9 Best Places to Visit in Pushkar

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Despite its small size, the town of Pushkar is one of the most popular and visited towns in Rajasthan and a must-see for anyone traveling around northern India.

The town is world-renowned for the bustling Pushkar Camel Fair, which is held once a year. Hundreds of thousands of camel sellers and tourists alike visit Pushkar to see the incredible array of cultures and animals at the fair.

Throughout the year though, Pushkar is equally popular with tourists and even more so with pilgrims, as the lake the town is built around is said to have been formed by the Lord Brahma himself when he dropped a lotus flower to the ground.

Consequently, Pushkar is one of the holiest locations in the world for Hindus, and you will find the streets are busy and the temples are full no matter what the season.

The town is a great addition to any Rajasthan travel itinerary and to help you to plan your trip to this ever-intriguing destination, here are the best places to visit in Pushkar.

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9 Best Places to Visit in Pushkar

There are some incredible places to visit in Pushkar, from historic Hindu and Sikh temples to the unmissable holy lake that forms the centerpiece of the city.

More than simple sights though, Pushkar is a wonderful place to immerse yourself in the local culture and traditions, to see ceremonies and to explore what is one of the holiest destinations in India. Here are our favorite places to visit in Pushkar.

Camel in Pushkar, India

1. Pushkar Lake

In an otherwise dry and arid land, Pushkar Lake has always been considered an important feature of the region and it’s thought to have attracted human settlers here as far as thousands of years back.

The lake took on the importance of sacred proportions and in the Hindu writings and scriptures, it’s featured as a holy location.

Hindu legends have it that Brahma, the most important deity in the religion, killed a demon where the lake now stands. A lotus flower then fell to earth, and a lake sprang from the ground.

Due to the holy nature of the lake, pilgrims will make the journey here to bathe in the waters and around the circumference of Pushkar Lake then you can find many bathing ghats leading down from the banks.

Throughout the year you will find ceremonies taking place along the ghats and pilgrims bathing but it all comes to a head during the Pushkar Camel Fair when you will see thousands of visitors in the waters, cleansing themselves with the supposed healing qualities of the lake.

Of course, there will be more than a few camels drinking from Pushkar Lake at the same time.

Our top recommended tours of Pushkar Lake:

2. Brahma Temple

With such importance placed on Pushkar Lake, there are literally hundreds of temples to visit in the city, many of them arrayed around the edge of the water.

One of the most important places to visit in Pushkar – for pilgrims and tourists – is the Brahma Temple, as this is the most important of the town’s multitude of religious locations.

The Jagatpita Brahma Mandir – shortened to Brahma Temple – is one of the very few temples anywhere in India that are dedicated to the God Brahma, and hence Pushkar plays such an integral role in the religious life of Hindus.

The temple itself dates back to the 14th century and has since been a constant site of pilgrimage.

Our top recommended tours of Brahma Temple:

3. Savitri Temple

The Savitri Temple is another of the many great places to visit in Pushkar. The almost perfectly conical Ratnagiri Hill stands over the town of Pushkar, and atop this imposing natural feature is found the second most important temple, a dedication to Savitri, the wife of the Lord Brahman.

The Savitri Temple is a long walk up hundreds of steps, but at the summit, you will be welcomed with the most spectacular view in all of Pushkar, as the town and the lake below are laid out before you spectacularly.

Our top recommended tours of Savitri Temple:

Pushkar Desert, India

4. Desert Safaris

Pushkar lies on the edge of the desert and one of the best things to do while visiting is to head out into the wilderness to explore the arid, yet equally breathtaking landscapes that are found there.

There are many ways to explore, with some choosing to join camel safaris to experience a more traditional side of local life, while others may prefer the speed and comfort of a modern four by four to take them over the dunes.

Whatever your preferred method, you will find plenty of companies that arrange tours to the desert from Pushkar.

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5. Nag Pahar

Nag Pahar, or Snake Mountain, is the other prominent peak in the region and one of the best places to visit in Pushkar. The hill marks the end of Pushkar and the beginning of nearby Ajmer.

From the mountaintop, you can enjoy expansive views of the town and the rest of the beautiful landscapes far towards the horizon.

6. Ajmer

Although most tourists will simply pass through the busy city of Ajmer on their way to Pushkar, it’s worth hanging around or coming back for a day trip to enjoy the sights of this under-visited location.

Ajmer is a great contrast to Pushkar, as the city is also an incredibly sacred place, but for Muslims rather than Hindus.

You can explore the wonderful Islamic mosques and architecture and the Ana Sagar, a historic, artificial reservoir that’s surrounded by resplendent greenery.

Our top recommended tours of Ajmer:

7. Merta

Another great, small city to visit close to Pushkar is Merta, a destination that dates back hundreds of years and makes for an intriguing day trip.

This is more of an off the beaten track destination in comparison and you won’t find quite as many tourists or pilgrims visiting.

Around the city, you can find some historic ruins while in the center are some interesting temples and some beautiful reservoirs. If you need a break from the crowds, then this is the place to reconnect with local Rajasthan.

Lina Stock with Camel in Pushkar, India

8. Pushkar Camel Fair

Although it’s a fantastic destination to visit throughout the year, if your trip can coincide with the camel fair then you are guaranteed to have a once in a lifetime experience.

Around October and November – dates vary – hundreds of thousands of tourists and locals travel to Pushkar, many of them with their camels in tow.

The Pushkar Camel Fair is a huge event, and on display are not only magnificent livestock from across Rajasthan, but an array of cultures and traditions too, and everyone is in jovial spirits.

The Pushkar Camel Fair is set up around the holy lake and throughout the days of events, you can witness religious ceremonies across the town.

There are so many animals being bought and sold around the water that it’s not uncommon for the lake to run dry, with visitors turning up after the events to wonder where the holy lake has trickled away to.

There are horse races, camel races, and many more music and dance events taking place at what could well be one of the best festivals in India.

Our top recommended tours of Pushkar Camel Fair:

Camel safaris- places to visit in Pushkar India

Best Time of Year to Visit Pushkar

Pushkar is situated in the dry deserts of Rajasthan and experiences intense heat throughout the year. The best time to visit is during the somewhat mild winter, which falls between November and March.

This is when the weather is coolest and rather pleasant. The rest of the year, you can expect it to be dry, dusty and hot, except during the short monsoon season.

The rain falls from June to October and while most other months the landscapes will be little more than dust, during the monsoon things quickly turn into a verdant green land of lush vegetation.

All year round there are some great places to visit in Pushkar. If you are interested in seeing the cultural feast that is the Pushkar Camel Fair, which is truly a unique part of the local heritage, then you will need to ensure you are in the region in October.

Make sure to book your accommodation and transport far in advance. The exact timing of the Pushkar Camel Fair varies from year to year, as it follows the Hindu calendar rather than the Western calendar.

Camels in Thar Desert, Pushkar, India

How to Travel to Pushkar

Pushkar is located in the state of Rajasthan, and despite its remote location in the desert and its small population, it is well connected to the surrounding region due to its importance as both a religious and tourist site.

There is no airport in Pushkar, and the closest city to fly into would be Jaipur, which is the capital of Rajasthan. Jaipur has good connections across India, with domestic flights to most major cities, and a few international flights further afield too.

The nearest large city to Pushkar is Ajmer, which is just half an hour down the road. Most transport, such as buses or trains from other cities in Rajasthan, are likely to terminate at Ajmer.

From Ajmer, you can easily catch either a taxi or a cheap local bus to finish your journey to Pushkar.

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About David Stock

I have always been an outdoorsman so becoming an adventure traveler was just the next natural step. I love nature, I love to get off the beaten path and I like to explore. I enjoy scuba diving and cars. And yes, Lina and I have a naked dog.

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