I am writing this post sitting at home while I reminisce about the last family vacation I had taken before the lockdown. It was in the wonderful city of Jaisalmer. The sandstone structures glimmering golden in the sunlight; the magnificent fort perched on a hillock at the center evoked the feelings of the city of Agrabah in Alladin! What made our holiday there even more wonderful was our amazing stay at Damodara Desert Camp.
Located around 35-40 mins from the city, Damodra is a cozy camp with just 10 tents, a reception, and a dining hall located around a central courtyard. It has a nice comfy terrace sit-out where you can enjoy your morning tea and biscuits while looking out at the serene surroundings. There is another sit-out with cane furniture and swings.
The tents are luxurious with a king-size bed, an air-conditioner/ heater, and a spacious bathroom. There is an in-room tea kettle as well. Each tent has its own verandah with lounger chairs and a table. The entire decor of the room is quite rustic.
The meals here were extremely delicious. You can expect some tasty Indian food. The dinner buffet is a mixture of Rajasthani and Punjabi dishes. My family especially liked their authentic Rajasthani dishes like gatte ki sabzi, ker sangri, etc. As for me, the Indian deserts of moong dal halwa and kheer were my personal favorites.
They serve vegetarian food except for eggs. They do have continental options for breakfast like pancakes and fresh juices.
The best part is they serve tea/ coffee all day round. For tea-drinkers it is heaven! Some of my best moments were enjoying a nice masala chai overlooking the desert.
With a one-night stay, they have a desert safari included with the room price. You go in a jeep and then on camels to the sand dunes. There you can do sand-boarding, or listen to some folk songs sung by the locals, or just play around. The locals serve tea and biscuits which you can enjoy while watching the beautiful sunset. As per their website, they can also organize overnight safaris.
The camp also has a cultural program in the evening which includes local folk music, dance, and a puppet show. Hot, delicious starters and beverages are served while you enjoy the show sitting around a bonfire.
I think I have mentioned most of what travelers look for while deciding on a property. But the best part about Damodra camp is their hospitality. It is a perfect ode to the Rajasthani system of welcoming guests. Everyone, from the owner to the waiter, is warm and ever-ready to listen to you. They look out for your comfort at all times. Their courteous hospitality made our stay even more pleasant.
Since it is a small camp, it is very peaceful. One can spend some quality time with their loved ones. We stayed here for two nights and I would suggest the same to my readers. The first day can be spent doing the desert safari, and on the second day, you can go to the city for a while and then enjoy the campsite, lounge around, read a book, or just relax and take in the songs sung by the numerous peacocks that roam around!
A tip: it is an amazing place to do stargazing. If you are a budding astronomer and can carry your telescope please do! You will have a great experience.
Wishing everyone good health. Stay safe!