Published: August 22nd 2008August 17th 2008
Pushkar is very much like a smaller Jaisalmer - similar havelis and dress...the differences are that there's virtually no hassle and it has the beautiful holy Lake...People were incredibly friendly and even the turbanned men wanted to have their photgraphs taken and spruced up their 'taches in preparation!
It's very spiritual, with literally hundreds of temples and there are 52 bathing ghats around the holy lake. Ghandi's ashes were sprinkled into the waters here and chanting, bells and music follow you all day long. Meat, eggs and alcohol are forbidden....
My plan was to take off and get taxis into Ajmer on at least one night, if only to get a beer (okay, so it's not very spiritual...) but it never happened anyway...I arrived at the hotel, did an hour's yoga in the peace and calm at the top of the hotel, then managed to get too sick to get out of bed for two days. E-coli and amoebic dystentry - fab. Something picked up after I left Calcutta.
At least I started to feel better before my 4am ride out in an open-sided jeep with a half awake driver!) back over the mountains, Ajmer and the train back
Before I left, at dusk, I made offerings at the Lake, threw in handfulls of scented blossoms, and wished.....someone put a red dye bindi on my forehead, pressed crushed blossom into it, and I now have two small strings, one red, one yellow - tied to my bag, to remind me of this magical, inspiring place.
There are more photos below