Around a 450 year old fort on the edge of the Thar Desert a small town has grown up, consisting of little more than a market, some shops and a bus station. These serve the surrounding rural community and those who work in the fort, which is today is both home to the Thakurs, former rulers of the Kingdom of Khimsar, who built it, and also a heritage hotel.
We spent one night here as a break on the long drive between Jaipur and Jaisalmer. There are no sights as such in Khimsar, unless you consider the magnificent fort. But as we wanted to see something of ordinary daily life in the region this suited us perfectly.
Arriving quite late in the afternoon we decided to resist the temptation of the fort’s rather lovely swimming pool in favour of a wander around the village with our cameras. Please join me on our stroll as a belated Monday Walk with Jo.
We found that most people were friendly and didn’t mind those cameras in the slightest. Indeed, many posed without being asked to!
Some even asked us to take their photo. The shopkeeper and his son in my featured photo were among these. He gave us his address so we could send the pictures, which we did on our return home. Only a couple of the women shook their heads, no; we respected this of course.
The main street is lined with small shops and is also a bus terminal, so there is plenty of activity. Cows and goats wander freely; men gossip or play cards in the shade; women (and some men) pick through vegetables to select the best for the evening meal.
Several small boys, and not so small ones, posed on motorbikes or scooters, one teenage lad rushing from a shop to do so as we passed. The bus sounded its horn multiple times to signal departure, but there was always one more person to squeeze in first.
A walk in Khimsar isn’t about finding grand historical sights such as you might look for in Rajasthan’s bigger cities and tourist hotspots. No, this is instead an insight into daily life as it unfolds here in this Thar Desert village.
I visited Rajasthan in 2015