Last updated on September 19th, 2019 at 08:14 pm
In the 4 weeks we spent together in India, Pushkar easily became our favourite. Traveling in Pushkar is something we can recommend for first time travellers in India. Since there are many things to do in Pushkar. The people here are much lighter and Pushkar is considered a holy place in India. It is also much smaller so there are less people than big cities like Agra, Delhi and Bangalore. Keep reading our Pushkar travel guide.
Pushkar Travel Guide
How to get to Pushkar
Getting Pushkar by Plane
If you are getting Pushkar by plane the closest airport is Jaipur International Airport. From the airport there are 2 hours car ride to Pushkar. Prices for the taxi can be around 1500 INR.
Getting to Pushkar by Bus
If you are getting to Pushkar by bus first you have to reach Ajmer. From Ajmer you can take a local bus, taxi, tuk tuk or going to Pushkar using Ola App.
Getting Pushkar by Train
If you are getting to Pushkar by train from Delhi or other destinations in Rajasthan. You will be getting to Ajmer train station. From there you have several options taxi, tuk tuk or going to the bus station to get the local bus going to Pushkar.
Getting Pushkar by Taxi
A great option if you are getting to Pushkar from Jaipur will be the taxi. Prices are around 1500 INR for two hours drive. It’s so comfortable and especially worth it if you are 2-3 people.
Best Time to visit Pushkar
The best time to visit Pushkar is in winter from September to March. The rainy season is in July and August if you prefer avoiding them. It’s great to know last week of October and first week of November Pushkar Camel Fair is taking part and everything will be crowded. So your choice if you want to enjoy the Camel Fair or you prefer to avoid and visit Pushkar in a quiet season.
Pushkar Itinerary: How Many Days Should I Spend in Pushkar
For Pushkar Itinerary we totally recommend to visit the desert, Brahma temple and watch the sunset around Pushkar Lake. These things to do in Pushkar you can’t miss. You have to spend at least two days to feel the vibe in Pushkar.
You can spend more days if you want to do a longer expedition in the desert for a few days. Or maybe you would be interesting in shopping in Pushkar which is quite popular for silk and silver. Or just relaxing, catching up with work or going around and meeting locals.
Daily Budget Travel in Pushkar
For transportation in Pushkar will be free of cost since everything is walking distance in the town. For food expect to pay $2-3 USD for a meal in a local restaurant. And $5-6 USD if you choose a rooftop restaurant for dinner per person or Western restaurants like pizzerias.
Entrance fees or donations in the temples or taking a tour in the desert as we did, It take $10-20 USD depending of the option that you choose in the desert. We did a tour by jeep and we took pictures with traditional costumes. We prefer avoiding riding camels because we don’t like to take advantage of the animals. Better to do the activity walking or by jeep and we recommend you the same!
For accommodation you can find cheap rooms in Pushkar starting from $5-10 USD. Mid budget can go from $20-50 USD room for two people with breakfast included. And for luxury accommodation expect to pay more than $50 USD for a room for two people with breakfast in Pushkar.
You can also use AirBnb; just click here to get $30 USD of your first booking with AirBnB.
Things to do in Pushkar
Because of the religious significance of Pushkar, it is almost obligatory to explore its temples. And if you have only one chance to visit any of them, Brama Temple will be the most important to visit. The Brama temple is within walking distance from the Pushkar lake, one of the holiest lakes in the whole of India.
1. Getting blessed in the Pushkar Lake
The Pushkar Lake is considered as the part of the world where Brahma landed when he arrived in the earth. And that the water of Pushkar lake is a big part of his arrival to the world. This is why there are flower ceremonies in Pushkar where you are given a small sauce filled with flower petals blessed with a monk. Here, they guide you to say a prayer to the god Brahma so that your family or any special prayers or requests may be granted.
As holy as this sounds, it can feel unfortunate that monks will ask you to give a hefty donation in exchange of these prayer requests. They give you a special mark on your forehead and a bracelet. And in exchange for being blessed, they ask for $20-30 USD for a dinner offer.
In our experience you can say politely not to this. The monk did not try to give us any bad blessings after, although they might feel disappointed. However this was not an offer we are required to give and a polite no was accepted. We heard a few cases that they were asking for 4-5 dinners it means around $100 USD. So just be carefull with this!!!
2. Brahma’s Temple
Brahma Temple in Pushkar is the only temple of Brahma in the whole world. According to Hinduism, Brahma was supposed to be blessed with the marriage of his wife when she found him with another woman. Because of this his original wife cursed him to have only one temple in the whole world which is in Pushkar.
And that because of this sin, the people will not be allowed to bring any gifts in honor of him when visiting him in his temple. This is the reason why bringing gifts is not allowed in the Brahma Temple, compared to the rituals done in honor of the other gods.
3. Savitri Temple
Savitri Mata is the temple you’ll see almost every point of Pushkar. Savitri Mata is situated at the highest mountain in the whole town. If you cannot do the hike which can take about an hour. You also have the option to ride the cable car to the top.
Attending the Pushkar Festivals
There are 2 significant festivals celebrated in Pushkar, and if you have a chance, it’s great to visit Pushkar on these dates because you will see the town in it’s best.
4. Camel Fair in Pushkar
The Camel Fair is the biggest festival in Pushkar happening from 23rd of October til the 4th of November.
This time of the year, Pushkar will be filled with colorful tents and camels all around, one of the most unique festivals in India.
Keep in mind that like Holy, these days are considered very special and packed. And that even if you are scheduling this trip many months in advance, the prices of the accommodation will still be double or triple the normal prices. So that is something to consider.
In any case, prices in India are also cheaper than most places, so money easily goes a long way here, than when travelling to luxurious countries like Maldives.
5. Hot Air Balloon Fair
Another one of the festivals to not miss in Pushkar is the hot air balloon festival. Happening during 5th November to 14th November. Hot air balloons are always a beautiful thing to experience and whether you are riding one or not. It’s always amazing to see them in the sky. This is another consideration to think about when you are scheduling your visit to Pushkar.
6. Jeep Safari
Pushkar is in the desert country, and the end of the Pushkar desert is the beginning of the Thar desert. Desert experience is a prominent thing to do while in Pushkar.
One way to experience visiting the desert is through a Jeep tour in the Pushkar desert. These can cost around 1000 INR and an adventurous way to go around the desert.
We had an amazing time traveling the Pushkar desert and one of the most adventurous time while we are there. Our driver was actually a local from Pushkar. And these kids grew up in the desert training themselves to do this work.
7. Riding the Camel thru the desert
This is an activity we didn’t opt to do during our stay in Pushkar, although this is still considered as one of the most popular thing to do while in here, hence the Camel fair.
8. Wearing Traditional Clothing
While visiting the desert we also had the option to wear the Gujarat traditional wear. These clothes were hand sewn by the women of the Pushkar desert. So instead of giving just monetary donations we were happy to try some of these activities.
We not only wear the traditional Gujarat clothing, we also had the jewelry nose rings, bangles, head wears, and Ruben had a turban to complete the ensemble. We actually wore these clothes while riding the jeep to the desert, and we had a small shoot in the desert, which easily complimented the desert feel.
9. Meeting Local Tribes in the desert
While touring the desert we had a chance to meet the families living inside the desert themselves. Also part of the Pushkar population. These families live almost with nothing. And their houses were made of twigs and other materials they can find.
We spent some time learning more about the women living in this community. These women usually have 5-6 children. Their husbands are working either as part of the desert tourism or working in the town of Pushkar and the children sometimes also go to the town of Pushkar to beg for money. This money is then what the women use to buy essentials so they can cook some food.
10. Sunset at the Gau Ghat
Ghats in India are considered holy. And luckily in Pushkar the Ghau Ghat is also a beautiful sunset point. We saw this after a heavy rain. However in the summer season you have the chance to see the Gau Ghat and the Pushkar lake in all its eternity.
More Things to do in Pushkar
11. Visiting the Shiva Temples
If you are visiting Pushkar in August like us, then you will be visiting Pushkar in the celebrations honoring Shiva, one of the most important gods in Hinduism. And understanding the significance of this, especially to the people of India is an important thing for us to experience.
The Shiva LIngam is one of the holiest symbols of Shiva and visiting Shiva temples are one highlight of our stay in Pushkar.
12. Watching men do their water pilgrimage
Because August is the holy month you should not miss seeing the men do their water devotion. These men actually go to the holy temple to get water to bring to other temple or to their homes and walk a lot of kilometres (50-60 kilometers some of them) bare foot, wearing orange clothing in honor of Shiva. There are also some parades of these during the month of August.
13. Shopping in Pushkar
Pushkar is most popular for having really cheap textiles. A lot of people that sell textiles in their own country actually buy from Pushkar for a huge discount and sell it in their own countries.
Some of the main textiles in Pushkar are the fabrics, silver and a lot of clothes. It’s usually best to buy these things in local markets, versus buying them immediately in front of temples like the Brahma Temple where these textiles will be very expensive. Since
14. Street Food in Pushkar
Any visit in India will not be complete without a decent food trip. Indian cuisine is one of the most popular cuisines in the world. So it’s almost obligatory to try the best food in Pushkar while in here.
Malpua is a very popular desert which you can find in the food streets of Pushkar. Deep friend in sugar, it is bursting with sweetness even in small bites. We can’t eat too much of it, but we did love it! We felt like we easily misjudged them seeing them cooked by Indian men in big pots in the streets. However since we had the liberty of traveling with locals, we stayed in local street restaurants and had a good taste of Malpua.
Rajasthani Vegetarian Dishes
Pushkar is considered one of the holiest places in India which is why the food here is only vegetarian and even eggs and beer are not allowed in the city.
There will be people who will still let you try these food as there are always people who will find ways to trick the system to charge tourists for more. However we think it’s best to actually let yourself just be consumed why what’s natural in the town, even just for a couple of days. So yes, we definitely ate only local vegetarian cuisine while we are in Pushkar (and yes even if we had the chance to order vegetarian pastas and pizzas!) and this has made the experience even more raw and authentic.
Some of the most important dishes we’ve tried is the Rajasthani papad. Papad is usually deep friend crackers in the whole of India. However, in Rajasthan they also do a version of it with curry mixed with vegetables. It is very spicy, but surprisingly, one of the dishes we liked in India.
15. Watch an Aarti
The fire ceremony usually done in the Ghats is one of the most prominent ceremony to witness and be a part of while in Pushkar. This ceremony makes use of the 5 elements. Aarti came from the word which means to take away from darkness.
While we are in Pushkar, we took part in Aarti with Shree Chitra Kutdham. This is actually one of the cleanest temples we’ve ever seen in India. And it is highly maintained. In here we did the Pari Kharam or the rotation clockwise visiting shrines inside a temple.
16. Camping or Glamping
Commonly known now as the Glamping experience, tents for accommodations became a trend here in Pushkar. Maybe this is because staying tents is one of the easiest ways to add to the desert experience even if you’re not staying in the middle of the desert.
During our stay in Pushkar we stayed with Rawai Luxury Tents which had one of the best tent accommodation in Pushkar. Not only will you get the glamping experience while in here. We had the chance to meet the owner and the leader of this accommodation, Mahima.
Mahima at the time is the only female leader in an organisation in Pushkar. And this makes her work very special. Her goals of creating an immense impact in the community of Pushkar doesn’t only end with the management of Rawai Luxury Tents. It’s amazing to have the experience of meeting and working with trailblazers like her. Culturally, women are not the most respected when it comes to leadership in India, and people like her are not only opening up the conversation, but opening up many doors not only for other women, but for the culture to little by little understand and be open to gender equality.
17. Meeting Aloo Baba
One of the most special guru in Pushkar is Aloo Baba. Aloo literally means potato and every monk chooses a “tapa” or a devotion and Aloo Baba’s devotion is that he can only eat potato for the rest of his life.
During the time we met him to have tea, he explained to us that he chose potato because it’s a food you can find everywhere and can be found in any season. According to him, having this devotion gives him a lot of free time just to focus his energy to meditation.
18. Visiting Ajmer
Ajmer is the city just half an hour from Pushkar. If you’re looking at seeing other places, this is also a good trip to do. Anyway when leaving Pushkar or before getting Pushkar you will usually pass by Ajmer. It’s great to walk around the markets.
19. Doing a Yoga session in Pushkar
Will a trip in India be complete without doing any yoga session? Yoga is rooted more in spirituality so one of the best places in the world to experience it is in India. And in Pushkar there are so many places you can do it. We highly recommend doing it with Kirtika or the Guru Homestay.
Kirtika is a Brazilian woman who has been blessed to be a monk and has been living in Pushkar for many years who now offers yoga sessions at donation cost. You can also stay at her place for a low price. Click here to check prices and availability to stay at Guru Homestay.
Where to Stay in Pushkar
We stayed at Rawai Luxury Tents and we really loved it the place. It’s located in a peaceful are 700 meters far from Pushkar. You can go walking distance to the town!
There are more than 10 tents in the property. A beautiful garden for relaxing and a pool to refresh yourself from the heat. Our room was so comfortable and we enjoyed so much time our time in Pushkar not only in the accommodation but also with Mahima and Kirtika guiding around the town.
You can also use AirBnb; just click here to get $30 USD of your first booking with AirBnB.
Hope you find useful our favorite things to do in Pushkar and feel free to share our Pushkar travel guide with your friends going to Rajasthan in India.
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