I wake to the sound of the alarm clock and rushed to get ready, and within no time dashed to the railway station to greet two of my old friends who were on a weekend visit. We were together in school and it was more than ten years now. The trip began as soon as we got into the car to drive around the city. Ohh! The city I’m talking about is my city, Ajmer – a small district in Rajasthan – India, where several religions and cultures fuse together and give a fresh color to life.
Around and About AJMER
Reaching Ajmer is very easy by road as well as rail as it is well-connected with all cities of India. Those reaching by air have to get down at Jaipur and hail a taxi or can take a bus from “Sindhi Camp” if you are on budget travel. Driving is also another option depending on personal preferences as National Highways leading to the city are quite well-developed and trouble-free, especially the NH-8 from Delhi.
I believe, driving around any city in the early hours is the best way to experience the calmness that the place has to offer and we just did the same. Driving past the Martindale Bridge, crossing the world known Mayo College, we came back to the Jaipur Road to visit our school – Sophia. But before that, we had a short stop at Jhamu ki Coffee and kick started our day with hand beaten smooth and a delectable glass of coffee.
After the nostalgic visit to school premises, we continued our journey towards the main bust stop passing by the Board office and the central Jail. Finally, we stopped at Aapka Pundit – a famous chat (Savory) shop. Kachori with saag combination is unique to Ajmer. And of course, hot jalebis after the spicy kachori, goes without saying. We got everything packed and went to Baradari (Tourist Place with Garden near the lake) to have this delicious breakfast by the Ana Sagar Lake.
The City & the Ana Sagar Lake
Staying for my friends was not a problem as Ajmer is my home city. But otherwise, travelers can book themselves in decent 3* hotels available around the railway station and bus stop. However, if you want to be a bit adventurous, then book yourself in the new resorts that have come up in Pushkar. Pushkar is one of the major attractions in Ajmer and holds an importance for pilgrims from all over the world. The one and only Brahma Temple is located here, and the place is also a hub for foreign tourists just 11 kilometers from the main city.
It started drizzling as soon as we finished our jalebis. The valley turns lush green in monsoon and we got into the car to head towards the hills and drive down to Pushkar. As I said, the place is surrounded by Araveli Hills and is very inviting in monsoons especially to people who love driving. The road forms a spiral along the edges of hills for few kilometers before descending down the same way. Monkeys feeding on nuts and bananas on the sides are a common view. We parked our car in front of the famous Sunset Café near one of the many Ghats around the Pushkar Lake and spent some time listening to the Banjo played by the local musician.
You can’t avoid the Malpuas (Indian sweet), puri sabzi, rabri etc. once you are in Pushkar. Also a stroll in the lanes of Pushkar is a must for shopping of funky jewelry and oxidized metals. One can also have a camel ride in the desert. As it was time already for sunset, we headed back to the city near Dargah Bazaar to worship the holy shrine of Khwaja Moinuddin Chisty, also known as Ajmer Sharif. One can see many people of other religions also visiting the shrine of this Sufi Saint. Later, I called one of my cousins to take us to a nearby eating joint which by Ajmer standards is not recommended for girls to go alone. But even then, when in Ajmer, you cannot miss the spicy mutton dishes the place has to offer.
Shopping at Churi Bazaar
This bought us to the end of our day’s journey around the city, but leaving without shopping was not in the list. The markets are connected to each other and one can walk from one place to the other. Ajmer is famous for Bandhini, and Batik work same as Jaipur. There is a market dedicated to Bangles known as Churi Bazaar. If you like visiting several shops before deciding what to buy, Ajmer is the place to be.
I bid adieu to my friends at the Railway station and drove back home to plan for our next trip soon.
ABOUT MANSI KUMAR: A novice traveler who is all set to explore new dimensions in traveling and is eager to experience diverse cultures across the globe. Academically, an MBA in HR & Process Management from UK and professionally working as HR Specialist in a Real Estate Organization in Dubai. Her areas of interest apart from traveling are writing, reading fictional stories especially those relating to our day to day lives, and history. A single female traveler who is soon to have a traveling companion on permanent basis.
Looking for more things to do in Rajasthan? – Check out our guide from Udaipur to Mt. Abu in four days!