Since months Sambhar lake tour was pending. The reason: I was waiting for friends to join the ride or a guide to join. Both was not happening finally I decided to visit on own. Royal Enfield Thunderbird Twinspark motorbike was there as usual but this time I decided to hire a cab i.e., taxi for a day.
Evening hours I visited tour and travel agent to know per km rate. Location was discussed and the travel agent reply: Rs. 10 per km. I was sure it is definitely not going to be a good bargain. As far as few recent taxi travel I remember I have paid approx. 7 or 7.5 rupees per km but yes, it depends upon the location. Land area the rates are less but within mountains the rates are high. Anyways for best rate I approach a friend to guide to help to hire a taxi. He called one of his friend over mobile and the rate Rs. 1750 all inclusive day tour Pushkar > Sambhar Lake > Pushkar. This also includes visit to Tilonia village near Ajmer city. Tilonia village is famous for handicrafts. Deal was done early morning at 6 am the request for taxi was placed.
Next day 6:55 am cab was ready. I towards Sambhar lake via National Highway 8, Ajmer. Other side of the highway Sun about to start its day smiling brightly in orange color. Good Morning – said I.
- There are two toll tax at NH 8 paid by cab driver because the rate for cab hiring was all inclusive.Â
- AÂ direction board on the left hand side of NH 8 for Tilonia village. Pushkar to Tilonia village is approx. 60 km.
- Leave National Highway 8 and follow the road below the bridge once you reach Dudu. Half km further drive a left turn for Sambhar lake which is a straight drive till you reach Sambhar lake. Dudu to Sambhar lake is 26 km.
Once we reach Sambhar I decided to visit Shakambhari Mata temple first and later Sambhar lake.
Shakambhari Mata temple is approx. 23 km from Sambhar. Directions are there on the road.
As we drive we pass through villages – Pilpla ki Dhani, Korsina villages and few more but the best part of the drive starts here only. The road is divided by two fields – silver on the right side and villages, vegetation on the left hand side. Amazing display by nature.
We started journey at 6:55 am from Pushkar reached Shakambhari Mata temple at 10:25 am.
Road condition – OK.
Total Journey Hours: Three hours and thirty minutes
After opening our shoes as we enter the temple by climbing few steps few devotees after prayers were coming out of the temple. Upon seeing us they requested for a photograph. I oblige. You know they even ask the money I will charge? No money – said I.
After photograph Prayers, donation, Prasad and the curiosity to know the history of the temple.
Rajkumar Sharma – The priest was present. Upon query the narration:
Shakambhari mata is Kuldevi (family Goddess) of Chauhan dynasty. It is said and believed Prithviraj Chauhan – The King had a blessing from the Goddess – as far as he roam his horse the entire land will turn into silver. Prithviraj roam his horse till 12 Kos i.e., 36 km and all land turn into silver. But knowing about land turning into silver his mother said if all land will be silver what people will grow into fields to eat. Thus, Prithviraj re-worship Goddess Shakambhari to retract the wish but as it was not possible Goddess Shakambari turn all silver into salt which will be useful for the people and cannot be steal.
And a quote by the priest that narrate the whole story:
Barah Kos Ghoda Phira, Hui Chaandi Ki Khaan
Mujhe Kaun Khane de Maiya, Ladsi alam jaan
Tabhi Kar Diya Namak Paani MaaÂ Shakambari Rani
Since then rain water the moment touch the land within this 36 km area turn into salt naturally. Villages around Sambhar lake are into salt trade. The priest enhanced our knowledge further:
The temple is about 1400 years old built by grandfather of Prithviraj Chauhan. Each year Radha Ashtami there is big festival at temple and surrounding areas.
The question: I reached by cab but any train to reach Sambhar to reach temple.
Yes, said the priest.
How To Reach Shakambari Devi by Train?
One has to reach Phulera or Sambhar Railway Station and from there an auto for the temple. Charges for auto approx. 200 – 250 rupees to and fro. If you are coming from Ajmer by train you have to get down at Phulera Railway Station but if you are coming via Jodhpur you can directly reach Sambhar Railway Station.
The distance between Phulera and Sambhar Railway Station is 5 km.
And accommodation? – I question.
You do not have to worry as dharamshala is there. Food will be arranged by the priest or you can bring your own and prepare self. Before visit you may talk at 0-9982062068.
Thank you – said I and another query about the Chhatri that I saw while reaching temple. That is built by Jahangir – The Mughal Emperor as he also visited the temple. And the way to reach?
Via a path behind the temple – guided the priest.