Ideal Time: 2-3 hrs
Open Time: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Cost: Entry fee: INR 100 per person,
Jeep Safari (excludes jeep cost):
Indian: INR 50 per person,
Foreigner: INR 300 per person
Camel Safari: Negotiable
Situated near the town of Jaisalmer, Desert national park is one of the largest of its kind in the country, encompassing an area of 3162 sq kms. The park seems endless and covers a huge area extending from Jaisalmer/Barmer all the way to the India-Pakistan border. The intriguing landmark offers everything one can expect from a desert ecosystem, craggy rocks and compact salt lake bottoms, intermedial areas and fixed dunes. The dunes consist of about 20% of the park. The entire area is covered with thorny bushes, cacti and a few desert plants. If you want to explore the majestic wildlife at the Desert National Park, then the best way to do so is by going for an adventure-filled jeep safari which will be an entirely new exciting experience.
Animals: The wildlife found at the park includes the spiny-tail lizard, desert monitors, sandfish, deadly vipers and Krait. Desert and Bengal Foxes are a common feature in the park and can be seen near the karir trees while relishing on berries. Apart from that Blackbuck Antelope, cervicapra Rajputana chinkara (mountain gazelle), Gazeella gazelle, Indian fox Vulpes, Bengalensis and desert cat Felis libyes can also be found.
Birds: Desert national park is a haven for bird watchers. The birds truly are the star species of the park that houses over 120 species of resident as well as migratory birds within its parameters. The endangered Great Indian Bustard can be easily spotted at the here in good numbers. Apart from that other common birds such as Patridges, Falcons, Eagles, Vultures, Bee-Eaters, Shrikes, Larks, Demoiselle Crane, Macqueen’s Bustard, Sandgrouse, Long-Legged and Honey Buzzards etc. can also be seen. Vultures soaring high in the sky and makes up for a magnificent sight. Larks and wheatears can be spotted in abundant numbers near the waterholes and ponds.
Reptiles: Several members of the reptiles group are found in the park. Some of them are the spiny-tailed lizard, monitor lizard, saw-scaled viper, Russell's viper, common krait.
Vegetation: Vegetation here is sparse and limits itself to patches of sewan grass, aak shrub and cacti. The landscape comprises of craggy rocks, compact salt lake bottom and lots of fixed and shifting dunes.
Jeep/Car: INR 100,
Guide Fee: INR 200
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The best time to visit the park is from October to March. Given the climate, it is not advisable to travel to the region in summers. The daytime temperature remains very high and usually touches around 42 degrees Celcius in summers. Nights are relatively cooler typical of arid desert climate. Winters in Jaisalmer are comparatively cooler with day temperature remaining pleasant around 24 degrees Celcius and the nights are chilly wi the h temperature getting as low as 7 to 8 degrees Celcius. As Jaisalmer is situated in the middle of Thar Des the rt, monsoon is almost negligible and Jaisalmer remains dry for most parts of the year.
Air: Though Jaisalmer is not directly connected to Airways, Jodhpur airport which is 300 Km away is the nearest airport. From Jodhpur, you can hire cabs or take a train journey to reach the park.
Rail: Jaisalmer railhead is the nearest railhead to Desert National Park. You can also travel to Jaisalmer by the exotic Palace on Wheels.
Road: Jaisalmer is well connected to the rest of state by roads. Deluxe & general buses of Rajasthan Roadways & Private companies run from Jaisalmer to Jodhpur, Jaipur, Bikaner, Barmer, Mount Abu, Jalore, Ahmedabad etc. The main bus stand opposite Railway station & Golden bus terminal near State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, Shiv road, Jaisalmer are the two main bus stands.
Local transportations in Jaisalmer are Auto rickshaw and bicycles. Auto rickshaws are a comfortable mode of transportation. Take rickshaws when you move on congested roads. Cabs are also available to go around the place. Both government-operated and private-operated cabs are available. Go for government operated ones that have authentic rate-cards.
To visit the Desert National Park, you should base yourself at Jaisalmer, where there are plenty of hotels to stay at. There are a number of choices at Khuri, but you should do a day-trip to Sudahsri. Spending a night or two in Sam or Khuri during the high season, October to February is also a good option. You will need to book a jeep from Jaisalmer itself though. Deoki Niwas Palace, Gorbandh Palace, Hotel Victoria, Jaisal Castle, etc. are some of the good hotels in Jaisalmer.
Sam Sand Dunes: Located close to the national park, the dunes are the most popular sightseeing location in the city. The desert stretches as far as the eyes can see. The dunes are beautiful and an absolute delight to watch. It is a must to witness the sunrise/sunset in the desert. You can also see local villager dancing and singing to entertain the crowd.
Gadesar Lake: The marvellous lake is a rainwater conservatory built in 14th to provide for water during droughts. It is surrounded by intricately carved, petite temples. To reach the lake, you have to pass through a magnificent gateway made of sandstone, popularly known as tilon-ki-pol. The enthralling lake also houses a number of migratory birds.
Camel Safari: Laid-back Camel safaris are a very popular way to experience the national park. Sitting atop a Gailey dressed camel, and riding across rolling dunes and barren plains is a beautiful experience. When you enter the national park, you will see many different camels herders offering rides at a negotiable price (usually starts at INR 200). You can ride the camel rides for hours and enjoy the sunset from the camel’s back. Also, the camel rides make up for a really good picture.
Jeep Safari: You can also sign up for an enthralling and adventurous jeep Safari ride, bashing the dunes of the desert, while watching the magnificent birds in the sky. Hold on to the jeep tightly as the vehicle speeds over huge dunes. The Safari runs on a 12 km trail and takes around 30 minutes to complete. The jeep and vehicles for the wildlife Safari are registered, and any outside vehicle is not allowed.
Your visit to Jaisalmer would be incomplete if you don't shop for some typical Jaisalmer goods as mementoes. A wide variety of traditional Rajasthani handicrafts are available in Jaisalmer which is known for embroidery, Rajasthani mirror work, rugs, blankets, antiques and old stonework. If you want to buy fabrics such as Tie-dye, try the government operated Khadi Gram Udyog Bhavan. Traditional rugs, handwoven blankets and shawls in typical Rajasthani colour and weave are also available here. The shopping hubs include Sadar Bazar, Sonaron ka Bass, Manak Chowk, Pansari Bazar, Gandhi Darshan, Seema gram, Rajasthani Govt. shop and Khadi Gram Udyog Emporium.
Jaisalmer district is imparted with art, architecture, culture and traditions full of colour and music and thereby attracting hordes of domestic and foreign tourists. The folk music of desert is a remarkable zenith of old traditions amalgamated with varied social customs and an inherent concept of classical music showcasing the life of the desert. Being in the neighbourhood the language, culture and traditions of the people of the district are influenced by the culture of Sindh. The people of the desert are very jovial and friendly.
Jaisalmer doesn't have much of a nightlife, but plenty of liveliness in the form of traditional dances, a desert light show and the like. Most hotels have evening entertainment shows and cultural programs for their guests, so there is not a chance you will have a dull evening. All the five-star hotels have their own private bars and clubs night.
As a tourist, you must try out various traditional Rajasthan dishes and food that are available in this beautiful desert city as well. The 'murgh-e-subz' os tender, boneless strips of chicken stir-fried with shredded vegetables, is one must try. You must also try the 'ker sangri' (desert beans and capers). If you have a robust appetite, the tandoor thali tops will be perfect for you. Sensitive stomachs can go for the kadi pakoras, flour dumplings cooked in yoghurt sauce, orbhanon aloo, potatoes filled with mint paste and dipped in gravy.
Reach Jaisalmer and check into a hotel of your choice. Reach the Desert National Park and book a jeep for safari. Enjoy the beauty of this park and the wildlife for 2-3 hours. After that, go for a lunch as some nearby restaurant and try the delicious Rajasthani cuisine. In evening go visit other places of Jaisalmer such as the Jaisalmer fort, the Gadsisar Lake, Amar Sagar Lake, Bada Bagh Jaisalmer, Wood Fossil Park Jaisalmer, Khuri Sand Dunes, Lodurva Jaisalmer, Mool Sagar, Phalodi Travel, Sam Sand Dunes. If you have more time on your hands, you can also visit Jodhpur which is a few kms away from Jaisalmer.
1. As expected the mornings in the area is quite hot even during the winter, so it is recommended hat and sunglasses.
2. The desert is very windy, so take a hat or a scarf to save yourself from the sand.
3. The night time is freezing, bring extra sweaters and winter clothes to stay warm.
4. There are many hotels providing tent accommodation within the desert itself, the tents might be sandy and facilities scarce, but to spend the night in the desert, is a unique experience and should not be left out. You can spend the night here while stargazing and eating traditional Rajasthani cuisine. Bonfires are also organised here at night with local dances dancing on folk tunes.
5. Visit the isolated villages near the park to get a better understanding of the lives of people living in the harsh environment.
6. Be on the lookout for a place that can afford a magical sunrise and sunset views.
7. Listen to the tour guide reciting tales about the culture and hardships of the desert people.
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