Rajasthan is one of the most traveled to destinations in India. Shay Mitchell’s video is one of the most recent evidences of this. There are many ways to go about exploring this versatile state. For starters, you can take a train, a flight or embark on a good ol’ road trip. Personally I think the last option is the best (provided that your starting point isn’t several days away); it’s just more convenient and cabs can get mighty expensive when you’re a tourist.
Rajasthan is home to a truckload of havelis and heritage hotels but if you’re looking for something a little less lavish (read: bank breaking), you might want to take the camping route or - since I don’t particularly promote peeing in the wild - glamping.
Damodra Camp is one of the many places offering glamping. For the uninitiated, glamping is essentially the same as camping, but more comfortable and luxurious. Damodar encompasses this beautifully. Tents are furnished with comfy beds with thick mattresses, portable air conditioners, proper lights and a spacious bathroom with 24/7 running hot water.Sign up for a stay here and you’ll be privy not just to the luxury Swiss tents but nightly folk dances along with appetisers, chai, dinner and your choice of alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks. The good folks of Damodar also include a camel ride to the centre of the dunes from where you can watch the sunset in its full glory. I’m really not much of a tree-hugger but this sunset aims to change lives. Seeing people meditate and perform yoga asanas as it envelops the desert in its warm subtle glow is bound to put the most stressed out minds to ease. You can also go sand-sledding here; it’s exactly what it sounds like. Set your butts on a wooden board and submit yourself to the desert gods as you speed down the slippery sand. Be prepared to be taking out sand grains from your shoes, clothes and even your delicates for hours after this.
The camp is a small world on its own as there’s plenty going on - don’t miss out on twirling with the folk dancers and performers balance flames on their heads and dance amidst them - A song of fire and wine, if you will. You’ll come across THE most hospitable people here; a friend’s birthday happened to take place here and they were more than happy to arrange a cake (on the house), get some dhol playing during the cake cutting and even burst a few firecrackers! *
Of course you will be aching to get out too, if you’re staying beyond one night. The Jaisalmer Fort Market takes you straight to a bygone era. Peddlers selling everything from antique jewellery, quirky t shirts, linen, home decor, leather belts and shoes to little souvenir items. The sheer colours are enough to keep you captivated. If you’re around in the evening, a cup of kesar chai might be a pleasant idea. There’s plenty of eateries around: You can get yourself a plate of noodles or momos at Little Tibet Restaurant (their rooftop has the most kickass view of the fort, btw), kachoris or chill with a plate of pancakes (don’t order anything else here) and fresh orange juice at this chill cafe called… Cafe.
Glamping in Jaisalmer constitutes the perfect weekend mini vacation. It was nice to get out of the concrete jungle i.e. Delhi and plunge into a desert of culture. We could either choose to extend our adventure on to Jodhpur or come back to the comfortable clutches of home. What would you do?
PS: You can check out Damodra and make booking here or find something on your own - they're all apparently quite similar.
*Note: We didn’t know this was in the pipelines. Air pollution is real and we don’t promote bursting crackers for any occasion but at that moment, we took it as the sweet gesture it was.
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