Day 08 - Friday, November 4, 2016 - Explore Pushkar; Visit Fair; Traditional Dancing
We were up with the birds at 6:00 this morning. There were a flock of noisy parakeets flying over the tent camp making sure everyone of us knew first light was coming. The early morning temperature was 57 degrees and the humidity was 79%.
Music was already coming from the gypsies in the area and we could hear the men preparing the camp for the day. We went to the dining tent for breakfast that included many Indian specialties.
Since we have been to Pushkar, there has been no meat served; everything is vegetarian. These people do eat eggs and all kinds of dairy products they get from the cows they raise.
At 8:00 we left for the town of Pushkar and the city center. On the way, our driver Sadish had to stop twice for scores of camels and their herders taking them to the market to get the best price early in the morning.
The herders must register as they enter the city. The authorities keep track of each herder, his hometown, how many camels or other livestock they bring, and the number of days they plan to stay at the fair.
When we arrived at Pushkar, we continued on the Pilgrims Path or spiritual walk. We passed a Krishna Temple. Once the home of a rich merchant, it is now on the path for pilgrims. We talked to many Indians who asked to have their photos taken with us.
We hear “Selfie? Selfie?” as we walk down any street. There are so few foreigners in the city and we must look unique with our light eyes and hair that everyone seems to be fascinated with us. Just OAT – Old American Tourists!
Making our way to the Holy Lake Pushkar, we sat on the steps (ghat) of the lake where we were blessed and purified by a priest. We were assured a good life, a happy life, a sweet life, and good health from this day forward.
As we repeated the mantra of the blessing, we also prayed for blessings for our family and friends and for our ancestors. All of you should breathe a little easier knowing that your karma has been improved by our visit to Lake Pushkar.
Photos were allowed only after the ceremony and only of the general panorama of the lake. Photos of the bathers were strictly forbidden.
Gennie happened to smile and greet one of the Sadhu – a high priest. He stopped and blessed her by touching the top of her head, her shoulders, and adding another sacred chant. We are in the good graces with the Hindu gods today!
For another special experience we visited an Ash Ram, a sacred temple of the Nath sect. We met the yogi or monk of the temple and he was very welcoming. A young twelve-year-old novice blessed us with holy ashes.
About 10 of us took our lives into our hands to join the throng of Indians to climb the steep stairs and visit the Brahma temple. At the top of the stairs each person rang the brass bell as a sign of respect to the god Brahma.
Brahma is the originator of the world and one of the three principal male gods of Hinduism. The legend goes that this is the only temple to the god Brahma in the world because Brahma’s wife cursed him for taking another younger wife.
Of the 1.3 billion people who live in India today, at least .3 billion were in Pushkar today. Sujay told us that when the fair finishes and all of these camel traders, herders, vendors, and spectators go back home, the village would be quiet with almost nothing happening. The locals must make almost all of their yearly income during these 10 days.
At 1:00 we returned to the tent camp by way of the auto tuk-tuks. Several more groups had arrived and the cooks had prepared another meal of local cuisine for us.
We had the afternoon to ourselves and then at 4:00 we could go back to the fair grounds for another 3 hours. We opted to stay at the camp and go through our over 300 photos and begin the journal.
As much as we enjoyed the fair yesterday and the city center today, we can only take so much sun and heat. The temperature back at the camp was 89 degrees.
As Kipling said:
“Only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the mid day sun.”
Accommodations: Aagman India Travel & Living - - - Meal: B, L, D
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Love your Pushkar Lake picture. Very artistic with great colors.
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Wow - what an experience!! Sounds like you are having a wonderful and blessed time!
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