MONSOON MIGRATION WITH THE RABARI
JULY 6 - 16, 2021
with Jeremy Woodhouse & Abhishek Hajela
The Aravalli hills, mustard fields and villages surround this large expanse of land, in Southern Rajasthan bordering the state of Gujarat. An occasional splash of red adds a dash of colour and vibrancy to this land. The word Rabari is derived from ‘Rehaan’, meaning – a person who shows the path.
The community is involved in raising cattle, camels, sheep and goats. They are semi-nomadic, living in tents or under the open skies, and raising cattle, camels and goats–they have been travelling since ancient times using traditional routes to find greener pastures for their herds. Traditionally, the Rabari followed a highly nomadic way of life, following the seasonal rains for periods of time, and then returning to their villages.
Monsoon is the best time to come closer to these amazing Rabari communities as most of them are on the way home with their livestock, traditional camping gear, their wives, sisters, mothers and grandmothers, and kids sitting high on the camels – its such an outstanding sight!
Rains in India for centuries have played a big role in people’s lives, as water is scarce, especially in state of Rajasthan. Rain represents life. Still the farmers and the Rabari communities are dependent on the rains. The movement of these nomadic tribes is dictated by the rains. During the dry season they migrate to nearby states such as Gujarat in search of pastureland for their livestock, and when monsoon arrives, they return home to their homeland where there should now be ample to feed their livestock.
Rain is truly holy here!
This community has also been tolerant to leopards taking away and feeding on their livestock, as they consider it to be a spiritual offering to the gods. This is one of the main reasons, that the Jawai region still remains a habitat of harmony, for both leopard and man.
The Rabari men wear minimalist, simple clothing that is comfortable. They choose to wear white, as it is airy and is a colour suited to beat the scorching heat of the Rajasthan sun. They wear a red, white or yellow turban that not only prevents them from heat stroke, but also acts as a "safety helmet" when they trek around the hills with their herds. The elders in the community generally wear a white turban as a symbol of retirement, if that is their wish.
Rabari women and men are a fashionable lot. The ethnic safari jacket they wear is called a ‘borla’ and the comfortable loincloth is called a ‘pacheri’. Men and women traditionally have tattoos made on their faces, and they still wear a lot of jewelry. The women also wear heavily embroidered traditional clothing from a young age. When they get married, they are presented with ivory bangles that they must wear on their lower arms. Another set of bangles is added to the upper arm once a woman is welcomed into her husband’s home. These days the bangles are made of strong plastic, or occasionally wood.
During the trip we will stay at an ancestral property of Mr Shailendra Singh, situated in the foothills of Mount Abu – it has been developed, maintained and nurtured with great care.
It offers a wondrous mix of natural beauty – rivers, mountains, greenery and picturesque sunsets. The local culture and tradition, the village folk and tribe offer a unique perspective and enhance the experience.
We have a long Interest List at this point. If you would like to be added to the list please go to the following link to register.
Arrival, Departure & Visa
Arrival & Meeting Place
6 SPOTS OPEN
TOUR COST: $5,500
Group size 6
Tour Price Includes
- Transfers at the beginning and the end of the tour (unless you are arriving early or leaving after the official tour is concluded)
- Ground Transportation with local photographer/guide for 10 days
- All meals
- Tour accommodation, as listed
Tour Price Excludes
- Arrival/departure flights
- Travel insurance
- Pre- and post-tour accommodation
Paying by check
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Paying by Wire Transfer
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- Bring you own laptop computer and storage media
- Camera body(s)
- Lenses, 16-35mm, 24-70mm zoom and 70-200mm zoom or similar lenses are very good
- Light bag for easy hiking with camera bodies and accessories
- Cleaning kit for cameras and lenses
- Rain/dust covers for cameras and lenses
- Charger for batteries
- Spare batteries
- Spare Memory cards
- Memory card reader
- USB key to exchange images
Also good to have
- Lens extenders
- Good quality polarizing filter