A heritage stay in Bisalpur near Jawai, Rajasthan
This is a land of stark beauty. Here granite rock formations that are as old as time stand sentinel and in the grasslands the Rabari roam with their cattle and sheep. Amidst the rocks and grassland also roam the elegant Indian leopard. Here, with the Aravalli rocks as its backdrop, is located a heritage-stay run by the 'family of the Thakur' or chieften of Bisalpur and it is a great base to have a rustic but luxurious holiday in the wilds of Rajasthan.
The younger generation of the family decided to open up four rooms in the ancestral home to travellers. Built originally in the 17 century, the structure was modernised in 1938. With columned verandahs and balconies the white structure with yellow highlights is a classic example of Indo-European architecture. The rooms are steeped in history. The Bisalpur Suite was the study and bedroom of Bisalpur's first Rao Saheb, Haridas Ji, while the three bedrooms were built during the time when the men of the family' served in the Jodhpur Lancers and would come home for much needed R&R.
This 'homestay' is perfect for foodies who want to enjoy authentic Rajasthani and Rajput food. Expect to be served family favourites and local delicacies, all made with fruits, vegetables, spices and herbs primarily sourced from the family's farmlands. Dishes include such specialities like Bisalpur Rajwada Smoked Daal, Godwad Lamb, Jodhpur Mustard Chicken Curry, Rawla papad and dumplings, minced Daabeli Sliders and baked pudding! The homestay makes its own pickles, jams and sauces. At sunrise and sunset, guests can enjoy steaming hot cups of the Rawla’s famous cardamom spiced tea and, throughout the day, they can enjoy freshly squeezed nimbu paani or cooling khus juice with wheat grass and rose water.
The erstwhile stables that once-upon-a-time housed the family's Marwari horses has been converted into a dining area where the sit-down dinner is typically served amidst lantern light. Picnic-style lunches are also organised for guests spending an adventurous day outdoors.
The family plays attentive hosts and will take guests for a a walk in the village to meet the Rabari community and to visit the nearby temple. They will also arrange a memorable picnic in the family's farm. A safari in Jawai is definitely the highlight of a stay here. Jawai is one of the few places where the graceful leopards can be spotted without much difficulty. The Jawai Lake is a birder's paradise as about 200 species of migratory birds make their presence felt here. The family can organise a luxurious G&T evening right by the lake for a perfect ending to the holiday!
Price: Rs 7,000 to Rs 12,000
Read more: https://www.rawlabisalpur.com/
Rawla Bisalpur was shaped keeping in mind conscious and low-impact travel. It follows many Responsible Tourism practices like providing drinking water only in glass bottles. The homestay is almost entirely plastic-free. It also helps local community and industry by providing locally sourced products for guests like camel milk soaps to help the semi nomadic camel-herders here. Most of the food served to guests is either sourced from the family’s farms or from the village. The heritage-stay employs only locals.