Pushkar is a dusty, charming little town near the center of Rajasthan, Land of the Kings. Any and all parts of India excite -almost overwhelm the senses, and Pushkar is no different. Women dressed in brightly colored saris are a stark contrast to the barren desert covering most of the region. The cachophony of horns and bells from vehicles navigating the streets is endless. Pleasant aromas of cooking curries and burning inscense intertwine with the smells of open sewage and smokey fires in the marketplace. India continues to be completely different from anything I have experienced, and wonderfully so.
The lake of Pushkar contains holy water and is a sacred place for Hindus. There are 52 bathing ghats around the lake where pilgrims bathe in the sacred waters. The lake was created by a Lotus flower that fell from the hand of Brahma, the creator, and here in Pushkar is one of the few Brahman Temples in the world. Another temple honoring Savitri, first wife of Brahma is a one hour trek one a hilltop just outside of town. Ann and I made the trek in the early morning, and the views from the top are stunning.
However, its the market at Pushkar where we spent much of our time, shopping, tasting street food (sshhh...don't tell Ann), and milling about amongst the bustle of every day life. There was a slight market mishap when Ann was nearly run down by a motorcycle coming head-on. An agile side step lead to a collision with a bicycle coming from behind. A small scratch on the leg was mended with some TLC and soothing Indian tea.
A word about the TLC though. Signs posted in most hotels and all corners of the marketplace ask that tourists adhere to a level of modesty embraced by the Hindu religion. Displays of affection, including hugging, kissing, and even holding hands are not appropriate in public. Since Ann and I have been known to be affectionate on occassion (most every occassion that is), its been quite difficult, and made a small market mishap all the worse.