RajasthanTravelStories, Travel

Wish upon the stars in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan |Travel Tales|

2013: I had taken my parents off to a Rajasthan travel trip. Our itinerary read New Delhi-Jaisalmer-Jodhpur-Rawla Narlai- Udaipur – New Delhi. This was like a ten-day long trip and we did everything from train, to by road to flight and from staying in five-star hotels, to desert camps to a boutique havelli to a uber luxury resort!

Our first stop was the Golden city of Jaisalmer and believe me, it’s absolutely golden with its sandstone walls and buildings as far as the eye can see. In fact the main fort here is called the Golden Fort or the Sunhera Qila.


After spending two nights in a city hotel to explore the various offerings of Jaisalmer heritage, it was time to head for the famous Sam dunes. It’s the Rajasthani desert which is populated by numerous camp sites and one of these was our destination. The camp director came to pick us up and offered to take us via a jeep or the touristy option of riding a camel through the desert. No prizes for guessing what I opted for. In fact my mom did too while dad took the jeep option.

Sashaying on a camel over the sandy dunes actually lulled me into a semi groggy state and I almost toppled over πŸ˜‰ But the best part was sitting atop a sand dune and watching the sun go down slowly, as the sand beneath me turned cooler by the degree till it was cold to touch.

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star trails in Jaisalmer desert in Rajasthan India - travel - hotel-hospitality-holiday

Finally we headed to our Damodar Desert Camp for some freshening up, food and the cultural program that’s the epitome of every stay in Rajasthan.

The tented acco was a dream and we loved at how comfortable everything was. I befriended one of the other tourist who turned out was from Czech Republic and was volunteering at the camp for free food and stay. While talking to her, I discovered that she sleeps out in the open. I quickly checked with the camp director and he arranged another charpoy (cot) for me next to hers. My dad was aghast at the thought and I did get a fair bit of scolding for it πŸ™‚

But I had an agenda to sleep out. I wanted to look at the night sky with its umpteen number of stars that seemed to be jostling for space in the inky blackness – that’s how crowded it was! It was like I had forgotten what its like to see a night sky and was dumbfounded with amazement and joy at it. I also saw many falling stars and made wishes upon wishes onto them πŸ˜‰

‘One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.’ – Henry Miller

I was dying to capture the star trails; it’s a photographic process to capture the movement of the stars across the skies over a period of many hours. I set out my camera on the tripod and set it up for an hour’s capture while I stared at the multitude of celestial gorgeousness above me. (You can check here for more info on star trails)

It’s a thing of patience to capture the star trails and even then one has to process the pics to see if its been indeed shot. I dug deep into my quilt; oh yeah the night was chilling cold for a March evening and crossed my toes and fingers for a perfect capture.

Here is what I caught – it’s far from perfect but for my first one, its superbly Perfect!!!! πŸ™‚


What do you think of star trails?

When is the last time you checked the night sky for stars?

How many did you see?

Fact File:

  • Rajasthan is one of the most culturally colourful states of India with a rich heritage of forts, palaces and monuments.
  • Jaisalmer fort was recently declared a world heritage site and is the largest desert forts in the world.
  • Its major industry is tourism and its located in the heart of the Thar desert.

A ker Sangiri bush bursting to blooms in the middle of the desert. It’s a traditional vegetable of Rajasthan and the cooked version is a big delicacy

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A trained Interior designer who loves to travel, photograph and write, I have done some boutique stays in limited budgets and some in extravagant ones too. My forte is in using locally sourced/ made products which would provide support to the local community. I am also an advocate of using sustainable practices in housekeeping, laundry,etc which lessens the use of harmful chemicals. The water used for such chores is clean enough to be fed into the garden directly.

You could get in touch with me for:

    • Interior design services for your property
    • Training and implementing of green practices at your property
    • Doing an honest Travel reviews for a unique stay anywhere in the world. If you liked this review and would like for me to visit your property, please drop in a mail at shalzmojo@gmail.com

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Leather that weathers in Pushkar

Ravanahatha in Pushkar


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46 thoughts on “Wish upon the stars in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan |Travel Tales|

  1. Loving the star trails. I have yet to take a good star trails photo. I wanted to travel to India to see tigers … now I think I’ll need more time.

    1. Thanks Ger! I hope you get your dream trip to India soonest! There is so much to explore and see here!! πŸ™‚

  2. Will you believe that I have never been to Jaisalmer despite staying in Rajasthan almost all my life. And this is also when my husband had frequent work travel to this place. *Sigh* Some day… some day, I will also check out this gorgeous part of our desert state. Lovely captures and am glad you had a wonderful trip.

    1. Thanks so much Shilpa – I am amazed that you havent gone to Jaisalmer yet. Maybe now you will soon πŸ˜‰

  3. Wowwww!!! Your picture of star trails is perfect!!! Such a lovely experience to sleep out in the open under the natural canopy that God gave us!!!! Lovely description!!
    Prasanna from Team Mocktailmommies

    1. Thanks so much Prasanna – this was surely a very magical experience for me for sure πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks so much Nilanjana- yeah his Shonar Qila is quite an epic and is what piqued my curiousity about this place!! πŸ™‚

  4. Superb!
    Loved the narration and this travel plan is on a high on my priority list now!
    Thanks for sharing!
    Anagha From Team MocktailMommies
    Collage Of Life

  5. That’s a good capture being your first one.
    I have been to Sam Dunes on a school trip and it was an amazing experience. Although I got muscle cramps when the camel got up. One has to be quite careful or maybe I was too young. It was a beautiful sunset and we stayed in the camps. I remember getting under sand till my waist, but then when we found a huge insect I was relieved I wasn’t bitten by one.
    This post brings back so many memories πŸ™‚

    1. Oh you must – stay at this camp. I will call him for you if you like; he is very friendly and takes very good care of his guests. The food at his camp is one of the best! πŸ™‚

  6. So glad you opted to sleep out and stare up at the night sky. I love a clear sky with no light pollution.
    Love the star trails.
    I’ve been blogging about astronomy all month.
    –Her Grace, Heidi from Romance Spinners

    1. Thanks Roma- I am fascinated by them and keep a look out for th eoppurnutiy for favourable conditions for it when I travel. A desert is the perfect spot for it!!

  7. My goodness! A 10 day trip to Rajasthan, I think I’ll never be able to do that! I like the assortment of accommodations you picked up for your stay!


    1. Thanks Geets – the 10 days was inclusive of the road trip too and we visited 4 places in all!! It was fun and not exhausting at all; both my parents are senior citizens and they quite enjoyed it!!! πŸ™‚

    1. Ha ha Yeah that was unique, if scary a bit at first for when the camel gets up, you almost half fall off since he pitches to the front and put all his weight on the front legs. Then he unfolds his hind legs and stands up – its quite an adventure I tell you!!! πŸ™‚

    1. Hey thanks Aditi – I hope you get to go to Jaisalmer – I wanna go back for the desert experience again!!!

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by Emily! I love gazing up at the stars but living in a polluted city it just isnt possible!

  8. The tripod capture must be so soulful touching your inner sense. Sleeping in the open must be very daring coz of flies, may be and lack of fan. I wouldn’t do it but we should to experience the real feel. Truly adventurous.

    1. Thanks so much Vishal – yeah this is one of those experiences for me!!! I did get scolded by my dad for sleeping out as he was fearful for my safety but I had the time of my life!!! πŸ™‚

  9. Wow camel rides, sandunes, sunsets and star trails… What else can one ask for. Your star trail picture is beautiful… It must be so magical to watch the sky in the silence of the night.

    1. Thanks Raj – the stars were just so magical. I have never seen so many stars in one place in my life and lying on my cot staring at them, seemed to be THE thing to do!! Dont know when I will get to relive it again!! πŸ™‚

  10. What a wonderful trip! After reading this, I want to visit Rajasthan as soon as possible. Sleeping under the stars is really a great experience.

    1. Thanks Ramya – it was truly a magical expereince, one I am itching to go for again!!! πŸ™‚

    1. AH yes the desert safari in Dubai- thats actually very commerical and gimmicky. This one was a pure village experience and kept very minimal and simple!! πŸ™‚

  11. WOW! I had no idea about star trails, so that looks beautiful to me. Lovely capture, Shalz. Have you managed to capture any more since?

    Also, getting lulled to sleep on camelback sounds scary to me! :/

    1. Ha ha ha Shanaya – yes that was scary for me too for a second there. But if you fall down, it will be on a sandy ground. No tmuch of a chance to break something πŸ˜‰

      I did try this twice more but didnt get these results; the desert was perfect as there was no other light for miles; in other places other cottages, etc had their lights on. One needs to do this when the moon is starting to set and its pitch dark elsewhere. No light should enter the camera from anywhere else. I am so happy you liked them! These pictures make me very proud πŸ˜‰

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