Walk through the labyrinth of alleys and lanes, its bazaars and the ghats to discover the magic of this tranquil town
Pushkar-an oasis town is more than Camel fair that it is mostly associated with. Walk through the labyrinth of alleys and lanes, its bazaars and the ghats to discover the magic of this tranquil town. A few among the many reasons to visit Pushkar include its spirituality - taking a dip in the holy Pushkar Lake and visiting the only Brahma Temple in the country.
There are many things you can do in Pushkar. Camel safaris, hot air balloon rides, partaking in the fascinating temple rituals or drum lessons—you can choose from a number of fun things.
While evenings are best spent strolling by the very famous Pushkar Lake, this town’s streets are lined with shops selling an astounding variety of leather goods, hippie wear, rose products, silver jewellery and a range of handicrafts. Hot air balloon rides that take you soaring above this gorgeous town are, of course, an extravaganza that you cannot miss.
The main street is one long bazaar, selling anything to tickle a traveller’s fancy, from hippy-chic tie-dye to didgeridoos. Despite the commercialism and banana pancakes, the town remains enchantingly small and authentically mystic.
I started my trip in evening. Riding through the desert atop a camel is an amazing experience. It's a bumpy but a rhythmic ride through the quiet desert, the loudest sound being the swish of camel feet on the sand. Hear the mesmerising stories sitting 10 feet above the ground, gently sailing through the desert.
These slow moving camels will take you through dunes to a point from where you can watch the beautiful golden ball dipping beyond the horizon and the sky changing colour from evening red to violet and then darkness slowly engulfing the whole expanse. The best time to go on the safari is before the sun sets.
Evenings at Pushkar are best spent sipping hot coffee by the lake side. Watch the day bidding adieu and a beautiful evening taking over. Spend some quiet hours sitting on the stairs of the lake listening to the music coming from all directions - hymns and bells from the temple, nagara beats from the ghat, gentle strumming of a guitar from some cafe and the sound of Ravanhatha being played by some bhopa musician sitting just next to you. While you are lost in the music, the lake turns gorgeous with the reflection of town lights and numerous stars. I love watching the day end by the lake side and being just with me; slowly pilgrims leave temples, tourists go back to the market or the hotels, sanyasis go hiding into their kutiya and you are left alone on the stairs gazing at the glittering sky and the lake. The calm cool air from the lake fills you with tranquillity.
The next morning I was going to do something which I can’t even dream. Hot balloon ride gives you an opportunity to avoid the crowds and at the same time experience the fair. Glide gently above the crowd over the vast expanse of the dunes to get an amazing bird's eye view of the fair and the desert. Drift over the lake and the temples of this ancient sacred town and feel the magic of floating over this motley humanity. The best time to take a ride is at sunrise when the soft rays of the sun slowly light up the temples, ghats and the ancient buildings surrounding the lake. It's a once-in-a-lifetime experience and capturing it all in the morning light is a dream-come-true for any photographer.
The best way to unwind after a fun filled day is to enjoy the Kalbelia dance performance. It is one of the most sensuous dance forms of Rajasthan performed by the lively Kalbelia tribe, a nomadic community that was essentially a community of snake-charmers until it was outlawed by the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972. With their charm, unbelievably flexible serpentine shimmying and their lovely traditional black attire, they have the talent to absolutely mesmerise you. The beats and the movements will surely instigate you to join them in their dance.
And how a trip can end without going for a shopping. A good mix of ethnic and hippie culture reflects in Pushkar market. There's a lot to shop for, so keep at least half a day exclusively for shopping. Pushkar is known for its traditional silver jewellery, ethnic clothes, leather bags and rose products.
When I am visiting any place, food is very important thing I look for because it gives the taste of a place. And Pushkar is heaven for foodies with a range of roadside restaurants, rooftop cafes and eateries serving a wide variety of food. Some of the not-to-miss foods in Pushkar are malpua and kachori at Sarweshwar at mithai wali gali.
I did'nt mentioned bout the iconic Brahma temple as many things have already said about the only sign of lord Brahma. So, a picture which is equivalent to my thoughts