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Off the beaten path in India’s Shekhawati region

Alsisar Mansion

In a recent holiday to India I was so excited about seeing the Taj Mahal, The Amber Fort and experiencing a rickshaw in Delhi and these experiences certainly didn’t disappoint. However I also visited Alsisar in Shekhawati which wasn’t somewhere I knew much about beforehand but ended up really enjoying my time there.

Alsisar is located in a semi-desert region. The small towns in this region became important trading posts, a lasting legacy represented by the beautiful painted havelis (mansions) constructed by wealthy merchants in the 18th and 19th centuries. We arrived here in the afternoon, after having passed by local schools where we could stop and say a quick hello. It was amazing to see the smiles on people’s faces and from there we could tell this wasn’t an area which was used to tourists.

Our guide took us for a walk around the streets, where we met some more children who were very happy with the gifts of pens we had to give them. We made it to one mansion/haveli in time to watch the sunset. It was stunning, and a very surreal place to take it all in. Many of the mansions in the area do not have people living in them any longer, but still have stories to tell.

This was our final stop on the Taj Express tour before making our way back to Delhi, and it was a great way to meet the locals with no other tourists in the area. It was also a bonus that the hotel was lovely, with a swimming pool in which to relax with a long, cool drink! India has so much to offer, often in the most unexpected places.

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One Response to Off the beaten path in India’s Shekhawati region

  1. D.S. says:

    Really, why would you upset the balance and give pens to kids? It’s the worst thing western tourists can do. I’m from the US and travel about 300 days per year and everywhere I go this practice of giving pens or toys may seem like a good idea but no one ever thinks about the consequences. Kids will expect everyone following in your foot steps to bring pens or gifts and will be highly disappointed when others don’t. This practice also gives the impression that all tourists are independently wealthy and all tourists can afford to do this, and this is not the case. Why would you want little kids to be disappointed and hurt when others don’t bring gifts.

    Really, while the idea seems harmless you should think of the unintended consequences. Nothing irritates me more than a little kid begging for a pen and then calling me a vulgar name because I didn’t have one. Thanks.

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