The surrounding landscape is a scattering of boulders and craggy caves, swathes of scrubland and grassland, and is divided by the winding river and sand beds. Jawai Bandh is one of the largest water reservoirs in western Rajasthan and is renowned for attracting an impressive array of migratory and non-migratory birds, including the conspicuous and iconic species of open wetlands, the sarus crane. Other species include the knob-billed duck and the Indian spot-billed duck, and during the winter the demoiselle crane, common eastern crane and the bar-headed goose. It is also home to a large variety of fauna, some of which are highly endangered species. Spotted in the surrounding hills and sometimes drinking water at the dam, the wildlife includes wolf, leopard, sloth bear, hyena, jackal, jungle cat, sambar deer, nilgai or blue bull, chaisingh (the four-horned antelope), chinkara and hare, and crocodiles bask on the dam shores. It is an exceptional area for leopard sightings and exclusive wildlife and bird watching experiences.
Jawai Bandh is also home to the nomadic Rabari herdsman. The colourful shepherds are an indigenous tribe of roaming cattle and camel herders, who live throughout northwest India, but primarily in the states of Gujarat, Punjab and Rajasthan. The Rabari myth of origin is that Shiva put them on earth to tend to the camels owned by his consort, the goddess Parvati. Because of their bond with the ‘Mother Goddess’, the Rabari social structure is matriarchal, with the women conducting most of their business affairs, while men oversee the herds. Rabari women also create the distinctive artwork for which the tribe are renowned, particularly the mirrored and whitewashed mud sculpture-work that adorns their homes and villages. They are also expert wool spinners and creators of detailed embroidery and beadwork.
Home to the luxurious camp SUJÁN JAWAI, the area makes for comfortable access to the airy citadels of Kumbhalgarh Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the sculpted temples at Ranakpur and village of Narlai. Two of Rajasthan’s most visited destinations, Udaipur and Jodhpur, are also equidistant from Jawai Bandh and easily accessible by car. The nearest airports are Udaipur located 150 km away, Jodhpur 160 km away and Ahmedabad around 290 km away. There is a centrally located railway station, Jawai Bandh, which has a direct train from Jaipur.
Features in the following itineraries
- Jaime Benitez, South India
- Matthew Nicklin, North India
- Mr David Wallace, North India
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka
- Leslie Siben, India
- Matthew Annable, Rajasthan, India
- Mr Geoffrey Johnson, India
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka