“My senses are engaged with the tones of the Thar Desert and the remarkable journey we all experienced in one week of travel, indulged on all levels as we cruised across Rajasthan on our luxury bus, together with the wisdom of our guide, Durga.” – Andrea Sternberg
“I cannot for fear of being accused of gushing, repeat again the accolades which Timeless India Journeys deserves for organising this seamless magical India ride… I’m back in CT, but I tell you, I am still on that ride.” – Gene Stern
Once the wealthy trading city of worldly merchants, Jaisalmer retains an air of opulence and dignity in a land of glittering sand and sun. We stayed just outside the city, at The Sarai – a luxurious desert camp and spa, set on a hundred-acre private estate of indigenous desert scrub. The camp design draws inspiration from the royal caravan sites of Rajputana; blending their dash and vivacity with modern amenities and services.
From here, we set out to explore Jaisalmer, the city of gilded magic. Its centerpiece is the fort made of golden coloured stones and referred to as the “Golden Fort”. On Trikuta hill, 99 grand bastions reveal exquisite havelis. The best stone-craftsmen in the land were imported by trade merchants to lend their expertise and their legacy is found in facades adorned with sculptural embellishment, elegant screen windows, ornate pavilions and beautiful balconies. We stood almost 100m above the city on its yellow sandstone walls and took in the remarkable view of the town and the rocky landscape beyond.
Back at The Sarai after a day of time traveling we made use of the Ayurvedic spa facility, the beautiful pool and went walking in the magnificent surrounding desert. One lunchtime, they organised an interactive cooking session with the chef using produce from The Sarai’s organic herb and vegetable garden for sumptuous local meal. One of the other highlights was the camel safari, which ended at the top of the dunes, offering breathtaking views of the sunset against the backdrop of the mighty Thar desert. On our final night, we enjoyed a bush dinner on the outskirts of the Sarai with a Tribal Ghair dance show. It was a magical experience, satisfying all the senses.