Monday, December 13, 2010

Magical Pushkar and more!

Namaste everyone!

We're currently in Jodhpur, Rajasthan after an extended visit to Pushkar the best place in India thus far! We were only going to stay two nights but managed (after a very lengthy process!) to change our train tickets and stay for four nights.

Pushkar means Push - Flower, and Kar - Hand apparently the lake is the site where one of the Hindu gods Bramha dropped a lotus flower - and the lake appeared! Pushkar also has the only (or maybe one of two?) Bramha temples and 'true Hindu devotees' should visit at least once in their lifetime. So in Pushkar there is a mixture of touristsn and pilgrims visiting the temple - heaps of hippies, dreadlocks are everywhere and the tourists there are very chilled out - possibly as a result of the 'laughing lassi's' that are on offer at every second restaurant. Shopping here was also very fun and relaxing - there is hardly any traffic, just some crazy people on motorbikes every now and then and the store owners so nice! They don't chase you down the street when you don't end up purchasing something from their store and the clothes etc are a wee bit different to the rest of the stuff we've seen so far. Alex bought a cool purple hooded jumper thats hood is really long and pointy (trying to fit into the hippy scene...) and I bought an amazing embroided fabric entrance thingy - really not sure where I am going to use this as I have no double door entrances in my room but I couldn't resist. Among brightly coloured animals, hindu gods and flowers it has the words 'Good Luck' embroided and in hindu 'welcome'.

Below is a shot off our balcony in Pushkar at Paramount Palace Guest House, in the far left there's a lake (can't really see it in that photo sorry) and below our washing hanging in the sun. We managed to bargain down the room to 500 rupees per night (approx. $15) and utilised the balcony at every possible moment. Every minute of the day (and often at night!) there is music playing in Pushkar. Thankfully most of the time it's tasteful and makes walking around the streets and sitting on the balcony just perfect - except for the odd crazy wedding procession - I can't believe the music that comes out of those sound machines and it goes on for at least four hours, the fireworks they use also sound as loud as bombs!

Lake at sundown in Pushkar
For all those desperate to know what Maaza looks like! (rooftop restaurant in Pushkar)

This is the plastic bottle version for all those wondering whether Maaza was only distributed in glass bottles.

Yet another amazing roadside Chai store, 5 rupees a cup (3 or 4 for locals) 
Posing next to a cow next to Pushkar Lake
Wiping cow poo off my feet, stepped in a big juicy fresh one which Alex saw but didn't think to tell me as apparently 'I usually see them'...
Snake charmer in Pushkar 
Millions of pigeons in the bathing ghats, Pushkar
Getting a shave from a very happy (yet later, very demanding) wee chap in Pushkar
Alex now has a greasy Indian moustache
On the top a huge mountain we climbed, there is a temple at the top although I imagine no one makes the trip up there everyday... I could be wrong though but I definitely struggled up the millions of steps! Beautiful view at the top though
Audio guided tour of the fort in Jodhpur haha, we looked geeky but it was actually a really cool audio tour. We arrived in Jodhpur last night and are leaving to Jaisalmer tomorrow night on an overnight train.

The omelette man in Jodhpur - apparently this guy used to make a 'modest living' until one day the lonely planet accidently named his hotel the omelette shop and popped it in the lonely planet since then business has been booming! Apparently some days he goes through over a thousand eggs! We had the massala cheese omelette that was highly reccomended and came with 4 pieces of bread for only 30 rupees (90 cents) and Alex got some boiled then fried eggs which sound revolting but looked delicious, the omelettes were amazing and as I write Alex is trying to make me go there for dinner haha. The omelette man even has a guest book where everyone writes comments about his amazing omelettes and hands you over hard copies of articles people have written about him. A real cutie and such good value!

Tomorrow morning we're off on a village safari in a jeep to the nearby villages of Bishnoi apparently it's an amazing trip and Jodhpur doesn't have a lot going for it apart from the fort so it'll be a nice day out of the city.

Hopefully will get a chance to write another blog soon,

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