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Badi Basti, Pushkar – 305022 , Rajasthan, India
Getting to Pushkar
Ajmer Station is the station stop for Pushkar. Ajmer is a town located 11km away (a 20minute taxi ride) from Pushkar. Once there, take the bus or hail a taxi to Pushkar. Outside the train station, there is a bus that goes to Pushkar every 15 minutes. You’ll have to ask a local (avoid asking taxis or handlers outside) as they’ll just direct you to a taxi. Still, a taxi is not a bad way to get there either.
The nearest airport is in Jaipur. Jaipur is just two hours away and you can essentially do day tours to Pushkar .
Safety Tips for Travelers in Pushkar
Pushkar is a small town where people know people, so it can feel pretty safe, even at night. However, there are always exceptions to the rule so one should always practice street smarts.
From 8-9pm, shops begin to close and that’s a good time to make it back to your hotel as streets progressively get darker and less populated. Try your best to stay in lit areas.
During Camel Fair celebrations, the camel and horse grounds are crowded with livestock camps, camels/horses, camel herders and traders, etc.. The population is largely male and can come from occasionally rural areas… it’s best to dress modestly and act conservatively. Also, during festivities, there will be a high level of tout/scam activity. Read how to deal with it here.
As noted in my video, Pushkar Lake has its touts/scams, where touts will request a donation for entry or offer you a blessing in exchange for a donation. If you reject them,they can get rude or even curse you. My hotel gave me a rope blessing bracelet to skirt past them; if they know you’ve gotten a blessing, they won’t bother you.
Where I Stayed
Expect accommodations to get booked full closer to the time of the festival. Room rates also increase if not double during the festival. Hotels and guesthouses are located both, in, around Pushkar Lake and on the edges of the town . I was going to stay with blogger friends at Pushkar hostel, but they were booked full. There are snack shops and travel agents for travel needs as well as, the Pushkar-Ajmer bus stop, which comes every 15 minutes.
Pushkar is full of colour, culture, warmth and joy! The first thing that attracts one to Pushkar is perhaps the colourful streets lined with small shops and hopeful faces. The route from Ajmer to Pushkar is stunning and unlike any other route in Rajasthan. It’s quite hilly and hence surprising. Pushkar is a very small town and its first glimpse is astonishing for first timers who are expecting a big town.
The town is very famous for its numerous temples, serene lake and lovely market. Do visit Pushkar Lake during the evenings, since afternoons here are quite hot unless you are visiting during peak winters. There is also a small temple next to the lake and though the temple is beautiful, the priests here make it difficult to sit in peace.
They constantly pester you to perform pujas and it’s a little annoying when all you want is to enjoy a few moments of silence. The market next to the temple and lake is quite fun to explore and there is tons you can take back including bangles, bandhini sarees and dupattas, palazzos and stunning silver jewellery. Don’t forget to have the kachoris next to the temple since they are perhaps the best you’ll have in Pushkar. Reaching Pushkar is hassle-free since there are tons of buses plying from and to major cities and it would be best to combine Ajmer and Pushkar in one trip. Do choose a traditional homestay to spend your vacation in Pushkar and you’ll have an unforgettable experience!
There are a handful of places in India where alcohol isn’t allowed and waiters will whisper, “I have beer” while hiding it under the table for you. Along with beer, in holy Pushkar, meat and even eggs aren’t allowed. Many waiters will whisper that they have a secret menu with eggs.
Similar to how Goa caters toward the many Russians, so does Pushkar with Israelis. Many locals speak bits of the language and menus and signs might be in Hebrew with restaurants offering lots of great Israeli dishes.