I wasn’t expecting anything…before my Indian trip, I’ve read many things about the holy city of Pushkar but everything I found was related to its hippy fame and how much it was ruined by tourists seeking “something” they probably know already too well.
Writing my itinerary, I was tempted to skip it.
But I would have been very wrong.
Our driver left me and my boyfriend at the outskirt of the city and, without saying a word, he disappeared. We looked around with dismay not knowing exactly what to do next. And then something happened…I felt the magic of Pushkar.
We wandered the lively and busy streets, the noise and colors were like a blurry cloud around us…the atmosphere was so intriguing that it’s difficult now to explain which feelings I had.
Looking at my bf, I understood he was feeling the same as me.
We walked aimlessly and visited some temples among the said 500 existing. The most famous one is the Brahma Temple, one of the very few in the world dedicated to the Hindu creator god.
There are may theories on why Brahma has significantly less dedicated temples than the other deities (mainly revolving curses from other Gods), but the truth lies in the sand of time.
We took our shoes off and left our cameras in some lockers (you cannot take pictures inside), we then walked the white marble steps to reach the above temple. Peace and spirituality was all around despite the mass of people and the chaos. A must visit if you want to see Hindu devotion but don’t go if you only want to see an amazing building: the place itself is really small and very simple. It’s the culture that need to be lived.
Travelling Metalhead Fun Fact: I was walking near the Brahma Temple, when an Indian man looked at me and politely asked me if I was Indian…I guess this is the Pushkar magic. I felt so honored by his words, I kind of regretted to say I wasn’t.
The sacred Pushkar lake has 52 ghats from where pilgrims go down to bathe in the sacred waters and one of my favorite memories was sitting down there and walked all around the city lake until the sun set down: one of the most beautiful twilight I ever saw.
We had an encounter with 2 different “holy men” with whom we talked separately. I have read some people would try to do some sort of celebration and then ask you for money, but I was curious to understand and here I was, sitting on a ghat steps listening to him. It was an interesting and touching ceremony of benediction and he also tied a sacred bracelet on me (also called the “Pushkar passport”)…when he asked me for money I tried to understand (I was also ready to change my mind), but he didn’t convince me when I asked him the real reasons why I should. Fortunately he didn’t get angry and we just waved goodbye.
Walking slowly all around the lake shores, we took our time to internalize our sensations, looking at many interesting buildings and smiling at kids having fun bathing and jumping in the side pools.
After a day wandering and intrigued by everything we saw, the night fell and we met another couple whom we became friend with earlier on the trip. I don’t remember who came up with the idea (even if I can suppose it) but we decided to try Bhang Lassi.
What the hell is it?
A lassi is a common Indian drink made of blended yogurt, water and spices (often mixed with fruit).
Bhang Lassi is a special kind of lassi as it’s made with a derivative of cannabis.
What I learnt?
Don’t underestimate its effect!
Drinking it, I felt absolutely nothing.
Going to the hotel (and it was quite a long walk as it was located outside the city), I thought the seller was a cheater and he was surely laughing about us, stupid tourists who just wanted some thrill (how mean of me!)…but when we were in our room something happened. I began to feel paranoid and feared someone will sneak into the room.
I’m not a paranoid person at all and so it felt very strange to start thinking about these things: someone wanted to go in by climbing on the balcony (but it was only some pigeons flying), someone was watching me (but it was the fire alarm red light), the wardrobe was so intimidating (it was a big wooden one in front of the bed) and so on…falling asleep was really hard and I felt pretty bad the morning after.
Then, all of a sudden, the effect disappeared and I realized I got a new exciting memory from my magic time in Pushkar.