Tag Archives: Pushkar

A Food Guide to Pushkar

24 Feb

Pushkar is any vegetarian and budget traveler’s food paradise. ūüôā

The majority of the travelers visiting this town are foreigners and they live here for long periods of time. But the entire town is a temple town, hence any form of meat and alcohol is strictly prohibited. This has resulted in all kinds of cuisine being available here in their pure vegetarian avatars. This town is really small and for all practical purposes just one long winding road, but the number of eating options in terms of places and variety is just mind-boggling. And all this is available at dirt cheap prices.

So it’s no wonder that when a foodie like me landed in this town what happened – well I literally ate my way through the streets. My friends, Sonal and Partha had been to Pushkar a couple of months before us and they had spent about 10 days exploring this place and its hidden food gems. We tried their recommendations and found some of our own too. We were literally eating every 30 minutes here.

Since I loved the food here so much, I ¬†am now listing the same below for everyone who is visiting this amazing town to try out and enjoy. Since I was busy eating and now reminiscing while writing, the descriptions are quite short. Hence take this as a teaser and visit Pushkar for your own experience. ūüôā

  • Pohas – Every morning all along the roads people come with carts and set up street side ¬†poha stalls. Poha is a kind of flat rice which is cooked with vegetable likes potato and peas and served with a garnish of fresh tomatoes, coriander etc. This simple dish served in a newspaper for just Rs 5 is the most amazing poha that I have ever eaten anywhere in India or at home. This is a must try for at least one day breakfast.¬†
A Poha Stall

A Poha Stall

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Ajmer – my visit and impressions

10 Feb

During our stay in Pushkar, we decided to book a local cab for a day and explore Ajmer. Now Ajmer and Pushkar are pretty much twin cities just separated by a hill and a 15 Р20 minute drive. Based on my own experience, I recommend that everyone stay in Pushkar and visit Ajmer for a day trip only.

We started our day with a visit to the Jain temple of Nareli. Nareli is a new temple complex that is around 7 kms ahead of Ajmer and is a kind of township. There is a main temple building built-in the centre on the ground and 23 small temples built atop the hill behind this main temple. The color of the stone used for these temples is a mix of pink and red which contrasts with the barren hills around this place and contribute to the character of this complex. There are gardens all around the main temple and they have small rooms built with replicas of Jain beliefs on conducting their life and small boards which explain the principles of Jainism in the most simple language.

Jain Temple, Nareli, Ajmer

Jain Temple, Nareli, Ajmer

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Meeting the various forms of Lord Shiva in Pushkar

20 Jan

Pushkar is a small Hindu temple town in Rajasthan that is full of temples, either every alternate building is a temple or every house has a temple. In addition to the famous (and one of the few in the world) Lord Brahma temple, there are numerous temples dedicated to Lord Shiva here. According to Hindu mythology when Lord Shiva’s wife – Lady Sati died, Shiva cried so much that his tears created 2 ponds and one them is in Pushkar.

Hence it was not surprising that while walking around this town we came across Lord Shiva in various forms. While it was prohibited to take pictures inside the temples, we captured Shiva on camera in various other places. I am sharing a few of these here in my 100th post today.

We found this small kid wandering on the road dressed exactly like Lord Shiva. However unlike the Lord he demanded a small fee to be photographed. ūüôā

A kid dressed as Lord Shiva

A kid dressed as Lord Shiva

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The Pushkar Experience

20 Jan

On the third day of our Rajasthan trip, we found ourselves in the small desert town of Pushkar, where we spent nearly 3 days.  And I must say that nothing had prepared us for what to expect in this visit. For starters, this town is very very small (you can walk from one corner to the other numerous times in a day), its full of temples (every building is either a temple or every house has a temple), has more foreigners than Indians, is brimming with every possible color, is very cheap for everything and all food here is fully vegetarian (non-vegetarian food and alcohol is prohibited here). Though this place is more famous for the Pushkar fair, we decided to visit it before the fair to just get an actual flavor and feel of this town. And I must say, we loved this place.

In Pushkar there is just one main road which is full of shops, eataries and temples. One side of this road are ghats and the¬†Pushkar Lake while on the other side you have the small by-lanes with shops, houses and more temples. The town is so small that you can cover it several times in the day and all on foot. Also, you will notice that there are more tourists than locals and only two kinds of tourists – Indian pilgrims or foreign backpackers. Because of all the international tourists everyone here speaks english and all internal cuisines are available. In fact the food here was so amazing that I’ll write a separate post on it.

While there is nothing per se to see here, there is a world here to experience. So here’s my experience of Pushkar in pictures –

An ancient door of an ancient haveli

An ancient door of an ancient haveli

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Rural Cruising in Rajasthan

9 Jan

After  an exciting Day 1 of our holiday in Bundi, we had decided to start our second day pretty early with a trip to a nearby Jain temple called Bijoliya Parasnath, then return to Bundi for lunch and then start for our long drive to Pushkar.

And in order to manage everything in time, we started pretty early from Bundi at 6.30am (in fact it was so early that we had to wake up the haveli staff to open the doors J) for our journey to Bijoliyaji Parasnath. Now the distance between these 2 places is only around 50 Kms but the drive takes around 2 hours one way, due to the bad conditions of the road.

Drive to Bijoliya Parasnath

Drive to Bijoliya Parasnath

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Travel Plans for a quick 5 day off-beat trip to Rajasthan

18 Dec

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.

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2012, the year that went by and 2013, the year to come

13 Dec

December, for some inexplicable reason, always ends up becoming a month of stock taking (of how the year went by) and planning for the brand new coming year (which is exciting). While I have long ago given up the whole resolution business (couldn’t keep any single one anyways) , I still like the chance to prepare for things to done in the new year, holidays to be taken and personal goals to be achieved. I guess this gives the control freak in me another chance to plan for things and be prepared in my own ways. ūüôā

So when I has planned for the year 2012, I had decided to set up something for writing on my travels / sharing travel stories (though I hadn’t decided on a blog then), visit at least 2 new places in India and 2 new places internationally in and improve my photography skills.

So how did 2012 finally turn out? Well, 2012 was not a good year personally but it was otherwise a great year and I ended up doing a lot of new things. After reading an article on blogging, I set up this travel blog in late January 2012. I am super happy with it as in less than a year I have 92 posts, support of 950+ followers, 1200 comments, learnt of so many new places (through other blogs) and I have discovered a whole new world of blogging friends. On the travel front – for a long time it seemed I will not be able to visit the 4 new places, as all plans kept getting cancelled for various reasons. But luckily a few plans did work out and I am happy to say that in the end I managed to achieve these travel targets. I ended up travelling internationally to Thailand, Cambodia and Dubai and in India to Delhi, Pushkar and Bundi. Is this enough? Definitely not but I learnt a lot about better planning of holidays, managing more in limited time, improving my photohgraphy skills and discovering the joy in visiting those off beat simple places.

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Goodbye Rajasthan

28 Oct

All good things eventually come to an end and for some reason the good times just run by at an amazing speed. Sadly my fun trip to Rajasthan is also ending with today being my last day in Pushkar and of this trip.

We checked out of our guest house in the morning and decided to walk around for one last time in Pushkar. For some reason today we really found some amazing gift stuff and shopped like crazy people. We also ate some awesome pohe and malpuas and also got some packed for family back at home. For my entire trip, Pushkar has been amazing in terms of great food and shopping and that too at dirt cheap prices. I’ll write a detailed post on this soon.

We now sadly bid goodbye to this beautiful place and await our train to reach home. Tomorrow it’s work as usual though I think I will be too dazed to do anything productive ūüôā

So it’s me signing off for one last time from Pushkar with a few instagram postcards –

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A quick visit to Ajmer and Pushkar continued

27 Oct

On our second last day of the trip, we decided to head out to Ajmer to see two very famous Jain temples of Nareli and Nasiyan. Since it was eid today we decided to skip a visit to the famous Dargah and instead check out the lake and old markets.

Well my verdict on Ajmer, we loved the 2 Jain temples and I recommend it for a visit to all non Jains too. Other than that Ajmer is quite a disappointment and you can give it a miss. There is nothing special about this place that catches your attention or makes it special.

We then returned to Pushkar and continued our lazing around in the local atmosphere, sights and eating some amazing Tibetan food in a beautiful garden restaurant under a canopy of leaves. Also saw the original Pushkar lake which is now dry and called Budhe or old Pushkar. Now ending my last night in Rajasthan under a star filled sky with some famous Rajasthani folk music and dances.

More to follow in a detailed post once I am back, but below is today’s installment of instagram post cards –

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Colors of Pushkar

26 Oct

On our third day in Rajasthan, we found ourselves in the city of temples and color – Pushkar. This is one Indian city where there are more foreigners than Indians and every International cuisine is available that too in only vegetarian options. So it’s like heaven for me.

We spent the entire day seeing a few of the numerous temples, shopping from all the cheap local shops for all kinds of typical Rajasthani things and eating. Ate the best falafel possible, rabdi malpuas, banana nuttella pancake, muskmelon lime mint juice and ending the day with wood fired oven pizza. Yum yum yum…. Also for the first time heard the soulful music from a local instrument called a ravanhatta. Overall a day well spent.

There is nothing really to see in Pushkar but everything to experience. As always, detailed posts to follow later but signing off with a few pics –

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