Pushkar Lake

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52 travelers at this place

  • Day9


    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!
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  • Day33


    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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  • Day51

    Pushkar lake and Indian Wedding!

    February 25 in India ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

    Tom has said that he woke up at 8am, and I was still asleep...the bed was so comfy and warm that he decided to try and get some more sleep as Wed been going non stop for weeks and needed to reset! He woke back up at 9 and I still wasn’t awake, this is how Tom knew I was I was always awake before him! I eventually surfaced just after 11 and found Tom chilling on the rooftop. He recommended that we go out and get some watermelon, apparently a good snack if you have diarrhoea...? So we did just that, on our way into town an old hippie Indian guy who was chilling out at the blue temple where the hippie men hung out offered Tom a drag of his joint...we didn’t have a clue what he was smoking, but certainly didn’t want to try it! We got into town and paid 100 rupees for a full watermelon, we found a spot around the lake where we weren’t being pestered by the scammer trying to “gift” us with a flower and a blessing and then demand money from us...nor were we being shouted at for carrying our shoes and we ate the entire watermelon!

    We then walked around the lake anti-clockwise, past numerous people bathing in the holy lake and were constantly being hassled for carrying our shoes. We chilled out at our favourite spot, just outside one of the Ghats on the steps and took in the surroundings whilst talking about random things including the purposes of fizzy water...why would you drink fizzy water!? We were obviously going crazy or running out of things to talk about. We made our way back to the hostel for some more chill out time before we made our way to the sunset viewpoint. We had agreed that we would meet the German guy (from Konstanz) from our hostel, Joel at the top of the viewpoint as he was going to get food first. We made our way up the tracks, walking past a woman who was suspiciously cleaning something up on one of the rocks...we come to the conclusion she had taken a shit at the side of the tracks and was now desperately trying to clean it up.

    We continued and before long we got to the top of the viewpoint, which was a temple and of course you weren’t allowed shoes inside...however it looked like an awful temple it was really the view you come here for...we decided to keep our shoes on and just perch on a nearby rock to enjoy the sunset. We were joined by Joel, we chatted and enjoyed a nice sunset. Before it got dark we made our way into the town where George and I grabbed a famous Pushkar falafel from lafa falafel, the spot in Pushkar where 3 falafel stores sit adjacent to one another and customers enjoy their food on-street-seating. It was pretty good, nothing on the ones we had in the Philippines though! We thought we’d make our way back to the hostel for a chilled night.....

    Upon arriving back at the hostel the guy behind the check-in desk said to Joel he had good and bad news. The bad news was that his washing wasn’t going to be done in time for his checkout because the man who does the laundry is getting married today. However the good news was that by means of an apology he was invited to his wedding. Seems like a pretty good apology to us! He proceeded to say the three of us were invited and even showed us the very official invitation card he had received. Tom was 100% up for it as he’s always wanted to attend an Indian wedding and even more so here in India. It took some convincing for me to be up for it with my current stomach situation but eventually I agreed to join.

    We changed into some jeans, still with my scruffy jumper on and got into the party TukTuk that was waiting for us outside the hostel. The wedding was in Ajmer, the town that we arrived into on the train and the “15 minute drive” turned into a 45 minute drive, hanging onto the back of the TukTuk as the driver (who was high) drove far too quickly, meandering through traffic and not slowing down for speed bumps. However, we got to talk to the guys who were working at the hostel, Amit and Micky and they were both really nice guys! Eventually we arrived at the venue, after checking it was the right wedding as so many weddings were taking place today. The entrance was very grand and I could feel 1,000 eyes looking at us as we entered the venue. However, everyone was warm and welcoming to us. Handshake and handshake and selfie after selfie we made our way round the wedding, enjoying the fantastic food that was on offer. I had a paneer curry, vegetable kofta curry, biriyani with freshly made chipatis and naan breads. As I was eating the delicious food, taking in my surroundings it hit me that it was a much more sophisticated than I was expecting. People were stood around chatting and enjoying their food, it felt more like a get together, not a wedding. After finishing the food I dumped my plate into one of the many huge buckets that had been put out to collect cutlery and we made our way over to meet the bride and the groom. I had spoken to Micky on the way and he told me that this was an arranged marriage by their parents, who also paid for this occasion...on average about 1 million Indian rupees, or £10,000 for a wedding of this scale. We waited in a queue to meet the bride and groom, got a picture with them, said our congratulations, got a sweet as hell coffee (Tom got 3 for him and had mine too!) and were back in the TukTuk on our way back to the hostel. The journey back was equally rough but we got back at around 11:30, where we made my way straight to bed having ticked off one more thing from the bucket list.
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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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  • 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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  • Day8

    Visite de Pushkar / foire aux dromadaire

    October 31, 2017 in India ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    Ce matin, nous quittons l'hotel avec Mahin (notre guide) vers 9h30 pour visiter la ville et découvrir cette fameuse grande foire aux dromadaires.
    Je n'ai pas passé une très bonne nuit, les premiers désagréments digestifs de ce voyage sont apparus dès la fin de la journée (sans que l'on parvienne à en identifier la cause, puisque nous sommes plutôt prudents). Mais après la médication adéquate, je suis d'attaque ce matin !
    Notre allons à pied vers le centre (notre hotel est par chance - à cause du bruit pendant la foire - un peu excentré), quel plaisir de marcher un peu ! Nous passons devant un premier temple hindou, de construction plutôt fastueuse. A l'intérieur il n'y a aucun visage, aucune statue, aucune représentation d'un quelconque dieu, juste un livre saint. Notre guide nous explique que la religion hindoue avait à l'origine 10 maitres et que ceux-ci avaient décidé qu'à leur disparition, il n'y aurait aucun autre maitre, mais que les fidèles devraient suivre les enseignements dans le livre. Nous ne sommes pas autorisés à pénétrer dans ce temple, comme dans la majorité des temples de la ville. Le seul que nous puissions visiter est le Brahma Temple (l'unique dans le monde dédié à ce Dieu), où nous irons demain.
    Nous continuons vers le centre et c'est une foule bruyante, dense, remuante et colorée que nous découvrons. Les étroites rues de Pushkar sont pleines à craquer de camelots essayants de refourguer toutes sortes de marchandises : vêtements, bijoux, sacs, nourriture, ustensiles de cuisine, couvertures, décorations pour les animaux, tableaux, ou encore offrandes pour les différentes cérémonies...aujourd'hui en particulier il y a beaucoup de monde car on célèbre le réveil d'un dieu, car nous sommes à quelques jours de la pleine lune. Partout la ferveur (le mot est faible) religieuse est palpable, omniprésente.
    Nous, nous essayons péniblement de nous frayer un chemin parmi cette foule qui nous bouscule, nous entraîne, nous sépare parfois. Par chance, notre guide n'a pas le physique typiquement indien et dépasse tout le monde d'une bonne tête, ça facilite le repérage !
    Nous parvenons enfin à l'endroit proprement dit où les nomades du désert du Thar et les paysans locaux viennent acheter et vendre des dromadaires. De grandes tentes sont installées pour manger, négocier, dormir.
    Cependant, cette année, il y a beaucoup moins de bêtes que les années précédentes, notre guide est un peu étonné. Il n'y a surtout pas de chevaux, contrairement à d'habitude, le gouvernement en a interdit l'accès car beaucoup souffriraient de maladies.
    De nombreux touristes font des tours de dromadaires. Une fête foraine est présente aussi.
    Au-delà de cette foire aux dromadaires, la ville de Pushkar est la plus sainte des cités du Rajasthan pour les hindous. Son lac est le plus sacré de toute l'Inde, et un bain de purification dans ses eaux est considéré comme particulièrement bénéfique à certaines dates, notamment la pleine lune d'octobre-novembre, qui a lieu en ce moment. C'est ainsi que l'on peut observer toute la journée des milliers d'hindous se livrer au bain rituel : debout, le fidèle puise de l'eau dans sa main et la verse en énonçant : "je prends ce bain pour me laver de mes pêchés de corps, d'esprit, de parole et de contact". Il plonge ensuite 2 fois sous la surface, puis s'asperge la tête d'eau en priant pour avoir la force de se maintenir en état de pureté. Puis il récite jusqu'à 108 fois certains mantras. Il n'est pas question ici de nager. D'ailleurs c'est interdit, comme beaucoup d'autres choses : au bord des ghats, il faut se déchausser, et il n'est pas autorisé de prendre des photos des fidèles.
    Nous déjeunons dans un restaurant au bord du lac, où nous retournerons le soir au coucher du soleil pour profiter encore du spectacle des bains rituels et déguster des lassis (boisson lactée salée ou sucrée) à la banane et à la mangue.
    Le soir, l'effervescence est un peu retombée et il est plus facile de faire quelques achats (notamment un livre en français, nous n'en avions pas pris assez !)
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Pushkar Lake

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