Ajmer is a popular destination in Rajasthan state in India which is known for the religious shrine Ajmer Sharif Dargah. Pushkar is a small town that can be covered on a day trip from Ajmer and the distance from Ajmer to Pushkar is merely 11kms. Pushkar is also closely located from Jaipur and the distance from Jaipur to Pushkar is no more than 150 km and can be covered in almost 3-hour drive. The religious town is associated with the famous Brahma Temple and Camel fair in the Kartik month of Hindu calendar amongst other things to do in Pushkar.
We traveled to Ajmer with a group of approx. 15 people. Because of its location in Rajasthan, it is a hot place as compared to Northern India, and also because of the close proximity of deserts. Best time to visit the small town would be from November to March, although towards March also temperature starts to sore high but still a visit can be feasible. We went in the beginning of April, it was really hot in the daytime but cooled down post sunset.
We started our journey from New Delhi via an evening train reaching the Ajmer railway station at almost midnight. The hostel as seen in the above picture was enormous and offered late night check-ins too, so that was a plus for us.
1. Pushkar Fair
The Pushkar town is a renowned name in the Rajasthan state well associated with the annual fair it hosts. The fair is usually hosted for five to seven days in the Kartik month of Hindu calendar year usually falling in October/November. It is amongst the top things to do in Pushkar as it attracts tourists not only from India but also international tourists. Why is it so famous?? Mainly because of the religious values and secondly because it is the largest camel, cattle, and horse fairs from the country. Visit the fair for the cultural insight of the state and take part in various fun competitions!!
2. Brahma Temple
Pushkar is well known for having one of the very few Lord Brahma Temple in the entire world. Lord Brahma is a Hindu god who is believed to be the creator of the universe and various beings in it.
It is rumored that Saraswati – Lord Brahma wife’s cursed him around which almost two stories revolve. One says that as Saraswati was speculated to be the daughter of Lord Brahma and was fascinated by her beauty. Saraswati did marry Lord Brahma eventually but cursed him before the marriage that he will be worshipped in very few temples. Another story revolves also around the marriage of Lord Brahma only when he married to Gayatri – a young beautiful girl from an untouchable Gujjar tribe. When Saraswati found out about the second marriage, he cursed Lord Brahma. She also decreed that the tribe would unshackle only when their ashes are disseminated in the Pushkar lake which many people found true to the date as well.
It is also rumored that the walls of the Brahma temple are painted red to embark the dedications to the dead. Mobile phones & cameras are not allowed inside, and have to be kept outside in locker rooms or better leave them in car/cab if you’ve got one!
3. Pushkar Lake
Pushkar is also famous for its divine lake as myths suggest that Saraswati cursed the Gujar caste that their ashes have to be dispersed in the lake to be liberated. The lake also holds morning and evening prayers which is remarkable to attend. If possible, do include evening aarti (prayers) in the trip, it will remind you of the one that takes places at the Ganges. The lake is a huge pilgrimage site which also contains as many as 52 Bathing Ghats where pilgrims take the sacred bath.
6. Desert Safari
Pushkar is surrounded by deep desert and another must thing to do from the iconic town to have a jibe of the desert and local culture. Two options are available for safari – A camel carriage and secondly through a Jeep. We opted for a camel carriage as we felt it was more associated with the place.
The safari takes us through a round of the desert and also stops in somewhere in the middle of the desert. In the mid of the de, ert local vendors perform some activities, some local sellers and camel rides are also available there.
5. Old Rangi Temple
Old Rangji Temple which is a beautifully carved temple which dates back to 1823. The temple consists of huge complex, is engraved artistry from the old era on marble stone with a mix of a variety of architectural styles including South India, Mughal, and Rajput.
The temple was constructed in the 18th century is an architectural marvel and was initiated by Seth Puran Mal Ganeriwal of Hyderabad. The temple is situated in the middle of the market and hence easily accessible. As the temple is of huge importance to Hindu religion, it is believed that non-Hindus are not allowed here, it would be advisable to confirm before visiting.
6. Pushkar Market
Pushkar is known for its local markets showcasing some of the best products from the state including rose merchandises, handicrafts, leather goods, ethnic Rajasthani jewelry and much more. If the visit is planned around the camel fair, then variety increases many folds which way you can collect souvenirs from the spectacular town.
Have you visited Pushkar? Do share your experience with me!!
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