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Camel Cart Safari

Forget cars, jeeps, buses and aeroplanes while you are a guest at the resort. In this secluded vale, you get thrown back in time as you travel on camel carts to sleepy villages where time seems to stand still. As the ‘ship of the desert’ gently pulls the cart along unpaved, sandy paths, there is a gentle, undulating rhythm in its movement…

Tulsi Ceremony

The camel cart trundles its way unhurriedly to a small village of the Gujar community, who are mainly involved in the dairy business. Here you will witness a quintessentially Indian ceremony, the Tulsi Vivah. The villagers dance and perform the symbolic marriage ceremony between Salig Ram, a form of Lord Vishnu and Tulsi, the holy basil plant.

The Tulsi Vivah signifies the end of the monsoon and the beginning to the Hindu wedding session. As you witness the villagers enact the ceremony, a slice of rural life in India comes alive in front of your eyes.

Folk Dances

The Village Retreat showcases two of these folk dances– The Chari and Bhavai dances. Both dance forms demand extreme dexterity from the ladies who perform them.

The Chari, a dance performed to welcome guests, is very fast paced as the dancers whirl with burning pots on their heads! In the Bhavai, the ladies balance 8 or 9 pitchers on their heads, even as they dance in perfect rhythm. It is interesting to note that this dance has evolved from the lifestyle of women in the local community, as they have to carry multiple pitchers over their heads for long distances to fetch drinking water.

Abhaneri Step Wells

There are some historical structures so awe inspiring that it is hard to believe they were made by human hands, so many centuries ago. The Abhaneri baori or step well is one such structure, so astounding that many folk tales have been spun around its construction. People in the area believe that it was built overnight by spirits or Jinns, not human beings.

In reality, the Abhaneri step well, also known as Chand Baori, was constucted by a 9th century ruler King Chand of Nikumbh. It has a dazzling 3,500 symmetrical steps descending from this sides into the 100 foot deep well. Abheneri is one of India’s oldest, deepest, and largest step wells.

People

The Chari, a dance performed to welcome guests, is very fast paced as the dancers whirl with burning pots on their heads! In the Bhavai, the ladies balance 8 or 9 pitchers on their heads, even as they dance in perfect rhythm. It is interesting to note that this dance has evolved from the lifestyle of women in the local community, as they have to carry multiple pitchers over their heads for long distances to fetch drinking water.

The Village School

Folk dances epitomise the very soul of Rajasthan and are performed at every conceivable life event and festival. Unlike the classical forms of dance, these folk forms reflect the local ethos of the area. They differ from the classical form in repertoire, manner, pitch, and movement.

Bird Watching

At the Village Retreat, bird watching begins right at home. Our central lawn, surrounded by large trees is home to many local birds. Cooing pigeons and partridges flutter and flit in the air, as they go busily about their daily routines. Peacocks often wander in from the surrounding areas.

For avid birdwatchers, there is the Getolav Bird Habitat developed by storing rainwater, which is host to local as well as a large number of migratory birds that include Shrikes, Ibis, Storks, Pelicans, Terns, Geese, Cormorants, Herons, Ducks, Plovers, Pochards, Egrets, Coots, and Kingfishers, among many other variety of birds.  

Dining

Paying heed to the old saying that the way to the heart lies through the stomach; our chefs excel in buffets and a la carte menus that include the best of continental food as well as local delicacies.

The dining hall is a cozy hut. Once the appetite is satisfied, it is a great place to relax and make new friends.

Hiking

To really get to know a place, you have to feel its earth beneath your feet. A short, two and a half kilometre trek to a quaint hillside temple is not only a great way to stretch your muscles, but to also get acquainted with the surrounding countryside.

From the ‘commanding heights’ of the temple you can see verdant green fields, little villages, and country roads spread out below you. In the far distance, a medieval monument is visible through the morning haze. A feeling of peace and wellbeing pervades the air.

Sports

In today’s time, there is no better time to play than while on a vacation.

The Village Retreat provides the opportunity to play Cricket, Badminton and Croquet, invoking the old world charm of playing in the garden with friends. Not to worry if you are short of players – Our staff is more than happy to join you in one of the games.

There is also a collection of indoor games if you are so inclined.

Henna (Mehendi)

Imagine getting a tattoo that you can wash off or wear at will! Henna or Mehndi is an ancient form of body art in which decorative designs are created on a person’s body, mainly the hands by applying a reddish orange paste. At the resort, we have special arrangements for Henna Decorations by experts.

The raw material from which paste is made is created from powdered dry leaves of the Henna plant. The designs are intricate and usually floral in nature. They are temporary and can be washed off completely in a day or two.

Children’s Library

Perhaps the most unique feature of the resort is the children’s library. Opened as a social responsibility experiment, the library has over thirty village children visiting it on most afternoons. Apart from reading the books there, the children play together and learn new skills with the help of a volunteer.

Guests can interact, donate or volunteer to enrich children’s lives and get deeper insights in the village life.

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