Ceremony and culture of Rajasthan, India

One of the highlights of any trip to India is to discover the local traditions, and when it comes to the northern states, one of the most alluring certainly is the culture of  Rajasthan.

Ceremony and culture of Rajasthan, India

Ceremony and culture of Rajasthan, India

Ceremony and culture of Rajasthan, India

In an old post about the people of India I mentioned I had witnessed the opium ceremony, performed in Salawas village, in Jodhpur surroundings, Rajasthan. Important part of the culture of Rajasthan, this ritual serves the function of maintaining peace within the community in case of argument, and keeping firm the bonds among its inhabitants.

I’m not sure they actually used (and normally use) opium, but this is what the locals told me, proudly explaining as much as they could about the most traditional and intimate aspects of the culture of Rajasthan.

Being part of such old rituals, anywhere I am, is one of my favorite parts of traveling. Apart from witnessing rituals and traditions that are gradually getting lost all over the world, you will have the chance to better understand the society that is hosting you, and you will be able to feel part of it, even for only one day.

If you reach Salawas village early in the morning you can enjoy also some local wildlife routine before the traffic gets too mental and noisy and the animals, such as deers, antelopes and peacocks, alongside with many species of migratory birds, prefer to withdraw in their hidden and intimate surroundings until silence and quiet plunge again.

Salawas is only a small fraction of what you can do in Jodhpur to unearth the local culture of Rajasthan. The Blue City, in fact, offers a plethora of activities and historical places, from the Mehrangarh Fort to the Umaid Bhawan Palace to a camel-riding day out in the huge, barren expanse of the Thar Desert, also known as the Great Indian Desert for its remarkable size.


  1. I love how solemn the mood is. I also love watching others’ traditions.

  2. Ah, I missed this one when I visited Rajasthan! Of course, I was travelling with my parents. So, didn’t really had a chance either! ;)

  3. What an interesting ritual. And these are great shots.

  4. I love these kinds of short stories, highlighting a ceremony or just something special out of another culture. The pictures are indeed very beautiful. We will be staying in India next July, but not sure we’ll make it to Rajasthan. But India is an inspiring country for sure.

  5. What an interesting experience. Also like the vintage effect of the first two photos.

  6. Terrific photos of the opium ceremony. I like that its function is to maintain peace in the community. I’m surprised that you didn’t have any reaction to the opium — even though it was just a little.

  7. These are great photos! I would love to attend an opium ceremony!

  8. Lovely photos to remind you of your visit!
    I like the color treatment on the first two.

    Thanks for visiting my photoblog. :)

  9. From a technical point of view, I love what you’ve done with each of the photos. From a technical point of view, I have no idea how you did it! :)

  10. Photos intrigantes….

  11. Un signore molto pittoresco! Esiste ancora quell’India ?

  12. Beautiful photos! Interesting to learn about this ritual.

  13. Wow.. these photos are amazing, what a cool thing to have experienced. It’s probably better off that you didn’t feel the effects of the opium. I imagine they do something to reduce the potency of the drug, due to the fact that it can make people very sick.

  14. This is an incredible photo! You really captured the moment :)

  15. You went to Rajasthan!
    Great pix.
    And as you’ve already figured out im sure, theres at least a million such rituals throughout India – some short – some as long as a day.
    Hope you get to come back soon and experience all of that magic.

    • Hi Anuj, I’m aware there are millions of these rituals in India, and although I want to go back and explore further, I know I’ll never be able to see them all. Although, it’s a pleasure to see that many still exist!

  16. Hi Angela,
    I must say every photo is worth a story. Thank you taking us on a photo journey of this interesting ritual.

  17. Lovely photos. India’s ritual are so unique and different from the world. And that’s why we call it : Incredible India

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