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47 ~ So many Caucasian (white) tourists : Pushkar

Pandas are local Hindu “priests” who could be pushy


View India 18 - 19 on bruceontour's travel map.

Pushkar is right on the edge of the desert and is only 11kms from Ajmer but separated from it by Nag Pahar, the snake mountain. This traveller friendly town clings to the side of the small Pushkar Lake with its many bathing ghats and temples. For Hindus, Puhskar is a very important pilgrimage centre and you’ll see plenty of Sadhus (individuals on a spiritual search).

Eventually arrived at Ananta Spa Resort which was further out of Pushkar than what Ashok had thought. Yes, it was a new modern resort and also a RCI time share complex as well.

http://www.anantahotels.com/pushkar-hotels/pushkar.php

A quick check in and after the last few nights at heritage hotels with at times their huge rooms, this really modern hotel room was while small but sufficient for just me. What a contrast.

Reception said it would be 200 rupees / NZ$4.20 / US$2.80 for a tuk tuk to bring me back from Pushkar.

Time was marching on and I only had this afternoon to spend in Pushkar itself. So, it was 2.30pm / 14:30 and agreed with Ashok to meet me outside the Skih Temple later that night at 8pm / 20:00. That would give me enough time to see Pushkar, witness hopefully a neat orange sunset over the lake, then find a restaurant for dinner.

After a quick orientation of town, I was dropped off by the fairgrounds where the annual camel fair is held in late November.

So I walked back to the Sikh temple on the other side of the shopping streets just to get my bearings and timing of how long it would take to walk.

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Milk

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Pushkar boasts temples, though few are as ancient as you might expect at such an important pilgrimage site.

Then back to the Brahma Temple and putting my camera bag into a locked cupboard for 50 rupees / NZ$1 / US$0.70 followed the hordes in.

Brahma Temple is Pushkar no 1 attraction and is said to be one of the few temples in the world dedicated to the Hindu deity. It’s marked by a red spire and over the entrance gateway is the hans or goose symbol of Brahma, who is said to have personally chosen Pushkar as its site.

One thing stood out was that besides the hordes of domestic local Indian tourists, there were so many Caucasian (white) tourists compared to all of the previous cities that I had been in.

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A few camels were there for the tourists.

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Having read about the various scams, I was certainly on my guard when I walked down to the Brahma Ghat. Yes, I was approached several times and it gave me an uneasy feeling.

Pushkar has 52 Bathing Ghats (bathing places).

There are also a number of beliefs associated with each of these ghats. The water of these ghats is believed to have great healing powers. For instance, Kapil Vyapi Kund helps in curing leprosy, Roop Tirth enhances beauty and charm, Mrikand Muni Kund is believed to grant wisdom, Naga Kund helps in fertility etc.

https://www.indianholiday.com/tourist-attraction/pushkar/lakes-in-pushkar/bathing-ghats-in-pushkar.html

With time on my hand before the sun was due to go down, I walked the road that circled the lake and entered Jodhpur Ghat on the far side. Even here I was reminded by a local “panda” when also approached to be given a blessing which was declined that no photos were allowed down on the ghat.

Pandas are local Hindu “priests” who could be pushy as sometimes they act as local guardians to holy shrines and lakes.

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View from above Jodhpur Ghat

Further around the lake just sat above the Mahadev Ghat, enjoyed the warmth of the concrete seat that had collected its sun’s ray during the day and watched the sun set on the far side. By 5.40pm / 17:40 the golden orange sun ball had dropped below the far hill and the sky started to turn to its layers of dark blue to the fading orange.

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Next door was Varah Ghat and soon sounds of the chants began to fill the atmosphere by a small group of devotees who had gathered to perform the evening aarti. Soon I could see and then smell the fragrance of the incense sticks and roses drifting across. From numerous temples surrounding the lake, the sound of ringing bells comes in chorus. The whole ambience really felt divine and can easily transport you to a different world. It would be great and totally different experience when the place is full. So different to the evening aarti that I saw at Varanasi on my last trip.

https://bruceontour.travellerspoint.com/87/

https://bruceontour.travellerspoint.com/90/

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With many restaurants on the roof top to choose from, it was up to Laura’s Cafe and yes, they had a few customers (ref my experience in Udaipur).

Dinner = Ai Quattro Formagi (pizza) - tomato sauce, 4 cheese – combinations of blue, mozzarella cheese and cheese that are local such as parmigiano 400 rupees / NZ$8.10 / US$5.60.

https://www.facebook.com/Lauras-Cafe-149418958486887/

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View from the restuarant

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Nearing 8pm / 20:00 it was back to the Sikh temple for my pick up by Ashok and journey back to the Ananta Spa Resort.

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Milk

A night time shoot of the resort and found out that their buffet dinner was 1,250 rupees NZ$25.30 / US$17.40 plus taxes! My Ai Quattro Formagi pizza was fine.

Here are photos of the Ananta Spa Resort taken the next day morning with the corresponding night view.

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Posted by bruceontour 03:06 Archived in India Tagged pushkar

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