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Pushkar, India

From quite big to very small we arrive in Pushkar, a well known backpackers hangout in northern india. there is around 15000 habitants here and somewhere between 500-1000 temples. The town is set around a small lake which has alot of bathing "ghats" around it. The Ghats are where the hindus go to cleanse their soul from their sins(it is certainly not to cleanse the body because the water is quite dirty...)

As I said, the place is quite turisty, but it still has a certain charm to it because it is so small. There is one main road where shops selling clothes, jewellry and other things mix with cows, temples, tourists and motorcycles. Except for the lake as scenery there is mountains surrounding the entire town. This with the lake makes for some very nice sunsets. There is a sunset outlook point where people gather. There is sadhus, drumplayers, jugglers, cows and monkeys. The atmosphere is very relaxing and some people end up staying here for very long.

Our last day here we wandered around the lake and visited a temple. It was called the Brahma temple, apparently one of the only temples dedicated to Brahma in india. The temple is not that impressive, but they give you flowers that you have to donate in the temple, well, half in the temple and half you have to throw in the lake at Brahma Ghat...

So we go to the ghat after the temple to do just this. As soon as we arrive we are approached by someone who says they are a brahmin(priest) that wants to instruct us in what to do and help us. We ask if it costs money, he says no and just says that afterwards you can give a donation if you want...

Agnes and me we both get a brahmin each that talks to us and gives us a mantra in hindi that we have to repeat after him. There is alot of indians around that do the same with brahmins so It is interesting to see how this works. we also have a silver plate with our flowers on, plus some rice, sugar, spices, red color and something more I cant remember now. At the end we will have to throw this in the water.

After the mantra he asks me how many family members I have, then asks if I am married, have kids and stuff like that. And he says some things that will give me a joyous and prosperous life. Then he starts talking about my family again and ask me to donate money for the happiness and wellbeing of my family. And I thought it was just about the spirit, not about money. He tells me the indians usually give a 1000 rupees(around 13 pounds) so he tells me for a foreigner around 500 is ok. I say it is far too much and when i say I will only give 50 rupees and in the donation box later he says that I have to put it on the holy coconut, at this point It was very hard not to laugh. There was a coconut there but I had no idea it was the holy money coconut, anyway, I put 50 rupees on the coconut and the guy says he is not very pleased with me. After this I put my stuff in the water. Afterwards I meet up with Agnes who was sitting further away with another guy and she has decided to give 50 as well, but her guy was not as persuasive as mine and she gave money afterwards, not on the holy coconut. THE HOLY COCONUT! come on...

It was a fun experience, and I am sure there are real priests in this ghat, but unfortunately there are alot of people who try to scam money out of tourists so you never know who you can trust. Anyway, me and Agnes are starting a new religion that worships coconuts. I am sure it will be huge.
This is now year zero, birth of coconutism! Go coconuts!

that is it for now, we have moved on to Jaipur which is the capital of Rajasthan! more on this in a few days.

Pctures to this blog will come when we find a quick connection!

Kiss kiss!

Ola and Agnes

permalink written by  agnesola on March 9, 2008 from Pushkar, India
from the travel blog: Baby and Baby's around the world travel...
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