Holy Pushkar

After a relaxing few days in Udaipur, we took the train about 6 hours north to get to the small town of Pushkar.  Pushkar is one of the holiest places in India and is somewhere that every Hindu should make a pilgrimage to at least once during their lifetime.

The focal point of Pushkar is its large lake which is completely surrounded by temples along the perimeter. The water in the lake is thought to be holy so many locals come here for their daily prayer and to bathe themselves.

On our first morning here, we were walking down to check out the lake and met two guys who convinced us to go along with them to one of the temples so that they could do a puja (prayer) with us today, which was “the most holy day of the year”.  At the end we were asked for a big donation which we obviously resisted and then things started to get a bit heated.  Luckily for us we didn’t have much money on us at all but we still gave a fair few rupees to get out of there.

As you can imagine, being a holy Hindu place, there cows everywhere.  This was something that we were by now reasonably used to as cows seem to be allowed to roam freely all throughout India, however Pushkar was something else.  What was also surprising was that not only are people tolerant of cows being around (even when they’re sleeping in the middle of the road) but they go out of their way to feed them or pat them in the hope that it will help give them some positive karma.

Despite our earlier experience down at the holy lake, we did head down there once more to check it out, however this time when we were met with another local who offered to do another puja with us we were explicit about what we were willing to donate which prevented him pulling a similar stunt and also made it a much more enjoyable experience for us.

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