Khichan is a small village located in Jodhpur district of Rajasthan state. Situated in an arid desert region, the nearest town to Khichan is at a distance of 4kms called Phalodi. Khichan is very well known for the migration of Demoiselle Cranes that visit the small village every winter. The number of cranes that visit this place every winter crosses 20,000 in number. It all started in the 1970’s when a couple started feeding pigeons. The fodder that was used to feed the pigeons and squirrels was also used to feed a dozen Demoiselle cranes that had come this way. Soon enough, the number of Demoiselle cranes rose from twelve to a hundred and by the year 2014, the number had crossed 20,000. This was possible with the joint efforts of the people of the village who soon made it their hobby to feed these birds along with the couple who started it all. All the tourists that visit Khichan, come mostly to see the Demoiselle cranes being fed which is a breath-taking view of the synchronized chaos of the birds unveiling before the eyes. But, there is more to it than meets the eye in Khichan.
One must not miss seeing the ‘havelis’ in Khichan. A ‘haveli’ is a house owned by merchants from Jain families built in a grand and opulent manner. ‘Havelis’ here are built by stones and some of them dating back to 1900s. As Khichan was on a trade route to Pakistan and Afghanistan, merchants lived here to facilitate easy trading. But this was until 1947 when India got independence, borders were raised and the trade routes were no more used which forced merchants living here to abandon their sumptuous properties. Fast-forwarding to today, these huge fortresses like houses are deserted just like the region surrounding the village. Although it is a sad sight to see these architectural marvels empty, the beautifully sculpted stonework on the walls around the ‘havelis’ is dumbfounding and more than makes up for the desolation.
Khichan is a small and a quiet village with very few living souls around but an interesting one with a fabulous flora and fauna encounter. It is unexplored and holds a lot of undiscovered lands. The easiest way to wander around in this place is on a bike. Well, if you don’t have one, you needn’t worry, you can rent a bike from many bike rental stores in and around the place. We, Wheelstreet are a bike rental in Jaipur and you can easily avail two-wheelers on hire with very few simple steps and range over the town.
How to reach Khichan:
Air: One could alight at the Jodhpur Airport which is 150kms from Khichan and then takes a taxi or get on a bus heading towards Khichan from Jodhpur.
Rail: The nearest railway station is in Phalodi which is 4kms away from Khichan. Trains to Phalodi run from Jodhpur and Jaisalmer. Once in Phalodi, hop on a local transport or take a rickshaw to Khichan.
Road: This desert village is well connected by roads to major cities in Rajasthan. The nearest major city is Jodhpur at 139kms, Bikaner at 156kms, Nagaur at 145kms and Jaisalmer at 165kms.