My One Day Excursion Around Jodhpur, Rajasthan

Early winter morning hours are dark, chilled, and I am at Jodhpur railway station after traveling more than sixteen plus hours by train. No Royal Enfield Thunderbird Twinspark motorbike drive this time. A short tour but within thoughts places to visit in Jodhpur, including excursions. The moment I reach hotel, I inquire about Jodhpur tourist attractions and the print-out. Reception was prompt.

Itinerary for Two Days

1st Day

  • Mehrangarh Fort
  • Jaswant Thada
  • Umaid Bhawan Palace
  • Girdikot and Sardar Market
  • Mandore Garden

 

2nd Day

  • Osian
  • Vishnoi Village Safari

Two days itinerary? I disagree. As far as I am concerned two days is not enough. Anyways, I have to select what to visit this time and what to visit next time next tour and the selection for the 1st Day:

Jodhpur Excursions

  • Vishnoi Village Safari
  • Osian

I was told Osian is well-known for sand dunes as well as Sunset. Tourists unable to visit Jaisalmer due to short of tour days usually visit Osian. About Vishnoi village it is famous for Bishnois love for trees and animals as well as famous for pottery making, durry making (hand made) and traditional Rajasthani food.

After refreshing myself I selected village safari for the morning and later in the evening Osian.

20 km approx. drive driver stopped the vehicle outside potter’s house. Salawas village – We are visiting to watch pottery making in a traditional way.

Namaskar (Namaste) – we were welcomed by Deen Mohammad son of Iqbal Khan who is into pottery making business for the last 35 years. Few foreign tourists were also present watching the art of pottery making as Iqbal Khan was busy making Gamla (flower pot) with the help of Chaak (wheel). Iqbal Khan uses all traditional old methods for pottery making though modern days machines are present. Upon query, he said pottery made by hands is the best, especially when final stages of making are under process. And he showed us how to make Gamla, Chai ka Kullad (tea pot), Surahi (goblet/pitcher) on a chaak with the help of hands. Even his forefathers were in the same traditional business.

Mokulsar village within Barmer district is the location from where the soil is purchased. The soil is in wet form kept in the Sun to dry before usage for pottery making. When a product is made such as gamla or surahi or any other it is also wet and is kept in the Sun for 3-4 days to dry and later into Bhatti (furnace) for one night to be in solid form. And yes, painting if required by the customer is done. Later he showed us Elephant, Camel, Gullak (money-pot) and many more…

I purchased a feet scrubber and Dahi Jamane wali Matki (curd making utensil). Rs. 70 I paid for both and with thanks we drive towards another destination, Bishnoi village.

As we drive through villages, dusty roads with very little vehicle movement, land with almost no vegetation, the driver of the cab enhanced our knowledge about a word ‘Dhani’ which means very few houses in the middle of a vast land area. Yes, I can see three four huts far away – said I. That is ‘Dhani’ said the driver, and we are driving towards Tulsi Ram home.

Car was parked as I can see the neatness all around Tulsi Ram home. Well organized – in short. He was sitting close by at his brother’s house, but upon our arrival he came. We greet each other by saying Namaste and we walk towards the backyard of the house.

Ber, Lemon trees, and I decided to have a few ber. Tulsi Ram ji plucked a few and we both had delicious fruit. Tasty and fresh. Village life is always better, almost no pollution, no vehicle sound all natural. Calf, buffaloes around.

Now we were invited to see some special skills of Tulsi Ram.

Khad or Ghota is the name of the one shown within the above image is made of Royda wood to be used to offer holy water to Shivling or can be used to crush ginger, cardamom, lentil etc. etc. Tulsi Ram the maker. 100% handmade. In a month he makes only 4-5 because it is a tough task which requires time with focus.

What is the cost? – I inquire.

Rs. 500 – He said, and I requested for one – purchased.

As I was sitting on top of a handmade cot, beautifully made the desire to have Rajasthani thali and then a nap later. I conveyed this to the driver. Rs. 200 per thali the charges. OK – said I. Message was conveyed. Tulsi Ram along with family members started lunch preparation. If I am correct, within 15 minutes the food was served HOT. I was amazed by the speed. Incredible indeed.

Bajre ki Roti, Kair Sangri ki sabzi (vegetable), Moong Dal, Raita, Churma, Chaas and above all Ghee on top of Bajre ki Roti – fantastic Rajasthani traditional thali. While writing the post, the wish is to have once more Rajasthani traditional thali and then a nap of 40 minutes.

I suggest you should not miss the village safari if you are touring Jodhpur. All you have to do is to talk to your hotel reception. They will arrange the cab with the driver.

Salawas distance is approx. 20 km from Jodhpur and Tulsi Ram house approx. 27 km from Jodhpur.

After delicious lunch we had tea and then the payment and another drive towards another close-by location to watch the durry making. The fragrance of Desi Ghee awesome all over our fingers as we continue driving towards Nimi Chand Durry Udhyog (factory).

Nimi Chand busy with weaving for the past 15 years. Even his forefathers were into same profession. Cotton, Resham, Camel hair are used to make Durry but mostly cotton is used. Upon query, he enhanced knowledge about loom.

Loom or Aada (marwari language) is a traditional machine to make durry which consists of tana, bana, ghora and panja. Tana is white cotton (a lengthy one) thread divided into two sections – Upper and Lower and is controlled by four wooden ghoras. Bana is a color cotton (white cotton is purchased and is given to a dyer for coloring as per color requirement) thread. Color cottons are passed within Tana one by one. Later panja is used to push color threads for fine finishing. 8×5 feet durry with simple design takes 10-15 days, 8 hours daily to complete, cost approx. Rs. 6000. More complex the design, more the price and more days to complete.

I question: how many days or months or years you took to learn this creative art?

7 days – He said as it is his family work seen since childhood days, but if someone wishes to learn, a minimum of 2 months training is required.

And I saw a Charpai i.e., handmade cot popularly known as Macha made with cotton by Nimi Chand’s father very artistic with lots of flowers present.

Creativity is visible all around, no matter whether it is loom work or paintings on the wall or cot.

As I follow Nimi Chand I met Liladhar (younger brother) busy folding durry. Total six family members are involved in the durry making business – He said. 4×6 feet, 3×5 feet and many more durries were shown by Nimi Chand one by one. All colorful and handwork visible and the name of the design, for example: bareek PP, Tree of Life etc. etc. shared by Nimi ji.

This was the first experience to watch the loom industry so closely though I remember we have few durry at our house, but what was lacking – knowledge. Thank you, Nimi Chand ji for sharing knowledge and Thank you to the driver of the cab for the village safari. It was time to reach the hotel for rest as the morning safari was over, and in the evening we have to refresh ourselves to reach Osian for camel safari – Wooo HOOoo.

Evening hours, and we are driving towards Osian.

33 km approx. drive from Jodhpur via National Highway 65 and a left turn (leaving NH 65) towards Umed Nagar and from Umed Nagar approx. 22 km drive to reach Osian village. The moment we reach Osian an old temple is visible i.e., Sachiya Mata temple said the cab driver.

As it was time for the sunset, I suggested for camel safari and later while returning we will visit the temple for sure. The temple is 2000 years old.

Total 70 km approx. distance Jodhpur to Osian. We stop at Osian The Desert Cafe. Tourist buses, taxi are parked and many tourists present. We walk inside the cafe to book a safari. All camels booked. We are late. Jeep the only option said the cafe manager. Rs. 1400 the charges for the full jeep. As there was no option, I opted for a jeep safari if not a camel safari, but it was better because during our ride the driver of the jeep enhanced knowledge by showing us how far a camel will take tourists and how far we were going.

Actually there are two sand dunes – one is Osian Sand Dunes and other one is Khetasar Sand Dunes. Osian Sand Dunes is few km away, and a ride by a camel is OK but for Khetsar Sand Dunes you have to hire a jeep. It is approx. 10 km one-way distance driving between a pitch road, muddy road, sand paths with no vegetation and only Bavliyan, Kair, Khejdi trees around.

We reached Khetasar Sand Dunes and saw a few tourists riding a camel. They are from close by desert camps – said the jeep driver. The Sun was about to set, a few children from near by houses were also at Khetasar Sand Dunes. Watching desert Sunset almost alone on top of Khetasar Sand Dunes was peaceful. Children sang a song upon request, and I asked them their most favorite Bollywood actor?

Salman Khan – the reply.

I had a smile. While returning, we stop at Sachiya Mata temple. The temple was about to close. More than 100 stairs. I started running and climbing to offer prayers. The journey continues…

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