“Jaipur has mahals and forts at every crossroad. Most buildings there are super old and rustic, but spectacular all the same,” she says about the first place she visited. During her time in Jaipur, she visited all the famous tourist attractions, like City Palace, Amer Fort and Nahargarh Fort. “From Nahargarh Fort, you can see most of Jaipur. It’s on a hill and the drive up was fabulous, mostly because we went just before the sun rose, at around 5 am. We also spotted several peacocks just wandering around over there.” She insists that everyone must visit Nahargarh to experience the stunning view at sunrise. She had lunch at Virasat the following day, and still can’t stop raving about the delicious and extravagant multi-course thalis and royal treatment she received at the restaurant.
From Jaipur, Smita travelled to Pushkar, where she spent her time relaxing and unwinding after her hectic work and tourist schedule in Jaipur. The little cafés in Pushkar stole her heart with their hippie-themed graffiti, mouth-watering food, and genial owners. She also visited the popular Pushkar market to buy a few souvenirs, and was stricken by the vibrant colours and vast variety of products the market had to offer.
After shopping, window shopping, and clicking a bunch of Instagram-worthy pictures, Smita decided to spend her evening at Pushkar Lake. “Pushkar Lake is both chaotic and calm at the same time. The stretch of road leading up to the lake is one of the most culturally diverse areas I’ve ever seen. The lake is situated behind a Hindu temple, but I could still see people from other religions – including Jews, Muslims, and Christians – all sitting together and enjoying the tranquillity of the still lake. It was certainly the most memorable moment of my trip, as I watched the sun set over the lake along with locals and tourists alike,” she reminisces fondly. All praises for Pushkar, she adds, “It was amazing to see that a tiny place like Pushkar has so much to explore and offer in terms of stores, food, the lake, and learning experiences. That’s what made me fall in love with the little town.”
Jaipur and Pushkar were incredible experiences for Smita, as she had a chance to explore a different culture and way of life. The rich cultural heritage of Jaipur with its aesthetic architecture and intriguing history, combined with the laidback and serene atmosphere of Pushkar made for an unforgettable trip. Her only regret is that she couldn’t visit Udaipur because of the time constraint. But she urges anyone who plans on visiting Rajasthan to visit all three places and soak in absolutely as much as they possibly can! –Tanya