Set around Pushkar Lake, this small town in the North of India is buzzing with culture, flavours, sounds and colours. The main street is crammed full with market stalls, roaming cows, motorbikes, fruit carts and kids running around. It’s a surprise none of the pedestrians get hit walking along the narrow streets, but it all just seems to work in its own strangely relaxed, bizarre way.
Pushkar is an extremely holy town, where alcohol and meat are banned. And although the veggie curries are amazing, i craved good old butter chicken after four days there. I expected to have a nice detox from drinking while we were there, but on our first night we ended up in a restaurant called Il Padrino. The first thing the waiter said to us as we sat down, in a hushed tone, was “do you want beer”. We were a bit shocked but secretly delighted. After four large beers each, we stumbled back to the hostel and passed out – 8% beers are a lot stronger than you think!
Although it is a small town, with a population of about 20,000, there’s always something going on in Pushkar. One day we were walking down the street and came across an older couple with a cow dressed in bright pink, and at a closer look we saw it had a fifth leg growing out of its neck! I’d never seen anything like it. So of course we gave them some money and took pictures of it. Apparently it brings good luck to those who touch it, and they take it everywhere to make money. Just when we thought India couldn’t get anymore extraordinary…
I would definitely recommend Pushkar if you’re planning on going to India, it was unexpectedly one of my favourite places we visited. It was so easy to get around on foot, with lots of rooftop restaurants and cafes overlooking the lake or bustling streets, and an endless amount of things to buy from the markets, you can’t really get bored here. There’s also many temples to visit if you’re looking to immerse yourself in the culture and embrace this beautiful, sacred place.
Just remember, always take off your shoes down by the lake and don’t take photos or you might get shouted at through a window by an old man! I still sneakily took photos as you can see…
Thanks for reading!