Our Indian small group journey continued from Jodhpur – We hit the road early to travel to the remote village of Chanoud. Along the way we stopped in a very small village to visit a local Dhurrie rug maker, Rupraj. He has become very successful with high demand for his rugs and he has now enlisted the support of the entire village in assisting him making the rugs for travellers world wide. The only way to purchase a rug from Rupraj is by visiting his village.
Our jeep excursion then crossed onto a salt pan leading to a local waterway where we had evening drinks and snacks as we watched the birdlife fly in for evening drinks as the sun slowly set behind the beautiful Arravelli hills. A very peaceful and beautiful way to conclude yet another day full of sights that filled our eyes with memories that will last forever.
Back at the Palace, dinner was on the palace rooftop with stars above and the sounds of the locals letting of crackers as the the Diwali celebrations began.
A late morning followed with a walk through the village with the retired school headmaster. Before we began, the family provided us with some pottery oil dishes to donate to the local residents so they could use them for small lights outside there homes to celebrate Diwali.
We were also given photos of the local people, taken by previous guests, to take with us to help break the ice between us and the locals, enabling us to all interact. The children and indeed adults would come up to us to see if we had a photo of them and if not they would point or explain what direction the people in the photos lived in the village. It was a great way to meet and then talk with the local villages.
What we thought would be a short village walk became an adventure as we all talked, smiled and laughed together merging our two diverse cultures. We have since sent photos we took in the village back to Chanoud Palace so future guests can enjoy the same experience that we enjoyed.
Later in the day we were fitted for saris, tunics and turbans so we could dress for dinner and celebrate Diwali with the family. We were taken to the families private courtyard in the palace and watched as the they held a traditional religious ceremony in their family temple. We were then treated to a music and dance performance before we witnessed a spectacular fireworks display over the palace. A small group of local children were invited into the palace let off crackers, we were given sparklers so we could join in the celebrations with them.
Diwali is the festival of light and this small but worthwhile gift was a great way to be able to help give some permanent light to the local residents. We then headed back tour our roof top dinner location for another fabulous meal and treated to another fireworks display.
Our visit to Chanoud Palace – Exploring the surrounding farmlands, our memorable village walk, being so warmly included in celebrating Diwali with the family in the palace was truly rewarding.
The family owners of the palace and the village of Chanoud I know will always hold a special place in all of the hearts of our Destination Journeys travellers. We must give thanks to Claudia at Tikka Tours and the team from Travelscope in India for their connections with the family at Chanoud to make our fabulous stay during the 2019 Diwali celebrations possible.
Glenn – Destination Journeys.