the beautiful Pushkar sunsets

Aside from wandering around looking at the temples, shopping in the open air bazaars & sipping some chai tea while talking with other travellers, life at Pushkar seemed to center around the sunset and watching it from the eastern shore of the lake.  Even before the sun hung too low in the sky, the tourists would line up at the cafés near Moon Hotel and have some Indian food, some pizza or other fare and enjoy the singing of the local minstrels.

I came later to learn that the minstrels were Bedouins who lived outside of town in traditional tents or mud-brick houses.  They clung to many of their traditional ways of life including only marrying with other Bedouin families.  Later, I would meet some groups of Gypsies who maintained a distinct cultural tradition.  They too only married within their own group and lived in traditional ways.  But, unlike the Bedouin minstrels, the Gypsies primary source of income was in reading palms, painting henna on the palms and arms of tourists, and in selling bracelets and small jewelry.  I”ll post more about the Gypsies later.

… my German friends as they sample local jewelry for purchase as we await the sunset…

For the rest of the week, while I visited Pushkar, I made the daily dusk pilgrimage to the lake.  For the sake of brevity, I will combine the photos of the week’s sunsets into one post so as not to bore all of you.  Each day I saw the same local characters and came to know them.  My favorite family, the Bedouin minstrel with the yellow-eye daughter, came to play for me each day.  Eventually I met his son (below) and his wife.  I was surprised to learn that his daughter was only 10 years old.

I never grew tired of the whole “relaxing” atmosphere that the “sunset-watching” produced.  The warm chai tea and traditional music against a warm mountain breeze made the memory of Pushkar indelible in my mind.  Half of the fun was just watching the people from around the world as they congregated to this magic spot.

… “Photo!  Photo!  Ten Rupees, photo!”  I made sure to get a photo with the young man who made an appearance each day.  Every day he posed as a different manifestation of Shiva…”

 

Each evening I must have shot a hundred photos of the sun setting.  It was so beautiful and still; the photos just can’t capture the beauty of it.  One evening as I was snapping away, an Indian woman happened to walk through my shot.  Looking at the photo some years later I find that I really like this photo.  She is quite beautiful in her native clothing, a friendly smile on her face, and the contrast of her clothing and the fading sun in the sky…

The last set of photos is a just a collection that I chose showing the sun as it made its way behind the western horizon….


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Pushkar monkeys

As I began my first full day exploring Pushkar I came (quickly) to the realization that the cows, pigs, and dogs are not the only animal inhabitants here; Pushkar is loaded end to end with monkeys.  Walking round the lake I came across a large group of them as they were picking fruit from a tree.

There were quite a few babies and they never strayed far from their mommies.

There is an almost human look when you watch a monkey.  They look just like people, maybe not as smart, but they always look perplexed, like they are trying to figure everything out.

This guy appeared to be one of the leaders of the pack and he watched out over all of the other monkeys.  After my experience at the Taj Mahal, I made sure to keep a safe distance from these interesting creatures.

Oh my, look at that, another cow…  even the monkeys seem to have taken notice…


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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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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.

Back to home page: http://scotttraveler.com