Quiet rural Rajasthan

Trip Start Dec 29, 2010
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Trip End Dec 05, 2011


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Flag of India  , Rajasthan,
Thursday, October 6, 2011

After Narlai we headed to Rohet which is in a much drier, more desert-like part of Rajasthan, and as such is much less densely populated.  This time our group was split between 2 properties owned by the same family:  Manjeet and Georgie were in Rohet, the family home for the last 400 years or so, a colonial-style property full of photos and memorabilia from previous generations; and the Wickens' were in Mirh Garh, a brand new property in the middle of nowhere which the owner and his wife have developed over a number of years. It was stunning, and we had the added bonus of having the entire place to ourselves as we are still travelling before the season really gets going.  

The staff were amazingly friendly towards the children, one of which - Omaha - took a huge shine to Benjamin and spent much of the day carrying him around like a little prince. Before long we were playing cricket with the staff on the beautiful lawn overlooking rural Rajasthan.

The owner, Sidarth, is passionate about his Malwari horses, breeding them to the highest standards, so high that he has been invited by the Queen to bring his best horses to take part in her Diamond Jubilee celebrations next year.  Interestingly, when he heard that we were from the Cotswolds, he mentioned that he had stayed with the Bamfords (owners of JCB and Daylesford fame) and that their daughter, Alice, had bought one of his horses.   Georgie's parents work closely with the Bamfords and so they had much to talk about....!

Brad and I had a wonderful ride on our second day, heading out into the blisteringly hot countryside on 2 beautifully schooled horses, followed by a jeep carrying water for us, and guided by the well-spoken manager of the stables who ensured that we always maintained a nice controlled and steady pace.  A whole different experience from that at Narlai!  And not a single car in sight.....We stopped for a leisurely lunch under a couple of beautiful tents which seemed very indulgent: no children to attend to, not even an i-phone or a book between us, so some proper quality down-time for a change.

Next day we did another village 'safari' to basically see how local people live.  Poor Zach was less than impressed at yet another opportunity for us to meet poorer people and for them to stare at us.   But the boys found seeing how the Bishnoi tribe live interesting, especially the fact that their houses are made of mud and cow dung.  As ever, Benjamin was a huge attraction, sitting with the ladies of the tribe and even trying out the cot.  (Note his NBF Omaha at his side!)

Next stop was the house of some people from the Brahmin caste, this time with a water tap, tv, and fridge, so relatively well catered for.  Here we witnessed 3 old men performing a ritual with opium tea which they apparantly do for special occasions.  These days it is highly watered down, although people still take opium sugar in tablet form to give themselves a bit more of a buzz.  We all tried the the opium tea and the herbal cigarettes which Georgie vowed to buy at the earliest opportunity!

Our last day in Rohet coincided with the 9th day of Navratri, a holiday in India, and a day when everyone from the village gathers at the temple, then burns an effigy of Ravana accompanied by random and dangerous fire works India style.  Brad and Manjeet went to witness it, which by all accounts was fantastic.  

Next day we headed off to Naugur in high spirits as this is where Jamie will celebrate his 7th birthday - a day which both boys have been looking forward to for months as it means NEW TOYS!!!  We picked Georgie up on the way, feeling more than a bit sleepy after her dawn riding slot.  Poor thing is not a morning person......a bit tough when you are sharing a room with kids who wake up at 6am.


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Comments

nick_matthews
nick_matthews on

Wow Brad and K - just read all above and it showed me how much i missed by just staying the night only!! So pleased it worked out so well with Srinath and his horses!! Your Nalai riding story is a horror!! Phew!! Nick

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