Khuri Sand Dunes are the true embodiment of the Thar desert in Rajasthan. They are mysterious, uncanny and ravishing. In this harsh and futile wilderness nature endures. Visit here if you want to be a part of the complete desert experience.
Khuri lies on the edge of the Desert National Park surrounded by extensive sand dunes. It is located 40 kms south-west of Jaisalmer. Mysterious solitude, strong hot winds and arid, desert always seem like merciless and hostile lands.
Vacationing at Khuri sand dunes in India’s biggest desert ‘The Thar’ had me enchanted to the incredible landscape and the endless starry sky.
In the current piece on Khuri Sand Dunes, I will help you explore the best travel aspects of the place.
Khuri Sand Dunes : An Overview
|State||Rajasthan, West India|
|Nearest Airport||Jaisalmer Airport, 40 kms from Khuri Village|
|Best Time to Visit||October to April|
|Climate||Summer 25 to 49 degree Celsius, Winter 5 to 23 degree Celsius|
|Main Attractions||Kuldhara Abandoned Village, Patwaon Ki Haveli, Desert National Park, Jeep Safari, Camel Safari, A Night on the Sand Dunes Gazing Stars|
|Safety For Women Backpackers||Very Safe|
History of Khuri
|Khuri is the central village of many smaller settlements ruled by the Rajput Sodhas for over 400 years. The population of the village is around 4000. It is believed that many years ago some wandering nomads inhabited the village and stayed forever.
The village was for long an unexplored destination for the world of enthusiast travelers. It all started in the early nineteen eighty’s, when a local tour guide named Bhagwan Singh took the onus on himself to bring the tourists and travel groups to Khuri sand dunes.
His efforts created a source of revenue for the locals as home-stays and guest houses were the only available accommodations back then. The huts in the village were initially made of mud and cow dung and had a roof of grass straws. The huts were often decorated using incised designs.
The material used to make the huts were effective to keep the rooms warm in winter and cool in summer. The vessels used for cooking and eating were also made of mud and clay in the village by the potters.
With changing times, one can observe the effect of transformation on the construction of houses near Khuri sand dunes. Stones have replaced the old, traditional materials of building houses.
Not every villager has welcomed such a change with open arms. There are still a few who believe to preserve their deep rooted culture.
Khuri village, with time and efforts of Mr. Bhagwan Singh, who is locally know as ‘Tiger Chief’, has seen a new phase of development over the years.
The village near now has its own primary and secondary school, a hospital, a post office and an animal hospital. Though a lot has been accomplished but there is still scope of improvisation.
You will find women in the village dressed up in their traditional attire called ghaghra and odhni. The old men of the village still adorn their customary outfit called tevta and kameez along with a saafaa (rajasthani turban).
Farming in Rajasthan depends majorly upon rains. A good monsoon means a happy farmer. The main crops grown near Khuri sand dunes are Til, Moong, Bajra and Chana.
A major thing that attracts tourist to this village and Khuri sand dunes is its raw beauty. It is still untouched from the clutches of modern day commercialization and stands proud with its culture and heritage.
Getting to Khuri Sand Dunes Jaisalmer
You can reach Khuri sand dunes through a number of ways. Some are more reasonable than others –
|By road||Distance to Khuri from New Delhi (India’s capital) is 860 kms. The drive to Khuri is very long and can be exhausting.
A better plan would be to break the journey mid way and then travel.
|By train||Travelling by train to Jaisalmer is yet another option. Once in Jaisalmer take a taxi to Khuri village, which would cost around Rs. 2000/-.|
|By flight||Book a noon Spice Jet that flies daily from New Delhi to Jaisalmer.
It is the only flight option available as of now.
If you are on a tight schedule, the best and quick option to get there is by air.
Travel Tips for Visiting Khuri Sand Dunes
|There are no big markets to shop around in the village. There are just 3 grocery shops for daily needs essentials and vegetables. So make sure to pick up stuff you need from there.|
|Stroll in the village near Khuri Sand Dunes whenever you can. Talking to the locals can be quite knowledgeable. The villagers are very warm and welcoming. They are happy to let you click their pictures.|
|Always carry a light woolen garment with you when in the Khuri sand dunes. Winter evenings can be unreasonably cold.|
|Do not forget to carry the flash light whenever you go out in the evenings.|
|Drink lots of water at all times. Stay hydrated all the time|
|Always carry enough cash with you, as there is only one ATM in the village which is mostly out of order|
Things to Carry While Venturing into Khuri Sand Dunes
|One or two pairs of long trousers|
|Long sleeve shirts|
|A hat for the day time|
|Warm cap for night time|
|A scarf to cover head and/or face while on a camel safari|
|Suncream (SPF 30 at least),|
Music Festivals Taking Place in Khuri Sand Dunes Jaisalmer
Sandscape is the main Music Festivals that happens in the Khuri sand dunes.
Sandscape music festival is an Indo-European collective that brings together the local, national and international artists from various art forms of music, dance and creative visuals to perform at one platform.
Started in the year 2015, Sandscape has marked its place to bridge the gap in the tourism industry and help the regional folk artist reach the hearts of millions.
The live acts and electronic and folk artist performances supported by 3-D Visual Mapping and Interactive Arts are an audio-visual treat for the guests.
It is a two day festival and happens every year in the second week of February in the Khuri Sand Dunes. Tickets can be booked online. You can either pre book the luxury swiss tents available at the festival venue in the sand dunes or you can bring along your own tents
Swiss tents are the available accommodations. Prices for the same may vary from Rs. 12,500/- to Rs. 60,000/- depending upon whether you choose a simple or a premium swiss tent and the number of people sharing the tent one, two or three.
You are also welcome to carry your own tents to the festival. There is a nominal charge to put it on the festival premises. All the prices are inclusive of the Festival Entry Pass.
Where to Stay and What to Expect Near Khuri Sand Dunes ? A descent number of staying options are available. It is advisable to pre book the accommodation near Khuri Sand Dunes. You will mostly find resorts or guest houses. In some resorts breakfast and dinner are inclusive.
|The Mama’s Resort & Camp
|Luxury Swiss Tent: Cost Rs. 7000/- single occupancy & Rs. 8500/- double occupancy / per night
Super Deluxe Cottage: Cost Rs. 7000/- single occupancy & Rs. 8500/- double occupancy / per night
Cottage: Cost Rs. 5500/- single occupancy & Rs. 6500/- double occupancy / per night
Package 2night/3days: Has a wide range of inclusions. Cost varies from 9,500/- to 13,500 depending upon the type of accommodation chosen.
|Registhan Guest House||Luxury Tent: Cost Rs. 4000/- per night for 2 adults
Swiss Tent: Cost Rs. 2999/- per night for 2 adults
Hut/Cottage: Cost Rs. 1999/- per night for 2 adults
Deluxe Room: Cost Rs. 1899/- per night for 2 adults
* cost of the rooms may vary according to the month of travel
|The Sand Dunes Resort||Swiss Tent: Cost Rs. 4000/- single occupancy & Rs. 7000/- double occupancy / per night
Cottage: Cost Rs. 3000/- single occupancy & Rs. 5000/- double occupancy / per night
* cost of the rooms may vary according to the month of travel
|Pal Rajah Resort||Delux Swiss Tent: Cost Rs. 5500/- per night for 2 adults
Mud Cottage: Cost Rs. 4200/- per night for 2 adults
Mama’s Resort and Camp. Photography by Prachi Mendiratta
Resorts in Khuri are lit beautifully at night. Picture credits: Mama’s Resort and Camp
Nearly all the resorts and camps near Khuri sand dunes take the opportunity to recreate the experience of Rajasthani culture for their guests. Winter evenings at Khuri sand dunes begin with a camp fire and music and dance performances by regional folk artists.
Imagine every night over-looking the starry sky and drenching yourself in the tunes of local folk talent just playing for you. An over indulgence into the solitude of soul yet staying close to humanity. It indeed is once in a lifetime experience.
Desert Attractions at Khuri Sand Dunes
An Elaboration of Desert Attractions at Khuri Sand Dunes
Camel Safari at Khuri sand dunes exports you to just another world of folklore and mysteries that surrounds the desert. The safari routes through the village and deep into the Khuri sand dunes.
The seemingly monotonous barren desert and drifting Khuri sand dunes transform into a ravishing beauty just as the moonlight brightens the night sky.
|Best time to go for a camel safari is either at sunrise (5 am to 7 pm) or at sunset (4 pm to 7 pm). The tour fare is Rs. 500/- per person. A short camel ride in the dunes would cost around Rs. 250/- to Rs. 300/-.
The bookings can be done through the resort you opt to stay in.
If you are looking for some adventure you must explore the Khuri sand dunes in a jeep safari. These are done on 4*4 jeeps apt to ride on the khuri sand dunes and the higher crests.
If you get lucky you might also spot antelopes, deer and desert fox.
The best time to visit is either at the sunrise or at the sunset. One jeep allows a maximum of 5 people.
|The cost of whole jeep for three hours is Rs. 2000/- for 3 people the cost is Rs. 1000/- per person and for 2 the cost is Rs. 750/- per person.
The bookings can be done through the resort you opt to stay in.
If you imagine sleeping under the stars, then night safari in the Khuri sand dunes is a must. You will leave from your resort at 9.30 pm after the dinner. A 4*4 jeep will take you into the middle of the Khuri sand dunes.
You will be left there to enjoy the starry night sky all by yourself. This could be a best time for self retrospection or to just soak your soul in the magnificence of the gleaming white moon light.
|It is advisable to carry your sleeping bags with you to the dunes. In case, you do not have a sleeping bag, the resort will make the necessary arrangements for the stay.
Next morning after the sunrise, the jeep will return to take you back to your resort.
Places worth a Visit Near Khuri Sand Dunes
|1.||Desert National Park|
|2.||Kuldhara Abandoned Village|
|3.||Patwaon ki Haveli|
An Elaboration of Places Worth a Visit Near Khuri Sand Dunes
Desert National Park
|It is one of the largest national parks covering an area of 3162 km square. A haven for migratory and resident birds of the Khuri sand dunes, it is equally famous for sheltering the endangered Great Indian Bustard. Other species that can be seen at the desert national park are Chinkaaras and desert fox.
To visit the park you need a permit from the office of the Deputy Director of Desert National Park, Khuri. The permit can be organized by the resort you are staying. Permit Fees for Indians is Rs. 50/- and for foreigners it is Rs. 300/-. There is a vehicle fee of Rs. 200/- and guide fee of Rs. 200/-. If you opt for a camel cart it would cost Rs. 700/- per person for three hours. Timings to visit the part are 10 am to 5 pm.
Carry a light woollen jacket all the time at Khuri sand dunes. Early mornings and evenings are cold in the dunes.
Kuldhara Abandoned Village
|Kuldhara village was part of a huddle of 84 villages. Once a prosperous village it was inhabited by Paliwal Brahmins. The story has it that because of an earthquake all the 84 villages were vacant over night.
Some locals also believe that the lustful minister Salim Singh was attracted to a beautiful girl from the village. He sent his guards to force the villagers to send the girl to him.
The villagers asked the guards to return next morning, and abandoned the village overnight. It is also said that the other 83 neighbouring villages in the area were also abandoned overnight.
The word has it that the Paliwals imposed a curse that no one would be able to re-occupy the village. Those who tried to re-populate the village experienced paranormal activities, and therefore, the village remains uninhabited. Since then it has been declared haunted as only the ruins of those villages remain.
The Kuldhara village has been taken over by the government and is being maintained as a tourist spot. There is a nominal fee of Rs. 30/- per person to enter the village. It is open from morning till 5 pm.
It is worth a visit. You never know what part of history you may set your foot on!
Patwaon Ki Haveli
|It is an hour drive from Khuri sand dunes village to Patwaon ki Haveli. An interesting fact about the place is that it is not a single haveli, it is a cluster of five small havelis.
The haveli is known for its architecture, miniatures and balconies. It stands in a narrow lane and one can find a good amount of paintings and mirror work on the walls.
Patwaon Ki Haveli was the first haveli erected in Jaisalmer.
A trip to the haveli can be arranged by your resort at a nominal charge for the day cab for to and fro. Timings are from morning till 5 pm.
What to Eat at Khuri Sand Dunes ?
There are no restaurants or dhabhas near Khuri Sand Dunes. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner is served at the resort or guest house you choose to stay. There are specific timings the meals are served. So while you are at Khuri sand dunes, it is advisable to be an early riser. If you miss a meal you will have to wait till it’s time for the next meal.
Journeying through the Khuri Sand Dunes, I realized, it is no more a place to be scared off. The desert has the power to charm you with its splendour. There will always be a mystery surrounding the captivating beauty of the sand dunes, but living under the star glazed nights, waking up to the tunes of flutes of the local musicians and knowing there is still more to be discovered is surely an experience of a lifetime.
Incredible Travel Experiences of Rajasthan
Once you’ve experienced the desert life at Khuri Sand Dunes, you should most certainly explore the rest of the state as well. Here’s a list of the top 6 aspects that should be on your priority list, while visiting Rajasthan –
|Hundred Thousand Visits Each Year||Pushkar Camel Fair|
|Deluxe Desert Camping Experience||Osian Safari Camp|
|Rajasthan’s most haunted place||Bhangarh Fort|
|Royal palaces of Pink City||Exotic Forts and Palaces of Rajasthan|
|Jodhpur’s Splendour on a cliff||Mehrangarh Fort|
|Musicians this is for you||International Thar Desert Music Festival|
Happy wayfaring 🙂
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
THIS POST ENTITLED, ‘KHURI SAND DUNES: JAISALMER’S RAVISHING DESERT BEAUTY’ IS AN EXCLUSIVE PROPERTY OF BUDGET WAYFARERS. ANY INDIVIDUAL OR ASSOCIATION INDULGING IN PLAGIARISM WILL BE DEALT WITH STRICTLY.IF YOU WANT TO USE INFORMATION FROM THE ARTICLE ABOVE, KINDLY QUOTE THE SOURCE.