This fascinating park is spread over 3,162 sq km (1,221 sq miles) of scrub and sandy wasteland, close to the border with Pakistan. Its star attraction is the great Indian bustard (Choriotis nigriceps), a large bird with a height of 1.2 m (4 ft). The bustard had been hunted almost to extinction, and only about 1,000 remain now, but sightings are likely here. Other wildlife includes sand grouse, several species of falcon and vulture, desert fox, and chinkara (Indian gazelle).
When to visit
The park is open throughout the year, but the ideal time to visit is from October to February. At this time, the maximum temperature is 20 degrees Celsius and the minimum around 6 degrees Celsius. Light woolen clothing is recommended.
The two biggest draws at the park are the Great Indian Bustard and the chinkara, and the best place to see them and other birds and animals is Sudashri. From Jaisalmer, there are two, almost equidistant routes to Sudashri – via Sam or via Khuri. As this is a military area, the roads are well-maintained and generally free of traffic; you can make the journey in 1.5 hrs. A jeep is the ideal vehicle to travel in.
Accommodation To visit the desert NP, you should ideally base yourself at Jaisalmer, where there are plenty of hotels. There are a number of options at Khuri, but it's best to do a day-trip to Sudahsri. It's also possible to spend a night or two in Sam or Khuri during the high season, October to February. However, you will need to book a jeep from Jaisalmer itself.
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