Few cities in the world are able to match Jaisalmer’s magnetic attraction.. Picture the sun descending over Gadi Sagar, a small lake reached through a sandstone gateway with its deep amber radiance at dusk.. Ducks swim, enjoying the cool evening after the city’s blazing hot day. Indian tourists take small boats out onto the lake. A small temple with its dome awaits them, as they’ve done for hundreds of years. Nothing changes in this desert outpost.

I stroll past a one-humped camel, his head facing behind him, who curiously gazes at us. He seems to smile. It pays to have a long neck.

The historic city is guarded by a large 12th-century fort rising from the desert plains. Climbing up the 76 m to the entrance in the 37 (99) degree heat leaves me tired, but ready to explore. It’s cooled since summer when the mercury could soar to 45 (113) or higher. On the way, I pass stores peddling silk pashminas, hats and other assorted goods..

Today, the lanes are lined by shops selling clothes, carpets and jewelry inspired by the desert. Tribesmen and women roam the ancient streets.

Sand dunes are present in the desert that encircles the city. It’s possible to camp out in these dunes, or simply take a sunset camel ride to watch the sand turn dark orange while your camel driver rides across the dunes.