The hipster vibes are strong in this small yet vibrant City. Pushkar is known for being a very Holy City, with sacred waters, over 300 temples, and is known as a huge pilgrimage site for Hindus and Sikhs throughout the year. Due to the religious values here, there is no meat or Dairy consumption within the city, so is a hive for vegetarians and interesting new foods. It has such a relaxed atmosphere, a very slow pace, with beautiful sunsets, dessert safaris and Yoga lessons by the hour!
The area most people stay is actually a town called Ajmer, which is where Pushkar Lake is located and is around 10 minutes from Pushkar city.
1. The sunset over the Lake
Music playing, songs being sung, people meditating along the Ghats surrounding the main lake as the sun gradually lowers behind the clouds infront. People congregate on a whole for the social aspect, a lot of people who are here for yoga, meditation and religious retreats and purposes other than tourism, socialise and meet others from the city. It was very peaceful and is a must do when in Pushkar. We headed to the nearby restaurant after to witness the sky turning different colours after it had set, where we had the Sizzlers which are well known dishes in Pushkar. Its a mix of rice, vegetables, vegan cheese and cashew nuts on a plate of lettuce all cooked on a hot plate, and basically sizzles.
2. Desert village evening
The Pushkar dessert merges with the other desserts which take over the Rajastani region, with grassy hills, sandy dunes, and small villages dotted throughout the journey. Jeeps picked us up to take us to the Camel camp where we chose a Camel and for our 45 minute ride deeper into the dessert. The location is close to where the National Camel festival takes place every October/ November which is a huge event for breeders and global visitors.
Once on the Camels which were beautifully decorated with colourful tassles and seating rugs we slowly walked in a line through the dessert, seeing camels pulling carts, dune buggies and even farmers walking along the pathways we took. At one of the villages the children were shouting hello to us, so we answered hello in Indian which they all laughed at. The mountains and scenery around us was beautiful, with the sun hazily coming through the clouds. For all your guys worrying about the camel ride, I for one was glad it was one way, I thought I was going to feel like Rachel Weisz out of the mummy films on a Camel all I got was a Camel toe and an achey back. But the other way of getting to the camp is by jeep and that’s how we returned due to how dark it gets once you return.
Once you come to the camp, we were given a choice of different Sarees and traditional clothing to wear for the evening, each lady I was with had a different colour to their outfit, we were like a rainbow. The guys all received fresh white clothing called Sherwani’s and ceremonious head wear), it was so exciting. When the performers came out dancing and playing instruments also dressed in beautiful outfits it became a party. Everyone up dancing, the women dancing with fire, thali trays and performing some beautiful dances along with the music.
We were given traditional Thali dishes, with several different curries, breads and rice so delicious. As we became full the sun was setting in the distance and we got to relax, lay back and soak up the stars which were so clear above us, no light pollution and no sounds from cars or people. Just silence and space.
3. Sunrise hike to Savitri Temple
The temple overlooks the entire town of Ajmir, gives amazing views of of Pushkar and all the surrounding valleys. The temple can be spotted while at the Pushkar Lake and the beauty i, the temple is only a 20 minute walk from the lake. It really is the most accessible and a great way to enjoy the view over the whole of Pushkar.
The walk up from the base takes about fifteen minutes, although you may need a few breaks it is quite a steep incline of stairs,so dont be afraid of a short workout and some sweat . Keep an eye out for monkeys they were quite aggressive and had me on edge, ready for battle. Also look out for the small stall which has fresh Chai tea and snacks for you to enjoy while taking it all in (careful of the monkeys again!).
The main town of Pushkar is made up of a 2 mile long winding road around the , with market stalls all the way along it, with clothing, restaurants, cows and so many jewellery stores. Everything India has to offer clothing and handicrafts wise is along this street, including silver rings, tailor made clothes within 24 hour from certain seamstresses, even antique swords and daggers.
I explored the streets which head off the main one too for better deals, barter opportunities and always have a look round before deciding what to buy. Everything looks so beautiful and really does draw you in to want everything you see.
5. Brahma Temple visit
Pushkar is home to over 500 temples, so it would be the perfect place to become templed out! But the first you should visit is the very busy temple in the centre of the Pushkar city streets is the Temple which worships Brahma. As you walk closer to it, you will see stall after stall selling offerings of fruit, flowers, rice, candles and even cigarettes. You take off your shoes, make sure you cover your head and head up the stairs. The temple is known for its red painted pinnacles to the temple.
The temple is very brightly decorated with colourful tiles, painted roofs and swan like curved which symbolise the animal connected with Brahma God the Swan. Columns in all kinds of bright colours I wasn’t allowed to take any pictures or videos to show them out of respect to the followers of Brama. Families, grandparents, women, children all give thanks and offerings.
It was a great place to recharge, relax, with all the character and charms you would want from Pushkar, With the history, culture and the magical scenery to explore and take in, but also has the addition of the new westernized tourists to bring a lot more entertainment, shopping and activities to the area. Enjoy!