Many of the marble ghats on Pushkar Lake—a must-visit—were constructed for pilgrims by royal families who wanted to ensure power and prosperity in their kingdoms throughout Rajasthan by appeasing the gods. When you pass an entrance to a ghat, be prepared for a priest to solicit you by simply offering you a flower—he'll want you to receive a blessing, known as the "Pushkar Passport". He'll lead you to the water's edge, say a prayer, and will ask you to recite a blessing
in Sanskrit (you'll repeat after him). Then he'll paste a tilak (rice and colored powder dot) on your forehead and tie a raki (a string bracelet, denoting a blessing) to your wrist. After the ceremony, you're expected to give a donation: don't give more than Rs. 100 (or you can negotiate the sum as soon as he approaches you).
The ghats get extra busy during auspicious pilgrimage times, especially during the Kartik Purnima, the full moon during the Hindu month of Kartik, around October or November (also the time of the Pushkar Camel Fair): there may be tens of thousands of people here to get blessings from local Brahmins. The peaceful parts of the ghats can be accessed from the eastern shore of the lake, close to Sunset Café.
Pushkar, Rajasthan, India