From Pushkar to Udaipur with love. “Perks of NOT being a Wallflower”
Having left Jaipur on a happy note, I was eager to explore more of Rajasthan and thought of heading towards the South. Pushkar was always on my mind. This city has a magnetism all of its own – it’s quite unlike anywhere else in Rajasthan.
The Holy Land of Rajasthan belongs more to Israelis more than it does to us Indians! Perhaps, they might even come back and make Rajasthan their retirement plan. I'm not exaggerating here, but there are even restaurants and cafes where the food menu and flyers are printed in Israeli. Needless to say, hard to decode. All of this was quite intriguing and fascinating at the same time. Not to forget that the hippie vibes add its own charm to the town.
Day 1 I arrived at Pushkar early in the morning by boarding an unreserved cramped bus. But my mind was in high spirits as I like to keep things spontaneous and unplanned while I am traveling. By the way, if you can manage to afford a cab, It won’t hurt your back and would be much more convenient. But then I prefer to enjoy cheap thrills!
I chose to stay at Zostel Pushkar. I had palak paneer and butter naan which tasted like heaven. After a while when I was done appeasing my appetite, I happened to meet Julia, with whom I had played Holi in Jaipur . We got into talking and before I knew it, I was invited for a road trip to the hills of Pushkar to view the sunset with Abi, Laurence, Emily, and Georgia.
We all stuffed ourselves into one Tuk-Tuk. We were then led to the TOLFA(Tree of Life for Animals) veterinary clinic where street animals were being brought and treated under an autonomous, non-profit establishment by Rachel Wright. She has actually sacrificed a luxurious life and has been putting efforts into saving animal lives for more than a decade of her stay in India.
Our next pit stop was Aloo Baba’s temple (weird, his name is!). The locals say that he ends up eating Aloo (potato) all day and night and that is how he owned this nickname (funny, isn't it?!). But then this Baba has been living in the forests for decades and has constructed a Kal Bhairav temple by himself. Mostly travelers were seen around smoking up! I didn't take it offensively; Baba encourages them after all!
The day was coming to a close and it was time to enjoy the gorgeous view of the sunset from the hills. It was indeed a treat to the eyes and rejuvenating for our tired souls. We got back in the Tuk-tuk and had no better option than hearing a Justin Beiber track (that's the best he had on his playlist). I couldn’t get it off my head the entire night.
Nevertheless, having Kingfisher beers and on top of it, a glass of mild Bhole Bhang Lassi shared with Abi did help me keep my sanity in shape. After numerous times of fooling around by passing the lassi to each other again and again, I should say that thankfully, she gulped it down more than I did; After all, I had already had two beers to quench my thirst.
The slice of pizza which you see right next to Emily in the picture is "Spinachi Blah Blah" pizza. It was so fucking good (pardon me for my filthy mouth) that I think Domino's and Pizza Hut should consider getting its secret recipe! And all this mouthwatering dishes were served at Pushkar, the “shrine” capital of Rajasthan. Seemed pretty much ironical to me!
Day 2 Laurence and I had to stuff cash into our wallets so we got out of our cozy bunk beds and went on an ATM hunt, and we ended up searching every nook and corner of Pushkar. Laurence finally got lucky and of all the Stupid ATMs, found an ING Vysya ATM which was not out of order (the savior!). We heaved a sigh of relief and got our cash.
(Tip: My suggestion is to always carry enough cash to meet your needs at Pushkar!)
We decided to call up our gang and put our empty bellies to peace by having pancakes, falafels, brownies, pasta, and all kinds of shakes at Honey & Spice Cafe. Our hunger drifted back into the closet. Afterward, pretty much the same strolling around happened in the markets among all the hustle & bustle. Finally, the time had come to depart from Pushkar and most of us left the very night to our own destinations, saying goodbyes and hoping to stay in touch.
I didn’t get to stay in Pushkar for long, but no matter what, the city didn’t have to do much to make me fall in love with the Pacholi lake, the mesmerizing beauty of the castles and the breathtaking view from the Bunkyard Hostel. I did my best here to blend with travelers in no time. The following evening and night ended up in gabfests. Kingfisher beers once again soothed my mind and made me feel mellow. The day unfolded itself into making unforgettable memories to remember. The next day I stuffed my all my street shopping into my rucksack and flew out of Rajasthan with Noel Wong.
PS- To know in detail about the best cuisines and places to dine at and the places to watch out for when you are going solo, I would suggest you to also read Julia's and Georgia's blogs.
Well, I have my quirky way of telling stories, and by now I think you're getting all my hints!
My Recommendations to Stay, Eat and Explore
- Zostel in Pushkar and Bunkyard in Udaipur (Chill Time)
- Honey & Spice Cafe, Laurel's Cafe in Pushkar and Bunkyard Restaurant (for Brunch)
- Brahma Temple, Aalo BABA Pit Stop, Pushkar Hills and Main Bazaar in Pushkar.(Wander time )
- City Palace & Boat Ride in Pacholi Lake at Udaipur. (Casual Strolling) and Sunset point-Monsoon Palace (Which I missed)
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Au Revoir (Phir Milenge!)
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- 4 years