Khuri: On the fringes of Thar
| Last Updated: January 9, 2013
Khuri is cleaner and more peaceful alternative to Saam dunes
I normally desist from sharing details of remote getaways that I come across. But you can blame it on the high this last one has left me in, which makes me want to talk about it profusely.
Khuri is a little village, 50 km from Jaisalmer in Rajasthan, close to the Thar desert. How close? About 25 minutes walk from the village centre takes you to the sand dunes.
It really was the back of the beyond till a few years ago when everyone who wanted to see the desert went to the Saam dunes. However, as Saam gets increasingly crowded, expensive and filthy, people are discovering Khuri as a cleaner and more peaceful alternative.
There are a couple of resorts on the outskirts of the village now, in addition to the older, more authentic home stays. I chose to give the resorts a miss and head to Badal House. Badal Singh, who runs the oldest home stay, is a man of some stern (and impressive) beliefs. For instance, he refuses to run a full house because he doesn’t want to burden his family with excess work. Or that whether New Year or not, he gives out rooms at the same rate all year round, food included.
Many visitors choose to split their Khuri sojourn into a night in the village and one in the desert. A local camel herder generally packs in supplies and bedding for the night and off you head to the dunes. A dinner of bajre-ki-roti with a simple vegetable and dal is followed by a night under the stars. A little tip here: like at high altitude, the desert offers an ideal setting to star gaze. If you have a good camera, you could even set it up long enough to capture the entire star spiral for the night, which is infact what many tourists do.
There really is nothing else for you to do in Khuri. Your days are spent idling in the sun with endless cups of goat-milk chai and regular home-cooked Rajasthani meals. You could choose to walk around the village or head to the sand dunes for a brilliant sunset. Switching off your mobile phone and giving into the glacial pace of Khuri is highly recommended. For a change of routine, you can head to the local co-operative society shop to buy the mirror-work bags, bed spreads, quilts or wall hangings that have been handcrafted by the women in Khuri.
First Published: January 9, 2013
A quiet refuge in Khuri is Badal Singh's home stay
A slice of authenticity
Part of the accommodation options - three huts in the Badal House courtyard. It was originally the family home of the Singhs, now converted to guest rooms
There is a profusion of bird life, including house sparrows in Khuri. Also, look out for peacocks, kingfishers and sand pipers
Home decor, Khuri style
You see the attention to detail in the decoration of many of the houses in the village. Most home owners take special care to add a dash of colour against the brown backdrop
The road less taken
The road leads from the village to the sand dunes. You can even choose to cut across the countryside and get a glimpse of the local wildlife - cheetal and desert fox
The sand dunes of Khuri
Though not stretching to the horizon, they are as yet unspoilt and not crowded, a far cry from Saam
Tombstones of the local royalty have chattris built over them
Fancy a camel ride
Tourists arrive on the sand dunes at the most popular time of the day - sunset
You can always expect to be waylaid by camel herders on the way to the dunes
And if you escape them...:
You are sure to bump into them on the dunes, enticing you into a camel race on the way down
Sand dunes, camels and sunset do make for a pretty picture
Stark colours at sunset
As do the thorny shrubs, the only vegetation you find in and around the village
The chattris at sunset
The ornate chattris made from yellow sandstone remind you of Rajasthan's rich architectural heritage
Camels and tiny hamlets dot the landscape between Khuri and Jaisalmer