Beyond the vibrant streets of souvenir shops, cafes, and guesthouses, 52 bathing ghats follow the sloping topography, descending down to the sacred water of Pushkar Lake. Throughout centuries, Hindu pilgrims came to bathe in the sacred water to cleanse their sins and skin diseases, and worship in one of the 500 temples dotted around the lake. Earliest record of the lake’s existence dated back to the 2nd century BC. Site modifications over generations, including a dam built across the headwaters of the Luni River in the 12th century, had transformed Pushkar Lake into today’s artificial appearance. In the Mughal era, religious activities had came to a brief halt and temples were destroyed. Since then, pilgrims had returned, and temples and ghats had been restored by local rulers.
Today, the government is making effort to improve the water quality of the lake, after pollution and deforestation reduced the water level and killed off most of the fish. Pushkar is still attracting large numbers of pilgrims, and so as foreign tourists who either come here for the colourful camel fair, or take a break in their Indian tour as they got fatigue of the noises and bustling activities in the cities. Visitors come to this vegetarian-only and car-free town for its spiritual ambience, or a chance encounter with an insightful guru, or a peaceful rooftop to chill out during sunset, or a few days of yoga classes, or an evening aarti ceremony at a historical ghat, or to simply do nothing and sort out their inner souls while meditating by the water.
It was only a short walk from Inn Seventh Heaven to Varah Ghat. We took off our shoes compulsorily and walked down the ghat towards the sacred lake.
It was a magical experience to walk from one ghat to another.
Each ghat is unique despite all leading to the waterfront of Pushkar Lake.
Pushkar Camel Fair, one of the largest livestock fair and cultural event in India that attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors, was over just a week or two ago. After the year’s biggest event, Pushkar looked a little sleepy when we arrived.
Rajasthani pilgrims in their vivid sarees walked by the sacred lake in the afternoon sun.
We had a good time wandering from one ghat to another along the lake’s north shore
No shoes were allowed at the ghats. It took us a while to get used to walking in barefoot along with the free roaming cows, dogs and pigeons.
Layers of balustrades, stepped plazas, terraces, and bathing pools provide a rich palette of textures to the scenery.
We decided to do nothing for the rest of the day other than strolling along the lakefront.
The shrine on a raised platform at the northwest end of the lake was painted in vivid orange and was visible from all over the lake.
Pigeons and more pigeons. Bird or animal feeding is considered a good deed to improve a person’s karma according to Hindu beliefs.
The ghats were photogenic under the afternoon sun.
Reflections of passing people on the bathing pools were beautiful.
Especially with the vivid colours of the local sarees.
Local Indians are curious and friendly and love to take pictures with foreign tourists.
It was a delight to see the free roaming cows around Pushkar Lake.
Pigeons were everywhere.
And so as some larger water birds.
Hotel Pushkar Palace has one of the best view in town.
We ended our first ghat walk in mid afternoon and decided to return for the sunset.
Posts on 2018 Rajasthan:-
Day 1: Jodhpur
DAY 1.1: IN TRANSIT TO RAJASTHAN
DAY 1.2: PAL HAVELI & THE OMELETTE MAN, Jodhpur
DAY 1.3: SPLENDOR OF THE SUN FORT, Mehrangarh, Jodhpur
DAY 1.4: SUNSET OVER THE BLUE CITY, Mehrangarh, Jodhpur
DAY 1.5: SADAR MARKET AND GHANTA GHAR CLOCKTOWER, Jodhpur
Day 2: Jodhpur, Osian, Jaisalmer
DAY 2.1: MARBLE CENOTAPH JASWANT THADA, Jodhpur
DAY 2.2: MEDIEVAL STEPWELLS, Mahila Bagh Ka Jhalra, Gulab Sagar, & Toorji Ka Jhalra, Jodhpur
DAY 2.3: PILGRIM OASIS IN THAR DESERT, Sachiya Mata Temple, Osian
DAY 2.4: SUNRISE AT THE FIRST GATE OF GOLDEN FORT, Jaisalmer
Day 4: Jaisalmer
DAY 4.1: RESERVOIR OF THE GOLDEN CITY, Gadsisar Lake, Jaisalmer
DAY 4.2: ARCHITECTURAL JEWEL OF RAJASTHAN, Patwon Ki Haveli Part 1, Jaisalmer
DAY 4.3: ARCHITECTURAL JEWEL OF RAJASTHAN, Patwon Ki Haveli Part 2, Jaisalmer
DAY 4.4: DESERT HERITAGE, Hotel Nachana Haveli and Thar Heritage Museum, Jaisalmer
DAY 4.5: LAST STROLL IN THE GOLDEN CITY, Jaisalmer
Day 8: Bhangarh, Abhaneri & Agra
DAY 8.1: ON THR ROAD TO AGRA
DAY 8.2: HAUNTED RUINS, Bhangarh, Rajasthan
DAY 8.3: CHAND BAORI, Abhaneri, Rajasthan
DAY 8.4: THE ABANDONED CAPITAL OF MUGHAL EMPIRE, Fatehpur Sikri, Agra, Uttar Pradesh
DAY 8.5: FRIDAY MOSQUE, Fatehpur Sikri, Agra, Uttar Pradesh
Day 9: Agra
DAY 9.1: CROWN OF THE PALACES, Taj Mahal, Agra, Uttar Pradesh
DAY 9.2: AGRA FORT, Agra, Uttar Pradesh
DAY 9.3: RAWATPARA SPICE MARKET, Agra, Uttar Pradesh
DAY 9.4: SUNSET AT MEHTAB BAGH, Agra, Uttar Pradesh