Jawai is a small village in Pali district of Rajasthan. The village covers an area of 500 km² and is surrounded by the Aravallis. The area is known for leopards, crocodiles and migratory birds. More than 100 species of birds frequent Jawai every day. Bera is referred to as ‘leopard country’ as the highest concentration of the species is found here.
How to get to Jawai : Nearest Airport is in Udaipur. Jawai/ Bera is about a 3 hour drive from Udaipur airport (approximately 150 kms).
Best time to visit Jawai: The best time to visit Bera is between October and March when the day temperatures are not very high, though leopard sightings are similar through the year.
Where to stay in Jawai: There are many ecofriendly resorts in the area that are available at varying prices. Some of them can be booked online or through a travel agent. Wildlife safaris are arranged by the resort.
What is special about the locals in Jawai: Rabaris, the shepherd community in Jawai are said to have migrated to Rajasthan a thousand years ago from Iran. They have peacefully coexisted with wildlife in the area for over a century, having a deep spiritual connect with the natural world around them. They worship Lord Shiva and if their livestock is taken by leopards they consider it as an offering to him.
What to see in Jawai : Bera is a paradise for wildlife lovers and bird watchers. The area is known for the large number of leopards here. Foxes, hares, hyenas, Chinkara, Nilgai, Sloth bears also thrive in the Aravalli vegetation.
The Jawai Bandh is a dam which was built by Maharaja Umaid Singh of Jodhpur. This is the biggest dam in western Rajasthan and is the main water supply for Pali district. It is also a winter paradise for migratory birds. The crocodiles resting along the banks are a sight to behold.
Another place to visit is the Kumbhalgarh fort which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. An impregnable bastion for the rulers of Mewar, it was built in the 15th century by Rana Kumbha and is the second largest fort in India after Chittor fort. It is also the second largest wall in the world (38km).