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.
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.
“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
The Rusty-spotted cat Prionailurus rubiginosus is one rare cat which we occasionally encounter at JAWAI. Also called the ‘humming bird’ of the cat world, not just for its small size — at just over a foot, it’s about half the size of the domestic cat — but also because it is extremely agile and active. They have been described as abundant in some parts of India, and have been observed close to and within villages.
Bisalpur Hill, close to our camp JAWAI resembles a steep mountain in the lower Himalayas and has been the home to many Hindu priests and wild animals over the centuries. The ancient Ashapura Mata Ji Temple which is situated half way up the hill, overlooks and is believed to guard the entire Bisalpur Village that lies beneath it. Many pilgrims from all over the country come and pay their regards to the mother goddess at this auspicious temple. On the other side of the hill you are met with stunning views over the agricultural fields & rural farmland below, interspersed with the faint sound of the water being pumped from the irrigation wells. The daily routine of a small rustic village can be witnessed close by. Read More Oh Lakkad Bagga! The Striped Hyena
JAWAIs solitary hills are dotted with temples, shrines and memorials. All events and festivities in this region are devoted to religion. This can be mainly attributed to the fact that this region was secluded and not many invaders managed ruling over this area. Over centuries, the various communities of JAWAI have preserved their traditions and are proud to have maintained their customs. Every temple has some spiritual significance and has a legend attached to it. Such is the legend of Devgiri. Read More JAWAI: The Legend of Devgiri- God’s Own Hill
The JAWAI family is delighted to announce the return of one of our most beloved leopards: The Temple Female Read More The Temple Female: The return of an Icon!
There was barely any light when we first saw her, moving slowly at first then bounding into the castor fields; caught in the act of killing a porcupine. I had just finished relaying the sighting report to Adam Bannister as a message crackled the jeep wireless into life again. The voice was Jaisalbs, radioing in from Camp to say antelope alarm calls outside his tent were bellowing the presence of a leopard nearby. We were about 10 kilometres out from Camp already so stayed in our position, waiting for the light to rise on that extraordinarily cold December morning last year, sitting metres away from an adult leopard now enjoying feasting on her porcupine kill. Read More Jawai at One!
Blackness turned first to gloom and then to pale blue. Soon papaya orange painted the dusty skies of the east as morning crept gently up upon the world, climbing the back of the hill on which we sat. A dry but green land of fields, parched riverbeds and impossibly sculpted granite hills lay spread out around us, slowly opening its colours to the sky as the sun broke the horizon. Pink rocks, orange soils and precipitously green crop plantations prepared themselves for another day of the intense Indian heat, memories of the recent monsoons gradually evaporating under what would almost certainly be another relentlessly clear Rajasthani sky. Read More Cats of the Dawn
The name ‘porcupine’ comes from French ‘porc d’C)pine’ meaning ‘thorny pig’. Something to do with their rounded bodies covered in quills. There are, in total, 27 species of porcupine in the world, of which we at JAWAI regularly encounter one – the Indian Crested Porcupine. Read More The Thorny Pig