Why Pushkar should be on your list?
Pushkar is like the Varanasi of the west. The place is sacred to the Hindus and Sikhs. This town borders the mighty Thar Desert and is widely known for the Pushkar Lake among tourists and travellers. This beautiful city in Rajasthan is worth a visit and I’ll tell you why.
Reasons why you should visit Pushkar?
1. It is considered a pilgrimage centre for the Hindus and Sikhs as it has many temples and Gurdwaras built after the 18th century. This place is considered so sacred that the consumption of meat, eggs and alcohol is forbidden here.
2. Everyone loves colours and the festival of colours- Holi! Pushkar is known to be a place where the holi celebration is very famous. People from all around the country and even abroad come to Pushkar to witness and be a part of this fun festival. It is considered safe as the local police surround the place for security. Although you can play Holi with absolutely anyone, you’ve got to keep in mind the fact that people are high on bhang and take all the safety precautions. You are sure to get the best experience of Holi in Pushkar.
3. The Pushkar Camel Fair: This takes place during October or November, around the Karthik Purnima time. There is the trading of camels, horses and cattle at this fair. The animals are washed and beautifully adorned in the most artistic way. In addition to this, there are horse and camel races, folk music and dance, magic shows and a lot of entertainment sports.
4. Pushkar Sunsets: This is something you should go to see every day while you’re at Pushkar. Seeing the sunset by the lake winds your day in a very calm and beautiful way.
5. Food for your tummy and food for your gram: We all know how delicious Rajasthani food is and you will enjoy everything you eat here. People here love to cook and feed. Food for your gram includes beautiful landscapes and lovely cafeteria to glow up your feed on the gram.
How to reach Pushkar?
By Flight: The airport nearest to Pushkar is at Jaipur. Jaipur is about 140km away. A cab or taxi could be hired to go to Pushkar from there. The journey would be approx. 3 hour long.
By Train: The nearest railway station is at Ajmer which is 30 minutes away from Pushkar. Ajmer is well connected to the major cities in India.
By Road: There are deluxe and semi-deluxe buses that connect Ajmer to many other cities. From Ajmer, you can take a cab or reach Pushkar by the regular buses.
Where to go?
Brahma Ji Temple:
Lord Brahma is considered as the creator of the Universe. This temple is dedicated to the Hindu creator god. The temple is close to the Pushkar lake and therefore you will not miss going here. This is one of the oldest temples around Pushkar.
This immensely beautiful lake is considered sacred to the Hindus. Taking a dip in the lake is a part of their worship. The lake has 52 steps surrounding it. These steps are called ghats. There are about 500 temples around the lake including the most popular one, the Brahmaji Temple.
Tourism has caused a lot of pollution in and around the lake. Let us be responsible people and not litter around so that the beauty of the lake is preserved.
Gurdwara Singh Sabha:
Pushkar is also considered sacred by the Sikhs as it is said that the famous Sikh Gurus – Guru Gobind Singh and Guru Nanak Dev had visited here. A shrine is built in their honour. The place where they stayed was called Gobind Ghat which is now renamed as Gandhi Ghat. The Sabha is a double-storey white building. It is very peaceful inside and the structure stands to look very beautiful from the outside.
Savitri Mata Temple:
This temple, dedicated to the Goddess Savitri stands on the Ratnagiri hill. The climb to the temple is strenuous but the view of the city and the lake from there is commendable. Since everyone cannot climb on foot, cable cars are available to reach the temple. The temple is a very peaceful place to be at. You don’t have to worry about food after your hard climb; there are local vendors who sell food to help you bounce back with energy.
Pushkar Adventure Camp and Camel Safari:
Having its location neighbouring the Thar Desert, this camp is about 8 km from the main city of Pushkar. You can stay there overnight and enjoy safaris. I highly discourage camel and horse rides because I am against animal cruelty. You will also get to see sand dunes and a few other animals and birds around.
This point is close by the Pushkar Lake. Watching the colours of the sunset reflecting on the lake is pure bliss. There are many cafeterias around for you to sip coffee or chai and watch the beautiful view.
Best time to visit Pushkar:
During Holi (March) or during October or November, when the Pushkar fair is held would be the best time for you to visit Pushkar. You would get a glimpse of the festivals and experience the real joy the people share during these times. From music and dance to food, you will get the best of it all that time.
What to grab on for your hungry tummy?
The food flavours of Pushkar are something that you cannot miss out on. Although you will see it in every lane, I will put out a list of things you shouldn’t forget to have.
Kachori: These are made up of Maida and have stuffing inside. Kachoris can be eaten anytime- as breakfast or as a tea time snack.
Falafel wraps: These are wraps that could be had as a snack or could be a quick meal. They have fillings inside of them made of vegetables and paneer.
Malpuas: These are sweet savouries that are most delicious. An excess of fat to your diet for sure, but you cannot skip this too. They are generally served with rabdi, which is sweetened milk with a few flavours in it. Rabdi Malpuah will become the best sweet you would have ever tasted.
Jain/Vaishno thali: Pushkar has a lot of places where you will be served a thali/plate with the Rajasthani dishes but made without onions or garlic. It’s hard to imagine food cooked without those ingredients but you have to try it. It tastes equally delicious.
Where to stay?
The stay in Pushkar isn’t too expensive.
Hotels: Kanhaia Haveli- Rs.324 per night for a room.
Hotel Vamdev Fort- Rs.1010 per night for a room.
Guest houses: Athithi guest house- Rs.400 per night for a room.
Mayur Guest House- Rs.400 per night for a room.
Hostels: Madpackers Hostel- Rs.1150 per night.
Tulsi Hostel- Rs.450 per night.
I’m excluding the travel cost as one would come from different places. With that exclusion, the total cost of a 3-day trip would be Rs.3700-7000.
(1500-2000 for food, 1200-3000 for stay, 1000-2000 miscellaneous)
Pushkar is a fun, yet a budget-friendly place to be at. It satisfies your travel and food cravings perfectly well. Pushkar is a delightful place but on the whole, any place in Rajasthan wouldn’t be a disappointment. The people are always merry and that is contagious.