A trek in JAWAI gives great perspectives of the area and an appreciation of the terrain, the communities that live here and a chance to pick out and explore the hills which never fail to fascinate.
It’s 31st August, which means only one thing; the annual Field Team Training Programme has finally made its way back round the SUJÁN calendar. All members of the field department (rangers, drivers, trackers) in all our three camps take part in various tasks that encourage team unity, education and training. This year, JAWAI’s Head of Field, Vedant Thite, hosted and ran the three-day programme.
This week we take you through a series of visuals from the monsoon which is slowly beginning it’s retreat. We bring you some images from both Ranthambhore and Jawai, of the landscapes and it’s denizens in both these wildernesses, while the famous Indian monsoon delivers it’s bounties to their doorsteps.
Valmik Thapar is one of India’s foremost authorities on wildlife and environment matters and amongst the most respected experts on tigers in the world. A prolific author, Valmik has written, edited and compiled more than 30 books over a career spanning four decades, as an advocate for conservation and a voice for environmental causes throughout India. He has also been a member of critical government committees on environmental issues over this long period.
Simona Quaglia is a veteran of the ‘Safari Life’. Having spent years in the African bush work alongside some of the best in the business, Simona travelled to India, a country she has had a long-running romance for, earlier this year. A natural linguist with an uncommon flair for understanding nuances, Simona travelled across Rajasthan, staying with SUJÁN. Her first sojourn, at JAWAI saw her keep a travel diary, which she kindly shares with us for all our readers. In the first of a three part series, follow Simona as she travels between Camps and Palaces, on a journey of discovery and exploration.
“In the mid-1950s the so-called ‘Blue’ train from Paris’ Gare de Lyon lead passengers along the route from Paris to the Côte d’Azur. A road was built in parallel to the train, and outposts of fine French taste started to flourish along this route. As the owners of one of these establishments, Marcel and Nelly Tilloy saw an opportunity to band together with other locales sharing the same unflagging passion for hospitality and excellent cuisine. They offered an enticing culinary itinerary, encouraging travellers to explore all the spots. Soon this itinerary acquired the moniker “La Route du Bonheur” or “Road of Happiness”.”
Relais & Châteaux
“We simply need that wild country available to us, even if we never do more than drive to its edge and look in. For it can be a means of reassuring ourselves of our sanity as creatures, a part of the geography of hope.”
– Wallace Stegner, 1980
JAWAI is located in the wilderness of the ancient Aravalli Hills. Within these hills lies a semi-pastoral agrarian settlement with wild leopards and an untouched historic culture. Nature is a part of us and we are at one with nature, we are not separate identities. This is what makes JAWAI special. For centuries humans and animals have shared these hills in harmony. Spirituality and culture have been associated with this harmony. People who live with wildlife, shape the future of conservation in the country. At JAWAI, we look into this traditional model of animal-human coexistence. We aim at sharing this relationship as a model for other such wildernesses across the world and with those who visit us.
Granite hills, mustard fields and the lake in between surrounds this large expanse of land, in Jawai. An occasional splash of red adds a dash of colour and vibrancy to this land. The word Rabari is derived from ‘Rehaan’, meaning – a person who shows the path.
According to legend Lord Mahadeva, an incarnation of Lord Shiva, created the first camel for the amusement of his lover, Parvati. In order to look after the camel, he created a caretaker and called him a ‘Rabari’.
Since the opening of JAWAI, the leopards have played an importantly role in our wilderness experience. The team has successfully been tracking these big cats over the seasons amounting to over 400 separate sightings over the short time we have been in the area.
While there is something quite mesmerizing about seeing a leopard in the wild, there are other smaller cats, the ones that people don’t talk about as much which are just as exiting and special to see…
The most common small cat we see around JAWAI is the Jungle Cat. We often get lucky in the early evenings observing them hunting for rodents, geckos and small ground birds. It is huge fun watching them pounce and stalk. Back at camp we even have our own resident male Jungle Cat who confidently strolls around poking his head in out and keeping an eye on our guests at the campfire! Read More The other cats of JAWAI!