A 40 km excursion from Jaisalmer city is the desert village of Sam, which has a band of sand dunes about 2 km in length. Through this stretch there are dozens of resorts offering swiss tents and cottages. The dunes starts getting crowded as the sun goes down and be prepared to be chased by the tenacious camel owners offering short rides across the sands.
|Sunset at Sam dunes|
|Dunes of Sam|
|One of the resorts at Sam offering Swiss tents|
The next day morning was something which we were more excited about, which is the sand dunes jeep safari.
They take you out to the sand dunes near Kanoi where the over three bands of sand dunes of over 3km in length. They are much better than the one near sam village. The crowd here was also less compared to Sam, since it is away from the highway. The bumpy jeep ride was a nice experience so far, but we were waiting for that adventurous dune ride. We reached the the dunes much before the sunrise and again we were surrounded by the camel owners, which was quite disappointing. As we had thought these dunes are far from Kanoi village and weren't expecting so many camel owners annoying to take the ride, making it somewhere to avoid if you’re after a solitary desert experience.
It was freezing in the middle of the desert and the cold sand was acting as if it were ice. Couldn't resist went for a camel ride while enjoying the sunrise, and after spending a while walking in the dunes we felt tired as the sand is so fine grained that your foot goes inside the sand about four inches deep and one can hardly hold the sand in your palms. Definitely not the same sand you see in our cities used for building houses.
|Sunrise at the Thar desert, Kanoi|
|Sand dunes of Thar desert, Kanoi|
Kuldhara is an abandoned village, about 200 years ago the entire community of the village abandoned the place and left to unknown place, due to the unbearable torture from the then prime minister of the state Salim Singh. The legend says it that Salim Singh wanted to marry the daughter of the village head forcefully and threatened the village if his wish was not fulfilled. The village heads decided to leave their forefathers homeland and vanish along with the rest of the people in the village. Another legend has to say that the villagers were unable to pay the high taxes imposed by Salim singh and they disappeared abandoning the villages. But none of them know where the Paliwals left and where there generations are staying in today's world.
|The house of the village head (right), Kuldhara village|
|The remains of the abandoned village of Kuldhara|
We left the place towards Jaisalmer.
|Desert plants of Thar desert|
About 5km away from Jaisalmer is an artistic marvel at Lodurva, Amar Sagar Jain temple. The temple is one of the finest examples of the yellow sandstone sculptures of Jaisalmer art. Amar sagar is the lake surrounding the temple, which is mostly found dry in present days. It is worth the visit during your Jaisalmer visit.
|Intricate carvings of the Amar sagar Jain temple|
|Interiors of the Amar sagar Jain temple|