- Saturday, 7 December 2013

Pushkar (Rajasthan), India: City of Religious Scam & Cool Cafés

For anyone living in Delhi and being slightly bit interested in traveling, doing a classic Jaipur-Ajmer-Pushkar route on a bike or in car is a must. And I along with some friends of mine did it too in our small car. Not that we expected any great scenery on the way, but we were just excited to be together and doing a 'road trip' for road trip sake. The Delhi- Jaipur highway is in pretty good condition making the drive easy. After Jaipur it gets a bit rickety further on to Ajmer and Pushkar.

Pushkar is primarily famous for the only Brahma (a Hindu God) temple in world and annual Camel Fair held in the month of November each year.

It is supposedly a very religious town and the moment you are identified as in outsider/tourist, you sure be assured to be literally accosted by guides around to go to the brahma temple and also get a prayer done for your ancestors by somewhat fraud priests by the lake. Its a whole scam running out there in open. I have travelled extensively in Varansai, and been to Rishikesh and Haridwar but have not experience a priest mafia of this sorts anywhere. And to top it all, you are warned of dire consequences if you do not visit the temple or get the prayer done at the lake ! Honestly, it makes me laugh today :)

This is not any sort of personal anti-religion or anti-god sentiments that I am trying to express. It's just one of those experiences which I thought I had to share here. And I must add the priests have one hell of a convicing strategy & power. Two of my friends relented while I and another friend decided to just sit by the lake and look at water.

It was sunset by the time all this finished and we headed to Bible directed- Pink Floyd Cafe in one of the alleys around. It was the best part of being in Pushkar. The ambience was great, place was done up well, clean and food was great. We decided to settle on the rooftop and not satiated with one, we ordered two rounds of full meal. Oh yes, we also had their 'special' and 'very special' lassi. We knew what is supposed to go in it to make it 'special' or 'very special', but till date I wonder if actually there was anything in it other than yogurt and sugar. Pink Floyd also doubles up as a hotel/gueshouse with each room named after the legend's albums. But over all it was great place to be, with very friendly staff and gave us time to relax and unwind without any pressure of eating and vacating the place.

Note: pictures have been sourced from internet.

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