The real India can be found in the hinterlands and the Rajasthan village culture is one of the most vibrant in the whole world. The most spectacular part of all my Rajasthan trips were spent in the rural hamlets and they were some extremely photogenic moments.
Rajasthan village culture has strict gender based roles
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I stayed at Salawas village near Jodhpur in Rajasthan and my Homestay hosts were traditional weavers. Thus my Rajasthan village culture discovery started from there and it was a strict patriarchal household. Duties were divided according to the gender of the family member and their chores did not overlap. The men brought home the livelihood and the women nurtured the family.
Colours form an integral part of the Rajasthan village culture
It was also a very photogenic household and jewel hued peacocks flocked at Chotaram, my host’s courtyard every morning. Apart from these divinely beautiful feathered creatures, colours could be found at every part of their daily life. In fact, flamboyance and bright colours are two integral eye-popping aspects of this experience and these make the idea of exploring Rajasthan village culture all the more alluring.
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The allure of the Rajasthan village culture lies in details
The rural women of Rajasthan, in my eyes, are one of the most stylish in the world. Despite their backbreaking daily routine, these ladies are famous for their perchance for colours, glitter, embroideries, jewellery, henna designs and kohl lined eyes.
Imagine getting all dressed up like a princess every day
During my time at Salawas, I used to pass by these gorgeous local women every day. I met them at sandy dirt trails, on open fields, in highways, at their homes and they were always in the middle of some household chores. They used to appear like glittering butterflies; nearly always in a group, waiting with their husbands at bus stops, gossiping viciously while keeping an eye on the wayward child. The women added that perfect oomph quotient to the Rajasthan village culture and it was expected out of them to look great in public, irrespective of whether they are just making cow dung cakes.
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Bold colours, turbans, and veils are quintessential Rajasthan village culture
Their men too were equally dashing with white short shirts and pleated dhotis (traditional pants for men), colourful circular turbans and magnificent ornaments. These gentlemen flaunted their jewels and from pierced ears, intricate bracelets to tribal tattoos, they were as photogenic as their decked up wives. Jewellery formed a part and parcel of Rajasthan village culture and the women of different communities wore different designs of nose rings. The married women wore conical gold tiaras called borlas on their heads and their arms were adorned with heavy white bracelets.
Such is the life and vibrant beauty of Rajasthan village culture
I was told by my host that ivory used to be the popular choice of material in making these arm bracelets, followed by conch shells and mother of pearl. Nowadays, these prized possessions like many other things have been reduced to plastic. The original heirlooms, once which adorned ladies of importance through generations are now sold off to the highest paying antique collectors, thus giving away a part of the exquisite Rajasthan village culture and heritage. Well, c’est la vie. Such is life.
The best places to experience the Rajasthan village culture
Bishnoi village – Located close to the city of Jodhpur, these villages houses the Bishnoi clan, who are India’s traditional animal and plant protectors. Chinkaras and other non-dangerous wildlife life can be found meandering uninhibitedly around Bishnoi villages. The landscape around Bishnoi villages is mostly arid, thus making camel rides.
Bijaipur Village – Surrounded by Jacaranda and Flame of the Forest trees, the Bijaipur castle is located inside this fortified hamlet. Treks to Menal Temple, Pangarh Lake, and Chittorgarh Fort are possible from here.
Mandawa Village – This small village lies at the core of the Shekhawati district in Rajasthan. It is famous for its painted old mansions and resemble an open air museum. Located around 190 km off Jaipur, this is a pretty place to experience the Rajasthan village culture.
Ranakpur – Located near Sadri town in Pali region of Rajasthan, Ranakpur is famous for its exquisite Jain temples. It is just 48 km from Kumbhalgarh and 90 km from Udaipur, and is surrounded by some astonishingly beautiful landscape. Visit during the rainy season for an unforgettable experience.
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