have since long exerted an irresistible charm on the psyche of the humans,
the landscape inspiring different emotions in different people. And what
better way to explore this magical realm than on a camel back, for a camel
safari is one of the most adventurous of experiences, and indeed a novel
way to 'discover' the desert.
Camel safaris trace their origins
to the time of trade between India and China, when camel caravans would
journey along established trade routes laden with spices and herbs and
jewels. They provide an opportunity to get a glimpse of traditional Indian
life in the desert, with all the hardships, the beauty and the desolation.
The accommodation on the way consists of primitive thatched mud
huts, and the way of life-though hospitable-is entirely ethnic.
safaris generally cover the area around Jaisalmer, Bikaner or Jodhpur,
popularly known as the desert circuit. The duration can vary between one
day and two weeks. Big towns are not usually on the route though there is
no definite route that you have to adopt.
Route navigation in
the desert is an acquired art, and caravans must be manned by riders who
not only know how to study the stars, but also recognise the shifting
sands of the terrain.
A camel safari is exciting, but is not
exactly a relaxing vacation. Unless you are accustomed to horse-riding, a
day-long camel ride will be tiring. Even if you are accustomed to
horse-riding, since the gait of the camel is quite different, it may take
some time to get used to it.
Keeping in your seat as the camel
raises or lowers itself to the ground, can appear at first to be a losing
However, whether tiring or relaxing, a camel safari
is bound to be a unique experience.