Friday, August 1, 2008

Rajasthan - Day 2 Ajmer & Pushkar

We left for Ajmer early. We were much impressed by the highway again ... I would always make another trip happily for the awesome drive.

We went straight to the Dargah first. As we were entering we found several men coming up to us and offering to guide us through it. As usual we did not want anybody with us ... but saw other people taking their help. One thing that impressed us was they don't charge anything ... whatever you want to offer ... you can put in the donation box.

Anyway ... we bought offerings and went inside. After offering our prayers and being blessed we came outside and went around the whole place.

After a quick lunch we headed for Pushkar.
This place is famous for the lake as well as the only temple dedicated to Brahma.
Lore has it that Brahma was cursed that nobody will ever build a temple or offer him puja. This temple has an idol of Brahma ... but no puja is offered. Even if you take offerings they are taken by the priests .... but not offered to the god.

The Pushkar lake is beautiful. Serene and quiet ... it is a nice place to spend some time ... but only if you can avoid the different priests offering to do puja for you.
The lake has several ghats ... one for pujas, one for visarjans, even one for conducting shraddh or the last rites of the dead.
Just sitting on the steps of the lake and watching the calm water is a beautiful experience.

We had just left Pushkar when we got our first flat tire. While the driver changed the tires we walked around. The countryside looked barren and lonely in the late afternoon sun. As far as eyes could see it was bright yellowish land ... with the tar road snaking through.

It was only less than an hour later we had our second flat tyre. Evening was setting in and I was getting a little scared too. We were in the middle of nowhere with no shops or houses in sight.
Somehow the driver drove the car till we reached a dhaba. There 2 buses had stopped ..... a private mini van with tourists ... and a govt. bus. Our driver suggested we take a bus back to Jaipur. So we took the govt. bus. I just loved the experience .... it was completely dark outside and the bus was moving in full speed. It was not at all crowded too and we had a pleasant journey back.
The hotel guys were very apologetic for the inconvenience and told us that they would not charge the trip to us. :-)

We were tired and went off to rest. Later had dinner in the dining hall ... did not feel like venturing out. The menu is good and the food .... well .... very good. Keeping in mind the guests from overseas, the menu has a continental spread too. We settled for the good old Indian thali. The food is too good here.
Hubby was not feeling too well ... so we decided to spend the next day ( Day 3) in the hotel.

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