The Dune retreat is located in the land of a medley of tribes, and castes. They mingle together to form a fascinating tapestry that flutters with their colourful clothing, their sloping thatched roof houses called Dhanis, their vibrant festivals, their temples, and their arts and crafts.
The Dune Retreat offers a camel safari to the nearby sand dunes where the views of the sunset are majestic. The gently undulating movement as the ‘ship of the desert’ carries you on the back, can be quite a meditative experience, even therapeutic. As the sun goes down and the stars begin to twinkle in the sky, it is easy to be transported back in time to the era of camel caravans.
Careening down a hundred foot dune, with the sand moving underneath like a dry rapid, dust flying in the air in all directions! It’s certainly not an activity for the faint hearted, yet something guaranteed to set your blood pumping and exhilaration flowing in every vein. Forget the roller coaster and surrender to dune bashing.
Jeep Safaris are the default mode for excursions such as village visits, meeting the local tribes and bird watching.
Doves cooing in cool niches, partridges pecking among the sparse vegetation, or an owl sitting smug are some common sights that greet visitors at the property. The property itself is a Bird watching sight in its own right.
Only 18 miles away, Demoiselle Cranes fly to the village of Khichan all the way from Mongolia to spend their winter months. It is one of the most unique examples of human-animal relationship in the world where upto 3,000 kilograms of feed is spread for the cranes on a daily basis.
Animals & Wildlife
The usually shy wild animals like black bucks, chinkara, blue bulls (Neel Gai), even desert foxes etc can always be spotted in the region because they can sense that they will not be harmed here. There are many instances of chinkara deer being kept as pets in homes here.
Far away from the night lights and pollution that engulfs urban landscapes, the Dera Dune Retreat offers a stargazing experience that is unforgettable.
Surrounded by desert sands the enthusiasts can contemplate the immensity of the universe twinkling above their heads. It is a most humbling and exalting experience at the same time.
To compensate for its barrenness, the desert landscape somehow seems to bring out a heightened sense of beauty among its inhabitants. This is reflected in their colourful clothes, their thatched, sloping roofed huts and their arts and crafts.
For people who appreciate the beauty of handmade products and tribal crafts manifested in indigenous techniques there is a lot that Jamba and the surrounding areas can offer.
The Jamba Temple
Ancient temples, and exquisitely carved living homes of the rich merchants called havelis are just some of the sights that greet the visitor as they set out to explore nearby towns.
The nearest temple, that of Jambaji, the founder of the Bishnoi sect, is in fact is
Read about French Photographer Franck Vogel’s work on Bishnois and the story of construction of Jamba ji temple.
A festival of the Bishnoi community is held twice every year, in March and again in September at the Jambaji temple, whose dome is visible from the Dera Dune Retreat. Other well known local fairs of the area include Lohawat fair where ghee and coconuts are offered ; Kolayat fair, which is celebrated between October and November on Kartik Poornima (full moon), on the shores of an artificial lake;
Havelis & Forts
Forts form the crowning glory of any excursion in Rajasthan. Usually perched atop hilltops, carved out of massive stone blocks, they peer down at the surrounding countryside, sentinels and rulers of a bygone era. Cities of Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and Bikaner being just a 3 hour drive, day trips to Mehrangarh Fort, Jaisalmer Fort or Junagarh Fort are entirely feasible.
In nearby town of Phalodi, Havelis belonging to rich traders in the times of silk route are an attraction.