Camping with Golden Tower resort in Sam sand dunes
I always thought of visiting Jaisalmer once in my life, and so it is been on my bucket-list for many years. Jaisalmer was whispering in my ear to come and hunt its golden beauty. Jaisalmer was calling me to start a sizzling affair with its forts, havelis and the desert. Even more, the Thar desert is well known and appraised for its camping and safaris across the world. That’s why it is known as one of the living deserts of the world. And finally, I got a chance to visit it in Dec’17.
When you tour Jaisalmer, you’ll find tons of tour operators offering different desert camping packages. All these operators have camps located in the vicinity of Sam sand dunes and the activities they provide are camel safari, Jeep safari, Rajasthani cultural night, Bone-fire, etc. So there are plenty of options to choose from. All these packages vary in a number of days you choose but the camping happens for a single night only.
In the same way, I also stayed there for a night and enjoy all these activities. Thanks to Anandraj resort aka Golden Tower desert resort that provided me with a tent and sponsored my camping. Therefore, I am dedicating this post to camping and experiencing different activities Anandraj H&R had provided to me.
Camping with Golden Tower Resort:
About an hour drive along the highway 45 km from Jaisalmer, there is a land of shifting sand dunes. These sand dunes are known as Sam sand dunes and the land is Sam village. The vicinity of the village offers scenic views of sand and shrubs. Also, the village houses a number of resorts and camps along the road for the tourists.
One such resort is Golden Tower Resort where you will get your own tent and can experience all the camping activities. Besides the camping activities, the resort provides camel/jeep safaris. Since the sand dunes are just 2 km from the resort, we can easily experience sunset and sunrise. However, I have already shared about my tent and how the resort looks and provides facilities in the last post: Reviewing Golden tower hotel and camp resort.
Coming back to how one can reach the resort…
It is quite simple to reach the resort or any resort as you have many options. Either the resort manager provides jeep or there are other options available such as a local bus or a rented bike. In the same way, my resort manager also put these options in front of me. I chose to take a local bus timed at 3:00 PM. Since all the activities at resort start from 4:00 PM so it might be unreasonable to reach early.
Finally, I was there at the resort and it took nearly two long hours to reach the resort instead of an hour. The reason being was my bus; it didn’t start from Jaisalmer until it was full of passengers. This has cost me further because all the jeeps and camels of the resort were booked and I couldn’t do the safari. Even more, I couldn’t see the sunset. Seriously speaking, at that time I felt like somebody has stabbed me. However, my manager organised an early morning camel safari for me. Thank god at-least I was able to see that.
Anyway, I reached the resort, took my tent and refreshed myself. Now I decided to click the snaps of the resort and include them in this post…
K.D. Lang has truly said, “The sky is an infinite movie to me.”
Why should I go on a camel ride to see the sunset when such a beautiful sunset can be seen from the resort itself.
Even if I missed my camel ride, the aroma of this resort was quite rustic and luxurious at the same time. The presence was so sumptuous that it has enthralled me for the evening programs. The evening program starts nice evening snacks followed by cultural evening and bone-fire.
So let’s see how I spent my cultural evening there…
Getting indulge in the cultural evening is something which you should not miss on this trip. Every evening resorts organize Rajasthani cultural events where you will see Rajasthan’s rare music and dance performances. In the similar fashion, I was also fortunate to witness these events at Golden Tower resort. People start coming back from their safaris as the evening wore on. And now it was the time for snacks and cultural night.
The cultural night begins with a nice welcome music and hot delicious snacks. After that, the artists present Rajasthani folk dances, classical music, jugal-bandi, sher-o-shayari and much more to entertain me. These programs went on to indulge the audience for an hour and a half. And with every event, the artists tell the history behind these dances and songs. These songs were sung in welcome of the king of Rajasthan and now these were sung for guests. Afterall India is known for its “Atithi devo bhava” or “the guest is equivalent to god” slogan. This can be well experienced at Jaisalmer.
Thereafter as the cultural evening comes to an end, the artists called us to join them in bone-fire and dance with them. This went for another hour followed by fine dinner. For food lovers like me, Golden tower resort served delicious multi-cuisines including Rajasthan’s special Dal-Baati Churma. I just love it.
Certainly, this folk music, dance and the delicious food makes Rajasthan notable in the world. Besides Jaisalmer, there are other places in Rajasthan where you will witness these types of cultural evenings like in Udaipur, Jodhpur, Jaipur etc. Yet, according to me witnessing all these cultural programs in the middle of the desert is a worth.
Spending an awesome night in the chilling desert was my best experience in Jaisalmer. Here are some of my favourite clicks…
I got some lens flare while clicking the stars, don’t know how to remove these. Do you know how to remove it?
Now comes the most awaited part of my trip, “The Camel Safari”. Jaisalmer is known for it and I think for all of us the primary reason for visiting Jaisalmer is the camel safari.
Camel safari is one such memorable moment which every one of us wants to live. Moreover, watching a sunset/sunrise over the sand dunes while you are on the camel is an adventure of a lifetime. Similarly, I was thrilled to see this dream coming true. I could picture Indiana Jones riding a camel and even I could picture how my ride might go. Therefore, my manager has scheduled a camel safari for me so that I can experience a beautiful sunrise and click some photos.
So did my ride goes as per my expectation or not?
I got my camel early in the morning. The camel was well decorated in Rajasthani tradition as I dreamt off. My safari started from the resort’s back-end and went straight to a particular point in the sand dunes. From that point, tourists can witness the best sunset/sunrise. When I reach the point my camel rider said to me, “we will stay here for 10 minutes, you can see the sunrise and can click some photos”. And then we return back to the resort. The duration of this safari was 2 hours only.
However, the whole camel safari was not so up to my expectation. Since the Sam sand dunes are so much commercialised that the meaning of desert is dissolved. The trip has become so mechanical that there is less to enjoy. That’s the reason why I didn’t like this camel safari. One more thing is that the camel safari is not an actual safari but it is an hour camel ride.
The only great part of this early morning trip was the sunrise and because I was doing the camel ride for the first time so I felt amazing.
One last thing which you cannot ignore is that the camel safari might be an uncomfortable experience. If you have a back-pain than this ride is not for you. Camels are not horses, their body dimensions will make us uncomfortable. sitting astride on camel can be difficult.
Finally, my one-day camping and safari were complete and I think I have done justice with what stands up with the expectations and what not and I think most of us feels the same. Also, I think this short camel ride is not for the those who want to see the desert in depth.