Visiting Ajmer in Rajasthan India? Considering to add nearby Pushkar in the itinerary? I’m going to present the top things to do in Pushkar in a day to help you cover the small town as a day trip from Ajmer.
Ajmer is a popular destination in Rajasthan state in India which is known for the religious shrine Ajmer Sharif Dargah. Although, 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, camel safari and also camel fair in the Kartik month of Hindu calendar amongst other places to visit in Pushkar in 1 day.
We traveled to Ajmer with a group of approx. 15 people. Particularly because of its location in Rajasthan, it is a hot place as compared to Northern India, and also due to 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 to Pushkar can be feasible. We went at 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. This we considered as one of the best places in Pushkar or Ajmer because of the looks of the hostel like a mini-fort and pretty clean as well. Ajmer to Pushkar distance by road is not more than almost 16 km and be easily reached within an hour.
Top things to do in Pushkar
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 Pushkar Camel fair for the cultural insight of the state. Furthermore, take part in various fun competitions as this is easily one of the best places to visit in Pushkar!!
Pushkar is well known for having one of the very few Lord Brahma Temple in the entire world and it is easily one of the top things to do in Pushkar. Lord Brahma is a Hindu god who is believed to be the creator of the universe and various beings in it. Brahma Temple is indeed a major Pushkar attraction and one of the best places to visit in Pushkar.
Brahma Temple History
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. Hope these stories got you curious so go ahead book your tickets and don’t miss one the best places to visit in Pushkar. 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!
Another top thing to do in Pushkar is the holy lake. Pushkar has known for its divine lake all over in India and also abroad. The 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) on 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.
Pushkar is surrounded by deep desert and sand dunes. Therefore it is top thing to do in Pushkar 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 safari as we felt it was more associated with the place which certainly turned out to be stupendous.
The camel 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 desert, local vendors perform some dance and music activities, local sellers try to sell in-house material and short camel safaris are also available there.
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. Usually missed by tourists, but I recommend it as one of the top things to do in Pushkar.
History of Old Rangji Temple
The Old Rangji 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.
Pushkar Shopping 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. The shopping in Pushkar was one of the highlights of our trip and surely one of the top things to do in Pushkar.
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[…] another weird thing when I spotted horse/camel giving rides to tourists – like is this a desert or what? Sorry if this was a spoiler, but aren’t beaches supposed to be fun and quiet […]
I had visited Pushkar last year for a day trip and could only visit the camel fair, lake and Brahma temple. This town was so peaceful. Would love to visit there again for the desert safari and Rangji temple.
Fantastic photos. Rajasthan was on my bucket-list but never read any blog about this place. Definitely going to hit Pushkar on my Rajasthan tour whenever that happens
We have been to Pushkar for a week and so wish we had seen this guide before. As much you have suggested in one day, we did not even cover half of those during the time we were there. We want to go again and hence, saving this guide for reference! Thanks.
[…] Related Read – Top things to do in Pushkar in a day. […]
Pushkar looks great. I’ve never visited Rajastan, but I’d really like to see Pushkar after reading this. A desert safari would be so cool, but I wouldn’t know whether to go in a jeep or a camel! Decisions, decisions….!
I absolutely love the architecture of the Old Rangji Temple. I’ve heard about Pushkar but always had this impression that it’s for religious and spiritual travellers only. Pushkar lake looks so lovely, as does the idea of a camel safari. Rajasthan has so many gems for travel enthusiasts.
When I visited Rajasthan, I skipped Pushkar in favor of spending more time in Jaisalmer. While Jaisalmer was great, there is definitely a case to be made for visiting again for the sake of Pushkar. Thank you for reminding me that there is much more to see in Rajasthan than what I’ve already seen.
I agree, Rajasthan is huge, I am yet to see Jaisalmer. Hope I’ll like it too 🙂
The temples of India are all so spectacular. I always want to see one being built to see what goes into the architecture. And to see a camel fair! I’ve seen plenty of camels in Morocco but not a camel fair. Pushkar looks like an amazing travel stop.
It really is an interesting place, Hope you too like it 🙂
I understand that Rajasthan is the most colourful region of India and your post definitely does this place justice. It incorporates rich culture and tradition in terms of the temple and its stunning architecture that seem to tell a tale of the olden days, and also offers spectacular natural landscapes at Pushkar Lake. I’m actually interested to check out India as a travel destination, so I’m considering visiting this part of this amazing country.
Hope you will like Rajasthan and India on a whole. Thank you for the lovely words 🙂
Great tips. I’m sold. India is definitely my next big adventure when I get the time. Camal Safari sounds incredible!!
Glad to hear that 🙂 Hope you enjoy India whenever you plan to come.
I’m actually going to Pushkar in December so this is really useful! I will be traveling around India with a guided tour so I know we will be stopping at the lake, but we will also have some free time to explore. Now I really want to see the Old Rangji temple. The Lord Brahmin temple is gorgeous too!
The Old Rangi temple is just stunning! India is still one country I’ve yet to visit, but Rajasthan looks so beautiful and would be one of the first places to see. Loving the colours here too, and the lake is mesmerising!
Glad you liked Rajasthan🙂
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[…] asked me about Rajasthan, I would have mentioned places like Jaisalmer, Jaipur, Udaipur, Jodhpur or Pushkar. However at this point, Bikaner tops my list for places to visit in Rajasthan and this post will […]