Jodhpur 1st Nov 2010

opium rajasthan Hotel-kuchamann haveli willy jeep antelopes Jodhpur Salawas
 Santanu Misra / February 22, 2011
712 words ; 4 minutes read

31st midnight boarded train to Jodhpur from Jaipur after a long day we were very tired . The train was late as it arrived from Delhi. On the train meet Subhojit who was also in Rajasthan for one long week break just like us from Bangalore. Their itinerary was bit different compared to us and they were going to Jaiselmer. On the wee hours of 1st November reached the platform of Jodhpur and thankgod for ensuring that hotel provided a cab for pickup. Otherwise bargaining and negotiating with cab and auto drivers would be very difficult when you are half sleepy in a new town.

Reached our hotel Kuchamann haveli and slept as much we can.  Some how pulled ourselves out of the bed at 7.30am had breakfast. And at 8.20am started for bishnoi village day trip. Aarush was still sleeping when we reached the Jeep.

Our driver cum guide gave a brief description about Bishnoi community (29 bish: twenty, noi: nine) and was dressed in traditional attire and picked us in a old Willy Jeep. Although these people are Hindu, they bury their dead to give the body back to the nature and save woods for cremation. They are considered to be very eco friendly in order to protect trees even Khejarli Massacre (where 363 bishnoi people sacrificed to protect the trees) took place. Idea behind this tour is that it helps you escape from the modernity and rush of the city and takes you to “off beaten path” - small villages where the locals live.

On the way, from Jodhpur to Guda village we spotted some wild life (spotted deer, blue bulls and antelopes) which seems bishnoi people being close to nature they don’t kill them.  Famous case of Salman Khan shooting a dear happened around here. Our guide was driving in bit speed and failed to  maneuver which caused our Jeep to topple side wise. Luckily nothing happened to any one and around 6-7 people came by to lift the jeep from the trench. Aarush was bit shocked and still remembers this incident clearly.

Our reception was warm and friendly starting with a visit to traditional opium ceremony. Although, Opium is illegal in India but the locals have special rights preserved for them to continue with their traditional practices. Very strange thing here is penniless women flaunt heavy silver jewelry. One more thing to notice was women being the symbol of creation they wear vibrant colors such as red and orange while men wear white as a symbol of cleanliness and austerity.

Then we saw many shepherds on the way to singhasni (Muslim religion Potter’s village). We were instructed on how to spin the wheel, form clay and set the pots out to dry. The village looks like a battlefield with its drying pots resembling piles of cannonballs. Santanu did try his hand but it seems it’s not that easy as it looks to be. When they take you to such trip they expect you to buy their products.

To round out our trip we stopped at Salawas (Weavers village) where we had our lunch. Before lunch we were shown how durries (mat) are weaved; when he starts to speak he knows business, literally. Then traditional lunch was offered to us. After meal, although mat(durry) was costly but we bought one and bid them bye. Its place where life still goes on like the days of the past. The sun was quite hot and we came back around 3 PM back to hotel,

Aarush was sleepy but he did not sleep and as soon we boarded a auto he was sleeping. We went to C-Road, sardarpura which is a lively part of Jodhpur with many shops and eatery. The main purpose for going out was to dine at Gypsy. As we reached  quite early  Aarush was sleeping all along; we roamed around did little shopping before entering Gypsy a  superb clean place to be for pure veg. rajasthani thali with one condition food taken on plate can’t be thrown. Food is served umpteen number of times. And they keep asking for more serving which we really enjoyed it. If you are a true connoisseur of food, then do not miss this place it only cost 150 INR per plate.

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