Pushkar Revisited: Paradise regained or a momentary reprieve?

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October 7th 2010
Published: November 30th -0001
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Flooded PushkarFlooded PushkarFlooded Pushkar

August 21st 2010 after another monsoonal downpour.
For those who follow this blog, you might remember a piece I did after visiting Pushkar in February 2010 entitled “Pushkar: Paradise Lost”.

In that blog I talked about the sad state of affairs leading to the then empty Pushkar Lake. I was quite despondent about the future for Pushkar Lake and therefore Pushkar.

I was again in Pushkar at the end of August - and arrived just after 3 days of very intense monsoonal rains. The streets on the way into Varah Ghat were flooded.

And then I reached the Lake: It was near full and within a week WAS full. Amazing!

This years monsoon has been a ‘one in a hundred years’ event in terms of it’s intensity and volume. This is witnessed by the tragedies befalling Pakistan and Leh (Ladahk) from flooding along the Indus River (and in the case of Leh - cloudbursts).

But one places’ tragedy is another’s blessing. Pushkar gained the benefits of so much rain and against all the odds the Lake was filled again.

This is great news…… HOWEVER…. I will need to see what the case is when I again visit Pushkar in January. Already I have heard from my friend Surender (a local) that over one month the level of the Lake had gone down one meter (not insignificant leakage). This is a worry - you will remember from my other blog that my fear was that the dredging that took place may have been a threat to the integrity of the lakes floor membrane. That may well be the case given the one meter loss in level over the first month since the monsoons.

We will see.

My other concern is that the locals (and Brahmins in particular who are the real ‘caretakers’ and ‘beneficiaries’ of the lake - not to disregard the spiritual benefit to hundreds of thousands of Hindu pilgrims) now have an attitude that Brahma has saved them and they need do nothing. This is not entirely fair as there are some signs of changed behaviour and messages about caring for what goes into the Lake. But I do fear that for the most part - the amount of rubbish and sewerage that ends up in the Lake will now continue and thus pose an ongoing threat (remembering that in the first place the Lake went toxic a couple of years back).

So…. just an update for those interested - some very positive news but “watch this space”!

Additional photos below
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8th October 2010

Fascinating as always and sensational photos as always too Paul. Mahoosive hugs Marguerite
30th October 2010

Amazing lake
I can't believe the photos - I was just showing a friend my India photos last night including an empty Pushkar lake (and the signs including the Bundi palace video one). Hopefully Mohan will lead by example looking after the lake. Enjoyed reading your blogs this morning, I feel in touch with India again - bet you slinked away from your 'free feed'!

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