Pioneered by us in 1989, The Village Safari still remains our main highlight. Showcasing the best of the land, it is a cultural experience, which encompasses all that this region has to offer. From the warm and hospitable people, to the various customs and ceremonies and abundant wildlife, guests have the rare privilege of being welcomed into people’s homes and interacting with them. They get to experience and understand a way of life that takes them closer to their roots.
They meet the ‘Premier ecologists of the world’, the Bishnois, who have protected nature for more than 500 years and are responsible for the very survival of species like the Black Buck antelope (India’s most beautiful antelope and a rare and protected species today). They share a beautiful relationship with this special animal, wherein the antelope stays close to Bishnoi habitation, never leaving it, and displays complete trust in the Bishnoi people. Guests also meet the Raikas (shepherds) with their glorious costumes, and the Pliwals and Meghwals, the Brahmin farmers and weavers respectively.
This unique tour is made possible solely because of the host family’s special relationship with the local people of the various communities, which allows rare access into every home visited, where guests are welcomed as their very own.
The family’s passion for horses goes back generations. Some of the greatest names in the long and glorious history of Marwar were born to this distinguished family, and the Jagir (fiefdom) of Rohet was granted to the greatest amongst them for his exemplary bravery in numerous military campaigns under the Rathore banner . In the modern era the name of Thakur Dalpat Singh II stands tall as a legendary polo player and horseman. A member of one of the greatest teams of its era, the Jodhpur Polo Team, Dalpat Singhji played a pivotal role in the Jodhpur team’s many victories.
Today Rohet Garh has emerged as great patrons of their own horse, the Marwari! The indigenous horse of the Thar desert! Endowed with sublime beauty and an honest ‘never say die’ spirit, it is a bold and fearless horse, magnificent in confirmation and loyal unto death. It was the brave Rajput warrior’s mighty charger, which was capable of tearing fearlessly into the enemy, rearing up on war elephants in order to let its master strike the foe seated upon it, or jumping off fort ramparts, and jumping rivers with a severed hind leg to save its master’s life by sacrificing its own! In the annals of Rajput history, these horses are as famous as their masters, and their names have been forever immortalized.
Today Rohet Garh boasts of one of the finest stables of the Marwari horse in the country. This horse’s sensitive but honest disposition and it’s beautiful, free flowing gait make it a delight to ride. The owner himself beautifully schools the horses at Rohet Garh. By offering riding to our guests, we present a special opportunity to the intrepid horseman to experience and cherish this beautiful horse.
Rohet Garh is proud to introduce an extensive tailor-made equestrian program ranging from an hour long morning ride to a six days’/nights’ riding safari exploring the region of western Rajasthan around Rohet. Apart from offering a superb riding experience on beautiful horses, it is also a great cultural experience, which gives a deep insight into rich culture and traditions of this region of Marwar, as well as offering great game-viewing opportunities. (The reaction of antelopes and other animals in the wild is altogether different when approached on horseback!)
This region of western Rajasthan makes for almost perfect riding country with its semi arid shrub and bush vegetation, wide, open spaces and soft terrain. All itineraries are carefully selected so that riding on tarmac roads is totally eliminated. Passing through delightful small villages and ‘Dhanis’ to access every village and home they pass, and experience the legendary hospitality and warmth of our people of Marwar. It makes an almost overwhelming cultural experience.
In spite of the region being quite dry and arid, it is surprisingly rich in wildlife. Herds of the rare famous Black Buck antelope, the Blue Bull antelope and the petite Chinkara are very common viewing on our rides. The region is also very rich in bird life with over 200 different species to be sighted.
The itineraries are tailor-made to requirements of our guests, keeping riding ability and time duration in mind. Overnight accommodation provided during the rides are at our other luxury properties; The Rohet Wilderness Camp and Mihir Garh which are ideally located to culminate a full day ride from Rohet Garh. On the longer rides, accommodation is also provided in luxury mobile tents. These are furnished with two full sized beds, luggage stands, lounge chairs and tables. The attached bathrooms are special, as there is running water, with flushable toilets, regular washbasins and showers!
The winter months attract a vast variety of birds into the region, where in a good year up to 200 different species can easily be sighted. The lakes and Jheels around Mihir Garh are a haven for birds. A bicycle, a bird book, a bottle of water, a pair of binoculars, packed breakfast, accompanied by an escort is all that a true bird-lover needs!
Royal Picnics are a great extension of our safaris. Be it in jeeps or on horseback, the Royal Picnic is a grand recreation of a bygone era, where you are waited upon by liveried attendants; large mattresses with bolsters and soft cushions spread next to a soothing water body invite you to kick up your feet, and a choice of cool beverages await your discretion. The food is delicious, served hot on tables with crisp linen and a bottle of wine… and then you drift into sweet slumber watching the pied kingfisher dive for his lunch just yards away from you!
Guests have called a meal at Rohet Garh their best in India. This resulted in the late Thakurani Sahiba Jayendra Kumari authoring a small cookbook on our cuisine. Under her expert guidance, we began our culinary workshops. Today her legacy is carried forward by her daughter in-law, Rashmi Singh. Our workshops promote traditional Rajasthani cuisine and are extremely comprehensive and popular. The guests are not only given demonstrations but also practical training following which they get to sample their own efforts!