Sunday, May 10, 2015

Camel Safari

We went on a camel safari too - our original plan had been to do an overnight in the desert, but at this time of year it was just too hot so we went for an evening ride instead.

Pushkar Temples

The lake is surrounded by 52 bathing ghats and around 400 temples.  Pilgrims bathe in the sacred waters and perform ceremonies alongside the ghats.  One of teh ghats is called the Gandhi Glat where some of Gandhi's ashes were sprinkled.  Devout Hindus make at least one pilgrimage in their lifetime to Pushkar and bathe at the holy ghats to wash away their sins and earn a place in heaven.

Inn Seventh Heaven

We stayed in a place called Inn Seventh Heaven, an old haveli with a central courtyard with a fountain, and several floors of rooms and galleries overlooking the courtyard.  On the top of the hotel was a restaurant called Sixth Sense which had great views - above is our view looking towards the lake and the Savitri Temple on the hill.  You can also see the old Rangji Temple, built in Southern Indian style with a gateway with 360 deities carved on it.

Looking the other way was a hill with the Gayatri Temple on it.  We had been told it was a good one to climb at sunrise, but this would have meant getting up at around 5.15 am (not a great thing to do on a holiday) so we decided to climb it at sunset instead.

Eat, Pray, Shop in Pushkar

The first weekend of May was a long weekend - we had both Friday and Monday off school - so I wanted to get away to a small place with not too much travel involved.  So for this trip we went to Pushkar, a town of pilgrimage, where legend claims its lake was created from the petals that fell from the hands of Brahma, the Creator.  Today life revolves around its lakeside ghats, temples and vibrant colourful bazaars.

In Pushkar, rows of ghats lead down to the mystically placid lake from hundreds of milky-blue temples.

Pushkar also has the only Brahma Temple in the world.  This is because according to legend Brahma's wife Savitri, annoyed that he married another wife (Gayatri), vowed that this would be the only place where he would be worshipped.  There are temples to both Savitri and Gayatri on the surrounding hills.

On our first day we walked around the ghats, and then in the early evening went to the Sunset Cafe for Sizzlers and to watch the sun go down.