It’s true when they say, this world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page. And, it’s also true that travelling across the vibrant Indian State of Rajasthan, alone, feels like reading a classic novel. You may not know the plot, you may not expect how the plot unravels into a swirl of colour and culture, but one thing is for sure. You just won’t stop reading. This brings us to our Destination of the month, Pushkar, a sparkling jewel in the crown of Rajasthan.
Pushkar can be seen as a town synonymous with
devotees, culture, rituals, temples, lakeside settlement, camel fair and so on…
Let’s try to decode Pushkar beyond the obvious.
And while you are at it, please acquire the indescribable pleasure of having “Padhaaro Mhaare Des” melodiously playing in the back of your head before you start reading. Feels! You know.
Quick facts about Pushkar
- Nestled on the shore of Pushkar Lake in Rajasthan, the city of Pushkar is a sacred pilgrimage site for devout Hindus.
- Being one of the oldest existing cities of India, Pushkar has a rich mythological history and lasting architectural inheritance.
- Pushkar is home to the Brahma temple, which is one of the very few temples in the world dedicated to Lord Brahma, the creator of the Universe.
- The city is famed for hosting the largest cattle fair in the country, known as The Pushkar Mela/Fair, which is hosted every year.
- Being a holy place, alcohol, meat and eggs are banned in Pushkar. Visitors are expected to be respectful towards its sacredness.
Reasons To Visit Pushkar
Pushkar Fair (November 8th-November 14th, 2016)
Pushkar’s glory lies in its annual fair, known as Pushkar Fair or Pushkar Mela, which is a seven-day camel and livestock fair and is currently ongoing in its full grandeur. Apart from the buying and selling of camels and cattle, this fair is famed for how beautifully it paints the town and attracts thousands of tourists, devotees and photographers. I mean, who would want to miss out on witnessing 50,000 camels walking into sunset?
With an array of magicians, dancers, performers, snake charmers and acrobats flocking to Pushkar for sheer entertainment, this fair certainly has a unique magnetism pulling a lot of tourists. From indulging in amusing games like ‘matka phod’, ‘turban-tying’, ‘longest moustache’, ‘kabaddi’, ‘tug of war’, to buying some of the finest camel decorations, from chilling around the dunes and enjoying the grand performances to taking a spin in the Ferris wheels, you are guaranteed the fun you have been expecting.
Evenings in Pushkar are best spent when you immerse yourself in Camel safaris across the golden sands of the vast Thar Desert. Camel Safaris coupled with gorgeous sunsets is an unforgettable combination here in Pushkar. If you aren’t comfortable riding on a camel back, then you can go for camel carts. Whatever you go with, you don’t want to miss out on this enticing combination.
Shopping for gifts or shopping in general is a great idea in Pushkar. The main bazaar at Pushkar is dotted with an assortment of little shops that are selling everything from clothing to Rajasthani turbans, from cushion covers to books and statues of gods.
Some of the good buys may include glass lamps, Rajasthani costumes, costume jewellery, embroidered fabrics, wall hangings, shoulder bags, utensils made of brass, Rajasthani puppets, some traditional music and many handicraft items as the bazaar is nearly a heaven for handicraft lovers.
The market is famous for its rose pulp. So don’t forget to lay your hands on it. Gulkand and Bhang lassi are other popular items sold here.
Hot Air Ballooning
You can experience a different perspective of this beautiful city of Pushkar by indulging in its famous Hot Air Balloon rides. Drifting harmoniously over its holy lake, the many temples surrounding it, the golden dunes, vibrant colours, flocks of people, and breathtaking terrain is a promising experience.
Taking a dip in the holy waters of the Pushkar Lake
A major tourist attraction of the city is its holy Pushkar Lake. People believe that the lake was created by Lord Brahma and is therefore regarded as a place of pilgrimage for the Hindus today. The lake is described as ‘Tirtha Raj’ – the king of all pilgrimage sites. People do not consider a pilgrimage complete without a dip in the holy waters of this lake.
Pushkar boasts a whopping number of 400 plus temples, many of which were desecrated during Aurangzeb’s rule, only to be rebuilt again. Today, the whole town hums in religious harmony with poojas and prayers. The Brahma temple and the Savitri temple are most famous in the city. A few other well known temples are Rangji, Varaha, Aptaeshwar, Atmeshwar, Pap Mochini and so on.
Amidst the chants, rhythms, gongs and devotional songs, Pushkar is truly where you want to be.
Places to see in and around Pushkar
The Pushkar Lake
Surrounded by 400 temples and 52 ghats (series of steps), the sanctified Pushkar lake is the most frequented spot by devotees and travellers. The sunrise and sunsets at the lake are truly magnificent.
The Brahma Temple
This temple is one of the very few temples in the world dedicated to Lord Brahma. The temple is marked by a red spire and the Chaturmukhi (four-faced) idol of Lord Brahma is housed inside it.
The Savitri Temple
This temple is dedicated to Goddess Savitri, Lord Brahma’s first wife. It is situated on a hillock behind the Brahma Temple and the one hour trek up to the hilltop offers the best panoramic views of Pushkar lake and the beautiful temples and sand dunes that grace the city.
This palace was built as a guest house for Raja Man Singh I, to be eventually converted into a Heritage hotel. It is the most beautiful spot in Pushkar because it brings to you the best of Rajasthani architecture from the royal era.
The city of Merta is the birthplace of Meera Bai (devotee of Krishna) and is almost 400 years old. It is located at a distance of 63 Km from Pushkar. Famous for its palaces and temples, a large number of devotees flock to Merta all round the year. Some of the famous temples here are Meera Bai Temple and Dadhimati Temple.
Best Time To Visit Pushkar
November – March
How To Reach Pushkar
Nearest Airport is the Sanganer Airport at Jaipur, 150 km away via NH48.
Nearest Railway Station is the Ajmer Junction, 14 km away via NH58.
You can easily board regular buses to Pushkar from other major cities of the country.
We hope this was useful to you for planning out your next visit to this alluring city. Write to us about your experience. We would love to hear from you. Keep exploring and keep sharing your stories with us. Until Next Time!