This year started on a really good note for me in terms of one thing – travel. I went on two trips towards end of December. One of those was living this dream of visiting Pushkar, a small town in Rajasthan which I wanted to visit since a long time, so did my very close friend, Moksha. Hence, off we set on the very 1st of January to the land we were craving to see, Pushkar.
Pushkar is a small town in the Ajmer district of Rajasthan, famous for the holy lake which is surrounded by some 52 bathing ‘ghats’ and around 400 temples, along with probably the only Brahma temple in India. There are many legends associated with how the lake was created, the most famous one being that Brahma was searching for a place to perform Mahayagna (a holy activity) and found this place suitable, but he came to know that a demon was killing people here. So, he killed the demon by a lotus flower on which he intoned a ‘Mantra’ , the parts of the lotus fell at three places, one of which was the Pushkar lake. After this Brahma performed a yagna to protect this place from demons. The consort of Brahma, Saraswati, were needed to offer Ahuti for the Yagna but she was not there that time so Gayatri, a Gurjar girl, was married to Brahma and performned Yagna. This act made first wife of Brahma, Saraswati, angry and she cursed Brahma saying that he would be worshiped in Pushkar only (explanation taken from Wikipedia). That’s why the Brahma temple is famous in Pushkar while there are hardly any Brahma temples in India, despite it being one of the most important Gods as per Hindu mythology – the creator. Lately, the place has also become famous for its hippy crowd and is thronged by foreign tourists all year round.
We reached Pushkar on 1st afternoon. While our train journey was extremely fun because of all the gossip we did and the luxury that Shatabdi trains are, my mood got put off once we actually reached Pushkar. I thought the reason was that it seemed too quiet and gloomy in the afternoon. You will know the real reason as you read further. The lake is surrounded by numerous white colored temples and various ghats. Its a beauty, only I didn’t feel enthralled by it at that time.
We went to visit the Brahma temple, after checking in. We wanted to see the two famous things in Pushkar, the Brahma temple & the Sati temple. Since Sati temple is on top of a hill, you need ample time for that. The Brahma temple was very beautiful with its main area done in turquoise blue with other complementing colors. When do you see a temple in turquoise blue? One other thing that stood prominently about the temple was that people had contributed tiles in the names of their loved ones and the entire temple was full of such tiles, even the ones dating long ago.
Post the temple visit, we started walking in the market in the hope of getting something to eat (and, of course, shop). So, here’s how it is in Pushkar – the holy lake is surrounded by temples and ghats, and you can exit the lake area from any ghat and reach the market, its like the market and lake are adjacent, with the ghats acting as a bridge between the two.
After checking out a bit of the market and filling ourselves with Kadhi Kachori (a snack from Rajasthan in which kachori, fried Indian puff filled with lentils/onions, is served with kadhi, an Indian gravy/sauce made out of curd or buttermilk, it is one amazing snack!), we came back to the lake to attend the evening aarti, a mesmerizing experience in itself.
After that, we headed straight to the market to get some dinner. We had heard about this famous place, Cafe Sunrise, I loved how vibrant and celebratory feel this place exuded, but the food was pretty average. After that, we headed back to our hotel. Again, on foot because our hotel was around the lake itself.
We thought that we will go visit the Sati temple if we manage to wake up early in morning the next day. As you may have guessed, that didn’t happen. So, we started our day by visiting the lake again, and it looked so serene, peaceful and beyond beautiful. It is then when I realized that the reason I wasn’t enthralled yesterday was due to my mood not being good because of some reasons, which got sorted by the end of day. Although, there is a lot of credit to give to the beautiful morning too. I think mornings in Pushkar are beautiful beyond description.
After roaming a bit, we went to Cafe U-Turn for breakfast. This is my most recommended place in Pushkar, without a doubt! This cafe is amazing as hell in terms of food, view from their rooftop seating & overall ambience. The best thing is the view. You would want to sit here forever and look at the lake while having a hearty breakfast. Not to mention the warmth of the sun in winters. 🙂
I can safely say that it was one of my favourite trips so far, you all might feel more inclined towards the other place that I visited, about which I’ll post soon but if I had to go again, I’ll go to Pushkar in a heartbeat! 🙂