Monday, 11 November 2013

DAY 11 - Pushkar, Rajasthan

Pushkar’s claim to fame is undoubtedly its constant state of intoxication; at least that is what tourists assume for the most part. True, it is known for its ‘bhang’, but there’s so much more to it. The Brahma temple situated at the banks of the Pushkar Lake is said to the oldest one in India; said to be almost 2,000 years old. People from all over Indian flock here just to visit the temple. The Pushkar Camel fair lures innumerable crowds too. But I love the cafes here with their curious names, like Funkey Monkey or Pink Floyd Café. A tiny little town, Pushkar is best explored on foot.

My favourites spots in Pushkar are:
Pink Floyd Hotel and Café

Located near Choti Basti, the route to this hotel is so narrow it can easily be missed if not for the big signboards outside. The owner, I was told, is a big Pink Floyd fan and this in a way is a tribute to the iconic band. The rooms of the hotel are all named after the band’s many albums. They also have a rooftop café with cane chairs and posters of the band for décor. The food is average, but do try the very special lassi. It’s, well, different.

Pushkar Lake
Quiet and serene, the best time to sit by the lake is during sunrise. It is so calm and still; completely silent. Just sit by the steps outside Sunset Café and watch the birds fly back and forth. It is one of the most peaceful moments I have ever had in all of my travels.

Sunset Café

Good food, good coffee and a great view of the lake—Sunset Café as its name states is the ideal spot to catch a click-worthy sunset in Pushkar. The owner is friendly and jovial. And he’s happy to share stories of the town’s past and its present. The café also has rooms at the back now. They are decent, but I did see lizards and other bugs, so it isn’t one I would recommend. But if you move past that, they come at reasonable rates for those on a budget.

Hotel Inn Seventh Heaven
I have visited Pushkar thrice, and on my second visit, I stayed at the Inn Seventh Heaven (see what they did here?). A semi luxurious mid-range hotel, the rooms are quite spectacular with four-poster beds and stained glass lamps. They have a cosy little restaurant with al fresco dining. The food is fairly good, though not great. It’s a great pick if you want to enjoy a dash of luxury in a town like this.

The Rs 20 store
Yes, you read it right. It says Rs 20. I couldn’t believe it either. I mean, a store selling everything for Rs 20? Are they crazy? Well, being a woman, if I’ve learned one thing about getting a good bargain, it is this: if it’s good, don’t ask why. The store—located at Choti Basti, very close to Pink Floyd Café—sells skirts, tops, coin pouches, bags and more. Some of the stuff is second-hand, so keep a look out for those. The others are primarily creations of leftover fabrics.

NEXT: DAY 12 - Goa

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