In a land where almost everything and everyone is in a race to sell a slice of make-believe,
prepare yourself for the Thar way of life. Just the way it was centuries ago.
An enthralling drive in rugged four-wheel-drive jeeps, scrambling over dunes and crests in the Thar desert. Invariably, you will get stuck among the sand, and part of the fun is ‘digging out’ and enjoying the soft sand under your feet before you extract yourself and drive on.
A gentle drive of an hour and a half through the terrain. The desert safari is a great way to get a glimpse of Rajasthan’s wildlife at its best. The ever beautiful Chinkara (Indian Gazelle) and his harem wander freely across the plains and dunes, often dipping to drink within this conservation-led sanctuary resort. The rare Desert Fox might give us an appearance, thriving nowhere else in India but here. Herds of Chinkara dither about, looking for watering holes. And look to the sands for Saw Scaled Vipers, sand boas, and smaller such inhabitants. Undoubtedly one of the best Jodhpur and Jaisalmer desert safari experiences you’ll ever have.
Coming all the way to the great Thar desert, and going back without a camel ride? It’s simply unthinkable. At Manvar, local camel owners are employed during the tourist season to take guests for a ride on the back of the desert’s most famous and iconic inhabitant - The Dromedary Camel. Camel excursions give guests an opportunity to see the splendour of the Thar Desert from a little higher up. The trained and veteran riders help guests take perch atop a sitting camel and soon after, these desert experts rise up and walk around. while the accompanying tour guide shares folk stories and interesting facts about this part of the Thar.
A 45-minute drive from Manvār takes you to the renowned village of Khichan, where thousands of migratory birds, especially Demoiselle Cranes, drop anchor from October to March every year. The villagers of Khichan kindle a special relationship with these birds. During winters, over 8,000 to 10,000 birds make this village their home. The phenomenon has gained strength due to the pioneering endeavours of one villager, Ratan Lal Malu Jain. He began to nurture these visitors by feeding them twice a day, several years ago. As the number of birds slowly increased, he sought the help of his fellow villagers, who rallied to 'adopt' these birds. The wealthier farmers graciously donated grain or money to feed the cranes.
These birds are enshrined in the folklore of Rajasthan as well. According to Marwari legend and folk song, these birds were signs of good luck, and also carried messages to the local women from their lovers and loved ones in faraway lands. The number of cranes that migrate here is said to be increasing by 10 to 15% annually, and currently, it takes over 600 kgs of grain to feed these birds each day. The grain is spread in the fields in the night for the early morning feed and once again in the afternoon before the cranes return for an evening meal. Khichan is a shining example of the conservation efforts of a local community, without external support.
Village walks are an age-old tradition at Manvār. The village walk is a small step in instilling a sense of pride in the village folk, and also encourages them to preserve, maintain and showcase their culture and way of life. To a rapidly modernizing world and its denizens who often seek a stress-free break from their bustling cities, the village walk at Manvār is just a small window into a world of simplicity and adaptability.