Friday, March 16, 2012


Sorry I haven't updated this in a while. Honestly, I don't know how many people are still reading it. We seem to attract a bigger audience when we're in Imminent Danger.

Anyway, welcome to Pushkar, hippie capital of Rajasthan. Lots of temples, lots of markets, lots of haggling over goods and enlightenment. As always, click on the photos to embrahmanate.

The whole main drag is like a crafts fair/farmers' market on steroids. You got your clothes, your leather goods, your music shops, your painters, your stationery, your pottery, your weaponry...

And your food.

The cows go without saying by now.

But the view overlooking the lake is splendid, and the rooftop cafes serve some unbelievable food. A fact I find fascinating considering my usual culinary excursions given that Pushkar is meat-free, egg-free and dry.

Various ghats, or public baths, surround the lake, which is considered sacred because it apparently formed when Brahma dropped a lotus from heaven. Not sure about the hydrological aspects of that one.

That last one with the monkey is where Gandhi's ashes were scattered.

But wait! That's not all! Pushkar is one of the best places to take camel rides into the desert. Below is Karen and her adopted guide at a gallop.

I think we mentioned this previously, but various camel contingents all alight on the same dune at sunset, when the musicians come out to play. It's quite lovely. They also offer overnight excursions for those needing to get their spit-roasted lamb outside the city limits and sleep in a tent. Karen was having none of that.

So I settled for buying the CD. $10 and completely rights-free. Look for some music attached to upcoming videos.

Everyone seems to complain about camels: they stink, they spit, they're always in a foul mood. I found them to be delightful, if a bit boney for my western-style butt.

Pushkar really comes alive at night. Everyone and their cow comes out to party. Not pictured: the idiot teenagers on the motorcycles zooming through these streets, swerving around the peds. One comes by about every thirty seconds. As Calvin (of Hobbes) put it on his school safety poster, Be Alert or Be Roadkill.

A final note: you know how I said this city was dry? Did you believe me? Did you not realize we're in India, where all things are possible?

The street level restaurants won't serve because it's too easy for the police to walk by and ruin the party. But the rooftop restaurants will discreetly pour you as much Kingfisher as you can handle, four flights up. I recommend joining a table of other travelers of the ex-pat variety and getting some pizzas.