Saturday, 2 February 2008

Last post from Shekhawati

Nawalgahr, Shekhawati.

This will be my last post from Shekhawati, showing an eclectic bunch of pictures showing some aspect of life there. In the picture above two girls are carrying home water from the local well.

Our hotel at Dundlod was the several hundred years old fort converted into a hotel by the old ruler's family. It was all a bit ramshackle but nevertheless a place with plenty of character.

The reception hall at the fort. This was in active use well into this century, but these days it stands more as a memorial to the times when Rajasthan was ruled by gallant maharajahs in fairytale castles, not by elected politicians.

Sunny courtyard in another old fort I visited.

Old, local man in Nawalgahr.

The potter's child, Nawalgahr.

Local boy, Parsurampura.

Woman sorting wool in a small business, which we stumbled upon by chance.

Another small business. Man frying some snacks of some sort. He gave me a taste for free.

Old well, very typical for Shekhawati. Although it is no longer in use, the wooden wheel used for pulling up the water is still there.

Deserted auto-rickshaw in Dundlod. Time, really moves slowly in Shekhawati. No one seems in a hurry to get rid of something like this.

Partridges in Nawalgahr. According to the locals, these birds are very tasty, although I didn't taste them myself.

And finally some local kids we interacted with look at us while we walk away in the sunset.

Shekhawati ended up being a very good experience. Despite it's proximity to Delhi it's a little troublesome getting there, due to poor infrastructure. This also means that tourism has seriously taken off yet, despite of enormous potential. But this is also part of the charm. Going now you will still get to experience life in small-town and rural India, something very different from the bustling metropolis I call home. The architectural heritage is amazing and even so is just following everyday life.

I don't normally do recommendations for hotels, but I'll make an exception this time. When I stayed in Nawalgarh on my first research trip I stayed at Shekhawati Guest House in Nawalgahr. It was cheap, nice and has the best restaurant in Nawalgahr. And the host, Mrs. Kalpana Singh is wonderfully hospitable and helpful. So if you go there, stay with her, and do greet her from me. She is expanding soon with some cool, new mud huts.

1 comment:

calcuttaliterati said...

A simple no nonsense site indeed. Thanks for the hotel suggestion