I read an interesting travel article on the Washington Post recently. The author, Lisa Singh is in search of an authentic Indian village expeience. Not the Chokhi Dhani type.
I wanted to experience an overlooked side to Indian life. Nearly all Western travelers stick to India’s cities. Here in Rajasthan, a largely desert land visited by nearly half of all tourists to the country, those wanting a taste of Indian rural life often settle on a place like Chokhi Dhani. Billed as an “ethnic village resort,” it’s an amusement park on the outskirts of Jaipur where visitors ride bullock carts, eat in mud huts and watch dancers perform under the open night sky. You’ll also hear shrieks of fright from the crowd every time the electric lights inadvertently flicker off.
She is not willing to forgo the hot shower but quite a game not to let a few mice scare her off.
I didn’t want to forgo hot showers, but I was eager to spend days away from the city — and not a moment too soon. I’d flown into Jaipur in February as a three-week garbage strike gripped the city of more than 2 million and the smell of burning trash filled the air. The day the Hindustan Times reported that strikers “bayed for their leaders’ blood,” I hired a driver, met up with Mr. Agrawal and hit the road.
However, if you are willing to forgo the hot shower and not scared of a few mice or cockroches, I will suggest a different recipe for you.
1. Catch a state transport bus going in the direction of either Himanchal Pradesh or Uttranchal (or any other state you want to visit). You may get a few goats as your fellow passengers.
2. The most expensive room in the off season may cost you 150 rupees (3 dollars roughly) if you are lucky to find a proper hotel.
3. There will be a lot of friendly people around away from the big town madness that Delhi induces.
4. Sometimes the bus journey turns out to be a little bit too much even for me.
5. The places that are the last stop ( or almost te last stop) of a state transport bus are too beautiful for words in the state of Himanchal Pradesh and Uttranchal.