A photo essay of Churu, Rajasthan - The Town with a glorious past and a garbled present.

Updated: May 16

The first time I ever heard of Churu, Rajasthan was when I was 8, my aunt decided to marry a companionable man from Rajasthan and move there. She always welcomed our family to visit her, but somehow my parents couldn’t manage to do so. That was until I took it upon myself to make it happen.


Fondly known as the ‘Gateway to Thar desert’, Churu is a district in Rajasthan (India) situated amidst the shifting golden dunes. Not so long ago, in the 18th century, the region brimmed with merchants as the whole province was a bustling trade zone. Besides the soaring highs and lows of temperature, my aunt would often talk about the ancient Havelis, philanthropically minded people and of course, the elaborate clothing. What seemed a drastic cultural shift for her then and visiting her now, I was somewhat spellbound as to how she had seamlessly managed to mould herself to the new hometown.


Churu seemed like another world to me, contrasting from the city (Bangalore) that I had grown up. When, in fact, Churu is just a few hours of drive from the capital city of India, (Delhi) brings the question of why it still lies in the shadow. I remember wanting to see if there were any heritage hotels or any guided activities to experience? There were none except ‘Malji ka Kamra’, which is perhaps what sets this town apart. When you are done trying to relate to the imaginary world of kings and queens, step back in history and visit a town that the man built and thrived. 


Below is a photo essay of my experiences in Churu, as I was a relative by the law of the people who live in here gave me a peek into the untainted and earnest everyday life, and I’m thankful for the revelation.

'SETHANI KA JOHRA' - Translating to 'RESERVOIR OF THE WEALTHY LADY'.
Built by a rich merchant a 100 years ago for his wife which is used by locals today as a source of water storage.

Women came here to bathe themselves, unfortunately the place isn't very well maintained.
Camels as used as a common mode of transportation here.
They call themselves the 'New Hair Dressers', woman brings her child to the barber.
An elderly woman aged 80, sits in her entranceway on a folding bed.
Exquisite traditional silver anklets of her ancestral heritage.
Sister's spending time with each other on the porch.

Woman drawing the milk from a buffalo which is an everyday thing.
The animals belong to the family and every household member is expected to learn to draw the milk.
A young member of the family drawing the milk during sunset.
A 100 year old house with ancestral history.
People still reside here and the rustic residue only adds to the charm.
The family that resides here. They live together.

Mother and daughter-in-law draw the water and shrubs for domestic use.
Group of women walking back home after a day's work.

Travel Related Information

Location

Churu, Rajasthan (India)

How to get around?

A 3-hour drive from Jaipur and 5-hour drive from Delhi by car.

Private cars, Train, Bus.

Distance

204 km (Jaipur)

266 km (Delhi)


Photography Credits

Shilpa Srinivas @flohwithme

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