Udaipur to Pushkar
5 hours by car
I went back and forth with Pushkar. Originally we had planned on going to the famous Camel Fair in Pushkar but the timing didn’t work out. Then we decided to cut it out completely because we felt too rushed. However, after talking to other people we met along the way, we decided to cut out a night in Udaipur and take a night to visit Pushkar. In retrospect, I would have cut Jaipur from four nights to three nights and kept Udaipur three nights, but in the end it all worked out.
Pushkar is a tiny holy city situated on Pushkar lake, a sacred Hindu site. Like Varanasi (the holiest of all cities of India), its impossible to walk the streets or visit the bathing ghats without seeing the countless pilgrims journeying through. It isn’t as beautiful as Udaipur, but it still left room for a lot of charm.
It felt like the entire town was a market place, jammed packed with vendors, locals, and tourists. We took our first break from Indian food in Pushkar, not because we were tired of Indian, but because we read about a delicious pizza restaurant and had to try it. It did not disappoint!
Before we decided to hit the town, Ram, our amazing driver, warned us about getting scammed in Pushkar and told us to just say no to everyone that approached us. It kind of felt like I was back in elementary attending a D.A.R.E. class. Even with this advice, Brian and I still fell victim to a common scam in the city. We went down to the water where young men were eagerly bathing in one of the 52 ghats and were forced to take approximately 40 to 100 selfies with them, nearly dragging us into the water. They were a bit aggressive and continued to show us how excited they were to see us .
As we were leaving, a guy approached us and handed me a flower to throw in the water. I didn’t have a choice. Even if I didn’t want to accept it, he basically pried it into my hands. Then before I had a chance to protest, Brian and I are sitting on opposite sides of the lake being asked to repeat a chant for good health for one another. Right as they started asking for a 5,000 rupee donation I jumped up stating that I didn’t want to wish my partner good health (I mean, I do but not this way!) and I grabbed Brian who was already fervently chanting (awww) and we left leaving the two men screaming what I’m sure was an ancient Indian curse behind us.
We decided to end the night watching the sunset with a cold beer, but after sitting down we were reminded that Pushkar is a holy city and alcohol wasn’t permitted. Whoops. Bad tourist!
It was a quick visit but I'm glad we decided to make the stop over, plus it helped break up the drive to Jaipur. Little did we know what other holy scams were awaiting us in Varanasi...but first, we visit Jaipur, our last stop in Rajasthan.