This week as the monsoon has begun to arrive in Rajasthan we look up to the skies in hope that the rain gods will shower some heavy blessings across these lands and spread relief for all those who rely on their waters.
Author: Robert Postma
The morning is silent save for the hum of my air conditioner in the corner. Inside my tent it’s cool the true sounds of the new day are evident as I turn it off and am greeted by the songs of birds. A new day is dawning. I realize that this is my favourite part of any day. Day break fills me with a sense of the unknown, what will happen today, what will I get to see? A tiger stalking prey through the forest, a leopard searching out a cave to wait the heat of the day away in, perhaps a desert fox playing with its young. One thing for sure is that there will be an amazing sunrise that will take my breath away. Other than that, it’s a surprise here in India. I wouldn’t want it any other way.
The Farm at SUJÁN The Serai nestles in a corner of the camp, bordering soft hillocks and mellow bui scrubland. The poultry (all local desi species) dashing about in the daytime, from the adjacent coops and the occasional mooing of indigenous Tharparkar cows from their rattan-covered sheds, leaves you in no doubt of the location of this patchwork of green hues, in the middle of what is the Thar desert ecosystem. The lettuce abuts the tomatoes who blithely bend over home-grown spring onions and garlic in the golden light of a sun that can belong only to Jaisalmer.
Author: Chef Haresh Patel
SUJÁN JAWAI hosted the annual Christmas cake mixing ceremony this season making a delicious marinade of rum, brandy and dried fruits. Our in house guests at camp got their aprons on and helped mix the magic that will provide all four of our SUJÁN properties and our guests with an endless supply of delicious christmas cake for the festive season!
The forts and palaces of Rajasthan are examples of the most spectacular architecture symbolising dynastic power and built as strategic military defences by the proud rulers of this region. For modern visitors they represent the grandeur and opulence of the Rajput courts, their legendary wealth, their turbulent history and their readiness to find and embrace death, if defeated. Some of the largest forts in Rajasthan have seen bloody battles, long sieges, intrigues, jauhars (immolations) and sometimes, defeat. Since the region is strategically located along India’s western frontier through which historically important trade routes passed, it was constantly under attack by forces intent on entering North India, right from the time of Alexander the Great.
The myth of the creation of the camel is dates back to Hindu tradition. Parvati, the goddess of power and the consort of Lord Shiva (the supreme god who creates, protects and transforms) was waiting for Lord Shiva to finish with his meditation. To pass the time, Parvati was playing with the clay and mud where she sat and had moulded an unrecognisable five-legged animal. She marvelled at her creation that she asked Shiva when he had returned to breath life into her clay sculpture. Shiva had originally rejected her proposal as he believed that no place would be habitable to this penta-pod and therefore by giving life to the animal he would not be able to protect and sustain it. However, Parvati persisting and persisting, Shiva had granted her wish.
Dipavali, or Diwali is one of the most important festivals of the Hindu calendar and is celebrated in the autumnal months, all over India – and especially northern and central India – with gusto. It signifies a triumph of light over darkness or a victory of good and righteousness over evil. The Sanskrit dīpāvali literally means a row or series of lights and references to its celebration can be traced to as far back as 1 BC, over 2000 years ago in the Upanishads. While the reasons for its celebration vary between the many regions of India, “all the stories associated with Deepavali, however, speak of the joy connected with the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, and good over evil”, according to some anthropologists.
To glimpse and experience the dynamism of Jaisalmer, the land of Bhattis (the Rajput ruling dynasty), and to capture the essence of the medieval city’s charm and magnificence, a visit to the golden, arched roofs of Bada Bagh is a sure must. These Cenotaphs here at Bada Bagh emulate Jaisalmer’s prosperous and powerful heritage.
The Serai, Jaisalmer sits on desert scrubland with a rolling as-far-as-the-eye-can-see-view of the horizon, where pink skies bid farewell to blazing, fiery sunsets and cranes flying overhead to their nesting grounds signal the end of the day in wintertime. This is a timeless landscape, a roundabout of history that has witnessed the arrival (and departure) of armies and caravans, of princes, priests and mendicants each of whom settled down or passed through in the rise and ebb of medieval dynamics. Not far from The Serai, in about as much time as it would take you to enjoy the on-board picnic, you can drive to the centre of this historic landscape, Jaisalmer Fort.