Slip on, slip off


What’s this?

Thongs, or flip-flops, or chappals are perfect shoe-wear for India. They’re good for wearing when it’s hot (as it is, often, in many parts of India), they’re good for wearing when it’s wet (as it most definitely is in the monsoon) and they’re perfect for quickly slipping on and off before going into someone’s home or shop, a temple or, in this case, before walking on a ghat (steps leading to a holy body of water).

Do you notice that the brand of the yellow thongs is ‘Happy’? I hope the young girl or boy whose thongs these are is leading a happy life!

And do you notice the spot of bright pink that sits to the left of the yellow thong on the top marble step? It’s a fleck of rose petal. Roses are used in the millions in worship in India and Pushkar is famous for growing the most glorious pink roses.

Where’s this?

The holy pilgrimage town of Pushkar (one of the oldest existing towns in India), Rajasthan. 

Pushkar has 52 bathing ghats leading down to its holy Pushkar Lake, allowing people to take a sacred bath in its waters. Although actually an artificial lake, Hindu legend tells how Brahma (the Hindu god of creation) dropped a lotus flower at the site and a spring emerged, forming a lake. Upon coming down to earth, Brahma named the lake Pushkar, coming from the Hindu words of pushpa (flower) and kar (hand). He decided to perform a yagna (a ritual devotion or worship) at the lake and requested that his wife, the goddess Savitri (also known as Sarasvati) also attend to perform a particular part of the ritual. Savitri wasn’t able to get there in time, and so Brahma married someone else so that the ritual could be completed. When Savitri arrived and saw another woman in her place, she was angry – as I would be too! She cursed Brahma so that he could only be worshipped in Pushkar. Pushkar now has the Brahma Temple, built in the 14th century, and it’s often the most important reason the Hindus visit this lovely little town.   


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