Dandkala, Bajju & Exit from Bikaner – Rajasthan Road Trip – Day 3
Day 3 of this Rajasthan Road Trip started rather early with a planned visit to Bajju which got extended to the village of Dandkala. After having the same breakfast routine at Harasar Haveli as yesterday, we left for Bajju, which is around 100 km from Bikaner in a remote area to check out the amazing stuff the weavers and artisans of Bikaner were churning out.
We broke our journey to check out their showroom for some fabulous stuff URMUL and Rangsutra supplies to Fabindia. After a humble “Nashta of Rajasthani pakodi and chai,” we drove to a village called Dandkala, located 140 km from Bikaner city in the Thar Desert, which is harsh, arid and tough, with shifting sand dunes and extreme temperatures, the lives of rural women in Dandkala is not easy by any means.
But it has not stopped these women artisans from earning a living with dignity. Dandkala village amongst other has around 100 artisans (all ladies) who are masters in creating exquisite embroidery on Kurtas, Bags & Bedcovers etc.
Dandkala was another 80 km from Bajju and by then the temperature was feeling like 45-degree centigrade. We walked in the hot sands to reach their chaupal and were greeted warmly. We were then shown the craft of their expertise. We shopped a bit too.
The women of Dandkala village in of Bikaner district in Rajasthan are a class apart. Although they are refugees from Umerkot district in the Sindh province of Pakistan, they have fought displacement by taking ownership of their traditional embroidery skills, which has enabled them to become breadwinners for their families.
To top it all apart from the warm welcome and a hot cup of tea, we were also served authentic village “chaas” which revived us totally for the trip back to Bikaner and onwards to Jodhpur.
After reaching Bikaner, we drove in for lunch at Laxmi Niwas Palace. This was by far the most expensive meal consumed on this trip till now. It was totally disappointing too. The biggest setback was caused by Laal Maas. While the gravy was acceptable to taste, the mutton tasted funny. It seemed that the rich red colour was acquired from an external source. It was surely not traditionally made. The gatta kadhi on the other hand was really nice. We also ended up paying Rs.100 for an onion salad and Rs.90 for a tandoori roti each. After this getting a bill totalling Rs. 2500 made us a bit unhappy about the entire experience. We departed for Jodhpur immediately after lunch.
In all today we drove about 450 kms and I loved every bit of it. Read the rest of the story in the pictures below. 🙂 Enjoy!