Monday, May 30, 2011

Camel Safari Eco Adventure Travel in India

Author: Ayush Aggarwal

The Camel Safari Circuit in India comprises of Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, and Bikaner, all in Rajasthan. They were the princely kingdoms in the desert belt of India Rajasthan. Each was comparable in size to many modern nations of Europe. All the former capitals prospered from trade with the camel caravans that traveled from West Asia and Europe to Mongolia, and were impressively fortified to protect these riches. The result was a wealth of palaces built for royalty, havelis or courtyard mansions built for merchants and nobility and intricately carved temples for the subjects. Materials used were normally sandstone, which was easily available and provided a better medium to the silavats who specialized in making stone resemble lace.

What to See:
A wide variety of safaris are offered by the Thar Desert. A short trek around the pretty town of Jaisalmer, or a longer safari taking you the length and breadth of the Great Indian Desert - options are many. In the longer version of the safari, you will feel the ambience of mediaeval times. Like a mediaeval trader you will have the opportunity of leading the caravan through the spice route in hostile conditions heading for one of the medieval kingdoms, in search of people to buy your goods. The desert safaris in India revolve primarily around the princely states of Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, and Bikaner. Besides offering the breathtaking spectacle of the endless vistas of open desert sands, these safaris are a perfect way of experiencing the village life and the wildlife.
Rajasthan has been an important center of trade and commerce throughout the historical period. The passing of the caravans through the Thar Desert gave boost to the trade. Prosperity of the trade resulted in the huge profit, which was used by the nobility to build the impregnable forts, majestic palaces, grand mansions, and ormidable citadels. Sandstone is the basic material used in the construction of these masterpieces of art that are today in the ruined state due to ravages of the time.
A typical safari comprises traveling to the architectural ruins of Lodurva located in the vicinity of Jaisalmer, the sand dunes of the Samm, the oasis at Anasagar and the water source of Moolsagar. You will travel and sightseeing during the daytime and can spend your night by cooking by the campfire and having rest. You will be able to experience the lives of the villagers on the camels-halts in the en-route villages amidst the desert scrubs. It is sure to be a once in lifetime experience of the desert rural Indian life and traditional hospitality.
Travel Kit:
Camel Safari in India The climate is extreme in the desert-afternoons may seem much hotter than the actual 26-30 degree temperature may suggest. Night temperatures may drop below zero on the dunes. It is essential to stock both woolen and cotton clothing. Shorts and skirts are comfortable wear for camel safaris but remember some of the offbeat routes visit villages that have not seen many tourists and locals may look askance at ladies who do not wear ankle length clothing and men in shorts. Sun hats with large rims or cotton caps that can be dipped in water when it gets too hot around midday, are essential preferably with a balaclava or scarf for covering the neck and forehead. At Jodhpur you can buy umbrellas that are quite convenient for camel safaris. Sunscreen cream, moisturizers and lip salve area must. A water bottle can be comfortably slung on the camel saddle and it is practical also to carry tangerines as even on a deluxe safari it may not be practical to dismount each time to drink from the carted water supply. Bottled mineral water is available at Jodhpur and Jaisalmer. Find out if the baggage is being transferred by camel cart or vehicle. In case of the latter, a small handbag can carry the essentials you are likely to need on the way.
If prone to sickness, carry suitable medication against the swaying gait of the camel. A torch, penknife an even cutlery will be required. Finally patience is an important piece of baggage on a camel safari as it takes time to get to grips with camel travel and to reach destinations that may be on your travel priorities.
When to go:
Most camel safaris are organized in the winter, when the weather's good. Rajasthan's summers are almost unbearably hot and dry, so going on a camel safari during this time is virtually impossible. November to March, when days are cool (and nights cold!) is when most camel safaris are organized.
Getting there:
Most camel safaris start from Jaisalmer, which is connected by air, train and road to the rest of India. Rajasthan's capital, Jaipur, is also a convenient base for exploring the state, whether on camel or otherwise. Jaipur has a well-connected airport, as well as regular train and bus links to a number of cities across India. All camel-safari towns in Rajasthan, such as Bikaner and Mandawa, are connected by road to Jaipur. Buses run between all the major towns of the state, and private cars or taxis can be hired to do the trip. You can plan your trip advance and do online bus booking to get cheap bus tickets. Bus booking is fairly easy and tickets are available online for Jaipur or Jaisalmer.

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