Sunday, January 24, 2010

PUSHKAR

What can I say about Pushkar other than it felt like an oasis in the desert. After galavanting around in Jaisalmer and the dreaded bus rides from hell (i love katie i love katie i love katie... as she proof reads my post) we both realized that it was time for a much needed rest and Pushkar provided us with the perfect setting to do so. It was almost as if the gods were watching us and said "Because you have both endured such long treks and journeys with great strides I hereby allow you 5 days of rest. Be happy and relish them all for soon you shall both be on a treacherous journey once again and there is no knowing when you the gods will show you favor again." So we bunked up in a white palacial type of haveli and did nothing but enjoy the sun, sand and eachother until we had our fill! It was splendid!
A little history for you all. Pushkar is a Hindu pilgrimage small village. It has a cluster of pale onion type domes in the middle of town. There are actually 400 temples in all of Pushkar. Seems like a lot for such a small place. The town curls around a holy lake said to have appeared when the almighty Brahma dropped a lotus flower. Presto! It has one of the world's fewest Brahma temples. Time slips by very fast in this place. There is a magnetism about the village that is hard to describe. It just kinda sticks on you. The main street is one long bazaar and they sell anything you could possibly want here from hippy-chick minidresses to didgeridoos whatever that is. So ofcourse Katie and I decide to splurge a little here. So many quality linens and other household items line the streets. It's hard not to get caught looking at the goods. I must say that I got a kick out of watching Katie utilize her new found negotiation skills with the vendors. Her mojo was really on here. I remember once instance in particular where a guy selling a bed cover that she was very keen to buy pretty much thought he could take her for all she was worth. In the end as she threatened to go shop for the same item in one of his competitors shops across the street should he not lower his price to a reasonable one he immediately asked her how much she would be willing to pay. After much training in negotiation in the previous towns she knew very well what the right price was and proceeded instantly to let him know she knew what the going market price was. I dare say that her negotiation skills could have rivaled half of the brokers that I have done deals with in the past. The guy made one last effort t convince her she knew nothing about what she was talking about. Perhaps her information was faulty. Had she not done her due diligence properly? As she gave the man a quick blank stare she stood steadfast on her decision and said "I stand by my offer!" The man still not sure if she was certain says" I'm sorry, not good price". To my amazement, she gives the man a smile says thank you very much and have a nice day. As soon as she proceeds to leave his store he immediately says to her "ok, I will give you at your price". And so this is how the rest of the day played out. I walked around with a smile on my face watching her make purchase after purchase haggling these guys down the whole way.
Pushkar is famous for its spectacular camel fair that takes place in October. It must be of gigantic proportion because right on the outskirts of town there is a big fairplex that rivals any fairplex in the US. As the Lonely Planet puts it, "You would be crazy to miss it if you had the chance". All kinds of tribal people show up from all over Rajasthan, pilgrims from all over India and ofcourse all the filmakers show up as well. One big happenin' party 24/7.

The only other thing I can remember about this place other than what Katie has already mentioned were the weddings. There was a wedding almost every night during our stay and if you don't already know, Indians don't mess around when it comes to throwing a wedding party. They spare no change. You are invited to the wedding whether you want to be or not. The music is soooo loud and the partying goes on through the night. Very disturbing at first, but you get used to it after a while.
Puskar was definitely one of my favorite places.

2 comments:

Margie January 25, 2010 at 6:06 PM  

Chris
Greta Blog! I had to reregister for google for some reason. Remind me to share with you and Kate about her Aunt Linda haggling with the silver store owner and the jewelers in Thailand!It is too long for me to retype!

Ryan Ray January 30, 2010 at 3:32 PM  

Katie,

I had no idea you guys were going to stay in India so long! I'm so happy you're getting a chance to experience, quite literally, almost every place in Rajasthan that I did!! Even Ajmer! I had all but forgotten about that place until I saw your photos! What do you think about the monkeys hanging out everywhere?? Pretty crazy, huh!? They look very peaceful but they can be extremely ornery AND the mommas can get VIOLENT if you get too close to their young ones!!

LOL.. Keep Exploring your Passion!! :-) I'm just in STITCHES as I read your posts because I know EXACTLY what you're going through.. I developed a LOVE/HATE relationship with India.. so much good.. so much gross..

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