Once a training ground for battle horses, Johad, A Heritage Farm in Rajasthan’s historic Shekhawati region, was turned into a family farm by Thakur Inder Singhji of Mandawa in the early 1900s. Smriti Mandawa, his great-granddaughter who has worked in the travel industry for over a decade, opened the farmstay to visitors in January 2020.
Johad (which means ‘natural rainwater reservoir’) makes for a quiet retreat from Jaipur, a three-hour drive away, where the family runs the boutique hotel Dera Mandawa. There’s a villa with a rooftop open-air bedroom, two kothi rooms and four tents kitted out with antiques and family heirlooms. The family ensures that the local touch extends from the traditional architecture and furnishings to the locally sourced ingredients that go into the seasonal Rajasthani specialities at the table.
Staying on a farm is a great way to tune into nature’s rhythms and slip into a slower pace. Tuck into meals prepared with farm-fresh produce at the hotel, or have a special meal set up in the farm or surrounding dunes. All meals are served family-style, with vegetarian, gluten-free and vegan options available. Cool off in the pool, share stories with other travellers over a sundowner and make friends with the farm’s furry and feathered family, which includes camels, cows, hens and dogs. Sounds just right for a family weekend getaway.
Johad, A Heritage Farm, Nahar Singhani Village, Mukundgarh, Shekhawati, Rajasthan. (Source:www.cntraveller.in)