Holy town of Pushkar, Rajasthan, is a place where Lord Brahma once performed penance, where thousands of Hindu Pilgrims descend to the lake every year to bathe at 52 different Ghats of the Pushkar Lake and where photographers from around the world outnumber the pilgrims each year during the annual camel fair. Some call it the magical town where the monsoons cover the town with clouds while you lie down on a cozy chair of one of the roof top restaurants and with the sip of morning tea gaze at the rain drops falling on the green plants, which is a rare sight in the deserts of Rajasthan.
I had a different image of Pushkar and had high hopes from this place when we reached Ajmer. I’ve heard a lot about this townfrom a number of friends. Some of them compared it to Kasol, in the himalayas and some compared it to Old Manali and some to Rishikesh, but when we reached the town I could sense the feeling of disappointment while searching for a place to stay.
The only thing I noticed when I entered the market to avoid any accident were the fanatic local bikers who dodged through people in the busy market at amazing speed. After every few seconds you would hear a sharp irritating horn coming from behind the crowd of people and you would have to make way for a motorbike that emerged and vanished though the crowd and into the crowd in a matter of seconds. Magical town indeed.
We had planned to halt here for a night and then continue our road trip to other parts of Rajasthan but the hotel search and the noise of horns only multiplied by irritation. I don’t like crowded places and noise. After searching for about an hour, we eventually found a Guest House. The ones in the ‘Lonely Planet’, bible of travelers were already booked, but with the help of google we found a place to stay for the night. Krishna Haveli, an old house now converted into a guest house. We parked our car and went out to find something for our hungry stomach.
My senses were all charged up to find the place where I could eat some delicious food that I deserved after a long journey of many hours. It was not difficult to find one. We now had to decide which one to choose. There were so many of them. I had many options, but now I had two tempting places right in front of me, Rainbow cafe on the left and Out of the Blue cafe on the right. Without thinking much we climbed our way through the narrow stairway of the rainbow cafe. First Floor. Second Floor, Third Floor. We finally reached the Rainbow cafe. With a warm welcome by the owner and a nice view of the lake with well lit ghats, though the huge open glassless window on the green wall of the cafe with many lizards crawling on them. I could easily count 7 on one side of the wall. Lizards are common in the summer months and the open windows of these restaurants give them easy access inside the cafe. Lizards don’t bother me much, unless they are right on top my my table, and they were.
So I chose to leave the place as soon as I could. We were really hungry so without cribbing about the lizards we I ordered our light dinner of some lemon drink and sandwiches. I had to try more stuff, so a light dinner was the best option, that too in a place full of lizards. Our orders were prepared and on our table were two glasses with a glass sized mint plant popping out at the top, it seemed like it was planted in the crushed green ice. They had used it for decoration. Innovative. It was delicious as I had expected and so were the potato cheese onion sandwichs.
We also had a big green grasshopper dancing on the next table, with its legs moving with the beats of the music. Were could you find such a place ? Certainly, a ‘Magical Town’.
We left the cafe to try out Burgers, Israeli Wraps with tea, Fruit Cream Salad etc on various small street shops. We had to leave early next morning so there was no time to try out more stuff.
I would call Pushkar another ‘Foodie’s Paradise’ and would add it to my list of great places to eat, other names include, Mcleodganj, Kasol, Old Manali, Rishikesh and Leh. I would certainly return in winters were there will be no lizards and I would eat while looking into the beautiful lake and taste the variety of food Pushkar has to offer.