An offbeat Rajasthani Village near Jaisalmer
Khuri (locally pronounced as Khuhdhi) is a small village in the Thar Desert. It is located around 48 kilometers from the historical town of Jaisalmer, towards the southwest. It is a small village of laborious people, thriving on minimum subsistence, yet with a smile. It has found its way to satisfaction without hoarding itself in the run of securing urban comfort. The people here have a different philosophy of life. Their primary objective is to enjoy their days of presence on this beautiful planet, their village in particular. The people here have identified their USP in keeping the village off the grid of far-fetched luxurious hotels and comfortable and focusing on minimalistic, cozy, and traditional huts as homestays for their guests.
Due to being uniquely away from the main tourist trails, this little village helps you find solace away from crowded cities. The number of activities you get to enjoy here is less. Meals are not as fancy, largely centered towards the Rajasthani traditional cuisine. The means of commuting to and from Jaisalmer are not as many. Yet, this place is sought by many travelers for its ability to captivate the soul. The joyous demeanor of the people is welcoming, they are always friendly with outsiders, enticing that you’re one of them. It should be mentioned explicitly that you won’t feel away from home in this small village. Their compassion and hospitality will level a bond between you and the villagers that will always etch in your memory. For those seeking an offbeat stay within close proximity of the famous Khuri Sand Dunes and a calming fascination in their travel itinerary, this place is a must-go.
How to reach Khuri Village?
Khuri is a small village falling under the Jaisalmer district of Rajasthan. For coming to the village, you will have to first reach Jaisalmer. From there, you can either board a public bus ( that is the cheaper alternative), suitable for budget travelers, or hire a taxi from Jaisalmer.
Air: The nearest airport is Jaisalmer Airport in Jaisalmer. It is at a distance of about 50 kilometers from Khuri Village. You can book a private taxi to your accommodation from the airport costing around INR 500-1000. However, Jaisalmer Airport does not receive regular flights from major Indian cities. Alternatively, you can book a flight to Jodhpur Airport which is about 280 kilometers away from Khuri. You can easily book a taxi from the airport to the village at negotiable prices.
Railway: The neighboring city of Jaisalmer has its own railway station which is well connected by trains from popular cities of India like Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, and Kolkata. The station is at a distance of 48 kilometers from Khuri village and you can either book a private taxi which is going to cost around INR 500 or board a local bus from Gadisar Chowk during the day.
Road: This small, and unpopular village can be accessed by road via NH 11. NH 11 connects it with Jaisalmer. You can reach Jaisalmer easily from major cities like Jaipur, Jodhpur, and Ajmer. Further, you can stretch your road trip towards this beautiful village at the south-western border of Jaisalmer. Typically, the distance of 48 kilometers between Khuri and the main city will take less than one hour to complete.
What to expect?
This Rajasthani village is known all for its unconventional experience. If you’re looking for a stay that is centered on the rural lives of India, this is definitely something meaningful to you. In other words, this is an uncanny village experience, devoid of the glittery resorts and hullabaloo of a big city, and without many things to do. There won’t be any fancy restaurant serving multitudes of cuisines, or places to go shopping. But, the level of joy, and tranquility is what makes this place worth exploring. The long walk through the village streets, interacting with locals, learning about their lifestyles, culture, traditional practices, and challenges, the captivating sunset at the Khuri desert dunes make it more special than most crowded destinations of Rajasthan.
What sets the bar higher here in terms of providing perspective is the simplicity and enriched lives that the people here have happily subjected themselves to. You will be amazed that this village has no urban materialistic channel of thought. The houses are simple, the type of food they eat is usually the traditional cuisine. The modern signs of development are hard to find. People are religious, a little superstitious too. They are warm and can spend hours with you in free willing conversations with some valuable life lessons from their limited experiences and knowledge about their lives in this primitive village.
What can you explore during your stay at Khuri Village?
The village has a lot to offer that will leave you spellbound. The slow and culturally rooted life here is one such attraction. There are innumerable instances that will expose you to the peaceful life that the villagers have adapted themselves to. Their humble smile is a reflection of how deeper things matter in human lives, that we often overlook. The village elderly, women, men, and children welcome you like a family member.
Another famous element that can and should find a place in your itinerary is the desert dunes and the moments of dusk and dawn. We all are fans of either watching the sun coming over or bidding adieu to us or both sometimes. The Khuri Desert Dunes are famous for the sunset. You can trek towards the famous spot or take a bumpy camel ride to the sunset spot. Also, the sunrise (if you are a fan) is as serene as the sunset. So, if you are one for waking up early and seeking the pinkish-red east sky, head towards the desert dunes and capture the satisfying red ball of fire opening its pore and twinkling the dazzling sunrays into our eyes.
Some of the resorts here arrange a special spectacle for their guests during their stay. It is a lively and energetic cultural program featuring local artists, musicians, and dancers who specialize in folk music and dance called Kalbeliya. Sit by the bonfire and get entertained by the thrilling tales narrated by the artists.
About the accommodation
You won’t find many commercial stays here. The few that provide a classy stay are operating at minimal luxury and providing a closer connection with the desert landscapes. There are not many places where you can check in here, some guest houses and some homestays. They also have limited capacity as the village sees a lesser number of visitors. The sojourn here is peaceful and hassle-free with the hosts available at the oddest hours to help you with anything. They are usually simple resorts with not many rooms. They specialize in a particular type of accommodation- traditional huts. These huts are made up of clay-and-dung cake walls with thatched roofs (to beat the scorching sun). Staying in these simple and basic huts brings you closer to the traditional and enriching desert lifestyle that these people are a part of. Also, there are bricked rooms for the guests. But, I would recommend that you go with the minimalistic huts if you wish to ace your desert stay. Since it has emerged as a recent tourist destination, you can find cheap homestays easily in the village. Some of the most popular that I got to know about from the Internet and were reviewed decently by the past visitors were: Badal Guest House and Registan Guest House.
The ideal season for making a visit
Like any other Thar village or town, Khuri village is draining during the summer months of April-June. So, you should not plan to visit the town during these months. Even if you do, make sure that you keep yourself hydrated throughout the stay. The best time to embark upon this journey is from October to March, the autumn, winter, and spring months. The temperature during these months is ideal for making the most out of your stay and exploring neighboring attractions.
Additional Tip: Keep a decent amount of cash with yourself as you visit the village, the ATM located near the bus stand generally remains out of order.
The natural landscape here is something that will leave you speechless as you stand numb and carefree in awe of its beauty. As I told earlier, there aren’t many things to do here but the few that can be engaged in are simply magnificent. Staying in this village should be made about finding perspective, away from the noisy urban lives that we’re leading. Make it about knowing people, forming strange, lovable bonds with unknown people, understanding what makes this little community unique and different from others. Falling away from the grid, this place has a quiet and soulful vibe that cannot be easily let go of. If you’re all for budget vacations to new unexplored places with lesser visitors, try to set forth on a trip to this secluded village in the Thar desert. Staying in this village is about laying back a little and relaxing, unlike most of our vacations that entail rushing over from one historical museum to another traditional restaurant. Khuri village is about settling down and involving a human element when it comes to exploring. Staying here will give you a deep lesson about life: it is not always about the bigger picture. Sometimes all that matters is the momentary intrinsic detail, which we often tend to overlook. A small moment is enough to bring a smile to our faces, so why not chase to harness such moments.