After about a 4 hour drive, we got to Pushkar at Hotel New Park. We had a spot of lunch at the hotel before me and Luke set up camp.

Pushkar is an Indian city that has a heavy religious presence. It’s evident all over the town from a strict ban on alcohol, to the absence of any meat based products. But that doesn’t stop it being any less fun. What I will say is that it’s easy to get drugs here, but maybe give it a miss if you’re on a tight schedule.

We had the afternoon to ourselves, so we done some washing and hanging it up & unpacking bits we need. We had a desert dinner at 6, so we were just relaxing until then.

We didn’t know what to expect on the dinner in the desert. Some people opted to go out on a camel ride (2 hours for 800INR – £10) but we decided against that and got the jeep to the desert. It was a beautiful setting, a little area dedicated to these events. Cushions on the floor to sit on and little tables to eat your food off of.


Once everyone returned back to the group after the camel ride, we started to get some entertainment. First, we had a magician which preformed some amazing, mind-blowing tricks and then next, we all had the option to try on traditional dress and we all did, took loads of pictures too. Finally, we had a group of people playing instruments and Bollywood dancing to the music. Some were acrobats and others were fire dancers, the list went on. It was such a surreal setting and towards the end we got up with them and joined in! 

Our dinner was afterwards and was really nice! Rice, veg soup, dough balls, naan, poppadom, potatoes and sweet pancakes and sugar balls. After dinner, we all returned to bed as we had to be up by 4.15.

The reason we got up at this ridiculously early time was because we were walking up a Brahma hilltop to see the sunrise. This was a long way up and took roughly 45 minutes but it was sooo worth it, the views were incredible and even the monkeys came out to say hello. 

The Brahma hilltop overlooks the entire city, you can see the holy lake in the east and the camel stadium to the south. It’s a sight that puts Pushkar into real perspective, despite its strict conservative lifestyle it’s one of the few places in India that embrace both religion and tourism in this dynamic paradigm in which a journey here would not be complete without a visit to a holy temple. 

We went to the Savitri temple to worship Brahma by ringing the bell and walking around. Our last stop this day, was Pushkar Holy Lake. This was pretty interesting to see the Hindu culture and walk in their shoes to see what they do every day. We had a tray of different stuff with different meanings and said a few prayers. More information below:

Hindu culture

On a tray you have 6 elements;

  • Rice (good food)
  • Red powder (good health)
  • Yellow powder (relation to your soul)
  • Sugar (sweet life)
  • Lotus flowers (good friends, family and relationships)
  • Coconut (Proud heart)

Your priest will explain these followed by some prayers. You throw some of the lotus flowers behind you as a symbol of throwing away bad karma. He then wets the red powder and sticks it in the middle of your forehead between your eyes with some rice on it. You then throw the rest of the stuff in the holy lake for it to come true forever. 

After all this, we went to Out of the Blue restaurant which had the most amazing pancakes ever! Then, we walked back and decided to have a nap as we had a free afternoon. We also decided to have a quick dip in the pool to treat ourselves as we hadn’t had a pool at any of the other places. 6 o’clock arrived and we set out for dinner at the Sunset Café overlooking the Holy Lake, before returning back to bed for another early start at 5am.

Tips

  • Be prepared to not eat meat here as Pushkar is completely vegetarian, borderline vegan – this includes eggs too as they don’t believe in taking a life.
  • When ever you visit something religious, you must take off your socks and shoes.
  • Ensure here that you keep your shoulders and knees covered as it’s a very conservative area in India.
  • Be careful when going to certain places as they will try anything and everything to mug you off at all costs! For example, a couple we went with donated 6,000INR (£69) because the people there were pressuring into doing their prayers and if they don’t it’s good karma, etc. Just walk away if this happens.
  • Public displays of affection are a big no no, if you do this you’ll get a lot of glares, poorer service and different treatment.

About The Author

Wanderlust Lab is a collaboration between Abbie and Luke for the sharing of travelling knowledge to help backpackers and travellers all across the globe. Live Wanderlust.

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