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Pushkar, Rajasthan, India

Photo, Pictures of, Images, Picture
(February 2012)

Pushkar Lake, surrounded by temples and ghats, on a gorgeous cloudless day.


On the banks of Pushkar Lake in Rajasthan, India. The lake is surrounded by ghats (steps descending into the water) for the many pilgrims that visit. Our hotel overlooked the water, so we could hear the pooja bells ringing every morning at 5 am!


To convert Gretchen's Presta valve rim to fit a Schrader tube I borrowed a round file from a motorcycle repair shop and filed the hole bigger.  No drill needed because the soft aluminum rim was easy to file.  Now she can buy inner tubes anywhere in the world - I think she has big plans.


Kingfishers are awesome little birds. Small birds with a fierce jabbing beak. We saw a kingfisher holding a dead mouse nearly as big as itself.


The lake shores are full of Hindu pilgrims. It is disrespectful to photograph the bathers but plenty of tourists sneak around with their cameras anyway.


Sacred cows in Pushkar are extra friendly and cuddly. They love a good scratch on the head.


Pushkar has a huge counter culture of foreign residents who come for the ashrams and various substances and then never leave.


Every year around the end of October, Pushkar is host to a Camel Fair of epic proportions. There are camel races and mustache contests, undoubtedly an event worth seeing.


While walking around the lake, we were often approached by 'priests' who offered to make prayers for us for exorbitant donations. We met many tourists who were very upset by these bullies. Maybe some of them are legit, but probably not any of the guys we encountered.


One reason Pushkar is so important to Hindus is because it is the site of one of the only Brahma temples in the world. Because of the lake's holy status, meat and alcohol are frowned upon in the town. This does not mean that you will not be offered overpriced beer at every single rooftop restaurant in town.


If you go to Pushkar, I recommend the Bharatpur Palace hotel. It's affordable, right on the water, and it has wifi.


Beautiful light just before sunset on the walk up to Pap Mochani temple. We saw wild peacocks on the way up.


It's recommended to make this hike at sunrise. For those who prefer to sleep during the predawn hours, sunset is equally nice.


Pushkar is surrounded by mountains, making for plenty of hiking opportunities. Most travel agents offer guided sunrise hikes. Or you could just walk off in any direction to find a hill to climb.


Barefooted Gretchen at the Pap Mochani temple just before sunset.


Looking east at the Camel Fairgrounds and the setting sun.


Every sunset is celebrated with a flurry of bell-ringing. Sunrise too, which can be a little hard to get used to.


Another majestic desert sunset.


We visited the local Enfield shop to borrow a round file. They have some beautiful motorcycles for sale. It's tricky for foreigners to legally buy motorcycles in India, so they'll help you out with the paperwork.


A dangerous mini-hunter. Look at the eyes. It's all in the eyes.


The intrepid bike tourist exploring the rosy temples at Osiyan, about 50 km outside of Pushkar. The owner of the guesthouse told us about a murderous scandal that happened here a few years ago. An American tourist was murdered by her teenage son. He threw her body out on a sand dune and split town. The Indian police arrested him trying to board a plane in Jodhpur and he's now serving a murder sentence in an Indian prison. The news reports said he was angry at his parents' divorce eight years prior and his mother's irrational refusal to reconcile with his dad. As he'd been bragging about his plans to kill his mother on his Facebook page for years, no one really bought the 'mysterious stranger' defense.



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