The vast Thar Desert stands as a barrier in the western reaches of the Indian subcontinent, where endless miles of sand proved a formidable barrier, but perhaps more preferential than the Pamir Mountains.
From the early Middle Ages onwards, when outposts and oases in the region grew in importance, large caravans traversed the Great Indian Desert in all directions to trade and barter their riches. This said desert, or more commonly referred to as the Thar Desert, encompasses 1/20th of the land of India, and also stands as the 20th largest desert in the world. Current geopolitical boundaries position the desert in India and Pakistan, with 90% of its area belonging to the former.
It’s also the worlds most populated desert, as Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Muslims share the sands, mainly surviving on agriculture and husbandry. Camels still carry folks to and fro here, and villagers live off a simple lifestyle. Finding water is often the highest importance, a far cry to other regions in India where water is frantically avoided during the monsoons. A visit to the Thar Desert today can still remind one of the former glory days where merchants traversed the sands, as locals engaged curious explorers in extended camel excursions of any length.
THE SILK ROAD JOURNAL
How We Got Here
We arrived in the desert via train from Bikaner to Jaisalmer. We further explored the desert from a two-day camel safari.
Traveling long distances by camel conjured images of the Silk Roads, despite it being very uncomfortable. Two days in all honesty were more than enough.
Sitting by campfire in the middle of the desert while enjoying a simple meal and a good conversation.
S N A P S H O T S O N T H E R O A D
W H E R E W I L L Y O U R J O U R N E Y T A K E Y O U N E X T ?
One of the longest and most barren stretches of your journey, through ancient Persia and the heart of the Thar Desert, is coming to a conclusion. Many rumors persist recently of a grand and living fort lying to the east, where wealth and treasures abound. Continue your journey to the town: Jaisalmer