On the Republic Day weekend, early on a cold morning we left for Sambhar Salt Lake via Pushkar, where we planned to stay for the night.
Pushkar Adventure Camp
Pushkar is a seven hour drive from Gurgaon via Jaipur. It lies in the Ajmer district and is about 150 kms from Jaipur. The road bypassing Jaipur is good like other roads in Rajasthan.
Essentially it is a temple town situated on the shores on Pushkar Lake. It is famous for its cattle fair, which is held during October - November each year attracting tourists from all over the world.
We had booked ourselves in Pushkar Adventure Desert Camp which is outside the town amidst fields. The sleeping arrangements were in Swiss tents and we had a real cold night on 26th January.
As soon as we reached Pushkar, some of our friends went for the Dessert Camel Safari while the others left to explore the town. Earlier, I had visited this place during the Cattle Fair so it was big surprise to see the town virtually empty, giving us, the photographers a golden chance to capture its different mood and laid back life.
Camel carts for Desert SafariSunset @Pushkar Lake
Following morning we left to visit the Shakmbhari Mata Temple and Sambhar Salt Lake via Marwa. Though we did not stop at Marwa due to paucity of time, we did spend some time at the temple and had loads of fun driving on the salt lake.
Shakmbhari Mata Temple
Sambhar is the biggest saline lake in India which finds mention in the legendary "Mahabharata". It is 96 kms south west of Jaipur and is spread in 190 square kms. Two freshwater streams, Mendha and Rupangarh feed it.
This lake was part of the Kingdom of Devil Lord, Brishparva. Shakambri Mata, the goddess of Chauhan Rajputs had blessed this town to a plain of precious metals. However the people fearing fights requested her to withdraw her blessings, so the goddess changed the metal into salt.
Sambhar Salt LakeSambhar Salt ExpressPanoramic view of the salt pans.
Both Jaipur and Jodhpur kings had staked claim to this piece of land and rented it to the British but after the Independence of India, the Government of Rajasthan manages and control it. Around it there are 38 small towns and it attracts Flamingoes birds. The best time to visit this place is in winters as summers can be very harsh.
There is a heritage resort being run and managed by a NRI, but its tariff is usually over 10k Rupees per night. After spending some time clicking the salt pans outside the resort we headed straight to Gurgaon ending this beautiful short holiday in Rajasthan.