Are we having fun yet?!

Trip Start Jul 12, 2003
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of India  ,
Thursday, January 8, 2004

From the moment we disembarked from our overnight train from Udaipur in the non-descript town of Ajmer at the lovely time of 4am, our trip seemed to take a downward turn. Of course Ajmer was pretty much deserted, except for all the blanket shrouded homeless bodies covering the railway station floor, so we didn't have much choice but go with some old dude in his auto-rickshaw to the nearby town of Pushkar. It was pitch black dark and freezing cold, and once we began winding our way up the steep hills dividing Ajmer from Pushkar we broke down.

After about 10 icy long minutes we were on our way again, until we stopped just outside Pushkar at a ramshackle building manned by a dodgy old guy wanting us to fork over money for the 'Pushkar passenger tax', what a joke! Of course we weren't going to hand over a cent (or a rupee for that matter), and despite being yelled at, stood our ground, until the guy finally gave up on us when Steve asked to see his government ID which he didn't have an answer for.

On our way once more, we were soon ambushed by a bunch of young, over-enthusiastic guys demanding to know which hotel we wanted to stay in (in India, if anyone accompanies or leads you to a hotel they get paid commission and your room rate goes up to cover this). Why these guys were out and about at 4.30am in the dark and freezing cold waiting for tourists to hassle, I do not know. Get a life, people! After a bit of yelling then ignoring we managed to be rid of them. By the time we got to town we were so over it all and managed to bang on the door of a guesthouse and wake the owner sleeping in the foyer so he could let us in.

After our warm welcome into town, it was time to do some exploring. Pushkar is known as a pilgrimage site for Hindus due it's holy lake and rare Brahma temple, and also seems to be a magnet for hippy backpackers in search of...something. The lake itself is really picturesque as it's set in the middle of town with steps leading down to it, where locals wash clothes and pilgrims bathe. Ringed around the lake are many, many market stalls, a shoppers paradise! So yes, it's touristy, but in a fun kind of way as long as you avoid the various touts and 'pretend' holy men trying to press flowers into your palm for a holy offering (at a nice price I'm sure). Unfortunately, after not too long, one of us, who shall remain nameless, finally succumbed to the dreaded Delhi belly - noooo! So while two explored the town and circumnavigated the lake, one of us spent time doing a whole lot of nothing.

On our last night in Pushkar we went and watched the sunset over the lake, along with an assortment of other tourists, flute players, snake charmers, beggars and other annoying beings. The view was spectacular though and worth putting up with the surrounding circus. Armed with many newly acquired scarves, some priceless(!) memories and with one of us in a near delirious state, it was off on our merry way in a rattly, over-crowded bus to see what adventures awaited us in Jodhpur...
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Ranjrrt kumbhar on

yaaaa its awsm

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