When is the best time to visit Pushkar?
The Indian Winter is the best time to visit Indian in general, including Pushkar. The weather is pleasant, and can actually be quite cold in the evenings in Pushkar, so you may need a jacket.
If you want to witness the camel festival in Pushkar then you will need to visit in November but we advise booking your accommodation well in advance!
How long do I need to explore Pushkar?
Bradley and I stayed for two nights, and I would say this was a good amount. You could easily stretch to three if you want to go into the dessert or simply relax by the pool, but two days is enough to see all the perfect places to visit in Pushkar.
How do I get to Pushkar?
It’s very easy to get to Pushkar, regardless of what are you are travelling from. Basically you will want to get the train to the nearest station called Ajmer (it’s a city) and then you get either a bus or taxi to Pushkar. You can easily get an Uber and it’s only $2-3 for the 20 minute journey.
You can also get a taxi outside the train station, and if you look like you’re on your phone looking for an uber, they’ll shout out a really cheap price to you...so take it!
I don’t know much about getting the buses or mini vans to Pushkar, but our tour guide did say that you simply ask the men standing outside the train station and they will be able to locate you to the nearest bus etc. I imagine it’s very cheap too.
Getting around Pushkar
You can get almost everywhere via Pushkar via walking, or even a taxi. But, if you want to take control of your day and see other places (some listed on this list), then you can rent a moped. It’s cheap, it’s safe and everyone does it. Just head to the main street and everyone is advertising moped rental.
Please wear a helmet.
The 11 Best Pushkar Tourist Attractions
Okay, now the formalities are taken care of, let’s chat about what you came for...the best places to visit in Pushkar. These things will all fit into a two or three day Pushkar itinerary. I've also included some places to visit in Ajmer.
1. Visit the Brahma Temple Pushkar
So, to give you some context, Lord Brahma is a hindu god that is the “Lord of creation”, so he created everything. There are very few temples dedicated to him around the world, and there is only one in India. This one located in Pushkar is also the most famous in the world and Hindu’s from all over visit Pushkar city to visit the temple.
It’s actually not quite large, and I guess it’s a little underwhelming to look at if you aren’t Hindu and can’t therefore fully appreciate the full significance of it. BUT, what is great about visiting this temple is the full authentic Hindu experience you get to experience.
It’s free to enter the temple for all, you simply have to leave your shoes and bags with the men and women storing them for a small fee.
If you’re white, or look like you’re not Hindu basically, than a volunteer will show you how it all works. You are given some beautiful flowers and half of these flowers are given to Brahma.
Then you walk to the sacred lake (more on this later), and you speak with a...Hindu equivalent to a priest and he will say some prayers, blessings and give you the red mark on your forehead. This is all really cool. Then you throw the rest of your flowers in the lake!
All this for free….oh wait.
Yes, there is some sort of scam that goes on within this experience. (Even though they claim it’s not a scam. You can judge)
So, as the guy is giving you your blessing, he will tell you about all the men and women on the street, homeless and starving, and he says you can make a donation (there is an actual donation counter at the top of the street). So, me being me, was happy to make a donation, but of my own choice.
The man said no no, you have to commit to giving either £20, £60 or £140 (first is enough to feed someone for a day, the second three days, the third 7 days). Don’t get me wrong, I hate poverty, but being in India for so long beforehand makes me know it doesn’t cost £20 a day to feed someone.
Besides that, I don’t carry that amount of money on me, ever. I deal in card payments and very little cash.
Anyway, when I said I would rather donate my own money, the man said “if you don’t commit then you will live with guilt” and “I have blessed you, so you must commit”. I was thinking, you’ve got to me kidding me. I don’t like people who use their religion to try and guilt trip me.
Anyway, I said my boyfriend has the money and I walked away, put my flowers in the lake, and met Brad (who had the same stuff said to me), so we simply left.
What I am trying to say, is don’t ever feel pressured into donating that money.
It was still a great experience and one of the top tourist places in Pushkar.
2. Dine at Pushkar Lake
Pushkar Lake is both a pilgrimage site as lake, which makes it sacred. You can’t actually take photos of it, so it’s a nice idea to have lunch and enjoy the view. I would highly recommend Cafe Lake View. The staff are a little bland and slow, BUT the food and coffee is delicious, especially if you’re craving some non Indian food. Just look at that hummus. Oh, it’s cheap too!
Fun fact about Pushkar: alcohol and meat are not allowed, so you’ll be going sober and vegetarian for a few days. (unless you find the locals off licence hidden away)
3. Savitri Mata Temple
If you’re looking for a view of Pushkar from above, then it’s a good idea to get this cable car up to Savitri Mata Temple. Bradley and I didn’t do this, but we could see the cable car and temple from our hotel (it was very close).
It overlooks the lake and offers fantastic views. It’s also another Hindu temple. You can choose to trek here too, but avoid during the hottest part of the day.
It’s about 100 rupee for the cable car.
4. Visit the Pushkar camel safari
If you want to visit the desert and see camels then this is a good shout. You can opt for half day safaris, full day safaris, or even camp overnight: a good opportunity for stargazing!
It will probably cost you are 1000 per person for a safari, but this could be higher, depending on what you’re looking for. Apparently it’s good for watching sunrise and sunset too.
November to January is the best time to go as the summer heat is unbearable.
5. Go Shopping in Pushkar
Pushkar is a tourist built place meaning there are lots and lots of market opportunities. If there's anything you forget to include when packing for India, then this could be a good chance to pick up some new clothes. Also, if you need gifts, shoes or jewelry then you can also pick these up here. It’s quite nice to just walk down the street and find great deals.
6. Visit Aloo Baba
If you’ve got your moped, then you may as well go to Aloo Baba. Here’s the thing, if you’ve been to temples in Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, anywhere like that, then you are going to be disappointed. BUT, it’s a nice drive, and if you go around an hour before sunset, you can see the peacocks dancing.
7. Visit Ajmer Lake (Ana Sagar Lake)
If you’ve got your moped, you can also take a drive to Ajmer lake. It will probably take you around 30 minutes and it’s very beautiful. There are places to eat along the way and there are seats to sit and admire the view. Also, if you need to book a bus out of Pushkar to your next journey, then you can do so here, as regardless of which way you go, you got to go through here to get out.
8. Visit Adhai Din Ka Jhonpra
This is actually one of India’s oldest mosques dating back to 1199 CE. If you’re interested in history, then I think this is a really cool site to see. You can do it after visiting the lake! According to legend, construction took 2.5 days….that would be impressive. It’s in need of some love and care, but still an exquisite piece of architecture for those interested in Indian architecture.
9. Varaha Temple
Another day, another temple. In case you haven’t noticed, Pushkar is filled with temples because of it’s pilgrimage status. The Varaha Temple was built back in the 12th century by King Anaji Chauhan to honour Varaha, Lord Vishnu’s incarnation in the form of a wild boar.
10. Taragarh Fort
This is one of the most impressive structures in Ajmer. It’s an outstanding and spectacular example of south indian architecture. It’s got a really interesting history that you should read up about before you go (lack of guides means lack of information). It’s free to enter and open from 9 am to 6.30 pm.
11. Visit Apteshwar temple
This is a beautiful and popular religious temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. It’s actually a shrine located underground that was built in the 12th century.It’s believed to have sunk inside the ground in the past.
Fun information: Those who believe place ‘Bel’ leaves on the sanctioned Lingam of Lord Shiva. Hindu mythology says that when someone does this, they get their wishes granted by the lord. Sometimes they also pour honey, milk, ghee and dali over Shiva Lingam, and unmarried girls would perform this regularly in the hope to one day get an ideal husband.
You can walk to this temple from the main tourist part of the city.
Open from 6,30 am to 8.30 pm
So there you have it, my guide to 10 perfect places to visit in Pushkar (and technically Ajmer I guess). There was also another lake that Bradley and I found on Google, I can’t remember the name, but it was dried up, so I am not going to recommend it. (It's called naga pahar I believe?)
Lastly, if you want to experience local life, then just drive off the beaten track, along winding roads and you’ll bump into many children who will be excited to see you and you’ll probably have a rock block due to about 50 goats. It’s fun!
Tour packages in Pushkar
If you want, you can take a tour package to help with your Pushkar sightseeing. The travel agents located in the popular tourist centre (where you can get mopeds) will have tour agencies that can arrange day sightseeing. If you are coming from Jaipur on a day trip to Pushkar then it's good to arrange a tour. Get your Guide offers good ones (which are included on this blog post below), or you can arrange via a travel guide in Jaipur.
It's only a couple of hours drive between Pushkar and Jaipur making it easy to do a day trip to Pushkar. It's also a comfortable Uber ride which is available!
It's good if you're looking for weekend getaways from Jaipur.
Where to stay in Pushkar
There are lots of accommodation choices in Pushkar, and Bradley and I decided we wanted a swimming pool. So we stayed in the Countryside Resorts. It a three star property with lovely rooms, a big swimming pool and fantastic staff. The on-site restaurant wasn’t half bad either! It’s also located “in the country” but you have sweeping views, and a massive garden to relax in and enjoy the sunset. It’s a really beautiful and relaxing place.
You can search for all hotels in Pushkar here.
Where to go next?
After visiting Pushkar, you can head straight to Jaipur via either bus or Uber (Uber is around £15, but between two people it's pretty convinenet). Or, you can head backwards in the Rajasthan area and visit Jodphur or Udaipur, both fantastic locations in India.
Regardless of where you decide to go, it will be easy to get there via either bus, train or plane.
I hope you've enjoyed this post on the best places to visit in Pushkar and if you've got any other suggestions for me to add to the list, then please comment below.
Don't forget to check out our post on the best places to visit in Jaipur.
And for other great posts on India, I recommend checking out Backpacking Bella.