The rural setting in Rajasthan displays rich cultural heritage. The villages in Rajasthan displays varied lifestyle depending upon the topography, history, caste system etc. prevalent in the region. Each village is made special by its bazaars and fairs and festivals which give each village a distinct aura. The village dwelling is mostly comprised of hutment mostly circular in appearance. These simple hamlets are most basic and earliest form of civilization which is present in its most unadulterated form in the villages of Rajasthan.
These huts have thatched roofs; their walls have layers of clay, cow dung and hay serving as plaster for the wall which make them termite free and blend with the sand of countryside around it. The walls are also thatched with grass and hay sticks. Occasionally clay moulded Kelu are also used for the purpose. The outer boundary of houses and landholdings are called baras which are comprised of dry branches of nettle like shrub whose long, sharp thorns serves as a deterrent for straying cattle. These commodities not only make the huts hygienic but also make them refreshingly cold and comfortable despite being set in oppressively hot setting of the desert. In winters the same setting offers comfortable and warm environment making for a comfortable stay.
The concept of Dhani or boothra that so marks the villages in North India is to be seen in Rajasthan as well. A cluster of few houses is known as Dhani in Rajasthan. These are cluster of mud plastered walls amongst green or dun colored fields and set amongst the cool comfort of trees.
If Dhanis, which are probably are the most eco friendly unit, appear to be drab than it should not come as a surprise. They are constructed with whatever is readily available which is always scarce in Rajasthan. Particularly in the western desert region of the state which experiences very oppressive weather.
Villages bigger to dhanis comprises of pucca houses or larger living units and belong to village zamindari family. These consist of courtyards and cattle enclosure which are attached to one side or at the entrance. These enclosures are made of a mixture of sun baked clay bricks and are covered with plaster of lime.
Pearl Millet (Bajra) comprises the staple diet of the villages of Rajasthan. The principal meal in the villages of Rajasthan is dinner when fresh bread (roti) and porridge is served with yoghurt curry and vegetables which mostly consist of dried beans though with improved transportation fresh vegetables from neighboring states is also available. Breakfast mostly include a glass of hot tea consumed with leaft over bread (roti) from the dinner. Lunch, on the other hand, mostly comprises of sogra (unleavened bread) which is consumed with chutney of chillies and Garlic.
Gurjars and Jats, communities that are mostly found in thevillages in Rajasthan, are vegetarians. Rajputs on the other hand do consume meat, In fact they rear chicken for their meat. However, their meal is also mostly vegetarian and they eat non-veg on a regular basis. Apart from chicken goat rearing is also common however they are slaughtered on special occasions like marriages, festivals and on celebrations.
The villages in Rajasthan may not have access to modern entertainments but they surely know how to enjoy life. There are plenty of fairs and festivals that dot the landscape of Rajasthan making it every bit colorful. Apart from the many popular fairs each village has something special to offer.
It can well be said that though villages of Rajasthan might not offer the exuberance of its cities yet they offer a charm which is every bit as exciting. It is for this very reason that trips to these village are so exciting as more and more people enroll themselves to catch a glimpse of rural side of Rajasthan.
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