It was a cool Monday morning. My train scheduled for noon, I wanted to satiate my quest to see Churu a bit more. Luckily, everything in this town within walking distance, an hour’s walk can be a revelation. So I began my day with a short prayer at the Shiva temple around the corner from Malji Ka Kamra. Even the ambience of the temple varies from city to city. This was a small temple in a lane, made up of stone with a peepal tree. It was just so rustic and close to heavens without the city humdrum and hardness. And an experience to savour.
At 9 o’clock, Rohan Singh, Subir Dey and I, were trailing Lal Singh to the Churu Fort. On the streets, people were bursting crackers, the BJP candidate had won the Assembly seats. I was reminded of the Prakash Jha movies as the cars wove their way around the town streets, painted faces, shouting victory slogans for BJP. Police were watching of course.
In and out of the maze of streets, Lal Singh brought us to the fort which is not what we had expected. Nothing of history remains and none know about it. The only ancient structure there has been turned into a local clinic and there is a Krishna temple. Rest, the local government needs to think how to leverage the tourist strength of this place.
From there, it was curving in and out of the streets to see more frescoes, bazaar, clock tower. Interesting is the fact that the towns of Churu, Ramgarh have open shops, vendors squawking, people enjoying their daily round of camaraderie at tea shops.
Things are carried in donkey carts! And the colours of the bandhej with women dressed in reds, greens, pinks breaks the desert starkness.
Bag on my shoulder, I sat in a tuk-tuk, paid Rs 7 to reach the station. Would I like to visit Churu again…positively, I need time to know more about the town, surviving on more word of mouth tales than fact. I would like to know more elders who have memories of times gone by. I would like to meet farmers as the livelihood of the place is dependent on agriculture, especially that of bajra (millet). I just need another weekend with friends and family.
Must carry with you
Scarf to cover the head, sun is hot
Sanitizer, you might not water everywhere
Change, its not town with use of credit or debit cards in most shops
Wear comfortable clothes but keep yourself covered, so as not to disturb local sentiments
How to reach Churu
It is about 277 km from Delhi and well connected by road and railway. From Delhi, it is about 5 hours by train and 6 hours by road. A great weekend getaway for history lovers.
Malji ka Kamra Address: Behind Jain Market, Churu 3310 001, Rajasthan, India
Telephone: +91 (0) 1562 254444
Lal Singh Shekhawat
The Castle, VRO Mahansar, Distt. Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan, India
Mob: + 919784015111, 9166977111
Text by Ambica Gulati