Not far from Jaipur, Pushkar is one Rajasthan’s most popular towns. This lakefront holy town is among the most picturesque in an already photo-worthy state, with a peaceful lake surrounded by 52 ghats and beautiful hills and temples in the distance.
Pushkar is best known for two things: Brahma Temple, one of the few temples on earth dedicated to the Hindu god of creation, and its annual Camel Fair. The fair attracts an interesting mix of devout Hindus and backpackers, though it’s ideal for anyone with an interest in Indian culture and religion or just those looking to take a day trip from Jaipur.
Private walking tours of Pushkar focus on its spiritual and cultural facets, while sightseeing excursions come with a guide and transportation.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Wear sunscreen and comfortable shoes; Pushkar is sunny most of the time and a good part of the town is pedestrian-only.
- Most Pushkar temples are not open to foreigners or non-Hindus.
- Pushkar’s dusty roads and many steps make it difficult to navigate with a wheelchair.
- Beware of “special lassis” in restaurants; they may contain a legal cannabis-based mixture known as bhang, which has psychedelic effects.
- Some priests wait by the lake here and try to get unsuspecting tourists to pay for rituals. If someone clad in white offers you a flower to throw into the lake, you may wish to decline.
How to Get There
Pushkar is a few hours’ drive from Jaipur. The easiest way to get there is by car or as part of an organized tour. Travelers can also take a train from Delhi or Jaipur to nearby Ajmer Junction and then switch to a taxi or bus directly to Pushkar.
When to Get There
Pushkar is a year-round destination. It’s at its busiest during the annual Camel Fair, which takes place over a week during the holy month of Kartik (usually in October or November). During this time, hotel rates spike and desert camps open up around the area to provide additional lodging. April to June can be unbearably hot, with temperatures hovering well over 100°F (38°C), while December–February offers relatively cooler temples and fewer tourists.
Pushkar Camel Fair
Pushkar’s biggest draw is its annual camel fair, the largest in the world. Camel traders come to the town from across Rajasthan to sell their camels (and horses) and camelid accessories. There are also plenty of festivities, from moustache-length competitions to camel beauty contests, along with live music, dance, and amusement park-style attractions.