A 2-hr drive from Pushkar is the principality of the Nimaj Thakurs of the Udawat Rathore clan (cousins of the Jodhpur royals). This is a lush and prosperous enclave that boasts of the charming Nimaj Palace — Jagram Durg, built in 1733 and converted into a heritage fort hotel with 45 rooms. There is the 10th-century CE Jain shrine, now a Shiva Temple that is held in a grip by an equally ancient peepul tree. You can also stay in the old-style hunting tents on the 19th-century Chhatra Sagar. Explore the surrounding villages, and meet local potters and silversmiths. There’s a small forest reserve for a close look at bird life here. Not to be missed is the expedition to the exquisitely carved Magar Mandi Mata Temple. The reservoir at Nimaj is a serene spot, attracting various birds during the winter months.

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