Jojawar, farm to table at Kesar Bagh

It can only be in a place like India where a seller of a fresh masala on the train would have a beautiful custom silk shirt!  The train ride was one of the outings offered by the Kesar Bagh lodge in Jojawar and what fun!  At the top of the ride the train stops for monkeys that wait patiently for people to toss out bananas and other yummy treats.  I am told that if the train is late, the monkeys leave and don't come back to greet the riders.  They must have access to a giant solar timepiece. The Jojawar community is agriculturally based and the family of Kesar Bagh are very involved with creating environmentally sustainable lodging, farm to table dining, assistance through business support of the tribal communities that surround them and generally being proactive about being supportive members of their community.  The beauty and peacefulness of the lodge is a huge relief from the noise, pollution and hustle bustle of the big cities, though the drive to get there is pretty harrowing!  Nothing like a great adventure that involves random cows on the road, trucks that have broken down and just parked in the middle of the road, occasional goats, huge potholes and a patchwork of asphalt that make driving into a game of avoiding getting a flat tire or hitting something.  Welcome to India!



On to Jaipur and Jojawar

The journey from Varanasi to Jaipur was interrupted by a late connection in Delhi so it was a scramble getting from the international terminal to the domestic terminal and then on to Jaipur but due to lots of late flights I made it and helped a fellow traveler in the process so all was good. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Once in Jaipur we went from palace to palace and then to a small occupation by a tribal family near the Amber Fort.  The valley was beautiful and there was a small shrine on top of low hill we hiked up to and visited with the priest.  He was pretty busy doing laundry and putting out items for Shiva so we didn't stay long. But you can drop him a line on Facebook.

Seeing such opulence was a jarring contrast to the poverty we saw in Bhopal and elsewhere in India.  The lavish details in the palaces was jarring when you looked just outside the gates at the common people.  Little care was taken, for the most part, of the general population during the millennia with the exception of a few forward thinkers who realized that keeping the average family happy would aid in stabilizing the governing.  Sadly, that kind of thinking has been rare here or elsewhere in the world.