This has been the highlight of my trip to Jodphur so far. I was met at my hotel by Chhotaramm and he made me feel instantly comfortable, able to ask any question at all, he is incredibly knowledgeable and enthusiastic with an easy smile and excellent English.
We took his jeep (in the cold) firstly to a new temple that is being built, the stonework is amazing and Chhotta shared the stories of the Bishnoi people, and especially the tree huggers, onto a shepherds family where chappati and fresh milk were served, past lakes and wild life, which is clearly a passion, via another family where the opium ceremony was shown an and eventually to his family home. However don't expect to go to the same families as he regularly changes around to ensure tips are fairly shared into many families.
This is an entrepreneurial family with well deserved success for which they work hard. They are durry weavers and proud of their skills and traditions but also have created a co operative and good tourist business. However they take time to share and explain anything that is asked. There is no pressure to buy a durry....but almost impossible to resist (I failed)!! It was explained that they are part of a co operative of which Chhotorams Dad is the head and clearly the development of the whole community and the craft that they represent and still practice is really important to them.
Lunch was in te kitchen served by Mandaba and Durria, Chhotas Mum and wife. Not only was this veggie meal delicious and interesting but also generous. Durria allowed me to make a black flour chappati (badly) and also showed me a few cooking tips. It was incredibly relaxed. You certainly didn't feel you were a tourist, but for a short while a member of a family.
Towards the end of the visit I was shown the lovely guest accommodation and if I come back I will, without doubt, spend a couple of days there.
Our journey back included going past a pottery where the potter generously showed how he uses his skills.....again not a single question I posed was an issue and in fact I was reassured that the more I asked the better. If you are inquisitive, like me, then this is a perfect trip as it allows you to fill in the gaps of your understanding whilst at the same time having a completely new and inspiring experience.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Anyone visiting India would be cheating himself or herself if they didn't get a taste of Indian countryside. It's not that difficult. Jodhpur is surrounded by natural beauty on all sides and within a few minutes, one can be up in the village, where peace reigns: the only sounds may be those of the birds or an occasional buffalo. From the aspects of proximity to the city as well as the countryside, access and utter, unspoiled beauty, staying at Chhotaram Prajapat's Homestay in Salawas is a good choice. The little village is just 20 Kms. from city center.For those who enjoy cycling, bird-watching or merely relaxing in the peace and quiet, this area is simply perfect. It moves at the typical slow pace of such villages, and you may remark that a lot of people seem to spend a lot of time just sitting around chatting. Well, they do. Nobody here seems to die of stress! Jodhpur is a fascinating city with much to recommend it, but as with all Indian cities, it is not peaceful, so even if you choose to spend the day shopping or sightseeing, its certainly recommended to travel the short distance to Chhotaram's homestay for a perfect evening and a peaceful night. Cmhomestay has a friendly, intimate atmosphere that will calm and relax you. We can provide lunchtime Tipical Rajasthani food, delicious evening meals. Bicycles available. Laundry service. Massage. Camel-riding and countryside trekking arranged.In the room rates traditional welcome with tica, chai/coffee, breakfast is inclusive. We arrange village safari formally known as a BISHNOI VILLAGE SAFARI at competitive rates.Except all this, you can enjoy shopping, trekking, village safari, visit to historical places, bird watching etc. There are many transport facilities which can make your trip enjoyable and comfortable too. To sum up, Chhotaram Prajapat’s homestay will be memory to cherish which you will never be able to forget for the whole of your life.So what are you waiting, start packing your bags and just land at this heavenly paradise. ... more less
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