Pilgrim City of Pushkar

Trip Start Aug 09, 2007
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of India  , Rajasthan,
Monday, April 28, 2008

We have been relaxing the past few days in the pilgrim city of Pushkar.  It is one of the most popular pilgrim sites in India.  It is said that Lord Brahma dropped a lotus from his hand and Pushkar Lake was created.  It is completely surrounded by 52 bathing ghats and for pilgrim's, no pilgrimage is complete without bathing in it sacred waters.  I wouldn't however dip my little toe in it.  It is a mossy green and looks like it is crawling with who knows what.  But they are bathing away.  Ghandi's ashes were spread at this lake.  It is also the location of the only existing temple to Lord Brahma.  Many, many temples surround this small town along with many, many holy men.  Some more holy than others in my opinion.  No trip to this town is complete without being harassed by a "holy man" at one of the bathing ghats to make donations/prayers of flower, powders, etc into the lake for good luck of your family and future and then a ribbon is tied around you wrist.  They call it the Pushkar Passport.  It more reminds me of bearing a cross to vampires as I can now show this anytime they try to approach you to do this again.  It is very forceful and they try to get you to make a big donation "to cover all you family". "Indian people make Indian donations and foreigners make foreigner donation".  Oh brother.  I may sound a bit harsh.  It is truly beautiful but you have to get past all those trying to take your money to enjoy it.

Jeremy has taken a couple of sitar (Indian string instrument) lessons.  He has always wanted to learn how to play and has enjoyed his classes so far.  We went to a music school that our guidebook says does evening music concerts and ended up with our own private show.  It was pretty cool and then we started talking with him and ended up signing Jeremy up for a few classes.  He is at it right now.  I watched yesterday and was pretty impressed with how quick he caught on.  I was completely lost. 

I took a couple yoga classes from an older gentleman inside the courtyard of a Hindu temple.  One on one class.  Very different from western yoga class.  A lot slower and more deliberate movements.  It was a great experience but I sure miss my old yoga class!

We leave tomorrow on an overnight bus to Agra to see the Taj Mahal!  More later. 
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