Our driver met us at our Jaipur Haveli, to port us to the old merchant city of Churu. In Churo we would again be staying at a historic townhouse. We were signed up for a walking tour the old imperial ghost-like mansions of the town.
…But first, we would stop to see the Elephants of Jaipur. Riding an elephant is on my bucket list, originally we had planned to visit an elephant sanctuary just outside of Jaipur. Unfortunately, due to the nasty virus metastasizing throughout my body we had to cancel our date with Dumbo.
The elephants lineup is at the entry point to Nahagarh Fort. A few of the magnificent beasts our painted beautifully as their drivers wait for the next tourist to inquire. The elephants of Jaipur stay with their driver for live. or the safety of the animals the elephants are only permitted three trips a day, to prevent the elephants from overheating, they're only allowed to work before noon, and evenings.
It felt like hundreds of buskers were working the tourist line. The most frightening of these, the snake charmer. After our quick "trunk-stop" we got out of dodge, and set our sights to Churu.
We arrived in Churu late afternoon. We checked into our Haveli, the beautiful Malik Ka Karma. The exquisite 12 room, refurbished mansions is an homage to the grand opulence and wealth made by the Indian merchants during the British Imperial Days.
In the late 1800's, Churu was the hometown of many successful merchants who struck gold in international trade. Merchants originating from Chulu, returned home to build a family mansion.
At the Malik Ka Karma, there was no shortage of decadence. Our room was fit for a maharajah. That evening, we were treated to rum and cokes in the Rajasthan Desert. For a moment it felt like we had been magically transported to The Sahara Desert. Watching the camels graze, as the sun set over the sand dunes of the desert was a majestic experience. Simply stated, it was incredible.
That night, I slept like a queen in our king size bed. Come morning, we were woken to the delight of tea in bed.
After breakfast, we were off to explore the old Haveli's of Churu. There are hundreds of old, unlived in town mansions- all in varying degrees of care. Walking the streets of Churu, was akin to exploring a ghost town. It was reminiscent of the rumbles left behind by the great silver and gold town boom. The mansions were striking, some in disrepair, others preserved tenderly. The paintings, the marble, the old world wealth. All undeniably striking.
As we marched through the town, T and I stood out with our porcelain skin and bright blue eyes. Churu doesn't have a bustling tourism industry yet. To the town kids we were celebrities. It was cute, watching the kids blush as we waved or said hello.
Although not a tourist hotspot, the charm of Churu is undeniable. After a morning exploring (beating the mid day heat) we once again packed up, it was back on the road. Headed to Delhi. We would be off to Goa, come Morning.
When in Churu:
- Stay at the Malji ka Kamra, a beautifully restored old Haveli in the centre of town.
- Sign up for a Sundowner experience, enjoy the beauty of the setting sun, cocktail in hand, as it sets over the Rajasthan desert.
- Explore the old Haveli's of the town.
- Stop by a local sandalwood carver for a craft demonstration. You'll be enamoured by the detail they carve.