The Village Safari still remains our main highlight. Showcasing the best of the land, it is a cultural experience, which encompasses all that this region has to offer. From the warm and hospitable people, to the various customs and ceremonies and abundant wildlife, guests have the rare privilege of being welcomed into people’s homes and interacting with them. They get to experience and understand a way of life that takes them closer to their roots.
They meet the ‘Premier ecologists of the world’, the Bishnois, who have protected nature for more than 500 years and are responsible for the very survival of species like the Black Buck antelope (India’s most beautiful antelope and a rare and protected species today). They share a beautiful relationship with this special animal, wherein the antelope stays close to Bishnoi habitation, never leaving it, and displays complete trust in the Bishnoi people. Guests also meet the Raikas (shepherds) with their glorious costumes, and potters, the farmers and famous craft Pukhraj Durry Udhyog weavers respectively.
This unique tour is made possible solely because of the host family’s special relationship with the local people of the various communities, which allows rare access into every home visited, where guests are welcomed as their very own.
We would recommend a half-day excursion, available for 1000 Rs. per person, which includes a jeep ride, art and craft and tribal family visits.
For those looking for the peace and quiet of a village outside Jodhpur, our excursions to Osian are perfect. We can arrange half-day trips to the town, an oasis in the Thar Desert, which is about an hour and a half’s journey away. Osian has some of Rajasthan's oldest Hindu and Jain temples, which are well worth the visit alone. The Sachiya Mata Temple overlooks the town centre from its hilltop position, but can't compare with the nearby Mahavira Jain Temple (10Rs), which is well-maintained and has myriad alcoves and 28 pillars radiating out from its beautifully carved central shrine. Wander from here around the other temples, which have some interesting features; look out for the projecting stone elephants of the Peeplaj Temple.
Camel treks are very popular at Osian, and these trips are best done in the afternoon, as the day cools. Though trips can be a little cheesy at times, the experience is great and sunset dinners on the dunes are unmissable. Traditional folk dances also happen in the village, and are a great spectacle. Speak to the concierge, who can organise everything for you, though prices for camel treks will vary with the season and can be difficult to do in monsoon periods.
This tour is 2600 rupees per person includes drive to osian and back to pukhraj garh, camel ride in desert, temple visit etc…
The winter months attract a vast variety of birds into the region, where in a good year up to 200 different species can easily be sighted. The lakes and Jheels around Pukhraj Garh are a haven for birds. A bird book, a bottle of water, a pair of binoculars, packed breakfast, accompanied by an escort is all that a true bird-lover needs!
Guests have called a Rajasthani vegetarian Home cooked meal at Chhotaram Prajapats Homestay their best in India. Under her expert guidance, we began our culinary workshops. Today her legacy is carried forward by her daughter in-law, Mamata and Dariya 2nd at Pukhraj Garh. Our workshops promote traditional Rajasthani cuisine and are extremely comprehensive and popular. The guests are not only given demonstrations but also practical training following which they get to sample their own efforts!
Without a doubt Mehrangarh Fort is the site to see in Jodhpur and it is worth making a day of it. Though it's open from 9 to 5, the fort itself is best to see first thing in the morning, when it's coolest, maybe after some sunrise yoga in garden of pukhrajgarh. We can always arrange cab (30 Minutes’ drive) once you get there we highly recommended getting an audio guide with your museum ticket (600Rs). The history is simply fascinating, a blend of elephant battles, Mughal sieges and political machinations
The fort is in such good condition because Jodhpur's royal family lived there until the 1950s! Indeed the fort museum has a beautiful collection of the families' most extravagant paintings, palanquins and even cribs, which continued to be used well into the twentieth century.
From the top rooms of the museum the view of Jodhpur is incredible, so bring your cameras (the camera fee is worth it!).The fort’s shop is well curated and is the source of some lovely books and paintings and, should the mood takes you, the palmistry shop is always well-received.
The white stone cenotaph, is a lovely place to cool off. Sit in the gardens and take in the beauty of the memorial, or try and spot kingfishers in the small lake. It is a lovely place for a picnic. Inside, you can explore the amazingly carved white marble screens, so thin they seem to glow in the sunlight.
Umaid Bhawan is the monumental palace built in the 50s when the royal family of Jodhpur moved out of Mehrangarh. Their living quarters take up half of the palace and the Umaid Bhawan Hotel takes up another quarter. As such, not much of the palace is accessible to the public, but the few rooms that are open, as part of the palace museum, are worth a visit, particularly if you are in the area. Indeed, for a taste of true opulence our concierge can try and book you a table at the palace restaurant. It is not always possible as the restaurant is exceptionally exclusive, but the experience is the pinnacle of Indian luxury.