Know more about the desert destinations in Rajasthan
When one talks about deserts in India. the 1st name that comes to mind is Rajasthan, which is somehow right & wrong too.
Right, as you will deserts only in Rajasthan (in India), & wrong as Rajasthan isn’t, as most of western part, from Pushkar to Jaisalmer, comes under Thar desert.
Thar desert is 18th largest desert area in whole world, & is in both India & Pakistan. In India’s site, you will find many sand dunes that have wild vegetation. but still there are around 7 desert dune area, that are authentic desert sites.
When I use the term “authentic” I meant real desert sites in Rajasthan, where you will find sand dunes that are 20-50 meters tall, & many desert tourism related activities like Camel safari, Jeep safari, dune bashing, desert camping & in some places “Paragliding”.
Plus these deserts are some of the best places to capture sunset or sunrise, with tour camera, or mobile. So, in this post of Deserts in Rajasthan, I’ve shared 7 authentic desert sand dune sites in Rajasthan, along with all the activities that you can enjoy here.
List of 7 desert sites in Rajasthan
1. Sam Sand Dunes (Jaisalmer)
#1 of 7 deserts in Rajasthan
Jaisalmer, is the best city in Thar desert Rajasthan that has some of the best desert sites in whole state, and among the 2 sites, the number 1 is Sam sand dune.
Sam is around 45 km away from Jaisalmer city & is one of the biggest sand dune area on whole Rajasthan. Here you will find dunes that are 30-60 meter tall & around 4-5 km of pure sand dune area with very little vegetation.
The main area of Sam, as no trees & just sand dunes, which is the perfect place for travellers searching for instagrammable landscapes.
To reach here, you need to book a Jaisalmer to Sam taxi, that cost around Rs 2000 & takes like 40-50 minutes. Once you are here, you can enjoy activities like:
- Camel & Jeep Safari
- View of best sunset in whole India
- Dune bashing with Quad bikes
Since, Sam Jaisalmer is a popular tourist site in Rajasthan, you will also find more than 50 desert camp resorts (including ours, Rajputana Desert Camp), where you can enjoy a Traditional Rajasthan folk dance program, & later spend a night in a desert camp.
If you like more relaxing kind of activity, then just enjoy camel safari ride at the dunes & spend a night in nearby villages. You will find many small guest houses Sam town area.
2. Khuri Sand Dunes (Jaisalmer)
#2 of 7 deserts in Rajasthan
Most tourists flock to the more famous Sam Sand Dunes near Jaisalmer, which is why it’s so much full of visitors. But there are sand dunes near Jaisalmer, such as Khuri sand dunes, which are devoid of huge crowds, and you will not only find peace here, but equally spectacular sand dunes.
Khuri is a small village south of Jaisalmer, and you will have to travel 40 kms to come to see the sand dunes here.
The sands here are smooth, and the dunes will seem to stretch all the way to the horizon.
Such is the beauty of Khuri sand dunes that you will feel like climbing up the crests of these sand dunes, and rolling down the troughs, picking up fistful of sands and throwing up in the air.
It’s the natural desert landscape, with earthen huts, and simple village life. Staying in one of these mud houses will give you a glimpse into the nomadic lifestyle of tribes.
One thing to enjoy here at Khuri sand dunes, other than the camel rides, is to look at the dark night sky, and marvel at the stars.
It’s no doubt, Khuri sand dunes are less frequented by tourists, but it’s this isolated location that’s what makes it such a temptation to visit.
Also check out our post on Sand dunes of Jaisalmer
3. Mahabar desert (Barmer)
#3 of 7 deserts in Rajasthan
Just a 15 minute drive from Barmer will bring you to Mahabar Sand Dunes.
Here, though the sand dunes are spread over a small area, but the sand dunes are big, and at times of sunset, the yellow sand dunes appear golden.
Photographers love this place due to its photogenic appeal.
Just take some time off your tour itinerary to sit on these sand dunes, and gaze at the sunsets, or play with the sands, or make interesting shapes in the sand.
If you want some relaxation then visit these Mahabar Sand Dunes and you will love the isolation and serenity of the place.
4. Osian desert (Jodhpur)
#4 of 7 deserts in Rajasthan
Tourists come to Osian to visit its magnificent Hindu and Jain temples. But it’s also a region of sand dunes, and Osian Sand Dunes are a major tourist attraction near Jodhpur.
You can come here and stay in luxurious tents, and go for a camel or jeep safari into the desert.
The remote surroundings of Osian make it a prime attraction, and together with the temples, the sand dunes are one of the most beautiful ones near Jodhpur.
To come to Osian sand dunes, you will have to drive 66 km and will take within 2 hours.
It’s a good day’s outing from Jodhpur, and one of the best places to go on a camel safari.
Also checkout out Jodhpur taxi service
5. Khimsar desert Sand Dunes (Khimsar)
#5 of 7 deserts in Rajasthan
You will not get a more remote location than Khimsar to watch the breath-taking beauty of sand dunes.
Khimsar is a small village close to Nagaur, and it’s where the Thar Desert actually starts and advances westwards into Rajasthan.
There is a luxury resort here, and a solitary lake which is quite a beautiful tourist attraction. But there are no words to describe the beauty of the sand dunes here.
These rise over the surrounding plains, and the palm trees that grow in the sands, add a dash of green to the already stunning landscape.
But the desert is not completely barren here. You will find wildlife like Desert Fox, Nigai, Blackbucks, Demoiselle Cranes, Partridges and other species in wildlife sanctuaries around this region.
There are some attractions close by like Khimsar Fort, Nagaur Fort and others, which you can visit close to Khimsar Sand Dunes.
6. Bikaner Desert
#6 of 7 deserts in Rajasthan
Like in other areas of Rajasthan, you will find sand dunes near Bikaner too.
Sand dunes here are more gently sloping, and not very high. But there are covered in a larger area, and interspersed with desert vegetation and cacti.
You will find the camel ride to be one of the best things to do in the sand dunes.
Come here in January, and you will see camels in all their dazzling decorations. You can even go for a jeep safari in the sand dunes, and adventure loving people will find it more thrilling.
It’s not surprising that Bikaner has a major research centre on camels where one can see camels race with each other on the desert sands.
A Camel Fair is also held where you can see different breeds of camels.
You can also see other desert creatures in the sands here, if you are lucky. And don’t forget to see the golden sunsets from these sand dunes.
Also checkout our Bikaner taxi service.
7. Pushkar Desert
#7 of 7 deserts in Rajasthan
Pushkar is one of the holiest cities for the Hindus, and a major tourist destination of Rajasthan. It’s a city that’s surrounded by desert sands.
The sand dunes here are not as spectacular as that around Jaisalmer, but they are the best places to go for exploring the rural village in Rajasthan.
You can go on a camel ride, or drive around in a camel cart to explore unseen regions of Thar Desert.
The caretaker of the camel will be your guide and will give you interesting facts about villages.
Check out our Ajmer taxi service, which is 15 km away from Pushkar.
Activities you can enjoy in Rajasthan deserts (Rajasthan desert tourism)
Increasing tourist inflow to the sand dunes of Rajasthan has led to increased activities in the desert. You can find so many thrilling and relaxing activities that can be done in Thar Desert. Take a look at some of these activities below:
1. Desert Safari at Sam sand dune Jaisalmer
in Sam Sand Dunes, you will find some interesting activities to do. Going on a Desert Safari is one of the most popular activities, as it lets you have a close look at the desert terrain of Thar Desert.
You can go on a camel safari and ride deep into the remote areas of the desert to see the natural beauty of sand dunes.
The unhurried pace at which the camel walks on the sand is what will make this camel ride an unbelievable adventure. It will be a bumpy ride, yet give you so much excitement.
Jeep Safari is also one way to see the desert in Sam Sand Dunes. If you are one of those daring sorts, then experience the adrenaline rush of Dune Bashing, where your vehicle rides the sand dunes at crazy speeds.
Checkout our Jaisalmer desert safari tours, starting at Rs 500 per person (Camel or Jeep), and also our Jaisalmer Jeep Safari tours.
2. Camel safari in Pushkar
The most exciting thing about Pushkar Camel Safari is that you can not only go on a camel ride, but see interesting tourist places around the town of Pushkar sitting on a camel’s back.
You can have a short 1 hour camel safari, or even go for an overnight experience of a camel ride. You can explore and see village life at close range, and learn about camels and many stories revolving around camels.
A camel safari in Pushkar will show you a rich diversity of visuals, from crimson sunsets and yellow sand dunes, to rustic hamlets, village life, tourist spots and more.
3. Desert Camping at Sam sand dune
A desert camping experience at Sam Sand Dunes is a must-have, if you are visiting Jaisalmer. Here, the camps are not those shoddy kinds of temporary pitched tents, devoid of basic needs.
Instead, you will find everything that’s needed for a modern traveller, like attached washrooms, beds, running water, verandahs in these luxurious Swiss tents. Plus, you get your meals, and enjoy a range of activities like bonfire parties, musical dance by Kalbeliya and other tribal artists, camel safari and more.
A stay at these camps will bring you close to the rustic side of Rajasthan, so that you can get to know about villages and rural folk, their lifestyles, their traditions and many more interesting facts.
4. Luxury desert camping at Khimsar desert camp
If you want to see the wilderness of the desert, yet enjoy a luxurious stay while getting a royal feel of Rajasthani hospitality, then Khimsar desert camping is what you need.
The camps here are not your traditional tented accommodation, but you will find hut-like structures built right in the middle of the sand dunes.
They are built to give you a feel of Rajasthani village life, but inside there is every basis facility you will need – running water, bathrooms, beds, traditional décor, furniture etc.
You will get your own verandah where you can just lie down on your chairs beside a little blue pond, and gaze at the ducks and swimming fishes.
And then, you get your breakfast and other meals served in traditional Rajasthani style, and you can go camel riding into the desert areas.
It’s a desert experience which will linger in your memory long before you’ve left Khimsar Sand Dunes.