Good Morning Pushkar
Was it misty haze, fog of early winters or just pollution ?...I am not pretty sure...like constantly changing seasons,absolute nature was also welcoming winters in the northern plains of India...days became shorter and nights were longer...but still presence of light and darkness never met...
Pushkar Lakes and ghats in the evening
Novemeber 2009...I thought of visiting Pushkar alone. This little hippie paradise of Rajasthan always tempted me in some way or another. and thought of visiting a place that had been in your head for a long time certainly makes you excited... I had a sleepless over night journey from Gurgaon to Pushkar in a state transport bus. Windows were broken and chilly wind in midnight made bus arctic...I was also not carrying blanket hence slipping your head between Legs (Like an ostrich) became to only option to deal with chilly winds of November's Night.... Sipping tea on regular was another help to keep going...I reached Pushkar very early in the morning before the dawn... Due to its popularity among long term travelers, Pushkar is blessed with all ranges of accommodation. I preferred the nearest one from the bus station and slept straight till 10 PM. to regain some energy after a tiring and shivering journey..
Pushkar is famous for Pushkar Cattle Fair which is generally celebrated in the month of October. Pushkar is partially deserted town and the popular entry point for many desert safaris to Bikaner and other cities inside Thar desert. As expected, Morning fog enveloped the whole town but afternoon Sun cleared up the haze. I thought of visiting the holy temple of God Brahma but it was closed when i reached there so I choose to take a troll along the narrow and cobbled streets of Pushkar. Pushkar is very popular among long term backpackers. Easy availability of Marijuana is one reason but that's not the only reason in my opinion. Pushkar is one of those town which has amazing life running underneath and that part will only be intangible if you stay for long. Like Varanasi, traditional Indian customs and exposure to real India is something which allures the misfits for long. This is here in Pushkar you get a chance to get so closer to an India family that you might get a chance to attend marriages and other ceremonies those are integral part of Indian life style. In Pushkar, you will get road side restaurants serving Italian,German,Mexican,Chinese. and all other variety of food but the Indian.
Pushkar City : A desert rose
I was surprised to see the influence of foreign tourists on Pushkar. I was also not able to figure out the cause of their attraction to Pushkar. Pushkar is primarily fall in the pilgrims trail with highly revered temple of God Brahma and Pushkar lake that is a sacred water body where thousands of pilgrims take a holy bathe every year. Entire city of Pushkar is developed on the sideline of the holy pond...pushkar lake is loosing its beauty due to less rain fall each year in this arid region...One side of Pushkar lake is surrounded by dry Arawali hills and on the other side is borders the sand and bare land...Lake of Pushkar is surrounded by innumerous Ghats where priests will chase you to take a holy dip or chant mantras....I heard about some frauds on the Ghat side with respect to palm reading or future forecasting ...After taking lunch,I took a bus to Ajmer that is some 18 km far from Pushkar town. Ajmer and Pushkar are separated by a hilly pass...Ajmer is famous for the dargah sharif that attracts a huge number of devotees from all over the country. Besides Dargah Sharif, the city is crowed with compacted lanes those has hardly a place for even one single person to move. Outside the old city,there is one beautiful lake that also loosing its charm due to drought in recent years...I paid a visit to the shrine and then headed back to the serene town of Pushkar...
Ajmer lake near Pushkar
In the evening I visited famous temple of lord Bramha which i missed in the morning. Horde of foreign tourists have their extended stay in Pushkar. For the same reason, you will easily find cheap accommodation, restaurants, Internet cafes, laundries, book stores, courier service to Europe/elsewhere and lots of barber shops. In the evening i roamed extensively in Pushkar town to feel the aura of this mysterious town and i was trying to understand the ulterior life which runs in parallel with the traditional going of the town. In the evening i was looking for a restaurant for the dinner but most of those were welcoming only foreigners. Transformation of Pushkar during evening time is something mystic and will definitely catch your attention. You will find yourself in all together a different place which you had seen during light hours. There were group of tourists smoking pots, making joints and even taking some otherwise. All the prohibited distractions were easily available there (on dirt cheap price)...Most of the roof top restaurants were playing rock and roll (psychedelic rock) and screening classic hollywood stuff (Clint Eastwood, John Wayne were few of those favorites). I felt like being in down town surrounded by cowboys and awesome chicks. i was stunned through out the evening. Then i realized that the absolute freedom of Pushkar is true aura that attracts visitors in such an ordinary town.
Narrow view to Pushkar lake
after that rave evening full of surprises and discoveries. I went back to the hotel. next morning was a bit foggy..a bit sunny..a bit chilly. a bit of everything. but just a bit. . :)...again i roamed in those streets of pushkar and on the bank of the holy Pushkar lake. pilgrims were taking bath and were offering their prayers to the Deities. some kids were trying to sell handicrafts to the tourists. some tourists were packing their belongings to continue their spree. ..some were waking up after a lethargic evening. some were sipping tea. some were craving for substances to get high again. and In between ever changing surroundings,I choose to head back so that i can reach Delhi before sunset...
Pushkar Lake encircled by 52 ghats
now after one year when i recollect my time in Pushkar. i feel soaked with mixed feelings... ...."Different" will be the most appropriate,simple and concise word for this spectacular town resting in the lap of Arawali...