The Story of Masurji’s Mare
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Once upon a time, more than 500 years ago in the dry desert of Rajasthan, no rain came for 3 years running. Masurji took the decision to move his family and animals in search of water.

After some time, they were camped in the state of Korana – a large princely state of more than 120 villages.

One day, the Prince of Korana passed by Masurji’s camp on a hunting expedition with his men. The Prince spotted one of Masurji’s mares and was struck by her beauty.

The Prince asked Masurji ‘Who is the owner of that mare?’ Masurji replied ‘If you like her, she is yours’ Masurji untied the mare and brought her to the Prince, who took the new mare back to his palace.

The next day, when the King visited his stables, he saw the new mare and summoned the Prince.
‘Where did you find this mare?’ asked the King ‘And how much did you pay for such a beauty?’
The Prince described where he had seen the mare, and how when he asked about her the owner simply gifted her to the Prince without asking any payment in return.

The King was moved by this but also thought that it was not right to take such a valuable horse from a poor travelling man without any compensation.

So, the next day, the King and Prince returned to the camp of Masurji.

His Highness the King thanked Mausrji for his gift but again asked what is the true price of this mare, that he might pay Masurji for this fine horse.
Masurji refused.
‘We have travelled far. Here in your Kingdom, we have found good land and water. Here we are happy and safe. The Prince has permitted us to remain in camp here until the rains come.
We are grateful for this, and it is my great honour that the Prince has taken a liking to one of my horses. It is with humble gratitude that I have given you this mare, and I will not accept any money for her.’

The King insisted.
Masurji again refused.
‘If you tell us we must go, then we will go. But still, I will not accept any payment for that mare’

The King thought on this a moment and made a decision. He turned to his treasurer and said ‘Very well. Masurji will not accept any money.
So, you will record that from this day, this village and all its land belong to Masurji.
He will be Thakur of this village’

The King’s men beat the Dhol drum to summon the villagers and told them of the King’s declaration.

And so it was that Masurji became Thakur of Balau.

Two of the mares you will meet on our ride, Padmini and Siraj, are descended from this original mare.

Over the years the family grew in respect and reputation. By the time of Independence, they held the title of Thakur for five villages in the area around Jodhpur.

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This was my first time traveling to Gujarat India. I'd read that it's like the wild west, a region of environmental extremes. These kinds of places have always attracted me provided it was safe and the accommodations comfortable. My stay at the Kutch Classic Riding Camp provided me with many incredible experiences. A friendly staff member lead me to my elegant tent which had everything thing I needed, even a fan. The camp has a stable of handsome Marwari horses, one more stunning than the other. It was hard to choose which one I wanted to ride. I got to cantor across the white desert, encountered wild camels, experienced the country side intimately like you can only do on horse back. I rode into small villages where I was greeted with curiosity and delight. I'm a photographer whose passion is to capture/document the culture and tribal traditions. The organization of the tour and the accommodations were excellent and the meals, tasty. I look forward to my next adventure with the Kutch Rider Camp.

Joan L. Miller, Miami, Florida USA