to embark on my own camel safari organised by my host Suryagarh Jaisalmer. I was thrilled. But as the grumpy camel, taller than me even while it sat on the ground, turned its face toward me, I hesitated. The guide assured me it was a gentle animal and I finally managed to clamber up.
Once I was on the camel all my fears disappeared. Suddenly, the guide screamed to me, “Hold on tight to the rope under the saddle”. I tightened my grasp on the rope and the camel stood up -- it was like sitting on a ride in an amusement park. I recalled the guide’s warning – to avoid a backache while riding a camel, adjust yourself with its gait. The guide gave the signal to start, I sat back comfortably.
The sun had already set and the stars were slowly appearing overhead. We were told that the route we were taking was the same one taken by traders as they journeyed along Silk Route centuries ago; the news made me pretty excited. As we rode on, soulful strains of the ravanhatta, a traditional violin-like musical instrument, wafted down to us.
We rode for almost an hour and finally reached our destination. Getting down from the camel is not as hard as getting up on it, you just need to jump off. I felt the journey had ended too soon. But the regret did not last long. A white tent had been rigged in the middle of the desert and our dinner arranged beneath it. Scores of candles lit up the place, making it look like fairly land. I also traced the source of the soul-stirring music – a local musician was sitting by camp and playing on his instrument. He regaled us with his repertoire of folk music as we dined beneath the stars.
The night was young, there was good food and wine, and pleasant music. I felt as if I was transported back to the times of the Arabian Nights.
For booking camel safaris in Jaisalmer
1. Trotters Jaisalmer, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +91-09414469292
2. Adventure Travel Agency, email email@example.com or call +91-94141-49176, 9772896674