Visit the gorgeous Pushkar Mela

Rajasthan is known for its vibrant colours, festivals, culture and fairs that showcase the rich heritage of the place. Throughout the year, Rajasthan celebrates several fairs that brighten up what is an otherwise dreary and hard life for the village folk in this desert region.

Pushkar festival is among the most colourful and popular fairs in the Thar desert, which starts on 23rd October and goes on till 4th November this year. If you’re planning to head to Pushkar this year, we highly recommend booking a Jaipur to Pushkar taxi. The fair coincides with the brighter half of the moon ending with the full moon day. Folklore has it that the festival is celebrated as an obeisance to Lord Brahma, the creator of the Universe, according to Hindu mythology.

The Pushkar festival is celebrated around the Pushkar Lake which is about 11 kilometres away from Ajmer. Pushkar is surrounded on all three sides by hills, and the fourth side has sand dunes. Thus, Pushkar is a fascinating location with a befitting backdrop for the annual fairs. Colourful veils of women and equally colourful turbaned headgear of men bring this arid desert space to life. For the duration of the festival, village women dress in their finest clothes.

There are about 400 temples surrounding the Pushkar Lake and 52 ghats bind this lake. During the festival days, this lake which remains tranquil otherwise gets engulfed in religious fervour. Several thousand devotees congregate at the lake and take a dip in it. Sadhus and saints descend from the Himalayas, and everyone prays to attain salvation in the midst of chanting of verses from Holy scriptures that fill the air.  During the afternoons, people assemble around the stadium where horses, camels and, cows are paraded. Camels are also traded here during the fair.

Trading in livestock is, in fact, a major part of the fair itself and camels traded in large batches take centre stage. The large crowds during the fair make it difficult to drive any automobile, so walking or using a camel becomes the only option available to visitors. On a conservative estimate, about 25,000 camels are traded here during the fair. Visitors should also remember that this is a religious fair and hence non-vegetarian food, as well as alcohol, is strictly prohibited all around the town and neighbourhood. If you’re planning to drive down from Delhi just for the festival, we suggest you book a cab from Delhi to Pushkar.


For Hindus across the world, Pushkar is a unique destination because there is no other temple for Lord Brahma anywhere in India. According to legends, Aurangzeb, the Mughal emperor who was also a devout Muslim had little tolerance for other faiths and religions. Once during his reign, he headed to Pushkar with the idea of getting all the temples demolished. On arriving there, he went to wash his face in the Pushkar Lake, and his reflection in the waters startled him. What he saw in the water was the haggard face of an old man. He saw it as a bad omen and gave up the thought of demolishing the temples and returned to Delhi which was his capital.

The nearest airport is Sanganer airport in Jaipur located at a distance of 146 km. Ajmer railway station which is well-connected with other parts of the country is situated barely 11 km from Pushkar. Connecting trains to Pushkar from Ajmer are available. Pushkar is also connected to other major cities via the highways of Rajasthan. You can hire a private taxi after arriving at any major city such as Jaipur, Jodhpur, Ajmer, etc.

Planning on exploring more of Rajasthan after your trip to Pushkar? Here’s a complete guide of what to do in Jaisalmer.

Happy Vacationing!

Explore The Golden Sands of Jaisalmer

Jaisalmer or the Sun City of Rajasthan in India is home to massive sandcastles standing tall, rising from the centre of the Thar Desert as a reminder of a glorious bygone era. The mysteries of a desert and trade route of camel trains can be best experienced perhaps only in Jaisalmer. The 99 bastions encircling the Jaisalmer fort continue to be inhabited. Its twisting lanes present an array of shops with most of them selling bright embroideries, the likes of which you may never see elsewhere under the sun.

Image source: Wikipedia

When translated ‘Rajasthan’ means the seat of the ruler or king. However, one of the top reasons to visit Jaisalmer is to get the authentic feel of the desert life. You can still see people living in huts made of grass in the nearby villages. You will come across people of all religions such as Hindu, Jains, Muslims, and Christians living in complete harmony in the challenging this terrain.

The Jaisalmer fort is a lively urban centre that is home to about 3,000 people living within the walls. The honeycombed winding narrow lanes are lined with temples and houses along with an array of restaurants, guesthouses, and handicraft shops. Entry to the fort is from the east which is close to the Gopa Chowk. Along the zig-zag route, you will have to pass four massive gates to reach the upper section. The final gate takes you to the square at the centre of the fort which is known as Dussehra Chowk.

Patwon-ki-haweli. Image source: Wikipedia

Patwon-ki-Haveli is among the biggest havelis in Jaisalmer towering over a narrow lane. The intricate stonework and all that you see around in its five sections have their history dating back to the late 1800s. Bada Bagh is a huge garden with a resplendent history dating back to the 16th century. Though the place is isolated, it offers splendid photo opportunities at sunrise and sunset which is one of the astonishing experiences is the Desert Safari. Sam Sand Dunes is an ideal spot to start your Desert Safari. The camelback safari provides significant intrigue and enjoyment for most visitors.

Chhatris at Bada Bagh. Image source: Wikipedia

Gadisar Lake with its origin in 1367 is about one kilometre from the main fort. This lake supplies drinking water to Jaisalmer and on the banks of this lake, you will find a series of Chattris and holy shrines. The entrance to the lake is particularly attractive for its artistic carvings on yellow sandstone. Nathmal Ki Haveli is must visit haveli for the beautiful interiors and exceptional outer carvings. This is a real amalgamation of Rajputana and Islamic architecture. It is reckoned as the most beautiful havelis in Jaisalmer.

For those who are looking for some uncanny adventure, you can head to the Kuldhara village. This is a ghost town that has been abandoned now. Centuries ago, the then occupants of the town abandoned it lock, stock, and barrel under threat from the then ruler. Folklore has it that Kuldhara continues to carry their curse and hence remains uninhabited even to this date.

Thar Khuri. Image source: Wikipedia

The best time to visit Jaisalmer is between the months of October and March. While the summers are arid and should be avoided, the temperature during winter can also drop below 5 degree Celsius during the night. The nearest airport is at a distance of 280 Km in Jodhpur as Jaisalmer does not have a commercial airport. You can land in Jodhpur and take a connecting train or hire a private taxi to reach Jaisalmer. The railway station in Jaisalmer is well-connected to other major cities such as Delhi, Jaipur, Agra and Jodhpur. A well-maintained network of road connects Jaisalmer to other parts of Rajasthan and nearby states. You can take a private or state transport bus from Bikaner, Barmer, Mount Abu, and Ahmedabad.

Happy Vacationing!

Discover Udaipur

Udaipur, once the capital of Mewar Kingdom is a land known for its royal residences from the time of the Rajputs. The City of Lakes is known for its excellent blend of traditions and originality that meets the enthusiasm of tourists. Udaipur is listed as one of the most romantic cities in India and is amongst the top most visited destinations in the country. Udaipur’s picturesque beauty is witnessed in the large lakes, forts, amazing palaces, and pleasant gardens.

A large number of palaces have been converted into lavish hotels, and if you are in for a relaxing vacation, you should consider staying at these hotels. The Lake Palace is a famous hotel palace in the centre of Pichola Lake. Imagine being in a hotel with a view of lake and mountains outside your window, amazing!

There are numerous palaces and landmarks to be seen in the city of Udaipur. City Palace is the biggest architectural marvel in Udaipur that offers the impressive sight of the city and at the same time showcases the finest works of Rajput skills and traditions. Fateh Sagar is a beautiful artificial lake which houses three islands and is famous for its peaceful atmosphere. The largest island has been turned into a lovely garden called Nehru Park that has a lot to offer as far as water sports is concerned.

Jagdish Temple is must visit temple in Udaipur devoted to Lord Vishnu with several attractive figures and beautifully carved images. Jaisamand Lake is a paradise for nature lovers due to its close proximity to the Jaisamand Wildlife Sanctuary. It is home to different creatures and wandering birds which are often spotted in the vicinity. Visitors looking for a place to relax can visit Sahelio Ki Bari, a place well-known for its serene atmosphere. The garden has numerous wellsprings and shaded cool lanes to walk and relax.

In spite of Udaipur being famous for its palaces and landmarks, one thing that you cannot afford to miss is the shopping experience. Many items can be purchased from Udaipur that showcase its rich legacy, custom, and culture. Walking down the busy streets and mandis of Udaipur is an appealing experience. Shilpgram Crafts Village, Sadhna Emporium, Chetak Circle, and Bapu Bazaar are few of the many places that help tourists enhance their shopping experience.

The rich history from the bygone era has left a mark on this city. If you are curious about history, you would be amazed to see the Bhil tribe which still inhabits the city. People from Bhil tribe wear traditional Rajasthani attire and loads of silver ornaments. In terms of cuisines, Udaipur is primarily vegetarian mainly due to predominant Jainism in the region. The vegetarian cuisine in the city is still a food lover’s dream come true. The Thali at Natraj is highly recommended for its authentic local flavours.

It is advisable to visit Udaipur in winters as one can enjoy the exquisiteness of the place without the scorching heat prevalent during summers. Udaipur is very well-connected to other metro cities, and thus one can easily reach this place through air, roads, or rail. Buses and trains to and from Udaipur are available at frequent intervals. Dabok is a commercial domestic airport situated 20 km east of Udaipur. Cars are available for rent from the airport to go in the city or to commute within the city.

If you’re looking for an offbeat getaway near Udaipur, we highly recommend visiting Bundi, a gorgeous town about four hours away.

Happy Vacationing!

Bundi: A Trip To A Bygone Era

Rajasthan is a destination that finds its place on every traveller’s list, Indians and foreigners alike. The magnificent architecture, rich heritage, and the unique traditions make Rajasthan an intriguing place to visit. There are so many distinguished sites to visit that most visitors end up missing the offbeat destinations. Bundi is one such destination situated in a narrow valley amidst the Aravali hills surrounded by rivers, orchards, and lush green fields.

Image source: Wikipedia

Bundi was once ruled by the Hada Chauhans of the royal Hadoti Empire. Before the royals, it was occupied by the Bhil and Mina tribes. This rich heritage of over eight centuries is explicitly visible in the city of Bundi. The people here are still simple and take pride in following their own customs. The town is also renowned for its artistic abilities and has produced several vocalists and musicians. The painting style in Bundi is a beautiful amalgamation of Mughal and the traditional Ragmala paintings.

Image source: Wikipedia

Bundi lined with the blue houses, hills, lakes, bazaars, and temples offer several places that are a must visit. Taragarh Fort is one of the most stunning architectures of Bundi that is still standing strong. Built in 1354, it is situated on a steep hill which offers a picturesque view of the town below. You can also see the apartments, balconies, and murals which are situated above the palace. Naval Sagar Lake is an artificial lake located in the centre of the city with a half-submerged temple of Lord Varuna. The reflection of the entire city and the palace makes this lake an exciting attraction.

Taragarh Fort. Image source: Wikipedia

Sukh Mahal is a beautiful Palace near the lake Jait Sagar. It was the summer home of the royal family, and it is believed that a hidden tunnel connects it with the Taragarh Fort. The Sukh Mahal gained worldwide popularity after it found mention by Rudyard Kipling. The 84 Pillared Centograph, as the name suggests is a structure supported by 84 columns decorated with carvings of deer, elephants, and apsaras. There are several lakes and Kunds in Bundi that were built to provide water to the royal family and their subjects. The Lake Nawal Sagar, Lake Kanak Sagar, Phool Sagar Lake, Nagar Sagar Kund, and Dabhai Kund are a few that can be visited.

Naval Sagar Lake. Image source: Wikipedia

Temperatures in Bundi are same as the rest of Rajasthan, so the best time to visit is during the winters from the month of October to March. The closest airport is Sanganer Airport in Jaipur, about 150km from Bundi. Although there is a railway station in Bundi, the one in Kota is easily accessible from other states. Both state government and private buses are available to reach Bundi from Udaipur, Sawai Madhopur, Jodhpur, Bijolia, and Bikaner. The NH12 connects Jaipur, Bundi, Kota, and Jabalpur, so don’t think twice before hiring a private taxi to reach Bundi.

Happy Vacationing!

 

#60DaysOfSummer – Staycation at Samode Palace

If you’re itching to go on a lavish staycation, we can’t think of a better place than Samode Palace near Jaipur, Rajasthan. The large heritage resort has a palace, a traditional haveli and a garden where you can relax away from stress.

About 40km from Jaipur, this upmarket heritage site turned resort is filled with Mughal and Rajput architecture to make your holiday a little more royal. With king sized (literally) rooms and a gorgeous view of the hills outdoors, Samode Palace is your atypical resort getaway.

HOW TO GET THERE

Take a cab from Jaipur to Samode Palace.

#60DaysOfSummer – Sunset Over Pushkar Lake

If you’re a history buff, and looking for a picturesque vacation in one of India’s ancient cities, head to Pushkar for a dash of history and culture.

The town of Pushkar is one of the oldest cities in the country, its history dating back to the 4th Century BC. The Lake in the city has numerous bathing ghats and hundreds of temples surrounding it. The town also borders Thar Desert in Rajasthan, so you can even plan a camel safari.

There are desert camps near Pushkar, tons of bazaars and an annual hot air balloon festival if you want to get more out of your trip. The hotels and resorts here have room starting at about Rs 1,000, so it’s perfect if you’re on a limited budget.

HOW TO GET THERE

Take a flight to Jaipur, and then book a cab from Jaipur to Pushkar.