Pushkar Travel Guide

Pushkar Overview

On the fringes of the Thar Desert and at the base of Snake Mountain is the peaceful and mystical town of Pushkar. Legend has it that when a lotus flower fell from the hands of Lord Brahma this picturesque place blossomed out. As many as 500 stunning temples and 52 sacred ghats encompass the picturesque Pushkar Lake making the town one of Indias most important pilgrimage sites.

 
The town itself is a small and easily manageable one, based around Pushkar Lake and its surrounding temples. Running along the north side of the lake is Sadar Bazaar Road, with numerous shops, cafes and restaurants. Leading from here, the town then spreads out in a labyrinth of narrow alleys, all housing many sleeping options. Due to its size, Pushkar can only be explored on foot and wandering the streets will lead to something new every day.
 
For shoppers, Pushkar has everything and is particularly well known for silver, jewellery, embroidery and wall hangings, all originating from the tribal regions of Rajasthan. However, being such a large tourist trap, your best bargaining skills will be required against the hard-nosed vendors. Although with an array of restaurants, the lakeside and rooftop views are sometimes more of a spectacle than the food. Be prepared for a strict vegetarian diet, including no meat, eggs or booze. Nevertheless, Pushkar is home to some imaginative chefs and Hello to the Queen, a dessert made up of ice cream, banana crumble and cashew nuts, topped with chocolate sauce.
 
The town is served by two bus stands, one on Heloi Road, to the north, and the other on Ajmer Road, to the east of the lake. Popular destinations leaving from Pushkar include Agra, Delhi, Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur and Udaipur. Important to be aware that most buses tend to stop in Ajmer for an hour, sometimes for unexplained reasons, and some services do not go all the way to the promised destination, resulting in further fares. The town is a rickshaw free zone, which comes as a breath of fresh air. For those feeling at the peak of laziness, wallahs are readily available with handcarts.
 
Generally, Pushkar is a trouble free, relaxed town, however it is not without its slight frustrations. Large amounts of priests align the streets and ghats pressuring tourists into making offerings and blessings to family members in return for the Pushkar Passport, a red ribbon wristband. Unfortunately, some priests are genuine, and others not, so don’t get bullied into unrealistic demands.
 

From the enticing atmosphere along Sadar Bazaar Road to watching the sun go down from the eastern ghats, Pushkar is an enchanting town in which to relax, watch the world go by and relax some more.

Things to do in Pushkar

Pushkar Lake - Believed to have been created when a lotus flower fell from the clutches of Lord Brahma, the lake is the focal point of the town and one of the most popular pilgrimage sites in the country. The lake is surrounding by no less than 52 ghats where pilgrims come to bathe in the healing waters. Gandhi Ghat is the site where Gandhis ashes were scattered. Crowds gather daily on the east side of the lake to watch the sunset over this historical town.

 
Temples - Pushkar is blessed with hundreds of fascinating temples scattered around the town. The Brahma Temple, at Sadar Marg, is thought to be one of only a few of its kind throughout the world and is a spectacular display of Hindu architecture. Open from dawn to dusk and entrance is free, although you will most likely be hassled by a priest or student for donations. The Savitri and Pap Mochani Temples, both open from dawn to dusk, offer magnificent views of the lake and surrounding area. Savitri is reached via a 1-hour trek to the hilltop.
 
Camel Tours - For the adventurous tourists, Pushkar is the set off point for some long and gruelling trips. Tours run to Jodhpur, 6/7 days, and Jaisalmer, 10/12 days. Might be worth buying a pillow to make the ride that bit more comfortable.
 
Pushkar Camel Fair - Held during Kartika, the Hindu calendar 8th lunar month, this fair attracts up to 200,000 people, along with 50,000 camels and cattle, making the pilgrimage for Kartik Purniima (the full moon). The fascinating spectacle then unfolds with a colourful display of musicians, traders, animals and tourists. Hotel prices increase greatly at this time and are often fully booked.
 

Camel Fair Tourist Village - For any tourists visiting during the Camel Fair there is the opportunity to stay in one of the endless number of tents, set up close to the fairground, and experience the fair and atmosphere at its best. Book ahead and do some investigation as the standard of tents varies greatly.

Hotels in Pushkar

Budget Hotels Pushkar

 
Pink Floyd Café & Hotel - This quirky themed hotel has basic cheap rooms all decorated in the style of a Pink Floyd album. Nice view from the rooftop café/bar. The staff are just as eccentric as the hotel itself. Choti Basti. Tel (91) (145) 2772317.
 
Hotel Navratan Palace - Straight and simple hotel with well-priced rooms. The excellent swimming pool and garden are the selling point and youd be forgiven for forgetting you are actually in India. Close to Brahma Temple. Tel (91) (145) 2772981.
 
Lake View - Cheap and cheerful rooms in a great value hotel. Perfect location between the main road and lake. Sadar Bazaar Road. Tel (91) (145) 2772106.
 
 
Midrange Hotels Pushkar
 
Hotel Goyal Inn - Well managed and conveniently located hotel with an assortment of rooms, complete with all modern amenities. Welcome 12pm checkout time. Near Guru Dwara, Ajmer Road. Tel (91) (145) 2773991.
 
 
Luxury Hotels Pushkar
 
Jagat Singh Palace Hotel - Luxury hotels in Pushkar are few, however this one has it all. The hotel offers splendid rooms, fantastic pool and views across Snake Mountain. Jagat Palace. Tel (91) (145) 2772226.

Pushkar Weather

Pushkar Travel Resources

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