When in Rajasthan, the desire to visit the desert, to witness the ethereal sand dunes can rarely be eluded. And when one thinks of desert in India, the first name that pops up is Jaisalmer. The sand dunes of Jaisalmer are certainly a sight to the eyes and worth the visit. However there is one other place, lesser known and lesser tread on than Jaisalmer but can do justice when it comes to quenching one’s desire of a desert experience.
Osian is a desert town in Rajasthan and about 1.5 hrs from the city of Jodhpur. The proximity to Jodhpur is what makes it special. You can either visit Osian as a day trip from Jodhpur or spend overnight at a tented accommodation in the desert. But if you prefer a rural experience, then another option is to base your Jodhpur journey in Osian and visit the sights in Jodhpur as a day trip.
Reggie’s Camel Camp is the most well known of the desert experience tour operators in Osian. You can either book a sunset camel ride with evening snacks/dinner or a one night desert experience or even a private safari and camp stay.
The best time but of course would be winters. Late October to Early March is when desert experiences are the most enjoyable. Summers can get unbearably hot and although it does not rain too much but the monsoons do bring out breeds of insects in the desert. So avoid overnight stays during the monsoon as the experience would not be as satisfying.
Other than the glorious sand dunes, Osian is also famous for its temples. A rather unknown fact is that Osian is known as the ‘Khajuraho of Rajasthan’. The exotic and intricate architecture of the temples will certainly leave you mesmerized. The Sun temple, Sachiya Mata temple and the Mahavira temple are the most visited ones by pilgrims. The Sachiya Mata temple offers a stunning aerial view of the town.
Osian although relatively unheard of is definitely worth a visit. Renting a private vehicle is the best mode of transport. If you are in Jodhpur and Jaisalmer is not on your travel plan then head to Osian and experience the magic of the desert.