Pushkar is where tradition meets hippie in the desert state of Rajasthan. Nestled along the shore of picturesque Pushkar Lake and engulfed by the Aravalli mountains, Pushkar is packed with fascinating sights. Here are few things you should definitely try in Pushkar:
Stroll along the ghats of Pushkar Lake
It is impossible to visit the city and not witness the beautiful lake which forms the centerpiece of Pushkar. It is said that Lord Brahma, the Hindu God of Creation dropped a lotus from his hand and a lake emerged in that place. The lake has 52 ghats, designed especially for taking baths and offering prayers. You will see people taking a dip here as it is believed that the famed waters of the lake wash away the sins of 100 years. Some of the popular ghats are Brahma Ghat, Gau Ghat, Varaha Ghat, Badri Ghat, Gangaur Ghat, Saptarishi Ghat, and Yajna Ghat.
It’s possible to walk all the way around the lake crossing the ghats along the way and it’s really nice seeing the whole lake as some parts are busier than others. Watch the evening Aarti and embrace the vibrant atmosphere. There is a popular area, aptly named ‘Sunset Point’, where many people gather in the evening to watch the sunset over the lake. The best thing to do here is to watch hundreds of birds fly around while the lake reflects some beautiful shades of the sky at sunset.
Hike Savitri Temple
From the lake, you will see another temple perched on a top of a hill. And how can we just see a hill and not climb it. Savitri temple overlooks the entire town of Pushkar and all the surrounding valleys. It is a 15 minutes hike, and you have to climb the stairs to reach on top. If you are too lazy to hike, there’s also a ropeway to reach the temple.
From the top, you can enjoy the view of the entire city with some monkeys giving you company. The best time to visit the temple is at sunset. The orange and golden sky looks beautiful with the city lights twinkling below. Grab a corner and soak in the view. Last time when I was here, there was a group of people playing flutes and guitars; the sound breaking the eerie silence. What a mesmerizing evening it was!
Attend the lively and colorful festivals and fairs
This list can’t be completed without mentioning the famous Pushkar Mela or Pushkar Camel Festival. It is one of the country’s largest cattle, camel, and horse fairs, as well as cultural festival, welcoming several hundred thousands of people from across the world to join in the festivities. The Pushkar Camel Fair takes place every year from late October to early November on the embankment of the picturesque Pushkar Lake. It is a real spectacle. Tens of thousands of camels arrive in Pushkar to be traded but also just to be shown off to the thousands of people who flock to see the sight. All kinds of parades, camel beauty contests and general camel related fun happen over the week of the festival. There are other cultural performances which happen at the fair. Since last few years, it has recently become a popular attraction among hippies and foreign tourists.
If you are planning to visit the city during the Pushkar fair, don’t miss the Pushkar International Balloon Festival which is held at the same time. Pushkar is one of the few places in India, where you can ride a hot air balloon. The best time to take the ride is sunrise, as the rays of the sun blanket the landscape, encompassing hills, lakes, and deserts beneath, thus creating perfect photo opportunities.
Visit Nag Pahar
Pushkar and Ajmer are divided by a hill known as Naga Pahar. As per the legends, the hills at Naga Pahar continue to diminish till date and will eventually disappear totally. These hills are believed to be the residence of the famous Sage Agastya. The hills also house a lake called Nag Kund.
Naga Pahar offers a spectacular view of Pushkar city from its top and has often been used as a vantage point for photographers. Adventure lovers will enjoy trekking up to the hill and taking in the breathtakingly beautiful views of the Pushkar city from atop, while the spiritual seekers will revel in the serenity and beauty of the area.
Desert Safari and camping
You might have heard a lot about Jaislamer and its desert safari, but do you know that you can experience the golden desert in Pushkar as well. You can choose between a camel or a jeep safari to see some of the most amazing sand dunes and mesmerizing views of the sunrise/ sunsets. And while you are out there, exploring the shimmering golden sands, you can also enjoy a beautiful view of the mountains and Aravalli hills in the backdrop. What is more, you will also be allowed to pass through tiny dainty villages and can get a sneak peek into the rustic lifestyle of the locals.
After the safari, you can proceed to one of the campsites. Here you can lie around in peace and stargaze at night, or dance around the bonfire enjoying the musical performances, and sumptuous local dinner. If you’re someone who loves luxury, then there are luxury camps in Pushkar that offer a unique experience to each traveler.
Explore the local market
Do you love collecting souvenirs or simply love shopping? A trip remains incomplete without heading to its local market especially when you are in Rajasthan. The state is a paradise for shopaholics and Pushkar is no exception. Indulging in a hearty shopping experience is one of the best things to do in Pushkar. Brush up your bargaining skills while you traverse the lanes of the local market to pick amazing Rajasthani souvenirs, puppets, textiles, home décor, colourful dresses, jootis, bags, Rajasthani jewellery, and camel leather products.
Go on a food trail
Were you impatiently waiting for the article to mention food? Raise your hands if you were! Pushkar despite being pure vegetarian has a lot of options available for every kind of foodie. The street food is extremely yummy and pocket friendly. From breakfast Poha to smoothie corners and the famous malpuas, every corner has something special for you.
There are pretty little cafes which serve a variety of cuisine to satiate your cravings. Many of them are located next to the Pushkar Lake so that you can enjoy your meal with a stunning view.
Click here to check out some of the best cafes in Pushkar!
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