Two settlements, one staring at property boom and another engrossed in it, represent rural India's changing landscape where commons are turning uncommon
NOKHA TOWN in Bikaner district of Rajasthan has an air of urgency. Large number of jeeps vying for road space with big trucks and lorries while trains, both long distance and local, hurtle past the barrier at regular interval. From the largest agriculture-based market established by erstwhile king of Bikaner, Maharaja Gangasingh, Nokha has transformed itself to a place known for a fledgling cement industry and small scale units manufacturing blankets and electrical items among other products.
The famous rat temple near Bikaner is just one of the several instances of a conservation practice common to Rajasthan
VISIT MATA Karni Devi Temple at Deshnoke village near Bikaner and you won't be surprised by the rats scurrying freely in the shrine's precincts. Travel shows, including those on Discovery and National Geographic channels, have already covered the uniqueness extensively. The rodents, regarded as reincarnations of the goddess’s devotees, underscore the divine relationship we share with other living beings. However, a much deeper relation with nature is evident on the 2,100 hectare woodland near the temple which is regarded sacred. Called 'Oran' or 'Devbani' in local parlance
Lakholaav pond near Nagaur is a perfect example of community cooperation for water conservation
IN THE times when tapped water supply is considered an absolute sign of development, the traditional water harvesting systems are losing their age-old relevance. This is why the Lakholaav pond in Rajasthan assumes greater significance. Located at Marwar Mundwa town in Nagaur district, Lakholaav is an exception. As ponds in other towns have shrunk due to encroachments and dumping of garbage, Lakholaav is providing drinking water to the town the whole year round. Citizens as well as the municipal committee take utmost care ensuring cleanliness and efficient management.