10 Amazing Things to do in Jawai, Rajasthan

sunrise jawai
Unbelievable sunrise from this vantage point

Jawai is nestled in Pali district of Rajastan and offers an offbeat getaway to tourists looking for scenic beauty, wildlife, and nature in rural India. Surely, hopping on a typical Jawai leopard safari is one of the most popular things to do in Jawai. However, you will be surprised to know that’s not the only crowd puller for this upcoming tourist hotspot.

Jawai bandh is being added to many Rajasthan itineraries and after spending 3 days in the leopard hills of Jawai, I can clearly see why. Jawai turned out to be a gem hiding in plain sight. Just a few hours away from popular tourist spots of Jodhpur and Udaipur, this stunning landscaped land is sure to take your breath away.

Jawai Bandh

Stunning landscape of Jawai Bandh

History of Jawai bandh dates back to being recorded since the dam was built in the year 1946. This area suddenly grew in importance and interest from just being a rugged rural town.

Things to do in Jawai Bandh Rajasthan

Jawai Rajasthan

So if you are wondering what to do in Jawai and want to plan a weekend trip there, here are a few things I personally experienced and enjoyed. Watch this video first which gives you a visual tour of Jawai –

Track Leopards in Jawai Rajasthan

A trip to Jawai can be a boon for wildlife enthusiasts. Here Leopards and humans co-exist without any conflict. It is common to see leopards all around the villages as there is no fencing or covered national park area. There have also been no issues of man-eating leopards or attacks in Jawai which leads to a peaceful co-existence.

The unique granite hills of Jawai, offer plenty of natural caves for leopards to take refuge in. This makes a great habitat for this elusive cat and since leopards are the apex predators here, this also ensures their population grows.

Currently, there are around 65 leopards in Jawai.

leopard jawai

Leopard spotted lounging outside his cave

Due to their high density, it is fairly easy to spot them. If you take 2 to 3 leopard safaris and stay for around 3 days in Jawai, it is ideal to enjoy all the things this town has to offer whilst ensuring a sighting of this spotted cat.

Your safari driver would surely know the hot spots and caves leopards are currently around and the best times to spot them. All drivers are well connected and if anyone spots a leopard, it is most likely that all jeeps on tour on that day will spot it as well. Luckily, it’s not too crowded like having 20 jeeps in popular parks of Africa or India. You will enjoy an ‘almost’ exclusive leopard sighting if you are the first ones on the spot and lucky. If not, the maximum we saw was 4 other jeeps.

We were lucky enough to spot a leopard in our very first safari as it came out of the cave and lounged for over an hour in front of us. That was quite something!

Other animals you can spot here are hyenas, bears, crocodiles, and nilgai.

crocodile jawai

We spotted atleast 10 of the 300+ crocodiles in Jawai bandh

Gawk at the Stunning Jawai Bandh

Jawai Bandh is a stunning dam built with the backdrop of scattered hills and breathtaking natural beauty across the Jawai river.

Even after looking at pictures of Jawai bandh online before my visit, when I actually saw it for the first time, I was simply in awe. I uttered a soft “Wow” under my breath as I excitedly took out 3 cameras to try and capture the best landscape shots. After trying to click that perfect picture for over an hour, I realized pictures simply don’t do justice to this place – It needs to be seen for real!

jawai bandh dam

Breathtaking beauty all around the dam

The rugged surreal beauty of Jawai bandh stole my heart and even after making umpteen trips to Jodhpur, I was surprised that I hadn’t even heard about Jawai before. I wondered why this picture-perfect land was not getting the publicity it deserved? Soon enough I realized I perhaps liked it more since I didn’t even expect it and the fact that there was just one other jeep gawking at the stunning dam from a far distance of ours, made our private viewing more special.

jawai dam view

Lovely vantage point for a private viewing of the dam

Not just popular for scenic views, Jawai dam supplies all the water to Jodhpur city and few parts of Pali district as well.

I would say visit Jawai now, before tourism booms, to enjoy this quaint place with your loved ones.

Stay at Thour Nature Resorts

There are many hotels in Jawai bandh but I would recommend going with the eco-friendly Thour nature resorts. I can honestly say that the team at Thour really made our trip to Jawai a huge success.

thour nature resorts

Synchronizing with the backdrop at Thour nature resorts

My folks and I spent a leisurely 3 days at Thour Nature Resorts and we were spoilt to the hilt. The resort has four well maintained, cozy and comfortable luxury en-suite tents with private sit-out areas.

tents at thour nature resorts

Cozy luxury tents at Thour nature resorts

things to do in jawai

The private sit outs made for the perfect work and beer spot 🙂

The fact that the resort has just four tents was a big plus for me. I prefer small scale resorts as they offer more privacy and personalized service.

thour nature resorts

Cozy small scale resorts with luxury tents and ample privacy

The owner of the resort Mr. Pankaj Swami would often join us for meals and drinks and take us on safaris and to amazing viewpoints. That’s the level of personalized treatment that only a small resort can offer. The staff was ever helpful and smiling. My mother suffers from acute Rheumatoid arthritis which makes walking difficult – the entire staff ensured everything was done for her convenience including serving meals to our private deck, bringing jeep right to our doorstep and even literally hand-holding when needed. This is going out of your way to accommodate us and we really appreciated it.

thour resorts jawai

Food served at our private deck with Geese and dogs to give us company

The food at Thour nature resorts was another big highlight of our trip to Jawai – thanks to the amazing chef of Thour. Made with less oil and spices, using fresh organic vegetables right from their own farms, you can enjoy healthy home-cooked meals and even order typical Rajasthani dishes.

We thoroughly enjoyed the food at Thour. We could pick our own vegetables daily and ask them to be cooked in any way we wanted. Simple delightful indulgences. It is true that food can make or break your trip and we had zero complaints about it.

organic garden

Mr Pankaj Swami flaunting the fresh cabbage in his organic garden

fresh farming jawai bandh

Bottle gourd among other fresh produce!

The resort also has a lovely hill within its boundary which gives a birds-eye view of the entire resort and its surrounding areas. One of the nights during our stay, the staff organized an amazing hilltop bonfire for us to enjoy. This was the perfect setting for drinking and dining with candlelit paths leading up all the way to the top of the hill. This was one of the best nights at Thour for us and made us feel very special.

jawai hills bonfire

Special bonfire atop the hill at Thour

If you love animals, you will be thrilled to see the resort has two lovely fun-loving puppies and geese as pets. You can feed them and play with them whenever you want.

thour resorts jawai

Cute little playful pups at Thour – always excitedly welcoming you!

Plus, all the Jawai activities, places to visit in Jawai and the best things to do in Jawai can be booked directly with the resort itself. Everything from our Jawa village tours to leopard safaris and sightseeing/sunset tours, as well as walking safaris, were handled by Thour Nature Resorts. So once you are there, you can leave everything else in their hands.

Convinced? Click here to book an unforgettable stay at Thour Nature Resorts or email them for any queries here [email protected] . You can also drop them a What’s app by clicking on this link.

thour at night

Lantern lit paths at night make for a lovely ambiance

A huge round of applause and big thanks to Mr. Pankaj Swami and his impeccable staff (Suresh & Arjun), for the exceptional personalized treatment and making us feel like royals for three days. 

Bird Watching

Jawai is also a mecca for birders. My father and I are avid birders so we were excited to see an array of waterbirds at Jawai bandh like  –  Lesser Flamingos, Spot-billed pelican, Glossy Ibis, Common sandpiper, Bar-headed Geese, Brahminy ducks, Painted stork, Little cormorant, Indian river tern, Little and intermediate egret, White-breasted kingfisher, Blackwinged stilt and Red wattled lapwing. Other birds around the dam were Stone chat, Pied bushchat, and Paddyfield pipit. 

birding jawai

Pelicans at the Jawai dam

flamingoes jawai dam

A gorgeous row of Flamingoes

bar headed geese jawai

Cute Bar headed Geese

Near Thour Nature resorts, we could hear and spot Grey francolins almost throughout the day in large numbers. Apart from those some common birds like Large grey babbler, Red-vented Bulbul, Rose-ringed parakeet, and house sparrows, apart from the two cute in-house Geese, ofcourse. 

Go on a Guided Walking Safari

Thour nature resorts staff Suresh, took my father and me for a thrilling 4 km, early morning walking safari. We were told that we can sometimes even spot leopards on foot on these safaris. That was enticing enough to make us wake up before sunrise and set off on foot, armed with only our cameras.

sunrise jawai

Splendid sunrise witnessed during our early morning walk

You cross several hills so be prepared for a treacherous trek and wear sturdy shoes. You can even tell them if you would like to take it easy and do a simple walking path instead. We were trying to be adventurous but at one point when Suresh asked us to literally climb a steep rock, we gracefully backed out and asked for an alternate route.

jawai rajasthan

Looking for crocodiles and enjoying the view

Suresh even took me “INSIDE” a leopard inhabited cave. It was so exciting to trek up the rocks and go inside the dark cave which a leopard was “currently” inhabiting. This was a big adrenaline rush and I am not sure if we were lucky.. or unlucky that we didn’t spot the cave dweller.

leopard tracking jawai

Looking for leopards inside the cave – eeks!

Our walk lasted only a couple of hours but you can personalize it as per your wish.

 

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Learn about the local “Rabari” tribe

Rabari tribe (Also known as ‘Rewari’ locally) is an interesting indigenous tribe prevalent in this region. They can be easily distinguished by their unique dress code. The men wear big colorful red turbans and white kurta pajamas. The women of the tribe wear bangles covering their entire arms and silver anklets.

The prime work of the Rabari men in the tribe is to take care of the cattle, goats, camels and any animals they own. After talking to a Rabari, I learned that their entire day’s routine revolved around feeding, milking and herding these animals. Basically their life’s purpose is to take care of their animals.

rabari tribe

With these sweet Rabari tribe guy!

The women, however, have a lot more on their plate from taking care of children, cooking, cleaning and doing some form of embroidery, pottery or other artwork to add income to the household.

The most important festival for them is Holi and they start preparations several days in advance. The main way of celebration is to decorate their animals and color their horns.

Pay Homage at Various Temples

If you are religious, you will be happy to hear that Jawai has many temples in close proximity which you can visit easily. However, I am not very religious and I still enjoyed my visit to Kambeshwer Mahadev Temple.

places to visit in Jawai

Kambeshwer Mahadev Temple

There are many places to visit near Jawai Bandh, but the path to visit Kambeshwer Mahadev Temple was simply gorgeous. You literally drive through winding roads with the temple on a mountain lurking in front of you.

Kambeshwer Mahadev Temple

Can you spot the temple on this hill? What a view!

Once you are there, you can buy some ‘prasad’ aka offerings for the gods and climb up around 200 steps to pay homage. Even if you don’t want to do that, it’s still worth a visit just for the amazing drive.

Buy Local Jackets

From mojaris (local shoes) to foods, there is a lot of unique local items to buy in the villages but their jackets are something unique and popular among visitors. These lightweight jackets quilted with cottonwool that keeps you warm, are priced at a mere Rs 2000 (Approx $28) and can be made to order.

jawai jackets

Custom made local Jawai jackets

You can customize everything from color, material and have it fit to your measurements. You can also buy local quilts for Rs 1000 there.

Take a Village Safari

A village safari by Thour nature resorts is a perfect addition to your Jawai itinerary. Not only do you get to witness the village life close up, but you can also visit villager’s houses and see how they live.

village life jawai

Loved this little girl with her little lamb

villagers jawai

And she happily gave the furry one to me to hold!

You can learn pottery from local Rabari women, buy local items, drink authentic kullad chai (served in disposable small clay mugs called kullad) or learn about their livelihood and lives.

pottery jawai

Learn pottery from local villagers

kukkad tea

Try kullad tea 🙂

Enjoy Unbeatable Sunsets and Sunrises from Vantage Points

We soon found out that Jawai had some of the best sunsets and sunrises I had seen in a long time. With the dam and unique hill formations giving stunning backdrops, there is no chance to have a single bad sunset or sunrise. We were lucky to see both and some vantage points were simply unbelievable (like this one below) -.

sunrise jawai

Unbelievable sunrise from this vantage point

How to Reach Jawai

Located in Bera near Pali district of Rajasthan, India, Jawai is in close proximity to cities like Jodhpur and Udaipur, which are the nearest airports. The closest metro city to Jawai is Delhi and its an overnight 10-12 hours comfortable train ride from here.

Main railway station is Jawai bandh and Falna is another option around 1.5 hours away.

Jawai on the Map

Best Time to Visit Jawai

October to April are the best months to visit Jawai, Rajasthan. The winters bring in an array of migratory birds and the weather is dry and less humid. Nights are slightly chilly which is ideal. These months are also ideal for leopard spotting.

Overall, Jawai is absolutely stunning and just visiting it for the unique landscape, mesmerizing natural beauty, excellent food and wildlife is enough to thrill you to the core.

Disclosure – Our stay at Thour nature resorts was complimentary. However, all opinions are strictly based on our amazing experience of exploring Jawai and all the things to do in Jawai are handpicked by yours truly. 

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