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Things to Do in Pushkar, Rajasthan: find out the 5 reasons why you should visit the vegan city of India.
Honestly the first thing that comes to my mind when I think of Pushkar is that it’s one of the strangest places I have ever been to! Something like Edward Norton in Fight Club wondering “Was I asleep? Had I slept?”.
Walking around Pushkar is like floating in a dreamlike dimension all the time. Like there’s not much material here, what matters is spirituality.
No wonder it’s known as one of the holy cities of India and is a pilgrimage site for Hindus.
In this post I tell you why there is no place like Pushkar in the world and what things you can do in the vegan city of India!
WHY VISIT PUSHKAR?
So let’s find out the 5 reasons why you should visit Pushkar!
1. PUSHKAR IS ONE OF THE OLDEST CITIES IN INDIA.
We don’t know exactly when it was founded but Pushkar is one of the oldest cities in India.
According to the legend, Pushkar was born after a battle between Lord Brahma and a demon. It looks like Brahma killed the demon with some help from a lotus flower. After the battle three petals fell forming the three lakes of Pushkar.
Another version says that the lakes were formed by Brahma’s tears. Poor little Brahma! What did they do to you?
2. PUSHKAR IS THE ONLY CITY WITH A BRAHMA TEMPLE.
In Pushkar you can find the only temple dedicated to Brahma. This is the reason why the city is a pilgrimage site for Hindus.
Brahma is the creator of the material universe and one of the main gods of the Hindu religion. He is in fact one of the holy trinity of Hinduism together with Vishnu and Shiva.
But why is there only one Brahma temple if he is so important? It’s his wife’s fault! It looks like his wife was so mad at him that he cursed him saying no one will worship him anywhere in the world.
But then she thought about it and said “Fine, only in Pushkar!”.
Brahma, what did you do? Is this why you were crying?
Brahma Temple is made of marble and its red spire pops up in the skyline of Pushkar.
Marble steps lead to the gate of the temple where you find a swan, Brahma’s vehicle.
Silver coins are found all over the temple and the main sanctuary hosts a life-size statue of Brahma.
3. THERE ARE ABOUT 400 TEMPLES AND 52 GHATS IN PUSHKAR.
Besides Brahma Temple, Pushkar has many temples. I’m aware that probably you won’t have the time and energy to visit all 400 temples so you can just choose the ones that inspire you the most.
We visited Savitri Temple which is dedicated to the wife of Brahma. We chose this temple mainly because it’s on top of a hill where you can enjoy the view of Pushkar while playing with monkeys.
Just kidding, please DO NOT PLAY WITH THE MONKEYS!
You can get there by hopping on a ropeway or by climbing around a thousand steps, just like the pilgrims.
We climbed them all!
I’m not convincing you, am I?
We also went to Rangji Temple which is dedicated to Rangu, an incarnation of Lorn Vishnu. Be aware that foreigners are not allowed to the main sanctuary but it’s worth seeing the decorations of the temple.
Another beautiful temple is Gurudwara Singh Sabha, famous for being visited by the two main gurus of the Sikh community. We didn’t go there because it’s quite far from the city center but we had a stunning view of the temple from the terrace of our hotel Moti Mahal – A Heritage Haveli.
Besides the temples, the highlight of Pushkar is its 52 ghats, stairways that lead to the holy lake where Hindus bathe to cleanse their sins and cure their skin diseases.
One of the main ghats is Gandhi Ghat where they scattered Gandhi’s ashes.
WARNING! Around Pushkar and particularly by the ghats there are some fake priests who will offer you blessings in exchange for money. Do not pay any attention to them! They might even curse you and your family if you refuse to pay!
4. PUSHKAR IS A 100% VEGETARIAN TOWN.
Well maybe this is not particularly exciting for someone but despite your food choice this is a very unique fact of Pushkar!
Consider that meat is completely illegal, just like alcohol!
To be exact Pushkar is vegan but you can find some restaurants that serve dairy and egg products. But as for meat and wine, not a chance!
You won’t have any problems finding some marijuana though, which they love to use! But you didn’t hear that from me!
5. PUSHKAR IS HEAVEN FOR YOGA AND MASSAGE LOVERS.
Pushkar is a hippie-like city and getting a massage or doing some yoga is a must!
Besides shopping in Sadar Bazar, the main street, you can relax completely with your masseuse or yoga teacher.
After being a good tourist I got a well-deserved manicure and an energetic massage hoping to find some relief from a killing pain I had in my leg.
They didn’t ease my pain, actually later on it got worse, but it wasn’t their fault. They are good, not god. Although someone thinks they are!
One more thing! I have an extra reason why you should visit Pushkar. The biggest Camel Fair in the world takes place in Pushkar every year! I wasn’t there for the occasion so I can’t tell you if it’s worth it but if you are planning to visit Pushkar around November check out the dates and let me know how it is!
In the meanwhile click on the following post and come with me to the next stop of our journey through the Rajasthan: Jaipur, the pink city of India.Booking.com