A trip is sometimes measured by its quality rather than its length. Even a two-day trip can turn out to be an experience of a lifetime. That’s exactly what happened with us when we visited the hilly town in Rajasthan’s Ajmer district, Pushkar. Since the pandemic is still upon us, we had to be careful in picking our resort for a safe and socially-distanced stay. So, we counted on the secluded campsite, Foothills Camps, which had turned out to a temporary paradise for us, relieving our souls from the quarantine woes.
Reaching Pushkar From Delhi
We started at around 12 AM from U-Block, Gurgaon and reached Pushkar at nearly 8:30 AM. We didn’t face much traffic on the highway, thanks to the lockdown. In the wee hours of the morning, we also got down at a Dhaba to sip on some garma garam chae. We had to cross Jaipur to reach our resort, which is nearly 6 kilometres away from the main town. The mountains and the lush greenery abounding the open-air resort had left us awestruck. We also had a glimpse of a peacock wandering playfully amid the shrubs.
The Resort Amid The Hills- Foothills Camps
The moment we entered the resort, the sky-kissing Aravallis rolling up from a sprawling lawn welcomed us. The sky was crystal clear and the air seemed fresh. The beautiful lawn was dotted with plants of colourful flowers. The trees were decked with pretty knick-knacks, like coloured glass bottles and tin containers. We made our way through a small passage to find a picturesque bridge which led us to our room.
The magnificent views that our tent overlooked can make anybody scream wow. The farther we looked, there were only mountains gradually merging into the beautiful blue sky.
Within an hour, we saw clouds taking over the horizon and it started raining. We freshened up and reclined on the verandah, which is an extension of the bridge, washing our eyes with the beauty of the vistas, while soaking in the smell of the damp grasses.
The Breakfast With Poha, Upma And Maggi
If you’re planning to visit Foothills Camps anytime, make sure to carry some snacks and medicines along, as I already mentioned, the property is far off from the main town. We ordered poha, upma and maggi for breakfast, along with tea and coffee, as these were all that they had. They provide an electric kettle in each room. So, you can keep some coffee pouches or cuppa Maggi in store to make them by yourselves.
The camps at the resort comprise thick curtains with floral motifs inside the rooms along with an elaborate washroom with all the modern amenities. The entire embellishment will give you a feeling of unwinding amid the royalty.
A Tree With Nests Of Baya Weavers
Right beside our room, there was a tree with numerous balloon-shaped nests of baya weaver birds. The cute little baya weavers are often called the kings of nest-building. The compound also had an enclosure with fluffy rabbits who would respond to the call of every visitor. We had a happy time feeding them leaves.
It was one place where the birds and other creatures did not seem to be scared by humans. Instead, mankind and animals were residing with breathtaking harmony.
A Sunset To Soothe The Soul
Pushkar is a holy town for Hindus and Sikhs, with many temples, including the world’s only Brahma temple. However, with the pandemic in place, we had not planned to step out of the resort to visit the nearby temples and monuments. After having roti and butter paneer for lunch, we couldn’t hold our excitement to eye upon the sunset by the hills, something for which the resort is well renowned. The sunset was remarkable and we stared at it, all agape.
The soft light flickered on the rugged terrains and the steps somehow reminded me of Mount Rushmore of Europe. They looked like prominent faces for some time.
We spent the evening playing games like antakshari, damsharaj and loads more while relishing coffee and cheese balls. Looking above, we could see uncountable stars and since it was Muharram, the crescent-shaped moon looked nothing less than magical. We didn’t know when we had moved from casual talks to deep conversations on stars and galaxies.
Spending The Entire Night Under The Starry Sky
The entire resort had only two families other than us. As the night darkened, a sudden idea came to our minds. We decided to carry our quilts and pillows to the middle of the lawn, and spend the night there, stargazing. The lawn looked mesmerizing at night, under the spell of the moon’s silver lining. Everything was quiet and serene and trees and chairs, visible in silhouetted forms, seemed to speak volumes.
We kept watching the stars and talking about lives and slowly we could see a ray of light shining above the mountain. The night had ended, reminding us that we would have to leave the resort in the few hours.
Wishing That We Could Stay Longer
We had a nap of about three hours before having our breakfasts. The menu was the same as the previous day. We hurriedly packed our bags and finally left our rooms at around 12 PM, an hour after the check-out time.
The campsite had taken us profoundly close to mother nature. My heart felt heavy while departing. I left a piece of my heart over there.
Lake Foy Sagar, Bapu Bazaar, WTP Mall
On our way back, we took the path overlooking the vast expanse of Lake Foy Sagar. It was raining heavily. The empty streets, the long drive, the splashes of rain and the soothing music – we were literally living the moment to the fullest.
Upon reaching Jaipur, we first gobbled up some crunchy pani-puris and then headed to Bapu Bazaar to indulge in some shopping. I got a palazzo and a pair of juttis for me. Post 6 PM, we tried to cover the nearby Amer Fort, which had recently started promoting night tourism with the special sound show. But when we arrived the spot, the cops told us that the night tourism was being postponed due to the pandemic situation.
We were tired and high on hunger too. So, we drove straight to the WTP mall, which was inaugurated in 2012 by Shah Rukh Khan. On the way to WTP, we also crossed the grandiose Hawa Mahal. At the mall, we had fish fingers, Afghani chicken, khasta roti, nun and butter chicken. We had to sanitize our hands both at the entry points of the mall and the restaurant, Kebabs & Curries Company.
The clock was striking 10 when we left the mall but we were still craving something sweet. After driving for about two hours, we found a pretty cafe on the highway named Highway Diaries, where we had hot chocolate brownies, tea and coffee. The cafe was clean and the waiter provided sanitizer to each of us. This was the final meal of our trip, after which we headed for Delhi.
Its truly said that when we’re at the perfect place with the right company, time flies. With five travel mavericks having similar passions, a memory was made under the skies of Pushkar to be cherished forever. The resort was a bit high priced. We booked two rooms for an overall cost of ₹7500, including breakfast. But you might grab good discounts if you visit there in bigger groups. We would definitely go back to that place, once the pandemic is over, to explore more of the magical town. Meanwhile, you can enjoy this virtual tour of Jaipur from the comfy of your home: