Rajasthan is a very differently beautiful state in India! The travel experience was so different and I have never experienced similar culture in spite of the of living and growing up in India all my life. The commonly visited tourist area of Rajasthan is (Jaipur, Udaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur etc.) are over commercialised just like any other tourist places in India but life is very different more you travel into Rajasthan, distinctly different. Note: Click on the photos to enlarge
The People and their Lives
When you travel interior, you certainly will observe – India is not rich, posh and polished, but poor! The people who live in villages like Khuri are totally disconnected from the outside world in all means. They have their own little world of happiness and difficulties. You rarely can hear about kids who go to school and child marriages are still in practice (was shocked to hear from a very small kid that he was married, might not be same elsewhere in India but saying from what I saw). If something has to change to develop India, help should reach places like Khuri.
Even though, these villages are not very far from towns / cities like Jaisalmer (about 50kms) people rarely travel there, they simply don’t have to. Most of the people meet their expenses but small cultivation, work as camel boys for small cottages, take tips from tourists etc.
Travel to Khuri from Jaisalmer:
I was travelling from Udaipur to Jaisalmer via Jodhpur. After reaching Jaisalmer town via Pokhran, (a desert 110 km away from Jaisalmer, where India usually tests their nuclear weapons) I had to further find out a way to reach Khuri.
On inquiring , I got to know that Khuri was further 50 km away from Jaisalmer and there aren’t any frequent buses in the route. Managed to find a Jeep travelling that way and began my travel. The atmosphere was very hot and windy that I had to tie a drenched towel around my face just exposing my eyes (to see around). I must say, the travel was very depressing due to the disturbing loneliness with not a single sign of life for miles ahead, just a strip of tarmac with desert on either side.
We can occasionally spot camels, wild horses and cactus everywhere! After travelling for around 1.5 hours with mixed thoughts in my mind, I spotted a small tea shop with signs of people around. Requested the driver to stop and checked if I could buy some water. The shop had several old men sitting around and having their lunch with a small kid by their side. I took few snaps, talked to them for a while and cleared my skeptics about reaching my destination and continued the journey.
Reaching Khuri and Meeting Sukh Singh Bhati:
After a journey lasting few hours, reached Khuri and met my contact person, Mr. Sukh Singh Bhati, a friendly nice chap in his mid 30’s. I was staying at his desert resort called “Registhan Guest House” (meaning desert guest house). Soon settled down in the mud paved clean room surrounded by desert with Sukh and his men as lone company(it was off season and no guests around – exactly what I wanted because I intended to explore in my own pace). The next 3 days including my birthday was spent in the peaceful (and hot, windy) little village called Khuri.
The resort, staff (basically Sukh and family) were very kind people and did a great job making my stay comfortable (he arranged a camel boy and a camel to help me travel and photograph the entire village, desert and nearby places). After 2 days of peaceful time (only -ve was the climate), I started for Jaisalmer to head back to Jaipur via Jodhpur. To add before I wind up, Jaisalmer fort was worth my time too, you can find my photographs published here.