In arid Rajasthan, the village of Barli sits halfway between Jodhpur and Jaipur. Agriculture prospers here, and it’s a wonderful place to get up close and personal with rural Rajasthani life. The town is full of narrow streets, and local vendors sell pottery, jewellery, sesame oil, and woven carpets. The surrounding landscape is made up of rolling hills and dotted with local temples, an imposing fort, and ancient ruins. Nearby, Lake Dev Sagar is a peaceful body of water, the perfect destination for hiking and bird spotting.
It’s possible to interact directly with some of the villagers in Barli, who are happy to welcome you into their homes or share a meal. Close to Barli, Pushkar is a mystical Hindu pilgrimage town set around a holy lake, and Ajmer is a large and thriving Rajasthani city full of Islamic heritage and historical sites. Bhilwara, the city of textiles, is well worth a day trip, and a couple of hours south of Barli, Chittorgarh hosts the magnificent UNESCO World Heritage listed fort, one of the largest in the country.