Sundeep Bhutoria

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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Pushkar - Lord Brahma's town

Hotel Rajputana Sheraton, Karoli suite: Returned to Jaipur last night from a day long trip to Ajmer and Pushkar. For the Hindus, Pushkar is one of the most important religious destinations. The only temple of Brahma - The Creator of the Universe - is in Pushkar. The temple also has all the four Vedas (Rig, Sama, Atharva and Yajur) in original.
Pushkar is also a hot destination for foreign back packers. The tents are quite famous during the season and sell for up to Rs 12,000 to Rs 14,000 on the higher end. Cheaper accommodation is also available i.e., beds and rooms for Rs 50 to Rs 500 in the town. In fact, Pushkar, Old Pushkar and Nedda are the three villages which now comes under one municipality that is called Pushkar.
The town has a population of around 20,000 approx which is quite low for a municipality. But there is a huge inflow of foreign tourists and can be spotted all around the town. Cafes serving Chinese, Mexican, Italian, Japanese and continental cuisines have sprung up and some of them have menus in French.
I watched the sun set at the Jaipur Ghat sitting in Cafe Sunset (picture). Pushkar is said to have one of the best sun set view in the country. I also visited the Gau Ghat and saw arati being performed. Pushkar has a total of 52 ghats each associated with a myth or has a story to tell.
There is popular belief in Pushkar that every God has a temple in Pushkar. This religious city, however, has a smeared reputation for cheap drugs like charas, ganja and hasish. I don't know if this is a fact, but the chat is that this is what draws the large number of back packers to the town from the lands beyond the seas.
There are also reflexology shops, bags and costume and junk jewellery i.e., stuff that is a rage with the back packers.
From the Sunset Cafe, the currently closed down portion of RTDC Hotel can be seen. The government had closed down the property complying with the regulation that there would be no hotels or restaurants within 100 metres of the ghats.
I also want to meet Ramkishan ji who got the President's Award for being a percussionist par excellence of nagara - a type of drum from the Raj era. I had met him three years back.
I heard that he had changed ghats and taught many tourists who wanted to learn nagaras. I was told that he passed away few months back and now his son Nathu ji carries forward his father's legacy and the family tradition.
I will leave for Salasar temple today.
ess bee

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