October this year came up with a fabulous opportunity to take a quick unplanned holiday. In a week, the Wednesday was an off and so was that same Friday, so if you just took a thursday off – you got full 5 days holiday. On seeing this small window of opportunity, the travel junkie in me just couldn’t resist and decided to go somewhere, rather go anywhere. However realty hit me hard, when I saw the extremely expensive air fare for any place that I wanted to visit, so I decided to leave all those places and check my options via an overnight train travel from Mumbai.
Now, I am one of those people who really need to plan for a trip much in advance and research / mull on it for at least a month. But in this case I decided the broad trip details in 2 days and landed up at the place with only the trains and hotels booked. Rest all, I left to be discovered en route; I guess this is as impulsive as I’ll ever get. And I am glad to say that I wasn’t disappointed; in fact, I realised that there is a different experience all together when you travel like this. For starters, you haven’t read a lot about a place so it’s all new and unexpected. Secondly this allows you a lot of flexibility in the paths to take or things to do.
We planned our trip as follows and also added a few old Jain temples to the list of things to see.
Tuesday Evening – Took a train from Mumbai to Kota.
Wednesday – Reached Kota early morning and took a cab to visit Kesariya Patan (a beautiful Jain temple) and then reached Bundi. Spent the day in Bundi. (Otherwise too, Kota is well-connected with numerous cities and from there Bundi is an hour’s drive).
Thursday – Went on a rural drive to Bijoliyaji (another beautiful Jain temple) and then drove from there to Pushkar. (Drive to Bijoliyaji took 2 hours one way, but was very scenic and filled with beautiful villages and numerous birds. From Bundi it is a 4 hour drive to Pushkar).
Friday – Spent in exploring Pushkar. (If you directly want to reach Pushkar, the nearest train station is Ajmer and it is well-connected with numerous cities. From Ajmer, Pushkar is 20 – 30 minutes drive by road).
Saturday – Explored Ajmer, Nareli (another gorgeous Jain temple) and then returned to Pushkar. (We booked a cab from Pushkar and explored everything in a day as there is nothing much in Ajmer. Also my recommendation is that maintain base in Pushkar (and not Ajmer). As Pushkar has a lot of things to enjoy whereas Ajmer is just a city with nothing much to see or do).
Sunday – Spent half a day in Pushkar and then took a train back to Mumbai. (This route is via Abu road, so you can also combine a trip to Mt. Abu, if you have the time).
Monday – Reached Mumbai early morning and went to office.
My trip was for 5 days but if you just want to take a quick weekend break from Mumbai then you can do a weekend trip to either Bundi or Pushkar. It’s very doable. Additionally, if you can book train tickets in advance then this is a complete budget trip / holiday, as hotels and food are very cheap in both these places.
Please follow this blog for more detailed posts on each day spent in these beautiful places and with some awesome people.