Como Estas, Amigos! We are back with another exciting weekend itinerary for adventure lovers and the seekers of quaint spaces alike. This time again, the location is exotic and is surrounded by beautiful sand dunes to one side and the vast Aravallison the other, we are in the holy city of – Pushkar, Rajasthan! Come, lets escape to a time by-gone and forget about our worldly distractions as we come closer to the nature by spending our time in and around the beautiful Orchard Tents & Tranquillity!
4:00 P.M: Having left on a relaxed weekend morning from the city we took our time on the road enjoying the landscapes, the beautiful roads of Rajasthan along with the Aravallis – we reach reach the destination in the Tourist Village of Ganehara, Pushkar by late noon. For the true-blue road trip thrill, the many chai stops and stops to enjoy the scenery couldn’t have been avoided! On entering Pushkar we passed through the Mela Grounds and within minutes we were at the Orchard Tents & Tranquillity, hardly 3 kms from the City Centre. Note: The property is open from September to March (Tip: Book in advance! The Pushkar Mela time is the peak season!)
4:30 P.M: We were welcomed by some peacocks, crossing our walking paths as we were greeted by Mr. Harpal, the very jolly natured Manager who welcomed us with a huge smile. Some rose flavoured welcome drinks and chit-chat later, we were escorted to our much-anticipated abode of the weekend, the tents! There’s a thing called being distracted for good but it’s another thing altogether when you forget your long-ish road journey and feel even more enthusiastic than before, so much so that you can hardly settle for rest! First look at the tents and we notice that they were so tastefully done, with warm yellow lamps decorating the block printed tent interiors, a spacious area for lodging, study and rest with the accents of blue pottery in little decorations popping out, making the ambiance warm and vibrant at the same time. Truly mesmerizing. The sun was setting and the lamps lit up the tent beautifully.
4:45 P.M: We called for tea in the tents in their old-school manner – by ringing a temple bell!
4:50 P.M: Tea arrives as we sit on the porche of our tent and relish the savouries to the sound of birds chirruping. Our view has the distant and yet close view of the Aravallis and in immediate view we have the vegetation cultivated by the property between the tents, giving the area a very green and natural landscape (and a very practical contribution to the tasty meals we will soon be having!). (Did we tell you the Orchard is so aptly named, for there are n number of Amla trees and vegetables growing in the vicinity?)
7:30 P.M: The lamps are lighting the pathways as we make our way to the bonfire at their conversation area ‘Panghat’. The evening calls for a barbeque which is set up in the garden. The delicious platters are served with mocktails as we huddle up around the bonfire and take in the feeling of being so close to nature … many conversations ensue.
9:00 P.M: Many hearty conversations around the bonfire and many walks around the property later, we find ourselves awed by the warm atmosphere in ‘Golghar’ – A circular dining tent that gives you a 360-degree view of the property, a buffet is set up and we eat to our heart’s content. The food is delicious!
9:45 P.M: We walk around our tents a little more, gazing at the sky blanketed with stars and then retire to our beautiful abodes. The electric blanket has warmed our beds as we return, the robes are placed on the king size bed! We are ready for a good night’s sleep, for there’s so much to see the very next day!
7:30 A.M: We wake up to the sound of a very natural alarm, the sound of birds chirruping around our tent and soft rays of the rising sun lighting up our tent to a soft glow! We call for the morning tea and get ready for the exciting day ahead!
8:30 A.M: We are out and about our tents, and walking to the Golghar as more peacocks make their appearance and a blue tailed bird flies right off chirruping happily.
9:00 A.M: We have our breakfast set up outside the Golghar on a classic picnic bench in the shade of a canopy under an Amla Tree. The healthy breakfast spread is delicious and the warmth of the sun makes for a perfect start to a winter morning!
10:30 A.M: We meet our guide at the reception, arranged for the day by the property manager, and set off on our adventures for the day. If you’ve been to or read about the city Pushkar, you know its spiritual significance and for those who don’t, let us tell you, it’s situated in a place surrounded by hills, there are two temples on either side with a temple. We reach the bottom of the peak that houses the Savitri Devi Temple and decide to take the path on foot while going up. It’s a pucca path with stairs and gives an exception view of the city from top.
11:45 A.M: We have reached the top! The view is scenic and the entire Pushkar can be admired from up here. We pay our respects at the temple and relax for some time enjoying the scenery with a cup of chai from a small store at the back of the temple.
12:10 P.M: We are settled in our Cable Cart and headed back! Our next stop is the one thing that Pushkar has that no other place can boast of. Can you guess? “This is the only temple of the creator of universe in universe”, our guide tells us. We have reached the Brahma Temple near the Pushkar Sarovar. We listen to the story behind and take in the thought of being at a one of a kind spot in the world. After paying our respects here, we are headed to the Sarovar with a short walk within the market.
1:00 P.M: Evidently our short walk turned into routes made purposely longer, for the market proposes such colourful prospects and we make a mental note of coming back the very next day for some shopping time! We enter the Sarovar area barefoot and oh, how peaceful it is with the sun making the water glitter in Sarovar and rose petals flowing on it. We perch ourselves at a scenic spot and have what feels like a very spiritual moment of peace.
2:00 P.M: Without having realised, we spend about an hour just hopping from one ghat to another surrounding the same Sarovar. Now it’s time for lunch and as we were informed in the morning, we can’t wait to get back and devour the traditional meal Orchard has prepared for us. Back at the property we are seated in the Golghar when our traditional Rajasthani thali is served to us. BesanGatta, Dal, Kadhi, MirchiGatta, Churma, Bati and what not! It’s the kind of meal that you over-eat without even realising since it tastes like heaven and you just can’t get enough of it.
3:00 P.M: The meal we devoured so lovingly had us so full and happy that we decided to go visit the Chaupal area instead of retiring to our tent! Its an area that is open 24×7 on the property, comprising of an open tent with some board games, open library, table tennis and other activities. The property has no television and though it does have a wifi but the activities and environment are catalyst enough to drive you towards having real conversations and spending time on activities with your family and friends.
3:30 P.M: We are back in our tents for a quick nap because the evening ahead is going to be even more exciting with what the Orchard has planned for us!
4:30 P.M: We gather around the reception area as we are told and to our surprise we are greeted by 3 camels! The adventure, it looks like, has just got real! We are told we will be enjoying today’s sunset to some Rajasthani folk music live at sand dunes and our ride to the place will be the camels waiting for us! How exciting! We hop on right away, swaying side to side as our camels trod towards the destination – the feeling is quite indescribable.
5:00 P.M: The sight of the sun setting on one end to the beautiful sand dunes is quite serene. Some folk artists are playing traditional Rajasthani music in he distances and the camels are resting.
6:00 P.M: We are back at the property and having our evening tea as we are informed about the cultural programme that should start soon. What a delightful day has it been! The sun has set and the lamps are ablaze, our diaries are full of tales.
7:30 P.M: We greet other guests as a friendly banter of how magical the place is ensues. The Kalbeliya performance has begun, traditional instruments are being played and the whirling of the Rajasthani attire as the performers dance is hard to not be joined. Soon enough, we are also singing and dancing along with them.
9:00 P.M: Another scrumptious meal is served at Golghar and we are afraid we will miss it a bit too much when we return to our city-life the next day.
10:00 P.M: We have called it a day but in our respective tents, the warm ambiance has only ignited the creative side and though in beds we see ourselves only filling in our diaries, soon to sleep.
8:00 A.M: Another beautiful morning, our last at the property. We are up before the schedule that awaits for the day and roaming around in our pajamas after having piping hot morning tea.
8:30 A.M: We are ready for the day and having our breakfast at our picnic table from yesterday right outside the Golghar, an interesting mix of desi and English breakfast!
9:00 A.M: We had planned to check out the other activities, so off we went post our breakfast and tried our hands at the Archery unit. They also have bicycles for those who want to paddle their way around the property.
12:00 P.M: A quick trip to the market around the ghats near the City Center as planned and we are back just in time with souvenirs to check out and head back to our city! This has been a memorable trip and no amount of describing it would do it justice, you have to come and experience the serenity of being in a place as vibrant as Pushkar yourself!
Until next time! Ciao!