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Khimsar

Languages Hindi and English
Best time to visit October to March
STD Code 01585

     Perched on the edge of the Great Thar Desert in the heart of virgin India lies a unique 16th Century fort. Rao Karamsi-the eighth prince of Rao Jodha-the founding Maharaja of Jodhpur-successfully launched the royal dynasty at Khimsar. Currently, the 18th, 19th and 20th generations of the royal lineage still reside in this historic fort.

This fort architecture offers great heterogeneity. Originally, the fort walls, turrets and stables were built solely for war, and were constructed around the beginning of the 16th Century. Subsequently, by mid 18th century, the royal family moved in, and a new 'zenana' or ladies' residence was erected with finely carved windows in stone that provided 'purdah' or veil for ladies in waiting. Thankur Onkar Singh, the present chief and the 17th direct desendant of Rao Karamsi built himself a regal additional wing in the 1940's. Today, this fort ranks amongst the premier classified Heritage Hotels of India

A FORT IN MARWAR
Perched on the edge on the great Thar Desert in the heart of rural India, the unique fort at Khimsar offers a wide range of experiences. The battle-scarred walls and turrets remind one of the glorious past of this place.

LOCATION
Khimsar is a small village situated around 92 km on the highway from Jodhpur to Bikaner in the northern Indian state of Rajasthan. The village of Khimsar provides an excellent starting point to explore the district of Nagaur, which lies midway between Jodhpur and Bikaner. There are good road connections from Khimsar to other important tourist destinations in the region including Jodhpur, Bikaner, and Nagaur.

CLIMATE
Khimsar has an extreme climate with hot summers and cold winters.

Temperatures during the summer months range between 42.2C and 27.3C, and between 27.5C and 9.5C during winters. Annual rainfall in this region is around 31-cm. Recommended clothing for the summer is light tropical while light woolens should work in the winter.

PAST
On the highway from Jodhpur to Bikaner, an hour out of the Rathore stronghold, past the medieval temples of Osian with their stunning stone carvings, is the small township of Khimsar. Established by a scion of the house of Jodhpur, Khimsar was once a small kingdom. And though Jodhpur royalty claim it was never independent, the Thakurs of Khimsar claim that not only was it an individual entity, but that one of the visitors to their ancestral fort was Emperor Aurangzeb himself. The construction of the fort initially began in 1523 but the family moved in to the fort only during the 18th century after a new zenana or ladies wing was constructed. Thakur Onkar Singh, the present occupant of the fort, built a regal wing for himself in 1940s. The pride of Khimsar today is still that fort, 450 years old and currently home to the 18th, 19th, and 20th generations of the Khimsar thakurs.

WHAT TO DO
Jeep Safaris can be organized but require an advance notice. The excursion runs deep into the heart of the desert as hunting around the settlement is banned. As the jeep roars up, deer and chinkara take to the air in elegant strides, silhouetted against an early morning sun. And there's nothing like a picnic tea or breakfast taken in the shadow of the high dunes in the open countryside.

HOW TO REACH

By Air
The nearest airport from Khimsar is Jodhpur, around 92 km away. Indian Airlines connects Jodhpur with Delhi, Jaipur, and Mumbai through regular flights. The airport is located around 6 km off the city center.

By Rail
The nearest railhead is Jodhpur on the Western Railway broad-gauge network. Jodhpur is linked to various centers in the region by express and passenger trains. New Delhi, Agra, Jaisalmer, Jaipur, Udaipur, and Ahmedabad are some of the important cities that are linked with Jodhpur through rail.

By Road
Khimsar is situated around 92 km on the Jodhpur-Nagaur-Bikaner Highway. State transport corporation buses and private buses connect Khimsar with other centers in the region.

Local Transport
Buses, taxis, and jeeps are available on hire to enable tourists to visit the places around Khimsar.

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