In the mountains of Rajasthan there lies a small but very holy town by the name of Pushkar. In Hindi ‘push’ means ‘flower’ and ‘kar’ means ‘hand’. The town is home to India’s most holy lake where each year thousands of hindus make a pilgrimage to the sacred waters.
Legend has it that the lake was formed by the tears of Lord Shiva who was distraught after the death of his wife Sati. When Sati died Shiva cried so long and so hard that his tears created two holy lakes (in Pushkar and Ketasha – which means ‘raining eyes in Sanskrit).
While visiting Pushkar it is possible to take part in a ceremony at one of the 52 ghats surrounding the lake. I obviously took part in such a ceremony at sunset (when in India…) where a holy man leads you in a series of chants and offerings, sugar, rice, pigments and flowers symbolising health, love, prosperity, for good karma. The experience was awesome, especially in such a picturesque setting – I honestly found myself welling up. After the offering a baby cow came and nuzzled our group, he must’ve felt the good vibes coming off us.
So Pushkar is a very holy town, and a very beautiful town, but there are also a number of backpacking hostels which mean it’s a little bit of a party town too (if you’re into that white-boy dreadlocked thing). If you want to smoke a Chillum (Indian weed pipe) then this is your place. In fact the souvenir Pushkar tee is emblazoned with the slogan ‘Chai, Chillum, Chapattis’.
Pushkar is also home to one of the few temples (and the most famous) of Lord Brahma, the four-faced god of creation, so that is most definitely worth visiting while you’re there.
All in all, I would go back to Pushkar in a heartbeat, it has a vibe unlike the rest of Rajasthan, and the stunning vistas, numerous yoga classes and vegetarian cafes make this the perfect holiday spot for anyone in touch with their chakras.