In another excerpt from our Angel Holidays India guide, here is day 8 of our forthcoming tour; our visit to Keechan in the middle of the desert.
We’ve come to Keechan, and oasis in the middle of the Thar desert, and in comfortable accommodation; tonight we can dine with tables set on the lawn and beneath a desert sky. Tomorrow we’ll hopefully witness something unique. We’ll drive to the village of Keechan, which is inhabited by a community of Jains. Jains follow the principle of non violence. They are vegetarians, and do not eat anything they consider that has a soul or potential life. Traditionally this includes eggs and root vegetables. Root vegetables are thought to have souls because when a piece of onion, garlic or potato falls to the ground it can grow again. Aubergines are full of seeds and thus considered to have souls. Jains eat dairy products; rice, bread etc : anything that does not fall into the category. They often sleep with a mask over the mouths to avoid swallowing insects.
In Keechan, Jains developed a special relationship with the Demoselle Crane, a large bird, with especially adapted lungs to fly high over the high Himalaya on their migration south. Each morning the Jains feed the birds, an epic flock of around 25,000 birds that turn the sky grey. We’ve come to witness this phenomenon. Later we drive towards the Pakistan border and to magical Jaisalmer, with its fort towering out of the desert like something from Arabian nights. We’re staying here two nights with free time to enjoy its bazars, desert culture and striking sunsets from the citadel walls.