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Updated 2020: Pushkar, a small town in Rajasthan is a backpacker and traveller heaven! Pushkar is chilled (for India!), it’s cheap, it’s spiritual, it’s easy to get around, there are plenty of places to eat Pushkar and plenty of things to do in Pushkar however unlike many other places in India you and mainly there’s no need to feel like you need to tick lots of iconic things off a list during the day and night like in many other places in India, which is why Pushkar is one of the best places to visit in India in my opinion!
Places to Visit in Pushkar!
Pushkar Lake sits in the middle of the town, it’s the biggest Pushkar attraction and it’s very special. The history of Pushkar Lake is it’s said that Lord Brahma, the Hindu God of Creation dropped a lotus from his hand and a Lake emerged in that place, because of this Pushkar is a very important place for Hindu’s and they are blessed in the Lake Pushkar which is interesting to see as you walk around.
It’s possible to walk all the way around the Lake crossing the ghats along the way. It seems tricky sometimes to know how to pass but there will be steps somewhere close by.
It’s really nice seeing the whole lake as some parts are busier than others, best of all it’s totally free to enter Pushkar lake.
Be sure to take your shoes off before you go down to the lake (if you don’t you’ll soon be told off by locals). I’d recommend carrying them with you so you don’t have to go back to the same place you left them. Watch out for the cow food and cow dung when walking barefoot as cows are allowed to roam around here and get fed well!
Also, make sure you have dressed appropriately with your knees and shoulders covered.
For another Pushkar things to do, go down to Pushkar Lake at night. It is very quiet and peaceful then. I found this was the best time to visit Pushkar Lake as I could really soak in the spiritual vibes of Pushkar.
Related Post: 7 Things To Be Aware Of When Visiting Pushkar!
Brahma Temple in Pushkar.
Brahma is one of the most important Hindu Gods and along with Pushkar Lake, the Brahma Temple is very special to Hindu’s too in Pushkar. In fact, it’s only one of a few Brahma Temples in India and the most prominent one.
Visiting the Brahma Temple in Pushkar as a foreigner is a bit stressful I found because it’s a top tourist places in Pushkar, so take note of the below:
Firstly you need to leave your shoes outside and no big bags or cameras are allowed in, they need to be put in a locker for 10Rs outside. I was given a flower outside, I reluctantly accepted as I’m always cautious that nothing is for free but I didn’t get asked for any money and was told the flower is for the temple, not for me anyway.
I had a guy attach himself to me straight away in the Temple and show me around. I think he knew I was cautious and said he was a good person. To be fair without him I wouldn’t have known where to go in the Temple and wouldn’t have known what I was seeing. After this, he took me to the lake for a blessing.
Related Post: Around the Lake and around Brahma Temple be cautious of people scamming you! Here’s what to look out for and other things to be aware of when visiting Pushkar.
You definitely can visit the Brahma Temple without a guide so if you want to walk around on your own firmly decline their offer but it is only a small temple and by walking around on your own it will only take a few minutes.
I would recommend going with an official guide to the Brahma Temple in Pushkar to learn more about it, you can book onto this cheap Cultural Walking Tour of Pushkar where you visit the Brahma Temple and Pushkar Old Town. Book it here!
If you’re a bit over Indian Food by the time you reach Pushkar you’ll be pleased to know that when it comes to where to eat in Pushkar, there are so many cafes and restaurants in Pushkar all serving International and Western Food and it feels acceptable to be eating this in Pushkar so make sure you fit meals in between your Pushkar sightseeing.
Not only that but fresh salads and juices are abundant in Pushkar which is just what I was craving after only a few weeks in India because I found safe salads and juices hard to find in Rajasthan. My favourite cafe was The Laughing Buddha Cafe in Pushkar!
Related Post: The Best Places to Eat in Pushkar!
In addition to this note that Pushkar is fully Vegetarian with no eggs, and no alcohol either so you’re in for a healthy stay!
Pushkar Food Tour
Talking of Food, Pushkar is known for its food and its street food as being some of the best in Rajasthan. To help you get a better understanding of the food in Pushkar and the best places to eat, I recommend taking a food walking tour in Pushkar with a local. Book it here!
Savitri Temple is another famous Pushkar Temple as it is dedicated to Lord Brahma’s Wife. You’ll be able to see Savitri Temple from wherever you are in Pushkar and although it looks very high, and it is, it’s possible to walk all the way to the top.
I read and was told that it is the best place for sunset in Pushkar and although it is very good with an incredible view, I didn’t like it that much because of how many monkeys are at the top!
It’s a good hike in Pushkar, it is paved with steps from the very bottom (which is also where the cable car leaves from if you’d rather take that) all the way to the top and although the steps do get big with a steep incline towards the top it is pretty manageable.
Pap Mochani Temple
Pap Mochani Temple is another one of the places to visit at Pushkar, it’s a small-ish hill with Savitri Temple on top and an incredible view.
The base is close to the centre of Pushkar town and from the base it is a 15-20 minute walk up along a path which has rock and stone steps but it’s easy to navigate and not too hard.
At the top is Pap Mochani Temple, if you sit by the temple or walk around it remember to take off your shoes. Alternatively, just opposite the temple is wall you can sit on perfect to watch the sunset from.
I really liked watching the sunset in Pushkar from Pap Mochani Temple as the views are awesome, it’s not too far from the town, it wasn’t too busy and I didn’t see any monkeys!
For one more place to watch the sunset in Pushkar and what to see in Pushkar, head to Jaipur Ghat on Pushkar Lake and you’ll watch the sun go down directly in front of you into the town.
Be warned that you will get a lot of hassle here from locals trying to sell you things or play music by you for money, they aren’t too pushy though and are generally friendly so just politely decline and they will leave you.
I’d recommend staying until once the sun goes down and it starts to get dark as there’s usually music playing and people practising their fire twirling. It does attract a bit of an interesting crowd but it’s good to see.
Just remember if you go close to the lake to take your shoes off!
The Thar Desert is a must-visit place in Rajasthan and if you don’t plan to visit Jaisalmer to see it, don’t worry as you can visit the Thar Desert from Pushkar on a Jeep Experience! You’ll get to see local village life in the desert and experience the sand dunes of the desert!
You will need to book a trip to the Thar Desert with a guide and to ensure you book with an operator and guide who has good reviews, I’d recommend booking online on one of these highly-rated options:
Pushkar Shopping Street
The shopping in Pushkar India is another one of the top things to do in Pushkar because it’s so good!
The market shops in Pushkar sell so much from clothes, books, crystals, CD’s, bags, scarfs, everything you could ever want and need, plus more! The people who work in them will call you to look in but they are friendly and not overly pushy at all.
The reason I think Pushkar is the best place to shop in India is because it’s easy to see all of the shops and it’s really cheap! I got a pashmina for 150Rs and another more basic scarf for 70Rs and long, baggy trousers for 300Rs. These items are so much more expensive in other places of India. Pushkar Rajasthan must be the cheapest place to shop in India!
Yoga and Meditation Class
Why not get in the Spiritual vibe and go to a yoga and meditation class. I found that there are 2 main places to do yoga in Pushkar and one of these also combines a lot of meditation into the class.
Related Post: Check out this post on where to do Yoga and Meditation in Pushkar!
Watch the Evening Aarti at the Lake
At Varah Ghat on Pushkar Lae just after sunset, an evening aarti ceremony starts. It is aimed at locals and Hindu’s so you may be the only foreigner but you can sit on the top step away from it slightly and observe. It wasn’t as big as I had read about online in another article but once you have seen the sunset from Jaipur Ghat it’s a nice idea to walk to the opposite side of the Lake and catch this ceremony afterwards.
Visit Aloo Baba
A popular place to visit near Pushkar or more like, a popular person to visit near Pushkar, is Aloo Baba. He is a Baba who has only eaten potatoes for over 45 years of his life. (Aloo in Hindu means Potato)
A guy I met in my hostel hired a moped (for just 250Rs for 24hours) and drove the 11km from Pushkar to see him. He is at the Shiva Temple and the guy I met said it was signposted as he got close and he was obviously very used to visitors.
Aloo Baba was happy to speak to the visitors so it sounds worth the trip and he seems partial to a bit of Hashish!
How to get to and from Pushkar
Pushkar does NOT have a train station and Ajmer is the closest city with a train station 16km away however Ajmer is connected by train to Delhi and many other cities in Rajasthan. From Ajmer to Pushkar a taxi will cost about 400Rs.
There is a local bus from Ajmer to Pushkar which is very cheap and runs regularly however from Ajmer train station you’ll need to get a taxi or tricycle to Ajmer bus station.
I recommend booking trains in India in advance because they book out quickly. You can book trains online in India using 12Go Asia:
It’s possible to get a bus to and from Pushkar too and this way you’ll end in Pushkar town rather than Ajmer. Jaipur to Pushkar or Pushkar to Jaipur is a popular bus route as it takes just 3 hours.
Pushkar is not as easy to get to as a lot of the other popular places in India but I always say that the harder places are to get to, the better they are!
Best Accommodation in Pushkar
I stayed at Elephant Hotel and Hostel which I really liked.
Unlike a lot of the bigger hostels in Pushkar like Zostel Hostel, Backpacker Panda or The Madpackers Hostel, Elephant Hostel is right in the centre but it has a big lawn so once you’re inside it feels like it’s out of the centre. The staff are really nice there too, it has private rooms for a good price and dorm rooms, and best of all- the wifi is good!
One of the best hotels in Pushkar is Inn Seventh Heaven. It’s right in the centre of town and is named perfectly because when you walk through the gap in the big door and into the courtyard you literally feel like you have stepped into heaven! It’s so peaceful and beautiful!
If you’re looking for a Pushkar Resort with some luxury, Ananta Resort Pushkar is the place to go!
Check for the best hotels in Pushkar here on Booking.com. I use Booking.com for all of my bookings as I love the flexible cancellation options and the ease to extend bookings, just in case my plans do change!
If you are visiting Pushkar Camel Fair, make sure you book your accommodation early as it gets very busy and hotels in Pushkar book up fast!
To SEE Pushkar, watch my YouTube video here:
Now you know what to see in Pushkar, have a read of these posts to help you see more of Pushkar and India!