You can’t help but get a sense of serenity and calm in Pushkar. Everything just slows down a notch or two in this sacred Hindu pilgrimage town. A comfortable 2 ½ hour drive south west from Jaipur, you could easily visit for a day trip and still have enough time to soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the sights of the famous Pushkar Lake.
We spent the day strolling along the main street, a long winding bazaar that covers everything from trinkets, to fresh produce, spices and vintage curiosities.
It was fascinating to see some of the local artisans at work spread out on the floor designing and making on the spot.
We spent a lot of time on foot in India. and to our dismay, my partner Ben’s shoes were on the brink of falling to pieces. Not so ideal in a town that is mostly accessible only by foot! Clearly the sacred gods of Pushkar had overhead our conversation, or maybe just an astute local, as out of nowhere a cobbler appeared. A big smile, courteous nature, and willingness to mend a poor traveller’s treads, had us up and running in no time.
Detour off the main strip, and head down any of the windy paths, passing beautiful Brahma temples on the way to Pushkar Lake. This holy lake is surrounded by pretty white buildings, marble tile floors and many steps leading to one of the 52 bathing ghats. There are some sections you are not allowed to pass without removing your shoes, particularly in the bathing areas.
Visit Pushkar Lake around October-November and you will get a chance to join the pilgrims, sadhus, merchants, musicians, artists, and many others that head to Pushkar during the Fair held on Kartik Poornima. A dip in the holy waters of the Pushkar Lake is said to wash away the sins of people.
When you wander the many paths of Pushkar, don’t be alarmed to see the odd monkey, or one of the many holy cows emerging through a temple doorway or striding beside you in the bazaar.
Take the time to enjoy some wonderful food in Pushkar. There are some great little shops on the main strip that serve up super tasty vegetarian roti wraps, fresh and full of flavour. And be sure to take some time to have a some nourishing chai tea with the locals. Creamy and sweet, a chai tea will keep you uplifted for exploring the rest of this magical town unlike any other in Rajasthan.
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