Pushkar is a magnificent small town in Rajasthan which is nestled along the shore of picturesque Pushkar Lake and engulfed by the Aravalli Mountains. To keep travelers busy Pushkar is packed with captivating sights and activities. From visiting the ancient temples with fascinating mythological history to taking a dip in the holy water of Pushkar and experiencing the vibrant, rich atmosphere of camel festival, discover the best things to see and do in Pushkar.
Visit the temples
Pushkar is a major religious hub in India comprising of more than 500 temples. These temples along with being a spiritual gateway impart the knowledge of splendid state's history and architecture. The most famous temple of Pushkar is the Brahmaji Temple, which dates back to the 14th century. This is the only temple in the whole world dedicated to Lord Brahma, the creator of the universe and thus it holds an extraordinary place in the hearts of all Indians. Other significant temples include Savitri Temple, which is set atop Ratnagiri hills; 20th-century Ramavaikunth Temple; Varaha Temple, Rangji Temple, Raghunath Temple, Apteshwar Temple, and Mahadeva Temple. The aarti at these temples is the highlight so do make sure to attend it —Mangala Aarti in the morning, approximately two hours before sunrise, and the Sandhya Aarti in the evening, about 40 minutes past sunset.
Attend the vibrant festivals and fairs
As much as Pushkar is famous for its temples, it is also well known for its festivals and fairs. The most popular and well-attended fair is the Pushkar Fair which is country’s largest livestock as well as cultural festival. Thousands of tourist pour into the city to experience the splendid festival atmosphere which takes place every year in the month of November at the time of the Kartik Purnima full moon. Over time, the fair has gained much popularity because of various cultural performances and competitions like the ‘matka phod,' ‘longest mustache' and ‘bridal competition.'
Another popular festival is the Pushkar International Balloon Festival which made its debut in 2010, and since then it is being organized every year colliding with the Pushkar fair. The festival gives an opportunity to embark on a hot air balloon ride and admire the beautiful town of Pushkar from high above. The view of the temples, lakes, and dunes is truly a sight to behold. The best time to take the ride is sunrise, as the rays of the sun cascade across the sky creating perfect photo opportunities so make sure that you bring your camera along. There are many operators in Pushkar that provide this unique experience, and it is highly recommended to book in advance, as space fills up quickly. The best companies offering this magnificent ride are Adventure Nation and Sky Waltz.
Take a holy dip in the Pushkar Lake
The famous Pushkar Lake is described as ‘Tirtha Raj’ in the Hindu scriptures, meaning the king of all pilgrimage sites. Without a dip in the holy Pushkar Lake, no pilgrimage is considered complete, and hence every year thousands of visitors descend in the holy waters to purify their body, mind, and soul. There are around 52 ghats and 400 temples surrounding the sacred Pushkar Lake. Some of the well-liked ghats include Brahma Ghat, Varaha Ghat, Gau Ghat, Gangaur Ghat, Yajna Ghat, and Saptarishi Ghat.
Indulge in outdoor activities
Pushkar offers a plethora of extraordinary outdoor experiences that one should not miss. From camel safari to desert camping, complete with beautiful tents, comfortable beddings, authentic meals, colorful folk dance, and starlit sky this would be an entirely different experience in itself.
Shopping at the bazaars
The vibrant bazaars of Pushkar are the heart of the city, always bustling with tourist and pilgrims you will find these bazaars lively at all times. The most prominent of them are - Kedalganj bazaar, Sarafa bazaar and Bada bazaar, these bazaars offer a wide range of products, from traditional Rajasthani clothes and handicrafts to jewelry, leather items, rose products, and more.
Explore the ancient city of Merta
If you are in Pushkar, then a visit to Merta is a must, an hour drive from Pushkar this ancient city will take you back in time with its well-preserved architecture. Merta is well known for its Meera Bai temple that is dedicated to Meera Bai, a famous poetess, and devotee of Lord Krishna. Other places to visit include Charbhuja Temple, Aurangzeb Mosque, Raj Palace, Dadhimati Temple, and Bhanwal Matta Temple. Allow a day to soak in the local history fully! And, make sure to attend the Mangla aarti at Charbhuja temple that is held between 5:30 a.m. to 6:30 a.m.
Visit Nag Pahar
Nag Pahar or Snake hill is the hill that separates the city of Pushkar and Ajmer. Being an integral part of the city's appeal, a visit to this place will give you a chance to relish the breathtakingly beautiful view of the Pushkar city from atop. There is also an ancient cave on the hill, which is known to be the home of the popular Sage Agastya; as well as a lake known as Nag Kund which is truly exceptional. It is believed that the height of the hill is decreasing with every passing day so do visit this essential sight before it completely vanishes away.
Check out the Rose Garden
Pushkar has quite a reputation for its rose cultivation; there are vast stretches of land that features a wide variety of roses of all colors and sizes, making it popular among tourists and nature lovers alike. Tourist can take a stroll in the gardens or just relax and savour the calm and scented atmosphere.