We arrive at Ratan Haveli Hotel in Pushkar to a warm welcome from owner Sunil, who kindly has put me in my favourite room, I just love to wake up to this view, perfect for morning meditation ........
The street is a hive of activity which you can watch from the balcony and rooftop. Street dogs, monkeys, cows and pigs (there is a local legend of the monkey that rides a pig down our street click here ). Local herders pass by with goats, camels and horses (stunning Marwari horses) whose stables are found further along the street.
Ratan Haveli is home to volunteers and students on the Healing Paws course. It is a simple no frills hotel in a quiet part of Pushkar, within easy walking distance of the town centre. When I say quiet, I suppose I should say fairly quiet - this is India ! but instead of the roar of traffic and blasting of horns you might be woken in the mornings by the hypnotic chanting and bell ringing of devotees from the nearby temple and the sound of birdsong (or monkeys fighting) in the fruit orchards and fields surrounding the hotel.
Pushkar is a major pilgrimage destination for Hindus, as it is home to one of the few temples to Lord Brahma in the world. It has a spiritual peace that first time travellers to India expect to find as standard but are often in for a rude awakening. One of the oldest inhabited cities in India Pushkar is mentioned in the epic poem Mahabharata from 400CE.
Pushkar Lake sits in the centre of town surrounded by ghats and temples. As a holy site the food in all hotels and restaurants is strictly vegetarian. Pushkar being a popular place for travellers from all over the world vegetarian dishes from Italy, Israel, Tibet as well as India are easily found in fact most people seem to be surprised at the wide variety of delicious completely veggie meals on offer - food for thought !