Khichan - A community conservation story
Barely 45 minutes from Kaner, is a dusty little village, lost to the world. But there is a heart-warming conservation story that makes this hamlet special. Khichan also has special guests, the avian travellers, the demoiselle crane. Each year, thousands of them make an arduous journey across the Himalayas to reach Khichan.
The beautiful demoiselle cranes, called dames by the French queen Marie Antoinette are called ‘Kurja’ locally. Thousands of them throng here during winters all the way from Mongolia and are treated with love and reverence by the village. It all started with the “conservation warriors” , Sevaram Mali Parihar and the late Ratanlal Maloo who started feeding and protecting them after their harsh migratory journey. Guests at Kaner can travel to Khichan for a tete a tete with the special travellers along with their guardians - the local villagers who will narrate the conservation story. Khichan is also a great haven for cultural and heritage enthusiasts and for those into art and architecture with century old, ancestral havelis , owned by merchants, which have withstood the ravages of time. The tour here includes a walk in the village with more stories ,while plans are afoot to showcase the interiors of these traditional havelis or mansions as well. The tour also includes a visit to the Olive Grove for lunch and more on this in the next postcard. But before that, a special tip - Look out for the carvings of olive leaves on the facade of the mansions.
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