India
Pushkar

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  • Day9

    Pushkar

    November 27, 2018 in India ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    In the morning we set off for Pushkar which is a smaller, quieter town centered around a lake where devout Hindus pilgrimage towards due to the abundance of temples, 300. The lake is considered the most sacred lake in Hindu mythology and many Hindus come to wash in the holy water particularly during the month of Kartika, Oct - Nov. Pushkar is also one of five places in the world that has a Brahma Temple.

    Along the way we asked Ajay to stop and help is get fruit fo breakfast to which he happily did. When asking how much the fruit should be he said he will come with us. Just as Will was about to get out he said "oh no you should stay in the car otherwise he will see you are white and make you pay a lot!". I'm loving having Ajay here. Although overall we probably wish we hadn't booked the car Ajay is really understanding with our very low budget.

    When we arrived Ajay said he has us accomodation for cheap and it was in the end very nice and a good location but at first I must admit I did feel pressured staying where he wanted us to stay, which was technically not part of the agreement. This begun to set me off in my down hill thoughts again. I've realised the main reason I don't like having a driver (although I would recommend Ajay to anyone who requires him), is that I feel a bit trapped and compelled to agree and say yes to what they want even if it means I compromise my needs.

    Once checked in we wandered around the lake and I broke. Will was saying hello to everyone under the sun and doing all the 101 Things Not To Do in India. He suddenly had a big crowd around him of people of all ages. Let's face it he's white and therefore rare in India, but he's also just seen as a dollar sign and even more when they find out he is British! I must admit I walked away and sat down by the lake as I couldn't stand it anymore as I knew exactly what all the people wanted, but he just kept thinking everyone was being nice. Some of the kids got bored with Will and then came to sit with me. Again with only one need, money money money money. With me they weren't as subtle and I got quite angry inside. In the end I grabbed Will and we just walked away from the crowd.

    This is when I broke down. I've not mentioned it yet but I've been struggling. Being in India is making me really homesick and really miss my dad. When things go wrong I just keep thinking, "if dad was here I'd be safe and fine". It's a horrible thought but if I wasn't here with Will I would probably be ignored and left alone because I look Indian. But I'm not, so I just have to get stronger and educate Will more from this craziness. We were both now super low, upset and felt trapped. Again we still had barely any breakfast or lunch so we decided to go for a shake at Sonu Shake Shop where I had a Banana, date and coconut shake and Will had a pineapple, lemon and lime juice. Then we had lunch at Ganga Falafel which I read about in a blog, where we met a mother and daughter and they made us feel 1000 times better. They said we got an amazing deal for our car and should be proud of our haggling, that we need to be more blunt on exactly where we want to go and see and they really made us feel more empowered. Phew, I think we just needed some outside perspective.

    It was now late in the afternoon and so we went to see the Brahma temple which was really nice and peaceful and then we went to the lake to watch the little sunset there was and listened to to the temples playing music. For dinner we had our first try at Indian Street food, including Bhel Puri, potato balls with chana dhaal and puri with dhaal. For dessert we even found Gulab Jamun and a cup of hot milk. Perfect end to a not so perfect day.

    It's time we forget about the money and feeling sorry for us and just enjoy it. We are so privelliged and it's sometimes easy to forget how fortunate we are to even be here never mind to have been able to book a driver for 2 weeks! Tomorrow is a new chapter.
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  • Dec24

    Merry Christmas from Pushkar

    December 24, 2019 in India ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

    Pushkar is just wonderful! A small town, with a lake in center (holi, of course), streets with food and all kinds of stuff... We met a Slovenian guy living and working there, hs a school for girls. We just spent a day walking around, shopping, taking pictures, eating.
    Me and Matjaž went up nearby hill for a overview of the city, quick 15 minute walk :) In our way up we met Jana, a Slovenian girl traveling India.
    We went by the lake at sunset, people played drum, danced, it was really calm and nice :)
    For Christmas dinner we went to some nice restaurant, also girl we met joined us, but we left soon because "traditional Rajasthany music" included drums and it was just too loud to even talk!
    After leaving we heard some psytrance music so of course we went and check. We were the first ones to come, soon followed by many tourists / trancers, party on! 🤘 Since you cannot drink alcohol in Pushkar we smuggled some Gin and had our own gintonics 😊 We left at around midnight because we heard police was coming searching for beers. #yolo
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  • Dec25

    Christmas day

    December 25, 2019 in India ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

    Merry Christmas! It was another easy day, more food, chais and shopping. Me and Mara had a night taxi to Jaipur because we have a plane tomorrow to Hubli.
    Bought a tibetan bowl for a friend and one for myself. Wonderful sound!
    Evening taxi took around 3 hours to Jaipur hostel, run by a really sweet lady, who cooked us dinner, told us all about her son working in Ireland. We had to go to bed soon, only 4 hours until alarm!Read more

  • Day33

    Pushkar

    January 6, 2019 in India ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

    Pushkar is one of the oldest cities in India dating back to at least the 1st century. Pushkar is mentioned in the Ramayana, the Mahabharata and the Puranas. According to legends, Lord Brahma, believed to be the creator of the Universe dropped a lotus to the ground leading to the miraculous creation of a lake. He then decided to name the place after the flower, and thus the name, Pushkar, or lotus. The city of Pushkar is home to the only temple dedicated to Lord Brahma in the whole world. Hindus consider a journey to Pushkar to be the ultimate pilgrimage that must be undertaken to attain salvation.

    Our experience so far has been a bit different. While still a beautiful place, the lotus flower no longer grows in the sacred lake. Also, I made the mistake of accepting a flower from a guy outside of an ATM near the bathing steps. Next thing we knew we were being invited to a 'special sunset blessing'. Nancy and Augie just followed along thinking that I knew what I was doing. So, we descended the steps to the lake where three 'priests' split us up and seated us next to separate pools. They then commenced by asking us to repeat a mantra requesting prosperity for all of our family and dropping the flowers into the lake. About four fifths of the way through my guy started to mention donation amounts that would ensure that the blessing would take effect. "$100, $200, $500 whatever you feel is appropriate." Selling indulgences to fulfill a prosperity gospel. Effing great. Just up my alley as a 'failed priest'. I told the guy I make my donations elsewhere and handed him a 500 rupee note for his trouble saying this would cover it for our whole family, Nancy and Augie included. Package deal. Meanwhile, Nancy and Augie were being strong-armed for separate donations. I mean literally. There were guys grabbing at us as we made our way up the steps. One guy even told Augie that he'd call the police if he didn't fork over the voluntary donation. No wonder early Buddhism didn't thrive here if prosperity is the central message, must have freaked them out.

    This morning we've been seeking a bit more peaceful scene here in Pushkar. Wandering the colorful streets of this ancient market town and sitting in a café overlooking the lake. Fulfillment found.
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  • Day34

    Pushkar not so bad

    December 16, 2019 in India ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C

    So as I said in the previous post we decided to stay a bit longer. Pushkar is actually quite beautiful when it cleared up and we got some sun. We met a lot of travelers here too which was cool. Still we wouldn't go back here unless we wanted to buy hippie clothes for really cheap. It was too western orientated like all the shops were selling these hippie clothes which you never see any Indian person in. And the streets are subsequently filled with white people hahaha. So it felts more like being at a psy trance festival (as psy trance was also playing in many shops and restaurants) not a bad thing, just not what we were looking for in India lol.Read more

  • Day32

    It's so cold here!

    December 14, 2019 in India ⋅ ☀️ 14 °C

    Our first hostel was super beautiful and deserved its own little post. One thing though, its so cold here! Our first day was freezing with no sun or anything (haha while writing this I'm realising I'm complaining about 10 degrees when it's literally freezing in Holland but Still) our plans have changed and we're going more south instead of going north. So our route isn't going to make much sense anymore but oh well its worth it.

    We were only going to stay in Pushkar for two night but stayed longer to do some charity work. We did move hostel though because this hostel wasn't that great with the cold and all.

    Our first impressions here weren't that good BTW. Which weren't helped by the cold. Anyway it's very very touristy and didn't feel very authentic at all. There is not much to do either apart from a seemingly famous scam we weren't aware of until we became victims of it! They hand you a flour at the start of the market and tell you to bring it to the river so you think a nice ok we'll stroll to the river. There we got targeted by some old man who seperated us and performed some bullshit ritual and wouldn't let me see Kaya again until I promises him money so I was just agreeing to whatever cause there were two men towering over me and applying pressure. Oh well, many have been a victim to this scam but I was still a bit pissed off that they got me. So Pushkar wasn't very high on our favoured list.
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  • Day33

    A little good karma

    December 15, 2019 in India ⋅ 🌙 15 °C

    So we stayed in Pushkar to do charity work as I said. This was really nice though we didn't do very much but it has inspired us to do more next time. Though if you want to do actual good charity work here (that will actually make a difference/ isn't a scam) you need to subscribe to some apps and stuff. We didn't think that far ahead and also its like 300€ a year so....

    Anyway that's why this was perfect. We ate at this cafe that supports a local school. They had a poster up that said you could help out anyway you wanted. So we volunteered for a day of service in the cafe, indirectly helping the kids cause we were helping the man that owns it. We also bought a bunch of school supplies and dropped them off at the school the next day with some fruit. Then we spent some time with the kids just playing which actually felt a bit weird because we were taking away their learning time but maybe that's me overthinking.

    The school was just one room with about 25 students and some older boys from another highschool that come to help out. The kids were lovely but ofcourse it was eye opening to see their school and realise how lucky we are. You know these things but it's different when you're actually there.
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  • Day6

    Pushkar

    October 27, 2019 in India ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

    Where to begin. Initially Pushkar was described in the brochure as a place where DIanne could get a camel ride. She has wanted to do that ever since I talked about my camel ride experience while on a layover in Dubai. My opinion of camels has been on the low side of the scale since that time.

    The Pushkar camel fair is an annual event like the Calgary Stampede. It is going to happening right after the festival of Diwali and preparations are well underway. Tents have been set up and grandstands ready to be erected. Combined with the lights and colours surrounding Diwali, this a happening place. It is also according to our local guide, the holiest site for Hindus.

    The Brahma Temple is here and Pushkar lake is a holy place to spread your ashes after you’ve passed. Our guide brings us through the temple and down to the lake. His dissertation as we go along is about all the good work that the Foundation is doing here. We are blessed by the lake in a small ceremony with ribbons around our wrists and red dots placed on our foreheads. I am given a small coconut to offer to Brahma. We say a prayer led by our guide. I can see this is all designed to get me in the spirit of giving. The suggested donation is 100 dollars, or if you really want to help, 300. In spite of all the prayers and mantras, ceremonies and blessings, I am feeling less generous. I don’t know what is wrong with me, but that is how it is. I have to be honest with myself. Dianne waits by the lake as I am told to take my coconut to the office and give it to the officer of gift management. Give the coconut, along with whatever my good karma will allow. Dianne is enjoying this small drama as it unfolds. She knows there is no danger of me feeling too generous and giving too much, and she is eager to find out how I am going to manage their expectations. I give my coconut to officer of gift managing, he looks at me expecting more. I open my man purse and produce a twenty. He responds. More. I respond. It’s all I’m willing to give. I turn and walk away. Dianne now wants a selfie by the lake. She gives me heck when I’m not generous with my smiles. I’m all smiled out just now.
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  • Day17

    Pushkar, vegetarisch per Gesetz

    January 9, 2019 in India ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

    Das Städtchen Pushkar wäre mit seinen ca 25.000 Einwohnern bei einer Indien Rundreise kaum der Rede wert, gäbe es da nicht etwas ganz Besonderes. Mitten in der Stadt liegt ein kleiner heiliger See, an den sich Pilger aus ganz Indien reinwaschen. Der ganze See ist vollständig mit Badestellen eingefasst (42 Ghats), die nur ohne Schuhe betreten werden dürfen. Jeden Morgen und besonders Abends finden am See reöigöse Zeremonien mit Feuer, Rauch und Musik statt. Am See trifft Man besonders viele Brahmanen oder solche, die sich dafür Ausgeben. Fake-Brahnanen zeichnen sich dadurch aus, dass sie für ihre penetrant aufgedrängten Segnungen utopisch hohe Spenden erwarten. Und weil der Ort so heilig ist darf in der ganzen Stadt nur vegetarische gegessen werden. Die Heilichkeit dieses Ortes nimmt aber bereits nach ca. 30 Meter Entfernung vom Seeufer stark ab und hunderte von Shops bieten "garantiert" echte Waren in Handarbeit oder aus Seide feil(made in Bangladesch aus Viskose). Die Beschaulichkeit und saubere Luft dieses Ortes waren trotzdem eine schöne Erholung für uns. ( Tomek)

    Liczący 25 000 mieszkańców Pushkar, nie byłby w fokusie turystycznym, gdyby nie posiadał swojej specjalności, katapultującej go na drugie po Varanasi święte miejsce w Indiach. W środku miasteczka leży bowiem święte jezioro , w którym oczyszczają się pielgrzymi z całych Indii. Brzegi świętej wody umocnione są 42-ma gathami, które dostępne są tylko na boso. Codziennie rano i wieczorem odbywają się ceremonie z muzyką i ogniem. Naokoło jeziora spotyka się szczególnie wielu brahmanów, lub takich którzy się za nich podają. Fake- brahmani wyróżniają się tym, że penetrantnie próbują wyłudzić ciężkie pieniądze za swoje błogosławieństwa. Najlepiej na samym początku daj się poblogoslawić za max. 100 rupii i potem pokazywać bransoletkę że sznurków, którą przy tej okazji się dostaje, żeby mieć spokój od nagabywania. Z powodu świętości tego miejsca, w całym mieście jest nakaz odżywiania jarskiego i zakaz alkoholu. Przy czym łatwiej jest dostać w restauracji drinka niż mięso. 30 m od jeziora, w drugim rzędzie raptownie kończy się władza bogów, a zaczyna panowanie mamony, gdzie w ciasnych sklepikach handlarze próbują sprzedawać wiskozowe bluzki jako jedwabne. Ale mimo tego podobało nam się to miejsce i wreszcie mogliśmy pooddychać świerzszym powietrzem.
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  • Day78

    Pushkar sunrise

    October 5, 2017 in India ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C

    Early bird again... um 5:15h ging es erst mit dem tuktuk zum Anfang des Berges und dann eine halbe Stunde zu Fuß den Berg rauf. Jetzt hab ich mir ein leckeres Frühstück verdient... und Birthday cake. Unser Guide hat Geburtstag und wir haben eine Schockotorte bestellt. Yummy 😊

You might also know this place by the following names:

Pushkar, পুষ্কর, Πουσκάρ, Púshkar, પુષ્કર, פושקר, पुष्कर, Puskár, पुस्कर, ਪੁਸ਼ਕਰ, Puszkar, پشکر, Пушкар, पुष्करनगरम्, புஷ்கர், పుష్కర్, 普斯赫卡尔

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