Pushkar: From Riding Bikes to Riding Camels

I usually go for longer rides on long weekends, like my ride to Amritsar during Christmas 2015 but last weekend on 13th February I was heading to Pushkar which is 385km from Gurgaon. And if you have been following my blog you would know that I avoid riding in large groups, but agreed to ride a group this time because- 1 ) trip was organized by my friend Ryan from Kerry Adventures, and 2) there were only 2 riders including me and rest 5 were in car, so it worked for me. Saturday morning we started from Gurgaon at around 7:30am and battling the bottlenecked toll gates, crazy truck drivers, and usual Indian traffic, it wasn’t long that we started feeling hungry and stopped for breakfast at one of the dhabas at around 9 after covering 75km. 

By now the roads were more clear and I could open more throttle. The other guy, coincidentally also called Rahul, was riding a Bullet 500. 

Rahul on his Bullet 500

(Shot on Xiaomi Yi Cam, Click Here to read the review)

The roads are just fine (with lots of patches, I HATE PATCHES. Either give me good roads or fucked up bad ones but don't give me patches) till Jaipur and after that remaining 125km to Pushkar is just butter smooth road and much better than road till Jaipur.  We reached Pushkar at 3:20 pm and parked our bikes and the car at the gurudwara there.

We were very hungry by this time and we took a walk to the bazar road and headed to the falafel roll shop which is a must have here. They have so many varieties you can get confused. Some foreigner guy stopped by at this shop and our roll guy (India) was speaking fluently to him in foreign language. He told us he can speak many languages. Experience teaches you many things I guess. 

After we were done with the food some of us took a walk down checking out the shops and reached Brahma temple. As you know it’s the only temple for Lord Brahma in India.

Pushkar has many cafes where you can chill and so we headed to Funky Monkey café which has a very relaxed setting and music. We spent some time here, used the toilets and took rest. 

By this time our camel guy was already calling us so we took our bikes and car and reached his base point about 1-2 km from the café. We parked our vehicles in a safe area provided by him and loaded our luggage in the camel carts. Thus began the camel safari! We missed the good view of the sunset in the desert though.

After an hour of camel ride we reached our site where we had to setup the camp. I was expecting there would be other guys with their tents too but it was only us and no one else for miles around. This is going to fun I thought! So we started unloading and it was already 7:20pm and became dark. We pitched our tents in the desert. Ryan taught us how to pitch the tent and it was good learning experience for me as I had never pitched a tent before.

Then we setup the campfire. The firewood was provided by the 2 helpers who came with us (camel cart drivers). It can get real cold in the desert but once the fire was on it kept us warm and it also helps in keeping the insects and animals in the desert away, though there were none. Although one of us did spot a deer next morning.

Once the tents were setup and the campfire was lit, we just chilled under the star lit sky and shared lots of stories with good laugh. Ryan runs his own travel company called Kerry Adventures and has lots of travel stories to share. You guys must check it out in case you need to plan a trip for your group and he can customize the trip as per your dates.

We had got this small LPG cylinder cum stove with us which we used to cook instant noodles and soup.  Such a simple thing, but doing it in a camp under the open sky in the desert is what the experience was and I simply loved it. Almost all of us saw shooting stars.

An important point here is that if you are planning to do this, carry own tents, food, water, warm clothes/sleeping bag and soap and toilet paper. You might have to take a dump in the open.

Next morning I climbed up this sand dune hill to get a view of the sunrise but it was already up behind another hill. But this was the view of our camp from the top:

By 8:30 am everyone was awake and we see this old gentleman coming with his instrument called ‘Ramantara’ and he started playing it and singing folk songs for us. This was very refreshing first thing in the morning.

By 9:30 we made sure there was no litter, packed up and were ready to leave back to our vehicles. And from there we headed back to Funky Monkey to freshen up and use the toilets. Now the main agenda was food. Oh how I waited for this. We were advised by the locals to head behind the Brahma temple for good authentic Rajasthani food. Of course we had to try dal bati choorma which comes with garlic chutney and you should eat along with bajre ki roti. The food quantity looked less but we were barely able to finish it completely and we were absolutely delighted to have it. 

And then we headed to the sweet shop to try the malpua which is a must have. The taste was heavenly and wish I could eat more of it but there was no space left in my tummy.

 So all this was done till 12:30 pm and now we just took a quick nap and were ready to leave in 30-40 mins. I started from Pushkar at 1:15pm and tried to take the shortcut to highway told by Ryan but due to some confusion I took the wrong way. So I had to come back to Pushkar and this was 40km and 45 min extra for me. Anyways, from there I knew I won’t be taking many breaks and continued riding ahead of the group.

I had to cover some distance till sunset because after that I would slow down in the dark. By 4pm I had covered 200km and with few water inlet-outlet and one tea break I reached Gurgaon at 7:20pm. My luggage was in the car so when the group reached Gurgaon, I collected my bags.

You come across some interesting people on the road. There are crazy truck drivers and three of them will drive in each of the lanes on the road leaving no space for you to pass. Be careful in overtaking them ensuring you have enough gap and at the same time taking care of their unpredictable mind to change lanes all of a sudden. Then there are arrogant SUV drivers (not all) who speed up when a bike overtakes them because there ego is hurt thinking ‘how could a bike overtake me!?’ Then they start racing with you. I was having tea when a school kid came to me and started asking something in local language which I didn’t understand. Then he asked in Hindi, “ghoomne nikle ho ya aisi? (you have come to travel or just like that?), I replied, “both are same no?”, to which he just smiled.

MotoStories ko Rajasthan kuch aisa laga J

An end to another wonderful road trip, and adding more experience and memories. Travelling does enrich you with worldly wisdom. 

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  1. Well written. I am an ardent follower of your posts and all of them reek of quality. You capture the essence of motorcycling really well. Would have liked more it if you had added a few words more about the ride/roads/dhabas/tolls etc to/from Pushkar as it would help many potential Pushkar bikers in the future (like me) who give the ride experience a priority over the destination. Keep them coming!

    1. Thank you so much Ayush! This made my day :) Yes you are right and your suggestion most welcome.I will keep this point in mind for future posts and include the information about food joints, road condition etc. for sure. Cheers.

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