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Nothing but hashish, potato and a cup of tea: Pushkar’s unique aloo baba

Imagine if you had to eat nothing but potatoes all your life, seems terrible right! But there is one person, named Aloo Baba (Aloo means potato in Hindi) a 70-year-old man from Pushkar, Rajasthan who has been eating nothing but potatoes since last 45 years.

The town of Pushkar is full of such uniqueness, situated on the brink of the Thar Desert in the State of Rajasthan; it is well known for Pushkar lake, which is surrounded by bathing ghats, where Hindu pilgrims throng in large numbers to take a sacred bath and be blessed. Apart from this Pushkar is also very well known for its soothing surroundings, vegetarian cuisine, beautiful scenery and the narrow streets with market stalls and restaurants to cater for the town’s ever-expanding tourist.

If you are planning a trip to Pushkar and want to go social with the locals, then you must pay a visit to the Aloo Baba, whom you will find in a Shiva temple, a magnificent temple situated few miles out of the town. The temple is in the middle of nowhere, but it’s hard to get lost considering many people visit him and so there are signs lined up on the route pointing the visitors to the right direction.

Aloo Baba is an elderly Indian man with a long grey beard and wise looking eyes. He is quite popular in the town being a local expert on simplicity, control, and healthy living. But what intrigues people the most is the fact that for 45 years, Baba has only eaten potatoes. Few of the curious souls have asked him the reason for this, to which he replied that he wanted to take back the ownership of his own life. Whenever he falls ill, he only uses plants and natural medicines to treat himself and drinks only chai and water.

However, one thing the Baba is really keen on is hashish. One can easily make out that Baba has been smoking hash all day after looking at his eyes and a permanent smile on his face. He wakes up at 4 AM every day to meditate, and after his daily routine of meditation, he engages himself in smoking hash.

After renouncing his name and family ties at the age of 16, Baba has spent decades drifting around Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Karnataka, living in forested mountain areas and surviving on only leaves, herbs, and fruits.

When he stepped into the town of Pushkar or precisely the Shiva temple, there was nothing except small caves consisting of a couple of 1000-year-old Shiva shrines. For the first few years, Baba lived there alone, taking care of the temple. Over time, local people donated money and labour to build a small temple complex.

Now many people visit him to know the secrets of happiness, peace and healthy long life. Not sure about the dietary habits but one thing you will surely learn after meeting the Aloo Baba is how to live a life with fewer worries. When your stress level goes down your body is undoubtedly going to reward you with lower blood pressure as a healthy mind, and a positive outlook towards life is as important as a healthy body.

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