#Travel Diaries: Pushkar
I was recently in Ajmer for a friend’s wedding; Of course Rajasthan is one of the best locales to get married, and this wedding was no exception. There is so much to take in- the food, culture, people and the colours. Everytime I am there, I am still mersmerised by the beauty of it all. Since I have already been to Jaipur, Udaipur and Jaisalmer, Pushkar was one place that I wanted to tick off my list. luckily, I found sometime in the midst of all the wedding madness and I quickly made a plan to visit Pushkar, having heard so much about this place. With not a lot of knowledge or travel info, I booked a cab from Merwara Estate, Ajmer (where I was staying) and found myself in Pushkar in 45 minutes flat. The ride itself was so pleasant; cool wind and lots of greenery. I felt myself relaxing after a long time.
The first thing you need to know about Pushkar is that it is really a small place. They don’t allow cars inside the main area, so be ready for a long walk. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes, and it will feel like a breeze. The main market road is where all the action is at. The first thing you notice are the colourful shops that line both the sides of the narrow road. Needless to say, it’s a shopper’s paradise. From antique souvenirs to embellished mojris, there is something for everyone there; but more on that later. The other thing that you will soon notice are the large number of foreigners around you (makes you feel you are in Goa suddenly).
For delicious food: Nirvana Cafe and Pizzeria
Since I was ravenous by the time I reached Pushkar, I was already hunting for a place to kick back and soak in everything when this quaint roof side cafe caught my eye. I had to climb four flights of stairs but it was well worth it. The cafe was adorned with Rajasthani artifacts such as puppets hanging from the ceiling, but also had a kind of boho vibe to it replete with fluorescent paintings on the wall and on the paintings; which I was informed comes alive in the evening. The cafe itself had an amazing view of the Pushkar lake. As the name suggests, the cafe is known for their amazing wood fired pizzas.
What I ordered: Munch Nutella shake, Quattro Formagi Pizza, Nirvana Special Combino Pasta, Special chocolate balls
Experience: The portions were huge and the food was to die for. The special pasta had baked buttery potatoes and onions which tasted heavenly. The pizza was crisp, tasty and cheesy. The shake wasn’t as good as the rest of the food and quite avoidable to be honest. The special chocolate ball was chocolatey and coconuty; plus, it had another surprise element added to it-Bhang. Yep. So go easy on it, if it’s your first time. I chose to take two bites since I had a lot of exploring to do.
There is no dearth of shops at Pushkar, and bargaining is a must. Here’s a comprehensive guide to the must-haves. Remember to bargain well and you will get some great stuff at throw away prices.
- 100 per cent raw silk kimono jackets/longline jackets (Price: Rs 350)
- Hand made paper notebooks (Price: Rs 130 for the large ones)
- Silk bomber jackets (Price: Rs 325)
- Silk maxi skirts (Price: Rs 350)
- Silk halter dresses (Price: 300)
- The Brahma Temple (Don’t miss going here since it’s one of the few temples dedicated to lord Brahma)
- Pushkar Lake
- Savitri mata temple
The thing about this town is the magical essence, that you need to experience personally. There is something about wandering in the streets of this holy town, sampling street food, haggling with the shopkeepers, or just sitting and observing the world pass by, that will make you forget everything. I didn’t even know when the hours flew by. Next time I go, it will certainly be for more than a day.