It’s Pilani. And it’s different ๐Ÿค“

I was thinking about it. And thought, February would be a good month. After that it would be difficult with my busy schedule of professional work, travel for a couple of hotel reviews and probably a wonderful home stay review right up there in the mountains. And then of course my planning for our summer holidays & the trip itself.

And the same man came haunting again. One who has made a huge difference in the way I look at life. Paulo Coelho. And his book, “The Alchemist”. What you think about, you bring about. If you put all your focus, energy and positive thoughts towards whatever it is you want, you’d be amazed at what opportunities come knocking.

And the opportunity came knocking. Totally unexpected. And I was on my way. This time via Delhi, the route for many of us for years. Rather decades. And through a city I have always loved. My home for years. Summers, winters, the rains, the dust pollution, the burning crops, the hazy mornings. Nothing mattered, still doesn’t and never will. Delhi, my love โค๏ธ

But today as I landed in Delhi it was not the perfect weather I had hoped for. A lovely Sunny morning. Instead at 10.30 in the morning it was like a 6 O’clock Delhi. And a turbulent flight all through with a thought that I discouraged immediately. Will I land ๐Ÿค”

Yes I landed ๐Ÿ˜ But was sad to leave right away. But didn’t mind leaving it all, to move on to the destination of our dreams. Pilani. To bring you a story different from my last one. After all it is Pilani. And it’s a little different, every time.

BITS, Pilani, India. The education institute. One of the top institutions of the country

As usual, the traffic from the Airport was heavy due to the office rush and moving out of Delhi through Gurgaon itself took us a long time. The journey continued smooth after that and we were soon near The Mannat Chain of restaurants on the highway. Time for some mouth watering Aloo (Potato) Paratha with butter, chutney, curd and fried green chilly. Just awesome. Should have had just one but landed up having two, the second one with Paneer (Indian cottage cheese). Felt a bit guilty. But then told myself. Come on man, its not every day your gorge. Felt better. And we moved.

Mannat Hotel, Delhi Pilani Highway, India

Every time I have an early morning flight I feel so very excited that I hardly sleep. So it was time to put on my car belt and take a nap. But the nap turned out to be a full crash. And when I got up, we had already crossed Loharu and were just fifteen kilometers away from Pilani.

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Then to my utter surprise suddenly on our left we saw camels, camels and only camels. Told my driver Rajinder to stop immediately. What a beautiful sight it was. A Camel Fair was on. Something that I had always wanted to experience by visiting Pushkar, another famous Rajasthan city. But here it was for me right there near Pilani. Come let’s have a look.

Camel Fair, Pilani, Rajasthan, India
Camels, camels and only camels. Camel Fair, Pilani.

Camel Fair, Pilani, Rajasthan, India

Camel Fair, Pilani, Rajasthan, India

Camel Fair, Pilani, Rajasthan, India

Camel Fair, Pilani, Rajasthan, India
A proud owner
Camel Fair, Pilani, Rajasthan, India
Decorative items for sale to dress up the camels. Invest and get a better price ๐Ÿ˜Š
Camel Fair, Pilani, Rajasthan, India
The best decorated one on show

I was curious. So asked one of the owners. What is the price of a camel? He mentioned it was anywhere between Rupees 30,000 to 50,000 (USD 425 to 700) depending on the health of the camel. And do you consume camel milk? No sir. It stinks and the output is very little and is usually used for some medicinal properties.

We were back in the car and soon on our way towards our campus. Vidya Vihar, BITS, Pilani and reached shortly. It was now five o’clock. I checked in to V fast, had a wash and was off towards my first destination always. Nagar’s.

Nagar. His food counter is quite famous among BITSians throughout the world
Nagar. The sweet man with a sweet smile

This is one man, I love and have a lot of respect for. We chatted over some tea and I got updated on the latest from the campus. His offer to have some snacks and this specialty burger was enticing but decided to refrain from, as my tummy was still very full.

Burger from Nagar's, BITS, Pilani, India

The next stop was VKB mess which as always is still very close to my heart. Let’s go in and have a look and check out what’s on offer.

VKB Mess, BITS, Pilani, India
VKB Mess

VKB Mess, BITS, Pilani, India

VKB Mess, BITS, Pilani, India

VKB Mess, BITS, Pilani, India

The food looked awesome but the students were less in numbers. In our time the mess used to be packed during dinner time and sometimes we even had to wait. But times have changed and now a lot of them have their dinner out on most days, either in Connaught or ANC (All Night Canteen). The mess manager and few from his team pestered me not to leave without having my dinner. Or at least have some cooked mutton. But it was too early to eat and so to keep their request I had a couple of Jalebi’s (Indian Sweet). And Jalebi’s who does not love.

Back in my room and after spending some relaxing moments, it was finally time for dinner. Dinner & Lunch at V fast mess is just out of the world vegetarian food. Come let’s have a taste.

Food a V fast hostel, BITS, Pilani, India
Wonderful food. The eight course meal.
Food at V fast hostel, BITS, Pilani, India
And my favourite. Chily

After finishing my dinner as I came out on the streets outside V fast to have a feel of our campus during the night, I saw a group of students coming down. Some walking with their bicycles.

BITS, Pilani campus
๐Ÿšด Keep moving, I told them. Life is not meant to be lived in one place

As they passed by after I took a snap of theirs and told them I was an Ex-BITSian, two of them I noticed were coming back. And the little girl asked me, Sir do you mind coming with us to Connaught for a little enjoyment and a bonfire? I readily agreed, went back to my room to put on some more warm clothes and my pair of jeans and soon we were walking and getting to know each other more. And it was sheer coincidence that they turned out to be in the same Master of Science(Biological Sciences) stream as my first degree. It was a pleasure being with them for some time sitting & chatting in a dark isolated place near Connaught, which is their favorite hangout these days. Connaught in the night though is no longer as isolated as I had noticed last year.

Connaught, BITS, Pilani, India

As we walked back, I had with me my two latest kids. Shivangi & Harshit. Do well, live life and make BITS proud. Love you guys ๐Ÿ’•

Harshit & Shivangi, students, BITS, Pilani, India

Bonfire lit by Chowkidar (Security Guard) at V fast hostel, BITS, Pilani,, India
Bonfire lit by our Chowkidar (Security Guard) at V fast

The next three days were very hectic. With couple of programs on Leadership, Emotional Intelligence & Interview facing skills followed by Mock interviews and feedback of sixty 2018-20 MBA batch future leaders. And I was so very impressed with majority of them for their focus, clarity of thought and initiatives in acquiring the skills required for success in this competitive corporate world today.

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And in between on the first program day, I took out time to visit this temple which many of us all these years have wanted to visit but only a few have. Pahari Mandir (Temple) on top of a hill. So for all my BITSian friends, here is the opportunity. And for my all other readers, enjoy the trip as I climb up the 261 narrow steps to take you there. ๐ŸƒLet’s go.

Pahari Mandir, Pilani, Rajasthan, India
Pahari Mandir, Pilani

Pahari Mandir, Pilani, Rajasthan, India

Pahari Mandir, Pilani, Rajasthan, India

Pahari Mandir, Pilani, Rajasthan, India

Pahari Mandir, Pilani, Rajasthan, India

Pahari Mandir, Pilani, Rajasthan, India

Pahari Mandir, Pilani, Rajasthan, India
The Shiva Temple

Pahari Mandir, Pilani, Rajasthan, India

Pahari Mandir, Pilani, Rajasthan, India

Pahari Mandir, Hanuman Temple, Pilani, Rajasthan, India
Hanuman Mandir ( Temple)
Pahari Mandir, Pilani, Rajasthan, India
The views from the top. Here and below

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Hope you loved the experience. You guys can now rest a bit, but I am going back for my afternoon session. As I was about to finish, I got a call that I could not take. So I called up later and was told that I have an invitation for my dinner at Nagar & Mahavir’s restaurant in Connought. After a freshen up, I was on my way. Have a look at my dinner. And the love with which Mahavir’s two sons served the food is something which just can’t be described. They do not remember us and they were just little kids during our time. But they made me feel so wanted. So loved. That’s the magic of our Pilani. BITS, Pilani.

Mahavir's restaurant, BITS, Pilani, India
Awesome tasty Paneer Butter Masala, Boondi Raita, Paratha & fried Chilly
Mahavir's restaurant, BITS, Pilani, India
And a taste of Indian Chowmein to bring back some old memories

As I walked back towards V fast I realized what a marvelous peace den our campus was and why it still means so much to us, we BITSians. A look at some older buildings brought back all the old memories of our walking past them so many times earlier. They may not be there when we visit after a few years.

BITS, Pilani campus, India
The peace..
BITS, Pilani campus, India
Old NCC Building
BITS, Pilani campus, India
The still classy and well maintained oldie in front of V fast

All my lunch was in V fast during my stay with their awesome menu everyday. And every day there was a new one. And my favorite Puri (Deep Fried Indian Bread made of wheat) available always. But these two caught my real attention.

BITS, Pilani campus, India. V fast hostel food
Methi & Beet Puries ( Fenugreek & Beet Puries)

Everyday during lunch hours, I would utilize the time to go around and feel the place again. The old and the new. So on my second working day, this is what I bring to you.

BITS, Pilani campus, India. Bank.
More than the bank, what was important to us was Leela’s “Sit till eternity’ chai & coffee (tea & coffee) den. Also famous for the Samosas, Bread Pakoras with green curd chutney, And the Jalebis & Kalakand (Indian sweet made of pure milk) absolutely hot and fresh
BITS, Pilani campus, India. Post office
Post office was what we relied on to send letters to our parents. But what we really looked forward to were the money orders and cheques. And hence we loved the post office canteen as it was a strategic place to sit to receive the good news, the fastest

Both the bank canteen and Post Office canteen do not exist any more. Such a loss. Very close is our Old Workshop where we had made our candle stands and more during our first year Workshop Practice course.

BITS, Pilani campus, India. Old Workshop
This is history
BITS, Pilani campus, India. New Workshop
And this is the new one
BITS, Pilani campus, India. Computer Block
Our Computer Block where we saw the first computer of our life and were so excited

And what can beat the beauty of our campus, we BITSians are always proud of.

BITS, Pilani campus, India.

BITS, Pilani campus, India.

After an enjoyable day spending time with the kids with one to interactions, it was time to head to my room followed by V fast dinner. And some heart to heart chat with two people who serve food and take care of all guests. They are from our days in the late seventies and early eighties. Can anyone recognize them?

BITS, Pilani campus, India. V fast mess
Jujal & Lakshman

Lakshman used to work as a cook in our Director Dr. C.R.Mitra’s residence for many years. During my first year first semester few of us used to practice in Diro’s home for a Bengali musical program called “Barshamongola” for almost two weeks. And we used to wait everyday for Lakshman to make his entry with the wonderful bread pakoras, samosas, sandwiches, tea and coffee. And Jujal was the little boy who was Nagar’s help in his Redhi next to VK Bhawan. God has his own way of giving us such happy moments in our life.

As I finished my dinner and was about to leave for my room upstairs, this is what they practically forced me to carry back to my room for later in the night. Hot hot Gulabjamuns (Indian Fried Sweet dipped in sugary syrup and best served hot). That’s love and found in abundance in BITS, Pilani โค๏ธ๐Ÿ’•

BITS, Pilani campus, India.

The next day was hectic again but I was loving it. It was about trying to understand what plays on in the minds of today’s young generation and trying to focus them on their goals, along with a few tips.

And then there was a break for some time. For the batch to get their official batch group photographs clicked with all their professors. And for me to further roam around. We headed towards the Museum lawns. And friends and readers, this is for you.

BITS, Pilani campus, India.

BITS, Pilani campus, India. Aditya Viram Birla Memorial

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But the real fun is here. Watch this video & enjoy. It’s a Sunday afternoon Carnival.

BITS, Pilani, India.Museum Lawns
The action packed Museum Lawns
BITS, Pilani, India.Museum Lawns
The Go As You Like Participants
BITS, Pilani, India.Museum Lawns
The lawns where we had played Frisbee so many times before
BITS, Pilani, India.Museum Lawns
Our very own Pappu. The composed kid we had met forty years back. Now the owner of Skylab refreshment shop

It was my last night and wanted to try out some non vegetarian food from ANC (All Night Canteen) where all the campus action is, during the night. Let’s go have our dinner. And for you today, one of their hot selling dishes.

BITS, Pilani, India. All Night Canteen

BITS, Pilani, India. All Night Canteen

BITS, Pilani, India. All Night Canteen

BITS, Pilani, India. All Night Canteen
Awesome Tangri Kebab at Rs 102 ( USD 1.5)

After a satisfying breakfast next morning, it was time to visit Nagar again to bid good bye till next time. And this was his parting gift. A Gift of Love โค๏ธ from him and his son, Pawan.

BITS, Pilani, India. Pilani famous for it's Pedas
A Gift of Love. Pilani Pedas

BITS, Pilani. It’s about Love ๐Ÿ’•

Come visit Pilani. Experience Love ๐Ÿ’• Experience India Beautiful ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ

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71 Comments

  1. Goutam Guha says:

    Awesome ๐Ÿ‘ narration Subhasis, Loved it…
    it brings back our old memories live…
    thanks for sharing…Goutam

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Thank you Goutam ๐Ÿ˜Š

  2. Sandhya Prakash says:

    Well written. Brings back memories everytime.

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Thank you Sandhya ๐Ÿ˜Š

  3. dipudatta says:

    Amazing travelogue. The carnival in Museum Lawns video and the mandir trip I enjoyed the most. The temple looks in great shape now. Congrats for joining the elite band of Bitsians to go up that hillock. My visit there was 40 years back. Keep it up!

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Thanks Dipy ๐Ÿ˜Š

  4. N Gulati says:

    As usual an amazing write-up. I recently visited Pilani with family the small place attracts like a magnet. Reading the blog I felt I am back in Pilani.

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Thank you Nityan. It gives me immense pleasure when friends and readers write to me saying they felt they were there enjoying the holiday with me ๐Ÿ˜Š

  5. Asit Roy says:

    Wow! Great narration. Truly brings back the memories!!

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Thank you Bong ๐Ÿ˜Š

  6. Bill Sweeney says:

    Reading this post, I felt I was along for the ride. The way you described your trip, makes me want to experience this firsthand.

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Thanks Bill. Come to India. Experience India Beautiful ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ

  7. I love seeing photos from the far corners of our world; looks like there is something for everyone there!

    1. travelwisesr says:

      This world is so big that none of us can ever see it in entirety. Pics give us an opportunity to see through each other’s eyes ๐Ÿ˜Š

  8. Here’s what I love about reading your posts. They are almost always on places that I had no idea ever existed and mention topics I knew nothing about. Camel Fairs are not something I am familiar with in NY nor the price of a camel or camel milk for that matter. The white building in your first photo looks like something I’d see in Southern California. Interesting read as I have come to expect when visiting this informative site.

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Thank you so much Scott. Your words mean a lot. Hope I can continue to bring you more of such places in days to come.

  9. Melody says:

    Interesting place. I would love to see camels like that. The food looked intriguing. Nice post. It’s wonderful when you can return too a place in your past and relive memories.

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Thank you Melody ๐Ÿ˜Š

  10. Ben Butler says:

    I would love to go there one day! So many camels! Seriously, this place looks amazing.

    1. travelwisesr says:

      It is Ben & we who have studied there love it madly.

  11. Lindsay Rae says:

    Another wonderful write up on the amazing places you travel to! I didn’t know about camel milk and it being used for medicinal purposes. Very interesting! That food though, it makes my mouth water just looking at it! Thanks is for sharing your awesome journeys with us!!

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Come over Lindsay. Experience it in person. Just let me know & I am there to help you explore India Beautiful ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ

  12. Marcie W. says:

    What an excellent travel experience! I wish I could try all of the food and the camel photos really made me smile.

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Thank you Marcie. I too wish you could ๐Ÿ˜Š

  13. tcleland88 says:

    Those temple steps donโ€™t too bad until youโ€™re looking back down! Wow!
    You really had an interesting tripโ€”the camel Fair was really unique!

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Thank you Tcleland. The narrow steps were exciting though but needed to be a bit careful.

  14. Theresa says:

    Sounds like you had a hectic but very fulfilling trip to Pilani. I would have made the driver stop so I could get up close with the camels too. We don’t see them outside of the zoos here.

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Yes Theresa it was a bit hectic but truly enjoyable & satisfying. I did in fact stop, went near the camels, clicked pics & spoke to few owners.

  15. Heather Castillo says:

    You are always on some sort of adventure. I would love to go there one day too!

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Yes love traveling Heather.And you are welcome anytime.

  16. Candace says:

    Beautiful pictures and experiences as usual!

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Thank you Candace ๐Ÿ˜Š

  17. Martijn. S says:

    Nice write up on New Delhi and your trip to Pilani. I find that some of your photos are not sharp. Maybe you should check your camera. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Thanks Martjn.Yes in some pics light was not adequate. Will take care from next time

  18. Iโ€™m curious about paneer (did I spell that right?) after reading this. I had no idea a camel fair was even a thing. Your trip and seeing your memories as well as new experiences was wonderful. Your travel blog is easily a favorite for me!

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Absolutely right Erica.Its normally home made but produced commercially too and used in sweets and vegetarians dishes. And thank you for following & loving my blog. Your comments give me great happiness.Thank you again Erica.

  19. Wow! Amazing new place again in India. I love how you champion in providing information for less exploited areas in India.

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Thank you Emmanuel. Yes I do love to feature mostly unique places which many do not frequent but they are just awesome ๐Ÿ˜Š

  20. Your posts always make me get on a plane and expeirence these wolderful adventures firsthand. I have never even heard of some of these places. So cool!

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Thank you Autumn ๐Ÿ˜Š

  21. Guy says:

    Keep them coming. Love it

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Thank you Guy ๐Ÿ˜Š

  22. Kristy B says:

    I think I would love to visit Pilani for the yummy food! It looks like a foodieโ€™s paradise. And, Iโ€™d love to see the camels, too!

    1. travelwisesr says:

      You are welcome Kristy ๐Ÿ˜Š

  23. jaye shields says:

    I love your camel pictures. Looks like you had an amazing trip!

    1. travelwisesr says:

      O yes Jaye.It was truly amazing.

  24. Kiwi says:

    Wow you guys are always finding the gems of the world that seemed less traveled to the masses. Great job with this exploration and I would love to try the food!

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Thanks Kiwi.Come over & am there to help you explore this beautiful country,India ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ

  25. Porsha Carr says:

    It looks and sounds breath taking. Love the camel photos :}

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Thanks Porsha. Happy that you loved it ๐Ÿ˜Š

  26. Rosey A says:

    It sounds like a very busy time. It also sounds so enjoyable!

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Yes Rosy. Busy & so very enjoyable ๐Ÿ˜Š

  27. Mahaad Jagota says:

    Very well written sir!! Really appreciate your efforts!

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Thank you Mahaad. Happy to give you some pleasure ๐Ÿ˜Š

  28. artchee says:

    I like seeing the pictures in your travels. You can add more pictures of food. :0)

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Sure will Artchee ๐Ÿ˜Š

  29. remo says:

    Very interesting read. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post. Keep it up!

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Thank you Remo. Hope to keep providing you more such moments of happiness.

  30. Great post and info right here. My closest encounter with a camel was during my Safari trip in Dubai. They look so huge and scared the hell out of me.

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Thank you so much.Yes they look huge & we miniscule in front of them ๐Ÿ˜Š

  31. karilife says:

    I love blog posts like this because it gives me the ability to see a part of the world I may never get to see in my lifetime. The camels would’ve been so cool to see in person! Thanks so much for sharing your experience!

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Thanks Karilife. Yes I agree completely with you.Maybe we can see through each other’s eyes.The camels are really cool & peaceful ๐Ÿ˜Š

  32. i read your post and i feel like iยดm there! thanks for another great jorney !! that food..oh omg looks soooo good!!

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Thank you Debbie. Your comment makes me so happy. Hope to keep taking you for many more such journeys which gives you pleasure ๐Ÿ˜Š

  33. Run Wyld says:

    This post had me with the camels! Way to write in a way that makes me feel as if I am there too!

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Thank you Run.Your message makes me feel so happy ๐Ÿ˜Š

  34. Swagata Sen says:

    I like the way you make it a point not to miss any part of your trip-however small or insignificant it might be.The details of each and every experience of all your trips make the readers actually experience being a part of the trips! Great write up complemented with amazing photography, as usual!

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Thank you Swagata.Reading what you have mentioned makes me so very happy.The dream behind starting my blog to share my experiences seems to be slowly achieving it’s objective. To make you feel you actually are on a holiday ๐Ÿ˜Š

  35. Wow! Another beautiful escapade. I love following your travels.

  36. Bhavesh says:

    Amazing memories.
    So well expressed.
    Journey back in time.
    Iโ€™m visiting Pilani during April. This gives me a good start to plan

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Thank you Bhavesh ๐Ÿ˜Š

Comments are closed.