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So the story about Pushkar goes like this. Lord Brahma was looking for a place to perform Mahayagna and he found this place. After some time He came to know that a demon was killing people here so he chanted a mantra on lotus flower and killed the demon. In the process, Lotus fell here in Pushkar, forming the Pushkar lake and Brahma decided to perform a yagna to protect the locals. Both Brahma and Saraswati(His wife) were needed to perfom the ritual but Saraswati took very long to get ready and bored Brahma Ji married a local- Gayatri to sit beside him as his wife to speed up the process of Yagna. Seeing this Sarawati was infuriated and cursed Lord Brahma he will never be worshipped anywhere except Pushkar! Though I have heard about a few more!!
Best Time to Visit Pushkar – October to March is the best time to visit Rajasthan
Places to stay in and around Pushkar: There are many resorts mushrooming around Pushkar city. The famous ones being Hotel Ananta, Aaram Bagh, Bhawani Singh Palace, etc. These are 4* and 5* properties meant for people who just want to relax and make a day tour to Pushkar. But the ones who want to stay inside Pushkar city and enjoy its colors and flavours, many guest houses and paying guest accomodations are available(though not of any starred category)
Places to Eat in Pushkar – Road side dhabas serving Rajasthani food(although not so authentic Rajasthani food!!) one of the known ones being – Karnima Dhaba near Brahma Mandir, Blue frog, Sunset cafe for a beautiful view on sunset over the lake. DO NOT miss the Malpua from the street side shops- famous one being Sarwadiya Mishthan Bhandar.
Shopping in Pushkar – I love this part of Pushkar. Too much to shop for! Shops all along the roadside stocked with cloths in cotton and silk, funky jewellery, silver jewellery, souvenirs and handicraft. They are pretty reasonable and most shops are fixed price shops. There are colors all around. Keeping alive Pushkar’s hippie spirit, there are shops selling short dresses, halter tops, Arabic pants, shorts. For men, there are cool summer kurtas, comfortable cotton shorts and half jackets in brightest colors. One can also buy second hand zari sarees and lehengas – a big hit with the foreigners.
Activities in Pushkar: Pushkar offers camel rides and sand dune visits. Dunes are nice specially in the late evening. There is no vast sea of sand like in Jaisalmer but the camel ride is fun as always. One can also hire a horse to go along the Aravalli hills. At the time of the Pushkar fair, there are ATV rides and Hot Air Balloon rides on offer.
Places to visit in Pushkar – There are not so many must visit places in Pushkar but if are go with the flow types, you will love Pushkar. It is a colorful, holy and peaceful place! Yet the places you can visit are – Brahma Temple ( 6 am – noon and 3-7 pm ), Shri Ram Vaikunth Temple, Rangji ka Mandir, Pushkar Ghats (Brahma ghat, Varaaha ghaat and Gau ghat being the main ones ), Pushkar Lake (during sunset), Pushkar Fair ( It happens every year in the month of October or November)
Pushkar Ghati : Pushkar is at a distance of approx 11 kms ( 25 odd minutes) from Ajmer. The mountain range known as Nag Parbat (“snake mountain”) separates the lake from the city of Ajmer. If you start early morning from Ajmer, you get to see the beautiful sunrise in from Pushkar Ghati on the way. Trust me you won’t regret getting up early!
Pushkar Ghats – Gau Ghat: Visit Gau Ghat at sunrise. Many people go there in mornings to offer the daily prayers. The ghat is always full of people but less rush in morning! Religious rituals are a regular in Pushkar. You can find many pandits on the ghats for performing Puja for you!
Shri Ram Vaikunth Temple or Rangji ka Mandir : One of the most popular temples of Pushkar, Old Rangji Temple reflects a mesh of Mughal and Rajput architecture. The high-rising Gopuram also reflects South Indian architecture, and adds more charm to the whole temple. This 150 year old Hindu Temple is dedicated to Lord Rangji, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu.
Brahma Temple: It is the most famous temple in Pushkar with devotees coming here all around the year to praise Lord Brahma.
Pushkar Lake: Pushkar Lake is surrounded by 52 bathing ghats (a series of steps leading to the lake), where pilgrims throng in large numbers to take a sacred bath, especially around Kartik Poornima (October–November) when the Pushkar Fair is held. A dip in the sacred lake is believed to cleanse sins and cure skin diseases. Over 500 Hindu temples are situated around the lake precincts.
Pushkar Fair: The Pushkar fair is a good time to be in Pushkar. The place comes alive when artists – both Indian and foreign, station themselves at the ghat and perform. The villagers bring in their cattle to sell and the hordes of camels and fine Rajasthani horses add more charm to the desert landscape. The mela ground takes on a festive village fair look with village style roller coasters, loud speakers blaring folk songs, circus, daring motorcycle gimmicks, cheap food stalls and hordes of village men and women dressed traditionally in dhoti – turbans and ghaghras.
Incase you wish to visit Ajmer which is only 20 mins from Pushkar, then you may wish to stop and visit few famous places in Ajmer, few of them being – the world famous Khwaja Muinuddin Chishti’s Dargah, Adhai Din ka Jhopda, Ana Sagar Lake, Nareli Jain Temple, Soni Ji ki Nasiya.
Best places to eat in Ajmer – The best street food is found in ajmer. Always a favourite! Check out this link for Must Have Food items in Ajmer
Dhai Din ka Jhopda – It is so called because its construction was completed in 2.5 days! Nestled in small lanes, this place is an architecture marvel with beautiful and intricate carvings on the pillars and domes and arches depicting both Hindu and Muslim styles.
While returning from Pushkar, if you take a slight diversion after Ana Sagar lake, there is bypass going to adhai din ka jhopda. We took that bypass as it has nice views!
Khwaja Muinuddin Chishti’s Dargah: It is a pilgrim. So many worshippers from all over the world come to Ajmer’s Dargah, especially during Uurs fair. There is the famous Dargah bazaar just outside the Dargah. You can buy chaddar and flowers to offer inside dargah. Shoes can be kept outside Dargah safely by taking a token. Do remember to cover your head before entering inside. While at the Dargah, you should also see the Badi Deeg which can be used to prepare 100 quintals of rice and food.
Ana Sagar Lakeside in Daulat Bagh: It is the biggest lake of Ajmer . The lake becomes more beautiful during sunrise or sunset. The promenade beside the lake has baradaris (places to rest) made with marble. The lake also has a boating option if you want to enjoy! Backside of those baradaris is Daulat Bagh where people come for picnic or morning/evening exercise/stroll.
Soni Ji ki Nasiya – The temple is restricted to only Jain’s however the museum is open to all. The museum depicts a city of gold (Swarna Nagari) with gold plated palaces, chariots, ships, armies and people in a single large display which can be seen from two different levels in the building.
So this was all about Ajmer and Pushkar. Visit and Enjoy! And don’t forget to pose once in a while 😉
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