The time we spent in the Thar Desert is right up there as one of the best experiences we've had in India, so I thought I'd share just some of the images and inspiration we captured while there.
I've travelled around the desert state many times over the years on a well-worn map, but this time I had my 12-year-old son, Shyam, with me, and he wanted an adventure. I also really needed some time out after a few weeks of constant travel and a rough time with illness while I had been working in Jodhpur. A few days staying at a desert camp was the perfect treat for ourselves, so we made the two-hour drive further into the Thar Desert to Samsara Desert Camp in Dechu, where we discovered so much more of the many mysteries and beauty of the desert tribes, their folktales, and their treasures.
We rode camels across the sand dunes while watching women from the local villages as they harvested the yellow mustard flowers and cumin fields below, their colourful saris in kaleidoscopic contrast. We watched the sunrise over windswept dunes at dawn and hiked up the highest hills at dusk to watch it sink again over the scorched horizon. We sat by the fire at night, wrapped up in yak wool shawls to warm us from the cold, feasting on fiery Rajasthani delights while folk singers and drummers and silver-laden dancers made magic under the stars. We watched meteor showers shoot across the vast night sky, slept in the comfort of a canopied tent and woke to the sounds of a camel train passing by, the camel bells jingling and their herdsmen singing.
It was an experience neither of us will ever forget – and I most definitely found that boost of inspiration I was seeking for Tulasii, as all the colours of the desert will be making their way into our upcoming collections.
Although I know we have barely scraped the surface of the heart of the Thar Desert, it's definitely the start of an ongoing love affair with the desert tribes of Rajasthan. Next time, we plan to travel all the way to 'Golden City' of Jaisalmer, the westernmost frontier of India, where I've heard the sand dunes seem to roll on endlessly.
Images captured for Tulasii in December 2017 at Samsara Desert Camp in Dechu, Rajasthan, India.
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