Pushkar Lake

I walked around to the south side of the lake and from here you can see the steps where everyone watches the sunset (tan steps in middle right of photo between two white buildings and below the tree line).  There are 52 bathing Ghats surrounding the lake that the pious Hindus dip into.  They believe that the water will cure skin ailments and has restorative powers to health.

Also known as Pushkar Sarovar, the lake is mentioned as a tourist site as early as 2,400 years ago when it was inscribed on coins of the period.  The number of travellers to the lake was also mentioned by Chinese traveller Fa Xian in the 5th Century AD.  In the 9th Century AD, a Rajput King, Nahar Rao Parkikar drove a white boar he was hunting to the edge of the lake.  There he put his hand into the water and a skin ailment that he was suffering from vanished.  He had the lake restored and it has continued to draw pious pilgrims in the centuries following.

The photo below is shot from the same location as the top photo but towards the left (northwest).  It is on the north and western shores of the lake that have the greatest concentration of Ghats.  You can also see the town of Pushkar, most of the “downtown” area is in the background of this photo.

 

Here is another shot looking towards the northwest.  This photo was taken from the southeast short of the lake near the pedestrian causeway.

In addition to the bathing Ghats, there are dozens of temples.  I visited a few of them and will post their photos later.  I shot this tall white spired temple on the east shore of the lake against the hills in the afternoon sun.


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cows, cows and more cows

While I was uploading my “old” travel stories and photos (they were previously emailed to friends and family & I’m just now getting around to blogging them some 4 years later) and I realized that there were so many cows in my shots.  I took a look at 24 hours worth of photos from 12 & 13 October and realized that I had all of these cows plus the cow shot on the previous “Pushkar” blog post.  Yes, India really has a lot of cows…

The cows seem to roam around the city eating what every happens to be “left” on the street (below) & drinking wherever there is standing water (above).  I can’t testify to the health of the cows and as I didn’t eat any burgers in India I can’t gauge their consistency based on my digestion.  They seemed cute enough – when they weren’t blocking traffic and I was in a hurry…

The cows seem to be the local variety adapted to the warm weather; they carry a large flap of skin under their neck that acts like a great radiator or air conditioner.  The wind blows past and cools the blood inside.

It seems that the cows were always drinking from the gutter (below) and considering what one finds in the gutter, one can be glad that cows are not eaten with regularity here…  Near where this cow was drinking I spotted a pig bathing in the same open gutter trench (second photo below).

This fine specimin allowed me to take his photo with the Pushkar Lake in the background.

This “newbie” is learning the ropes and checking wrappers to determine what is and what isn’t lunch.  The young cows always have a certain passive and innocent look.  It’s nice to think that this cow will live to old age without fear of McDonalds or Burger King…


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the Jaipur Observatory

… the Armilliar sphere instrument…

I had heard about the exotic observatory in Jaipur and it was on my “to do” list before I departed.  But with my short visit time to this wonderful city, I only had a small window to make a visit.  My bus to Pushkar was departing at just after noon so I would have to make my visit after breakfast.

… the Large Sundial…

I pre-arranged with my “regular” driver Lucky to take me to the observatory and wait for me outside to take me back to the hotel.  Lucky had proven to be a reliable driver and this made me confident that I would be able to see the observatory despite my limited time.

… the Hemispherical Sundials…

The Observatory was quite interesting.  The ancient Indians were able to track the time exactly, even allowing for geographical error based on where the observatory is compared to the longitudinal lines of the earth.  They plot the date(s), eclipses, and track the movement of the sun and moon through the 12 signs of the zodiac.

Not only where there many Indians at the observatory, but I also saw Germans, Dutch, and even some Chinese.  Regardless of the language spoken, there were tour guides who seemed to speak any language so that no tourist was without a speaking tour guide.  Above, some Indians listened to their tour guid as he described the Hemispherical Sundials that tracked the time of day between the autumnal and vernal equinoxes.  Below, the Amilliar Spherical Instrument counts one hour for each white band of marble as the sun passes overhead.

Like the large sundial (second photo on this page), the small sundial (below) casts a shadow from the staired tower to curved dial below.

The first observatory was built in Delhi and later moved to Jaipur.  Its construction was directed by the Maharajah Sawai Jai Singh II in the early 18th Century.

… my tour guide explains how the sun moves across the arc of the dial…

… the Small and Large Sundials…

The Ram Yantra device is used for finding the azimuth of the sun, moon and stars on the horizon.

The Hemispherical Ball Instrument tracks the suns position as it moves not only daily, but its movement throughout the year.  The shadow of the ball is cast into a large bowl; its movement can be measured through the grid of marks inside the bowl face.


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Stories, posts, reports, photos, videos and all other content on this site is copyright protected © and is the property of Scott Traveler unless otherwise indicated, all rights reserved. Content on this site may not be reproduced without permission from Scott Traveler. My contact information can be found on the home page.

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