Saturday, February 24, 2007

pictures from pushkar

monkey chilling, taking in the view of the ghats in pushkar
for those of you keeping score at home, i'm now in jodhpur in rajasthan. spent the previous 5 days in pushkar. if you are ever in india, i highly recommend it. while the rest of india has the volume knob dialed up to 10, pushkar is a pleasant 1 or 2 on the intensity scale. it has a population of about 60,000 which is pretty much a tiny village by india standards. it's an oasis in the desert, it's a holy city with ghats surrounding a lake, and like the rest of india, everyday there's either a parade, a festival, free concerts, or all of the above. here be some photos from the guesthouse roof/restaurant i stayed at. it's only $3.25 a night with a private bath, balcony, beautiful views of the lake, and the best part is that it's not in the lonely planet. get to the sanjay hotel before the empire gets a hold of it for their next edition:

this here is the gandhi ghat. gandhi's ashes were spread on the lake from these steps. henceforth, the renaming of the ghat to the gandhi ghat.
a dog chilling by the ghats
there are 100 temples in this town, about 5 or 6 are worthy of visiting. this one like many other hindu temples, doesn't allow foreigners to enter. sometimes though, if you're with a sadhu or brahmin priest, they can get you in. even in the eyes of the gods, it's not what you know, but who you know.
shiva temple
like i said, there is always a festival in india. on average 1 every 1.63 days. the only problem with pushkar is that the town is completely dry. you can not find alcohol, or consume alcohol anywhere. the hotels strictly forbid this. the alcoholics anonymous branch has a 100% success rate here in pushkar. however, 94% of those treated eventually become hashish addicts since it's so easy to come by here, including the bhang lassi with the special added flavoring.
also, in pushkar you can't eat eggs. so you're outta luck if you're looking for a yolk high.
this is my homeboy ricky, a brahmin priest in pushkar. i did a holy puja with him along the ghats sprinkling rice, sugar, and saffron onto the lake, and chanted to brahma the creator. at first i thought it was a scam (typical of almost every tout you meet), and i thought all he wanted was my money. we got into a heated discussion, but when i realized that he was a real brahmin priest, he almost didn't take my donation because he said it wasn't coming from the heart. i had to force my money on him, something which normally goes against my moral fiber. he then offered me to sit with him over some chai, as seen below.....of course after the tea, he told me he also does camel tours, his brother runs a good restaurant, and other tourist type stuff. yes, even the priests here know about the tourist dollar.
i've been getting stuffed at places like this for a mere 50 cents a meal
i'm a sucker for sunsets
i'm also a sucker for, Dónde está Ché Pelotas?


At 8:39 PM, Blogger tturner said...


This was an awesome post. Totally brought me back........

I have to ask....would you have taken a job with Lonely Planet if you had the opportunity before you left?

Just curious. Have fun!

At 8:49 PM, Blogger ::rentastic:: said...

Dear tturner,
Considering that I am under contract with another guidebook competitor, I cannot answer your question at this time. I can only speculate that based on principle, if the opportunity presented itself from Lonely Planet, my higher moral ground would hav.........oh wait a sec, Rough Guides just IM'd me. Gotta go.


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