Give the hills and beaches a break, travel instead to these marvellous desert destinations in India


Be it unwinding at a beach or jumping off a cliff, relaxation has different meaning for different people, but when we speak about deserts, it is a combination of both. Indian deserts can thrill you with safaris, camel rides and sand dunes; you can also chill with folk music, royal cuisine and picturesque view.

India is blessed with beautiful deserts and to guide you where to go, we have compiled a list of 5 desert destinations in India.

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Jaisalmer

 Jaisalmer
Nothing beats Rajasthan when it comes to deserts in India. Blessed with architecture, arts, culture and traditions, Jaisalmer is one of the best deserts in the royal state.

Things to do

Take a camel safari

Jeep safari

Visit the Desert National Park, the Jailsalmer Fort, the Golden Fortress

How to reach: Nearest airport and railway station is Jaisalmer

Stay: There are some good homestays at Jaisalmer. Uju’s Homestay, Camp Rawala Kanoi, Jhalodi are some of them.

Cold Desert of Trans Himalayas

 Cold Desert of Trans Himalayas
Desert mountain valley of Lahaul and Spiti is another unique biosphere. Located in Himachal Pradesh, this part of the Trans Himalayas has brown mountains devoid of any rainfall during any part of the year. It experiences snowfall for eight months and remains cut of from mainland. There is no vegetation that survives here.

Things to do

You can have a look the highest inhabited villages in the Himalayas.

You can take a look at the Spitian culture.

This is also a home to snow leopard, blue sheep, Tibetan wolf.

Take a walk across some of the most stunning landscapes in the Himalayas.

How to reach: It’s a 6 hour drive from Shimla in Himachal Pradesh. One can reach Shimla from Chandigarh.

Stay: Spiti Ecosphere provides good homestays in this area.

Khimsar

Khimsar
Located between Bikaner and Jodhpur, Khimsar is known for its princely fort built in the 16th Century.

With sand dunes, desert villages and a royal fort, Khimsar ranks as one of the most attractive desert destination in any travellers’ bucket list. Khimsar is more like a culture tour.

Things to do

Take a trip to the Panchala Black Buck Reserve

Visit the village of Khimsar to learn about local culture.

How to reach: Nearest rail head is Jodhpur. It’s a 2-hour drive from Jodhpur to Khimsar.

Stay: Khimsar Fort has a heritage hotel run by the royal family of the place.

Sam and Khuri Sand Dunes

 Sam and Khuri Sand Dunes
In the vicinity of Jaisalmer, these unexplored sand dunes are known for amazing camel rides and solitude of the rough terrains. While not much tourism has bloomed in yet, star gazing at night and spending some quality time with your date in a thatched hut are some of the activities to do here.

How to reach: Sam and Khuri are reachable from Jaisalmer.

Stay: Camping out in the desert is the best option. Also available are some homestays at Khuri like Mamas and Badal House.

Great Rann of Kutch

 Great Rann of Kutch
This is a marshy saline clay desert in Gujarat. Known for its white texture, thanks to the salty clay and mudflats, Kutch is the largest salt desert in the world.

Things to do
Follow the calendar. Take a romantic walk in the Rann on a full moon night and it would be a ‘walk to remember’.

Being at the Rann Utsav between November to February is also an experience.

How to reach: It’s a 2 hours drive from Ahmadabad.

Stay: There are plenty of home stays at Kutch apart from regular hotels. Rann Riders, Desert Adventures in Little Rann and Shaam -e-Sarhad, Devpur Home Stay in Great Rann and Bhuj

Note: Being a border area, this place needs a permit, which is available at the check posts on the way.
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