Located 6 kms from the resort in the midst of the wilderness surrounded by the sand dunes is the isolated splendor of the Manvar Tented Desert Camp. The beauty is breathtaking and the feeling of viewing a sunset in the midst of the sand dunes is hard to describe. The Manvar Desert Camp consists of 30 colourfully decorated, safari-style tents arranged in a semi-circle around a central ‘Durbar Hall’ (Courtiers' Hall). For those who seek a tad more privacy and the luxury of absolute solitude, there are 10 Luxury Tents situated about 400 meters away from the main camp.
Each of these tents is carefully placed for commanding views over the desert wilderness. They are very luxurious - more like mini-marquees with smart polished traditional camping-style teak furniture, rich jute rugs and lovely custom designed block-printed tent linings. Beds are large, can be arranged as single, double or twins, and have electric lamps on side tables that illuminate the tents effectively at night. Large windows have pull up flaps to allow light and fresh desert air through and permanent insect netting to keep out any unwelcome visitors. The attached tiled bathrooms have running hot and cold water, flush toilets and proper wash basins. Providing warmth on cold desert nights is an electric blower in each tent.
With stunning sunrises, mesmerizing sunsets and dazzling night skies, life in this peaceful wilderness is spectacularly elemental and extraordinarily silent – quite like the paradox that is India.
For those who seek a tad more privacy and the luxury of solitude, Manvar Camp offers 10 Luxury Tents situated about 200 metres from the main camp. Secluded from the rest of the guest groups, this exclusive clutch of tents allows you to experience the magic of the Thar desert in a special way. Not only do the Luxury Tents have larger air-conditioned tent bedrooms, they also have larger toilets. Each tent has two sit-outs and this Luxury tent group also has it's own dining tent.
The Manvar Private or Mobile Camp has its roots in the hunting trips of old when the erstwhile Thakurs and their kinsmen often went into the wild to hunt game. Sometimes, these hunting trips stretched for many days on end and so, the party always went well-equipped with tents, retainers, provisions et al. Today, while the hunting has ceased, the good old luxury caravan lives on, providing an unsurpassed experience of the desert. The Manvar Private Safari is the ideal way to travel for people who enjoy close proximity to the bush and wilderness and want to experience the desert of Rajasthan first hand while enjoying the creature comforts of a large, comfortable camp set up exclusively for them. Although this is a real bush safari we don’t skip on the amenities. The camps are designed for comfort featuring airy tents for two persons with proper cots and bedding, hot water and a ‘bathroom tent’ to boot. Gourmet meals are served around a cozy campfire against the backdrop of the sounds of the desert while the guest takes in the beautiful star studded night sky.
A highlight of the Manvar desert experience - an adventurous drive in rugged four wheel jeeps where one will scramble and climb over dunes and higher crests. As small convoy vehicles track up and down the dunes, invariably getting stuck, part of the fun is ‘digging out’ and enjoying the soft sand under your feet before you are back in the car and off again.
Desert drives wind through the dunes and 'streets', (the valleys between dunes). A gentle drive (about an hour and a half) through the terrain is a great way to cover the distances needed to find the free-roaming wildlife herds. The delicate desert gazelles wander freely across the plains and dunes, often dipping to drink within this conservation-led sanctuary resort - come upon them in the dunes or pick them out where they are well-camouflaged amongst trees and shrubs. Stop for photo opportunities, pointing out animals and tracks, or focusing on specific interests you may have, as well as pointing out some of the many bird species or lucky encounters with rarer inhabitants.
Coming all the way to the great Thar desert and going back without a camel ride? Imagine that. At Manvar, local camel owners are employed during the tourist season to take guests for a ride on the back of the desert’s most famous and iconic inhabitant - The Ship of The Desert. Camel treks give guests an opportunity to see the splendour of the Thar Desert from a little high-up. The trained and veteran riders help guests take perch atop a sitting camel and soon after, the beasts rise up and walk while the accompanying tour guide shares folk stories and interesting facts about this part of the Thar.
Traditional Rajasthani hospitality to visitors is legend. But opening your home, granary and village to foreign visitors of the winged kind - now that’s a first! If you’re in the mood to explore further out, a 45 minute safari from Manvar will take you to the world famous village of Khichan where thousands of migratory birds, especially Siberian Cranes, drop anchor year from October to March . The villagers of Khichan have a very special relationship with these birds. During the winter season, over 8,000 to 10,000 birds can be seen at Khichan. This phenomenon has gained strength due to the pioneering endeavour of one villager by the name of Ratan Lal Malu Jain. He began to nurture these foreign visitors by feeding these birds twice a day, several years ago. As the number of birds began to increase, he sought the help of his fellow villagers, who rallied to 'adopt' these birds. The wealthier farmers were approached for donations of grain or for money to purchase grain to feed these birds.
Many folk songs are based on them. According to Marwari legend and folk song, these birds were signs of good luck and also carried messages to the local women from their lovers and loved ones in faraway lands. The number of cranes that migrate here is said to be increasing by 10 to 15% each year and currently it takes over 600 kgs. of grain to feed these birds each day. The grain is spread in the fields in the night for the early morning feed and once again in the afternoon before the cranes returns for an evening meal. Khichan is a perfect example of how man can co-exist with nature and even nurture the survival of a particular species. It is a shining example of the conservation efforts of a group of people driven by a sheer love of nature, without the help or encouragement of any outside agency.
The concept of village walks is an old one at Manvar. The family believes that too many people have migrated from the village to the cities in search of a better future and something needs to be done to sustain the simple, wholesome lifestyle of the village. The village walk is a small step in that direction. It not only instills a sense of pride in the village folk but also encourages them to preserve, maintain and showcase their culture and way of life. To a rapidly modernizing world and its denizens who often seek a stress-free break from their bustling cities, the village walk at Manvar is just a small window into a world of simplicity and adaptability.
Village Walks, in contrast to the Jeep and Camel safaris offer a quieter and more informative way to experience the desert way of life around Manvar.The journey into the desert is an opportunity to experience village life at close quarters against the captivating beauty and tranquility of the vast desert. The desert landscape is spellbinding. For miles altogether, there’s nothing except the sound of the wind. But from this arid nothingness you may suddenly see an unexpected group of village women appear out of nowhere in their colorful finery, and disappear like a mirage before your eyes. You could visit the homes of the traditional inhabitants (Bishnois, Rajputs, Meghwals) or take a peek into the homes and lives of the desert craftsmen such as carpenters, metal-smiths and cobblers. See unique species of flora and fauna that have adapted to the desert. Take a trip to the farms in the desert and learn about farming in the desert. Walk up to the temple on a hillock hill behind the resort and enjoy a great panoraomic view.