Tag Archives: travel trivia

Trivia: A visit to a Bhil village



A Bhil home in the village we visited

During our Bundi trip we had a day long excursion to Bhimlat & Bijolia. On our way back in the evening we had stopped at one of the Bhil (community/tribe) village for a short while.

The interaction with them was effortless and they definitely loved the camera 🙂 I restrained myself to a very few clicks, as it seemed like objectifying them.


The word Bhil is derived from a Dravidian word meaning ‘bow‘ thus they are popularly known as the ‘bow men’. They are the second largest tribal community of India and mainly found in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujrat, Chattisgarh and Maharashtra.

As per legend, the Bhils trace their ancestry to Eklavya or the Nishada tribe though there are other several hypotheses about there origin. They were known to live in forests & mountains and were good huntsmen. Over many years now, they have either taken to agriculture or have migrated to cities for masonry and other manual labor. Their language is Bhili, which is an Indo Aryan language though now most speak the language of the state they reside in.

Drawings by this Bhil boy adorn the walls of his house


Art is integral to the Bhil community. They have rich cultural history and give much importance to dance and music. Ghoomar (traditional folk dance of Rajasthan & Sindh) is the most famous dance among the Bhils while Gair is the religious dance drama performed by the men in the Shravan month of July & August. The Bhils are talented in the sculptured work too, making beautiful horses, elephants, tigers, deities out of clay.

A Bhil’s life is expressed through his/her paintings. The Bhils, like all adivasis, live close to nature, so most of their drawings / paintings relate to it. Upon visiting a Bhil household, one will discover a myriad of simple images of everyday life of the tribe adorning their mitti (mud) huts & walls.

Balu Lal, a young Bhil lad, we met at the village, uses his house wall as canvas and proudly calls himself a budding artist. He loves painting and the above photographs are a proof of it 🙂

The distinguishing feature of Bhil art are dots. Pic: Google Searched

The dots used are the distinct identity of Bhil art and is symbolic. It is inspired by the maize kernels which is their staple food and crop. Each group of dots often represents a particular ancestor or deity. Also every artist composes the dots in distinctive patterns encoding each artwork with their signature visible to the trained eye.

Onset of sunset in the Bhil village

While we chatted with the Bhils we got to see the onset of a beautiful sunset. In fact we witnessed a bright, fiery sunset that day which till date is deeply etched in my mind!


The pretty line up of Bhil girls

The girls were pretty & chirpy and as we bid them adieu I was happy that I could to capture this wonderful memorable photograph of theirs 🙂

In Rajasthan, certain cities are named after the Bhil kings who once ruled the region. Kota, for instance got its name from Kotya Bhil; Bansara is derived from Bansiya Bhil; and Dungarpur is named after Dungariya Bhil.


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Monika Ohson / TravelerInMe




Trivia: Om Banna & His Miraculous Bullet Bike


Pic: Google Search

On our Bikaner trip, we noticed an idol on the dashboard of the cab we had hired. The idol was not very familiar and our curiosity made us inquire about it. This is how we came to know about their “gadiyon ke devta” (lord of the vehicles), Om Banna or Om Singh Rathore. 

The driver narrated the tale of Om who had met with a fatal accident on his Royal Enfield bike on the Jodhpur Highway in Pali in 1988. The police had retrieved the bike from the accident area and taken it along with them to the police station. Thereafter began the unexplained! The attempts made by the policemen to keep the bike with them failed on and on. The bike miraculously would be found at the fatal spot. 

Pic: Google Search

Slowly the word spread and the residents of the Chotila village, to which Om belonged, built a temple dedicated to him, his bike and the tree against which his bike had crashed on the fatal night.

It is said that people commuting on the Pali Jodhpur Highway must offer prayers at this temple for safety as the highway is infamous for a high frequency of fatal accidents. People have strong belief in the fact that Om Banna watches over them and keeps them safe on their journeys.

The driver shared his own experience too. He had with met an unexpected accident on his journey to Leh (same car we were travelling in). He mentioned that at that moment the only person who came to his mind was Om Banna from whom he sought help. The miracle happened! He was safe and his car experienced some dents / damages only. Fatality got averted.

Such is faith. Such are folklore. Interesting and a way of life for those who live it everyday.


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Monika Ohson / TravelerInMe

Trivia: How did Khajuraho get its name?




Theory (1) The name Khajuraho, ancient “Kharjuravahaka”, is derived from the Sanskrit words kharjura = “date palm” and vahaka = “one who carries”. It is said that Khajuraho was enclosed by a wall with 8 gates which were flanked by two date palm trees while some say that the temples were once under the cover of dense date palm trees for many years. Due to these date trees Khajuraho got its name Khajura-vahaka

Theory (2) The Sanskrit word for the animal is kharjura; the original name for the village was Khajura-vahaka, meaning “scorpion bearer“. The scorpion symbolizing poisonous lust.

The “Scorpion Vahaka” as depicted in a few sculptures (picture above):
Pic 1: Scorpion on the left thigh
Pic 2: Scorpion on the stomach


….and, if you like what you just read, do ‘like it’ & ‘share it’. Non WordPress users please ‘rate’ it to express your appreciation 🙂 Also do not forget to ‘follow the blog’ to remain updated about newer posts ❤ 

Monika Ohson / TravelerInMe