Pushkar is not like anywhere else we stayed in Rajasthan, it is a peaceful town situated around a holy lake. The lake is said to be the tears of Shiva, which he cried after his wife died. It is one of two holy lakes and many Hindus travel here every year. There is a serene, calm quality to the place and it is an absolute must when in Rajasthan!
As soon as our feet touched Pushkar soil our bodies started relaxing. You travel to India to see the crazy, hustling scenes but a couple of days without doesn’t go amiss! The scenic setting is perfect for exploring without the crowds, even the market is only along one long bazaar. We stayed at Hotel U-Turn which had an amazing view over the lake from the roof top restaurant, especially for sunset and pretty yummy food!
On the day we arrived we began exploring straight away. First stop and what you cannot not be drawn to is the lake in the centre of town. Wandering around the holy lake and the surrounding Ghats we took in the sights; locals washing themselves and their brightly coloured clothes in the lake in huge groups; people with priest praying and sending petals into the Ghats as offerings to the God’s; children splashing around in the water and cows wandering around basking in the sun. Its truly is a magical place and you could sit on a step and not realised the hours that have passed!
Also surround the lake and Ghats there are a number of different temple which you can wonder into, again, as most of Rajasthan with beautifully detailed architecture.
Top Tip: When walking around the lake and the Ghats don’t forget to slip your slippers, sandals or stilettos off as a sign of respect.
Next we wondered around the market, now this is not like any Indian market you will have been to before. No one comes up to you, all the vendors relax by there stall and will only interact if offered by you, some of the vendors are even near impossible to find. This is the place to do your shopping if your not one for vendors literally grabbing your wrist and pulling you to their stall. However, bartering if tough here, you need to have your A-game on!!!
On the second day we decided to walk out of town to a beautiful view spot where you can see the whole of Pushkar town. Its slightly less relaxing as a tribe of monkeys live on top of Naga Pahar and it is a rather long trek, but if you can navigate yourself past this slightly intimidating mob and don’t die of exhaustion, the views are spectacular!
Top Tip: if you attach yourself to a heard of goats walking up the hill you’ll feel better, safety in numbers!
Now another little piece of advice, this hill is rumoured to be shrinking and one day, it is believed, it will completely vanish! So forget Venice is sinking or the Great Barrier Reef is dying, Naga Pahar it is!
Pushkar is truly a gem of serenity in Rajasthan and we cannot recommend it highly enough. A lot of the big tour companies miss it off their route (which is a blessing is disguise), but we absolutely loved it and think you will too!
Next stop, Jaisalmer.