Blessed, chilled out, but no water in the lake!
Trip Start Oct 13, 2009
82Trip End Jan 01, 2010
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I read this in the newspaper when I first arrived in India all those months ago. They are busy cleaning it and also trying to make it deeper. I was hoping that almost 3 months later the water would be back.
After gentle stroll from the hotel - Pushkar is a village so its not a hike to the lake - I arrived at a ghat, went down the steps and surprise surprise no water! Mmmmmm Pushkar without water was lacking something. No nice photos of temples, buildings or sunsets/sunrise reflected in the lake then!
Oh well. Went off to the Brahma temple to get myself blessed. Well everyone eventually gets talked into doing the Pushkar Puja Indian and western tourists alike so thought get it over and done with
Sans shoes into the temple with my flowers and other offerings. Priest emptied a few of my flowers out near the shrine, put a few others back in my newspaper parcel. Remembering to hold the parcel in my right hand, back down the steps, picked up my shoes and off to the ghat.
Shoes off again, met my Brahmin priest and down to the waters edge. There is still some water in the ghats so puja is still poss. Flowers from my newspaper parcel were added to a whole collection of other offerings: red powder, yellow powder, rice, string and more flowers. Each has its own significance. Priest said a mantra/blessing, I repeated it a few times. Forehead was annointed with some of the red powder and rice, string was tied round my right wrist (i'm not married!) and the rest of the offerings were poured into the water. Another blessing whilst holding a coconut and that was it. Why a coconut? I have no idea! Back up the steps, gave the coconut to the man collecting the money (yes of course you have to pay!) They decided I was a student (not for quite some time!!) so could pay the student rate for the blessing! I didnt put them right so does that mean the blessing wont work??
Then off into the bazaars and market to see what tourist tat I could find. Yup Pushkar is tourist tat heaven and I had prizes for the photo competition to find. Very very quickly I found two 'lovely' prizes for the two people who are currently tied for 1st place. You guys are going to be sooooo happy when you receive them!
Wander around the streets behind the bazaar to find a wedding procession (with a very bored looking groom sat in a horse drawn carriage - ok maybe he was just nervous!), lots of fab buildings, so many temples (there are 100s surrounding the lake here) and also a group of kids who decided to put on a song and dance routine on the steps of one temple as soon as they saw my camera
Had a quick lunch then went off to pay the bill. This is when I saw the kitchen and for the first time this trip seriously thought I would get ill. Maybe other kitchens were also bad but I hadnt seen them. Luckily the stomach kept up the sterling work and I wasnt ill afterwards!
Then found the old Ranjgi (spelling isnt right!) temple - a mixture of north and south indian architecture. Fab paintings on the walls outside the main temple, lots of towers with carvings inside but that's all I could see. This was one of the temples where I couldnt go in. Very fustrating as it looked spectacular inside. This was the temple I had seen from the roof terrace of my hotel the afternoon before during sunset. It looked good then and it was even better close up. To make up for the disappointment of not being allowed inside, I found somehwere for cake and a pot of tea! Cakeometer had been stuck for a few days so it had to be cake when I saw the menu!
Relaxing stroll back to the hotel, read and lounged on the roof (god its a hard life) then decided to have a non-Indian dinner (ok if you dont count the lassi!) so had a pizza. And a very yummy pizza it was too! Dessert I had pre-ordered. I had spotted that they made fresh cakes and desserts and on the list was apple crumble. The last time I had tried apple crumble (in the Hyatt in Kathmandu) it had been cold well still frozen if the truth be told and was impossible to eat (unbelievable a 5 star hotel and they couldnt do a decent apple crumble). But I thought all cakes etc were made here from scratch so the chance of a warm crumble had to be big! Half an hour later a steaming hot apple crumble made its way to my table. It was fantatsic! Wolfed it down very very quickly and went to bed very happy and content!