Visiting Udaipur or Jodhpur? Extend your stay and head to the Jawai region. The Jawai region is smaller than a dot on the Rajasthan map but packed with one of the densest Leopard populations in Asia. The leopards share space with herdsmen as many times we see them basking on boulders not too far away from humans and their livestock.
Rebari Herdsmen also a Leopard Spotter
Being in Jawai is like going back in time. You get to see locals in their colorful ornamental attire doing their daily chores and men sporting red turbans with massive moustaches shepherding their cattle on hillocks and boulders spread across the region. A visit to the massive Jawai dam in the winter months gives you the opportunity to see several migratory birds, crocodiles basking and other fauna.
Most people visiting Jodhpur and Udaipur head back not knowing that just a 2-3 hour drive from these bustling cities lie the sleepy villages of Jawai. Unlike many big cities in Rajasthan that have slowly given way to digitization, in Jawai you still get to see locals use traditional methods of farming, cooking and even home decor.
Flamingos in Jawai dam
Jawai is a very quiet destination and ideal for those of you willing to step away from mainstream tourism. In some places you won’t find wifi and network connectivity and definitely no major commercial venues. When here you should go birdwatching in the Jawai dam and surrounding boulders, jeep safaris to spot Leopards and visit some of the sparsely populated hamlets to see traditional culture.
Jawai is a great spot for people who enjoy wildlife and people photography. If you have a vehicle at your disposal you can also visit the ancient Jain temples in Ranakpur or a trip to Kumbhalgarh Fort which has the second longest wall after the Great Wall of China.
Waiting for our Leopard
Finally – a Leopard shows up
The best time of the year (weather wise) is winter. After a cold winter night, all a leopard wants to do is bask and warm up on the boulders of Jawai. Many visitors have spotted leopards with new born cubs on these boulders. It is in Jawai that leopards (who otherwise are very shy and elusive cats) have become used to seeing humans.
You choose how you want to spend your time in this nature abundant place. Whether you want to laze around, go on hikes, birdwatching, safaris to spot leopards and other fauna, people-watch or visit historical monuments, Jawai has something to do for everyone.
A herdsman with his sheep in Bera, Jawai
• We do not guarantee that you will see the above wildlife. Sightings depend on various factors most of which are beyond your and my control. My local team on the ground will do their best to show you all there is to see.
• Carry photo identification, camera, binoculars, warm clothes (in the winter), backpack, sun glasses, cap, vizer, sun block and cash as there are no ATMs
• Please do not throw trash on the floor even if you don’t see a trash can. Please ask your guide to dispose it off properly.
• To prevent any disturbance to wildlife, we discourage the use of any call playback to attract birds and feeding or baiting of wildlife.