“‘The rose garden of Rajasthan”.
Where is Pushkar?
The city of Pushkar borders the Thar Desert, in the northeastern Indian state of Rajasthan. Set on Pushkar Lake, a sacred Hindu site with 52 ghats (stone staircases) where pilgrims bathe.
Famous for the annual Pushkar Camel Fair, a trading fete for cattle, horses, and camels. Held over seven days in autumn marking Kartika Purnima according to the Hindu calendar, usually falling in October or November.
Our journey from Jaipur to Pushkar was on the train and in a taxi.
During our time in Pushkar, we chose to stay at Inn Seventh Heaven. A centrally located hotel in a traditional building. With rooms built around a galleried courtyard. All have ensuite bathrooms and loads of character. One of the few hotels we stayed in that offered tea/coffee making facilities. A rooftop restaurant offers homemade traditional cuisine. Breakfast was not included in our room rate.
Narayan Restaurant & Cafe
We had breakfast here every morning. A local establishment that offered a good selection for breakfast. We loved the banana pancakes. Situated on the main street, we were able to watch the world go by as we ate.
La Pizzaria Restaurant
A restaurant set in a courtyard, offering Italian dishes. Good food in a beautiful atmosphere. Still able to provide food even though there was a power cut.
Places of interest
Pushkar is one of the oldest cities in India. Known as “The rose garden of Rajasthan”. The essence of the famous Pushkar rose is exported all over the world. The home to the only temple dedicated to Lord Brahma in the whole world. Hindus consider a journey to Pushkar to be the ultimate pilgrimage that must be undertaken to attain salvation.
The Lake is a popular destination for pilgrims, with over 500 temples on its banks. There are also 52 bathing ghats (steps leading into the water).
The water around each ghat is believed to possess special medicinal powers. Hindu mythology speaks about Panch Sarovars (Five Lakes).
Pushkar Lake is considered to be the most sacred. Devotees believe that bathing in the waters during Kartik Poornima ( Pushkar Camel Fair) will nullify sins and cure all skin diseases.
With the lake considered such a holy place, there are customs that need to adhere too. Therefore, no shoes can be worn while walking on the ghats or bridges that cross the holy waters. There are plenty of signs letting you know when you are entering an area where shoes need to be removed.
The inordinate number of sacred cows wandering anywhere they wish, only leads to one thing, cow pats, everywhere. One eye requires to be constantly scanning the ground you are walking, while the other takes in the cultural magnificence of the city. Not doing this will end up in you putting your foot or even feet in a slimy mess deposited by one or more of the sacred animals.
A temple dedicated to the Hindu God of Creation, Lord Brahma. It is the most important of the 500 temples in Pushkar. During the Pushkar Camel Fair, the town celebrates a festival dedicated to Brahma. Devout pilgrims visit the temple after bathing and cleansing themselves in the sacred Pushkar Lake.
The Brahma temple is recognised as one of the ten most religious places in the world. Considered to be one of the five sacred pilgrimage destinations for Hindus.
Dedicated to one of Lord Vishnu’s incarnations. Lord Varaha is worshipped in the form of a boar deity that presides over this temple.
The city is incredibly holy for both Hindus and Sikhs. Because of this thousands of devotees visit the Temple. It is one of a kind, since there are no other notable or significantly large temples of the Varaha form of Lord Vishnu, anywhere else in the world.
Wander through the streets and markets of the city
The streets close to Pushkar Lake are full of gem shops, souvenir stalls, street food vendors and market stalls. Immerse yourself in the amazing culture that this city has to offer, by wandering through the streets. Meet some of the cities’ colourful characters, while seeing the amazing architecture.