Tag Archives: Pushkar

A Food Guide to Pushkar

24 Feb

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

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. 🙂

  • 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 – 20 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. 🙂

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. 🙂

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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