HUMP DAYS

DestinAsian - - GOOD TO GO - —James Louie

Dubbed the “rose gar­den of Ra­jasthan” for the preva­lence of a sweet-scented com­mod­ity, the lake­side In­dian town of Pushkar —a mi­rage-like tableau of milky blue houses on the edge of the Thar Desert—is a tan­ta­liz­ing blend of com­merce and re­li­gious de­vo­tion. Pil­grims grav­i­tate to­ward its 400 tem­ples, though they can just as eas­ily be found in the lo­cal bazaar stocked with rose syrup, all man­ner of veg­e­tar­ian food, and hand­i­crafts rang­ing from em­broi­dered fab­rics to glass and sil­ver­ware. After dark, the town’s 52 ghats light up with ghee-soaked oil lamps for the even­ing aarti rit­u­als, when the sound of tin­ker­ing bells and chant­ing echoes over the placid wa­ters. For an even more fes­tive ex­pe­ri­ence, time your visit with the bois­ter­ous Pushkar Camel Fair, which falls on Oc­to­ber 29–Novem­ber 4 this year.

Where to Stay Lo­cated on a four-anda-half hectare prop­erty just out­side town, The Westin Pushkar Re­sort & Spa ( 91-145/2774400; star­wood­ho­tels .com; dou­bles from US$105) opened in Fe­bru­ary with 98 rooms and suites that all fea­ture a pri­vate pool. A Ra­jasthani rider and his dec­o­rated camel in the desert out­skirts of Pushkar.

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