Discovering the real India. Road trip to Rajasthan

7th Oct 2014
Photo of Discovering the real India. Road trip to Rajasthan 1/1 by Ruchi Jain

Rajasthan, a state which signifies the diversity in culture of our India. The "Land of princes" is an enigmatic place where tradition and culture blend with the contemporary lifestyle. The rich culture of this place is reflected through it's music which is actually a means for forgetting the tough living conditions in the desert by the people there. The art and craft, the dance which is so grasping and inviting and how can we forget the people who welcome each visitor with an open arm. The food there is just irresistible. 

Don't we all love going back to our native places? Of course we do. The same soil, the smell, the lanes, the neighbours complainig of your frequent visitors and indeed all the fun and old memories left behind. It provides a sense of togetherness, love and automatically a bond is developed with everything related to that place. I moved out of my native place when I was a toddler. I, a typical Marwari, love the vibrant energy of this place. The colors, the joy , the smile, the food, the art and history and the temples here...just mesmerizes me. It's a perfect therapy for any problem for me. 

A road trip from Delhi to the interior districts of Rajasthan, the roads, the small shops, the villagers in the traditional colorful turban and the delicious khana at every halt, was a treasure for life for me. 

Image Credits: MapsofIndia

The road trip commenced from Chandni Chowk Road, which is the center for shopping for all shopaholics along with the delicious food and street chat. We hired a Innova car and it was the beginning of one of the most exciting trip at around 2 in the afternoon.
Photo of Chandni Chowk, Delhi, India by Ruchi Jain
We reached Jhunjhunu around 9 in the night. On the way, I encountered some of the real aspects of India. I had never seen such villages ever in my life. They just seem to be villages but yet they are far more advanced than us. I realized that the villagers are indeed more environment friendly and conscious. It's just a mindset prevailing in our brain that they are not-so-literate. Almost every village we crossed had solar panels and rain water harvesting techniques. From purchasing the yummy Mawa Kachori, to going to washrooms at every petrol pump I witnessed, from the urge to see more greenery all around you to realizing that it's not the tolls which only the urbanites complain about, it's right there even in our little tiny villages after almost every 2 hours. Jhunjhunu is actually the land of Rani Sati Dadi temple, which is very divine and spiritual for all us Marwaris and even other caste too. You will be flabbergasted when you experience the beauty of the temple. It's very huge with almost 700 rooms to accommodate the visitors. It's just like a palace which you would have noticed in the movie "Jodha Akbar". Touching the walls of the temple, looking at each and every Marwari face, the pachak and gola's just made me realze the importance of my culture and how privileged I am to be a Marwari. Such places shake me, it makes me cry. The goddess embracing you with her blessing and caricature, just made me feel this was all I wanted here.We had an overnight stay at the temple as we wanted to attend the morning aarti at 5 AM. So with this, my trip to the divine shrine was very memorable and we left for Salasar at around 9 in the morning.
Photo of Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan, India by Ruchi Jain
We reached Salasar at around 2 in the afternoon. This is also a temple of Salasar Baba. During this journey, I encountered peacocks of all sizes, some with very few feathers left and some from which I could not remove my eyes It was for the first time I that touched a peacock. No wonder why they are our national bird. It's just an embodiment of beauty. The roads very excellent. I had not expected it to be so clear and smooth. On reaching the temple, we did darshan. And here just as we have prasad to bestow or offer to god, visitors can do "SAWAMANI", in which you can select the amount you want to spend for the prasad which is then distributed to all the people in the temple. It starts from 8k and goes on till 50k. It is believed that if you ask something in the temple and you get it, sawamani is something which people do. In the same tradition, my mother did this as it was our 3rd trip to the temple. We then went to have food which was Marwari khana including churma, gaate ki sabji, mesi roti , aloo ki sabji and papad. We then headed toward the car to reach the next destination.
Photo of Salasar, Rajasthan, India by Ruchi Jain
We reached Khatu at 7 in the evening. This was the place which drove me crazy beacuse of the vibrant atmosphere and bustling bazar near the Khatu dharamsala or guest house near the temple. The choori shops, the chappals, the gudda guddi dolls, the showpiece of Rajasthani folk, the food, the yummy Puchka, the different spices and pachaks, the wide range of papad and eatables, everything was very pleasing and absorbing. I spent almost 3 hours in the bazzars and then I went to the temple along with my family. We attended the morning aarti at 7:00 AM in the morning. The temple is of SHYAM BABA, who is another form of krishna ji, the god. All the three temples, Jhunjunu, Khatu and Salasar are the holy places for Marwaris and the person who goes to one will cover all the three temples. Though it was a trip meant for visiting temples which normally people don't prefer going for, specially kids, I wish we could at least go there once in two years, if not one as for me it's a revival of my childhood, my native place, my homeland and my culture.
Photo of Khatu, Rajasthan, India by Ruchi Jain
After leaving from Khatu on the second day, we headed toward Delhi from where we started. Our flight was at 9 in the night so we had ample of time. We reached the airport around 6 and by 11:30 I was back to home in Mumbai.
Photo of Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi, Delhi, India by Ruchi Jain
Photo of Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi, Delhi, India by Ruchi Jain