Far from the royal cities of the state, the villages
of Rajasthan hold their own distinct charm. Though they usually lack
any attraction in form of forts, palaces, gardens and wildlife
sanctuaries, yet they are worth visiting for the simple reason that
they present the life of Rajasthan at its most basic. The rural life
of Rajasthan reflects the determination of the people to survive in
even most difficult of circumstances. For a tourists visiting
Rajasthan for the first time, it is actually difficult to find a
village in the vast stretches of barren land. It is only when a herd
of cattle is seen around that the tourist gets an inkling of a village
in closeby area. Many a times, interestingly, even these signs are not
seen and the tourists acknowledges the existence of a village only
upon entering it.
Once in the village, tourists realize that they have reached a place that is most simple and has perhaps remained static over last many years. A simple village has a group of people living in circular thatched roof huts with walls made up of plaster of clay, cow dung, and hay. The houses are bordered by baras which are typically made up of the dry branches of a nettle-like shrub. The sharp thorns of boundaries ensures that the cattle do not leave the premises on their own. Bigger houses can be found in larger villages only and they mostly belong to affluent Zamindar families. The only decoration that can be seen in the simplest of houses are in form of a texture in the plaster in the facade or designer patterns at the entrance and outside the kitchen. .
The people of these villages belong to different communities and are segregated according to the nature of their profession. These people have deep religious faith that help them survive in this immensely difficult landscape. Each house has a separate corner reserved specially for worship. Every morning, the villagers pray before a calendar image of the god to bless them as always and protect them from all sinister eyes. Quiet often the people in the villages are lead by a Rajput. .
The major meal of the family is at the time of dinner when freshly baked bread and porridge along with yoghurt curry called karhi and vegetables like dried beans are taken. Breakfast and lunch are very frugal. The meals are generally vegetarian. Non vegetarian dishes are restricted to only special occasions and festivals. .
For a tourist, the ideal way to visit a village is quiet obviously on the back of a camel. The most interesting sights that grabs the attention of tourists are the women around the community well. Dressed in colourful attires, these women present a more lively attitude of the Rajasthanis. Closeby is a group of people discussing important issues relating to their village or general topics like politics. Lastly, there are children either studying in an open air school or running around with complete freedom. These sights do not sound as attractive, however, they have a genuine innocence hidden beneath that is heartening. And, the gesture of the villagers towards their guests is extremely hospitable. Tourists can get a better insight into the life of rural Rajasthan by interacting with these people.
Villages to Visit
There are many villages in Rajasthan which can be visited. Prominent among these are the villages in the Shekhawati region. Apart from these other typical villages are located around Jaisalmer and Bikaner.