As we have often said, believed and reiterated, your travels in your life are not complete if you have not traveled to India at least twice! Yes, I insist twice. Because India is so varied… one visit is just not enough. Even twice is not enough. Three visits are required to start getting to know the basics! I will recount you the story of a unique experience that one can participate in and most “genuine” traveler are not even aware of!
This particular experience takes place in the heart of Rajasthan. During the planning stages of your tour and travel to India you may not have come across or heard of this particular experience. However it is an intrinsic part of regular life in a special community in Rajasthan. Not far from Jodhpur, about 60 kilometers to the south, I once went to a village called Rohet Garh which used to be a small principality that once owed allegiance to the local Maharaja in Jodhpur.
From Rohet, I decided to do a proposed Village Safari wherein one gets to see the local Bishnoï tribes, their natural ways of living, a community that has been living to protect the environment for centuries and also some of the wildlife of that region consisting mainly of a certain species of black buck, wild rabbits, blue bull antelopes and the like. You are already far from any kind of concrete jungle. You are in the heart of medieval India. And even further than that, I descended upon a community that still practices traditional opium ceremonies. It is a legal custom, little known to people even 20 kilometers away that such a ceremony exists.
This ceremony has been in practice since centuries to resolve disputes between individuals overseen by a village elder, to celebrate weddings, to welcome visitors like myself and I was fortunate enough to be part of the process. The Opium is diluted multiform into a mildly bitter liquid and is then offered by the village elder in the presence of other elders to me in the palm of his hand and I have to sip it. Due to my middle class Indian upbringing, I was evidently hesitant. But seeing all the people around me being super eager, I realized that I was being a dork! There is no real danger.
I took the mandatory three sips of the liquid mixed in Opium. I expected my head to reel, hallucinations to appear before me. Nothing of that sort happened! It is just a convivial ceremony to get people together. So at the end of it, we were unknown folks talking to each other and enjoying the great moment.
All of you who have traveled the length and breadth of the country during your tours and travels in India, have you ever experienced something similar? I am sure you have not. Such an experience can come only from people who know about it. And genuine local operators who propose authentic India holiday packages can give you a feel of such experiences. Maavalan is one such company who guarantees that your tour to India will be full of such experiences and your travels in this country will make you richer by the day. You just have to ask them to make it happen for you.