Sunday, 29 August 2010

Pushkar in the monsoon

Does anyone bother to visit Rajasthan in the monsoon? You should. When it's been raining solidly for six-odd weeks, as it has been, Rajasthan sheds its dusty dry desert skin and grows a dense, lush, green new covering. Rather than choking on dustballs, it's so humid you could chew the air. Last November Pushkar was so dry the famous lake was little more than a few desolate puddles; in August it was full to the brim again.

Just a day and a half after returning to Delhi from Ranikhet a couple of weeks ago, I was back on another overnight train to Ajmer, the town adjoining Pushkar, to review a resort on the outskirts of town. I had planned to sleep, swim, play on the internet while sipping g&ts and go for long walks. Instead, it rained incessantly, the internet was not accessible on my Mac, and the hotel had me on a schedule: a tour of the town, dinner with the owners, an early morning camel ride, an ayurvedic massage. So instead of reading the New York Times online, posting photos of myself by the pool on Facebook and writing bits and pieces, I actually did stuff.

This was my camel. He kept arching his neck back in a scary double-jointed manner to swat away the flies.

The ride went for a good hour and a half: I was well and truly over it halfway through and tempted to get down and walk, but didn't want to appear a wuss. Already, my travelling companions - two hotel workers - had laughed long and loud at me after I screamed when the camel stood up.

Because of my reaction, they'd opted to stick to the gravel rather than head for the off-road sands, because that is where camels can run free and wild.

After the massage there was another run into Pushkar town, mainly because I wanted to revisit this stall near the temple:

It sold nothing but rose petal products: rose water, rose perfume, rose cordial and most of all, rose petal jam, or gulkand, which helps reduce body heat. It is also so sweet it makes your eyes water.

And then, finally, it was g&t time by the pool, listening to the peacocks cry and watching the sun go down behind the hills.

The GreenHouse Resort

Kishanpura Rd, Village Tilora

Pushkar, Rajasthan

ph: +91 (0) 145 2300079


Mezze Moments said...

Lovely ! I can see what a difference the monsoon makes here in Delhi - I can well imagine how lovely it must be in Rajastan. M

Unknown said...

ooh the lake seems to be blue now...I was there in March it was completely dry and muddy. Such a pretty sight now!

Ariana said...

The monsoons seems to bring to life the desert. Rajasthan has been a place on my must see places.

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