On one day we decided to take a trip outside Jodhpur and visit the desert, which is about 65km north of Jodhpur. We took a bus to Osian, which was an important trading centre between the 8th and 12th centuries. It was dominated by the Jains, whose wealth left a legacy of exquisitely sculptured, well-preserved temples.
We had a short stop in the town of Osian to visit the Mahavira Temple and Sachiya Mata Temple, the latter is an impressive walled complex where both Hindus and Jains worship. In Osian, we met our guide for the day, Bablu.
He had organised three jeeps and drivers for us so that we could drive into the desert and visit local villages. Our photographer teachers Gary and Ian had already been a few days earlier and they promised us that this would be a trip that we won’t forget. They were so right!
We set off in our three jeeps, on an old road. Shortly after it turned into a patch of sand and gravel…
… we had to cover up with scarves, it was so dusty! You can’t recognise Gary to the left, Stephanie in the centre and me to the right. We were trying not to choke on all the sand and dust. Initially we were the first jeep on the road, but the other two had overtaken us and so travelling at the back meant that we were covered in sand and dust!
Before we arrived at the village, we stopped in the middle of nowhere. There were just a few houses that were built out of cow dung (yes, that’s what we’ve been told). They were very basic, with open fireplaces and a well at the back of one house. There was no electricity; the people lived like hundreds of years ago.
Agriculture is the main source of living, so lush green fields surrounded the houses. They also kept a few animals (mostly cows and goats) to feed them. It was incredible to see that this is also a part of India. It formed such a contrast to the developed cities!
We then stopped at a school in the middle of nowhere. It had just finished and the kids were eager to participate.
The head teacher was ok with that, as we gave him pens and stationary for the class.
The kids were so friendly and patient, incredible. We had a great time with them and I’m sure they had a nice story to tell when they made their way home to their parents!