The first optional excursions that the hotel offered, was a jeep ride out to visit some rural/cottage industries about 5-10km away from Bijaipur.
The first stop was at a small building where men and women were rolling bidis (small herbal cigarettes).
Favorite thing: Instead of greeting the “host” and making small-talk (as you would with anyone whose home you visit in your own country), he paraded the three other people right in and out of homes as if the whole setting was similar to a zoo. With the exception of a stop in small village with beautiful poppy fields and some people milling about their business in the yard (drying chili peppers, making twine), I felt entirely uncomfortable and instead contented myself to keep a fair distance from the guide.
Favorite thing: Our driver, whose name I can't recall, seemed either unwilling or unable to give us any information during our drive; he also displayed a total lack of respect for the people whose homes he wanted to take us into. Shoes are left at the door in India; to wear shoes into someone’s home (or into temples) is an insult and is simply not done. Nevertheless, our driver kept insisting that it was okay to wear our shoes inside the homes to which he took us.
Favorite thing: Any kind of tribal/caste/village visit is very delicate ~ if you organize one through a hotel or tour company, try to communicate what you want to get out of it, so that you don’t end up in this type of uncomfortable situation. In the right hands, with the right motivation, it can be a genuine and equal exchange between two people and/or two cultures.