A visit to Pushkar, India is a truly magical experience. This small spiritual city is nestled within the mountains of the Rajasthani desert, and is a popular destination for Indian pilgrims in search of spiritual cleansing as well as western tourists looking for a bit of culture shock…and weed. Consisting of more than 500 temples within a small area, Pushkar is known as one of the most sacred Hindu towns in India. Meat, eggs and alcohol are strictly forbidden within the Pushkar city limits, but “bhang lassies” (marijuana smoothies) are perfectly acceptable. This small holy town is a vegetarian’s paradise, and a great place to explore your inner hippy!
Pushkar’s desert climate is very hot and dry in the middle of the afternoon, but the mornings and evenings cool down to a nice scarf-worthy temperature. Light cotton or linen pants are an important piece of clothing to have whether you are hiking Sivitri Hill to watch the sun rise, or embarking on a camel safari. There are a lot of tour guides offering camel safaris, which can be a lot of fun if proper attire is attended to. Ask your guide at the time of booking what to bring. T-shirts, silk scarves, cheap sunglasses, comfortable skirts and cotton dresses are also essential items. However, if you happen to find yourself without the proper attire, don’t worry. There is literally a clothing vendor every 10 meters along the “Spiritual Walk,” which is the main walking path cutting through the middle of town. Shopping around and bargaining for clothing and jewelry is half the fun of visiting Pushkar. As far as footwear is concerned, you could get by with just a pair of sandals or flip flops, but if you plan on venturing out of the main square (and you probably will) bring a pair of shoes that you would wear hiking. Please also remember when visiting any temples, and there are tons in Pushkar, you will need to cover your shoulders and possibly your head. If you always carry a silk scarf with you, you will always be prepared to enter a temple. Make sure you don’t wear a pair of shoes that are near and dear to your heart, as you will have to remove them prior to entering temples, and some shops. I seriously doubt someone is going to steal your shoes, but I wouldn’t be surprised if a cow eats them, or possibly pees on them. It’s India! Practicing patience and acceptance will make your visit a lot easier!
By: Heidi Plumb