Living in the sacred city of Pushkar, India.

In our now 14 months old Asian adventure, we have redefined for ourselves the definition of “living here”.  Whereas there is usually some concept of extended time associated with “living here’, we have come to think of living in a place as being more of a state of mind.As of today, we have no plans to move out of Pushkar.We have a place to stay that is clean, has hot water, comfy bed, and windows and that we can afford.  Not only that, but it has an incredible location ~ over looking the Sacred Lake. Right in the thick of things!

We have started to develop daily routines and locals in the nearby stores and restaurants on the street recognise and know us.

The feeling is that we now live here, in Pushkar.

We like it here!

Come ~ let me show you around our new digs!
One of the oldest original hotels in Pushkar, built right on the sacred lake. The door beyond the cafe at the top of the picture is the door to our bedroom. Small but great location with an amazing view over the lake.
Meeting Astha from Delhi. Fellow artist and traveler. Passionate about life, cooking and animals.
Archaic passageway of archways bordering the holy lake of Pushkar. Steps away from our new home.
Captivating view from the patio outside our room. The sacred lake has a constant flow of  people who have come from all regions, to bathe in the holy waters.
Beautiful arched architecture of Old Rangji Temple a few minutes away.
Being so close to (in fact perched over) the holy lake of Pushkar, we have taken to going in the early morning and or late afternoon to witness the colourful bathing ritual.  For a country and culture that is usually quite prudish, it is astonishing that women who come to the lake, partially disrobe, and bathe under the gaze of by-standers …  Somehow, the lake is a special zone where customary reserve and definition of decency is altered. Saris are wrung out and laid to dry in the sun, and women, men and children spend time engaging in one of the oldest bathing rituals at one of the holiest sites in India.
Making friends with visitors to the lake. Many come from distances far away to be here at this holiest of times during the religious festival which coincides with the timing of the camel fair.
The lake becomes the central place for congregating and socialising.
In addition to people at the sacred lake, there are plenty of cows and large monkeys that come by as well.
Waiting for the evening prayer, (aarti) to begin.
If the morning activity centers around bathing rituals, the early evening is about religious rituals at the lake.  The soft glow of the sun at dusk bathes the entire area in a soft peach tones of light. The sounds are constant ~ bells ringing, the conch being blown, OM being chanted…. over and over again. Every evening.
This view is directly from our bedroom window. Always amazing now matter how many times we look at it. Hard to believe we are living right here with an all day view of one of the holiest places in India!
Just two blocks from our home is the Old Rangji Temple.  This ancient HIndu temple is still active as a place of worship, but it is also where some of our new friends are located.  This is where we come regularly for yoga practice ~ on a roof top, overlooking the amazing architecture of the temple, sometimes with large monkeys sashaying by and watching us curiously.
One of the entrances to Rangji Temple.
Quite an inspiring place to do yoga!
While doing yoga there is the constant sound of prayer  rituals from the various temples around us.
( Bells, conch blowing, OM chanting.)
Teacher Dr Kamal is not only a yogi, but also a reflexologist, astrologer and naturopath. (Almost all Indians consult astrologers on a regular basis, particularly before and important event or meeting.)

 

Old Rangji temple is also where Peta has started taking Indian singing (Hindi ragas meditation) and drum percussion classes.

From inside the tiny room, more like a closet, where music lessons are held. Closed by a curtain,  an occasional cow walks by during class or women in bright saris, on their way to prayer.
Vini, Peta’s ever patient singing and drum teacher.
Inside the music room, a variety of different instruments.
Getting the beat. Peta has always wanted to try her hand at drums. Harder than it looks, but the challenge for her is part of the fun!
Even Ben gets drawn in for a lesson one day… “You try it, and see how difficult it is.”
Couple of minutes away from where we are living, Ben takes advantage of super cheap, massage-inclusive shaves.
Still a few steps down the road, is where Ben goes for his daily chai ~ Indian tea with milk.  It is not only great tea, it is also an ideal location to sit and watch the constant free movie scene that is Pushkar. (Chai is served in small little clay cups which add an earthiness to the flavor of the tea.)
Huge baskets of bright flowers for sale. These are used as part of the prayer ritual at the Sacred Lake.
Here is one of the Chai guys ~ Each vendor creates his own recipe for the balance of tea, milk and spices.
Indians do love sweets!
Cashew nut stew with yogurt raita and chapati. Pushkar is a Vegetarian City by law and no meat is ever allowed.
Huge pans full of a variety of batter for sweet making.
Women in bright red saris, selling vegetables in the street every day.
We never tire of the infusion of bright colors which by all day long.
Colored powdered dyes made from plants are used not only as watercolors but to create mandalas (powder designs.)
Owner of the local CD store which has a great collection of Indian music. The painted stripes on his forehead are indicative of his being part of the Vishnu sect. He also leads the evening aarti (prayer) for his temple, just as his family has been doing for 400 years.

Perhaps the blog gives the impression that Peta is the animal lover in residence.  But make no mistake ~ if Peta gets animated at the sight of cats and dogs and elephants, especially if they appear hungry or sick, my (Ben) penchant for animal interaction kicks in when cows and monkeys become a normal part of our daily activities.

The very cutest little guy…. offering up some greens for the day.
Cows are an integral part of daily life in India. They are considered sacred and  are often in the middle of the street, with traffic going around them, but not bothering them.
A monkey takes advantage of consuming food items laid out for the gods in front of a temple.
Baby monkey snuggles in with its mom near the lake.
These monkeys are congregating below our room, at the lake.
Prayer candles in the street near the lake.

8 thoughts on “Living in the sacred city of Pushkar, India.

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      It definitely can be overwhelming! Add to that a high level of noise as well. A country of extreme contrasts. Thanks for your comments!

  1. Maya

    Great post and pictures! When we were in Pushkar we weren’t too impressed, mostly because of all the Israelis and Hebrew signs (and Indians speaking to us in Hebrew), so it’s nice to get a different perspective, looks really amazing.

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Thanks! We did have a really good felafel in the street one night. Pushkar is incredible! Most amazing to actually live there and experience it day in and day out…both during the camel fair, the most sacred religious time coincides, and before the festivities.

  2. brook skillman

    No words. Not sure if I can go there without you. So much love in your photos…pure love. This place will always be your home and I am SO lucky to get to taste the sacred flavor of your beloved Pushkar and of all times, November.

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Go there, it will be your home too. We will be back. Unlikely in November, but possibly around January…especially if you are still there. We do both love being there, it really is the most unique place on earth that we have experienced. We returned there RIGHT after being with you in Mumbai…having been there TEN years prior and fell in love amd that was the beginning of a hopefully long love affair. If it had been only up to Ben, we would probably have never left!! Remember how we wanted you to come with us to Pushkar? The universe works in mysterious ways…..:)

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