Orchard – Tents & Tranquility, Pushkar
After a long day of sightseeing in Ajmer and Pushkar, we drove to our hotel Orchard Tents & Tranquility in Pushkar – after the Aarti at Brahma Ghat. The place is very close to the Mela Ground where the annual Pushkar Camel Fair is conducted. As we drove towards the hotel, the approach roads became progressively narrower. On arrival, I could see a man walking from the main reception area to receive us. He introduced himself as Mr. Harpal Singh, manager of the resort. Our bags were taken care of and we were escorted to the main reception area. We were offered rose water as the welcome drink. I never used to like rose based drinks but somehow this one seemed very refreshing and soothing. Harpal Singh told that the resort is situated among fields of gooseberries and roses. They had a total of only 15 tents available for accommodation. We were allocated – in an ominous fashion – to Tent No 13. However No. 13 was lucky for us! What came as a pleasant surprise was that the tent had all the modern amenities of a luxury hotel room. Bathrooms were equipped with water heater facilities and Kama Ayurveda products. Each tent had its own sit out area. Opposite to the bed was dressing table with luggage racks. The entire tent was decorated with blue pottery and marble to give the rustic Rajasthani feel. There are no phones in the tent. In case you need assistance, they provide you a bell which you need to ring the old fashioned way and the helper appears in front of you. Beds had electric blankets that made the sleep experience warm and cosy. Tired from the day’s outings, I decided to call it an early night and was lulled to sleep by the distant folk music.
The next morning, I pulled over my jacket and stepped out of the tent. I could still sense the chill air in the morning. My hands were cold or rather numb. The layering of clothes made it much bearable to walk amidst the orchards. I was overwhelmed with so many gooseberries around me. It looked so sumptuous and tasty that I had to control my urge to pluck it. Harpal Singh informed me that they export these gooseberries to the Middle East.
He then showed me a fruit which they use to remove the kidney stones. Beside it, they cultivated cotton shrubs. Each of the tents had huge packs of colorful homegrown cotton.
Few metres away from the tents, there were fields of radish, carrot and aubergines.
Each of the tents were spread out and was surrounded by beautiful marigold plantations.
You won’t be served alcohol in Pushkar and also the food served will be strictly vegetarian. Inspite of this, the food in Golghar (circular in-house restaurant) surpassed my expectations by serving the best Aloo Parathas and Poha. I wholeheartedly feasted on these and it was a memorable breakfast. The staff of the restaurant were prompt, courteous and hospitable enough to cater to our various requests. We had only one night stay scheduled in Pushkar before we headed towards Bikaner. I wish I had more time to explore and enjoy in the vicinity of mother nature. During check out, Harpal Singh divulged few more details. The distant folk music that lulled me to sleep yesterday was in fact an all night jagran (wake) organized by the local pandits ! Electricity had come to that part of Pushkar only recently and people found it more comfortable to have the jagran. Curiously in Pushkar, electricity brings with it comfort and increased devotion in god. Harpal Singh also admitted that he has a South Indian side to him, having spent his earlier days in Cochin and had gotten used to eating rice. He further added that even today he can’t end his meal without having a portion of rice.
As a place Pushkar doesn’t have much to offer in terms of sight seeing, but I recommend a stay at Orchard. Usually very few hotels stay in your memories when you revisit your travel memoirs. Orchard Tents is definitely one of them and a truly wonderful experience.
More Information about the Hotel: http://www.orchard.in/
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