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Traveller Tales from Pushkar

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Aagneya Pilla

25 October 2016

I went on the Pushkar Camel fair 2015 with my friends. We were a group of 10 friends who decided to have some camping fun. This indeed was one helluva travel experience for me. Initially, I thought if it is a festival in Pushkar, it will only be about camels and cattle. However, when I went there, I was left agape. There were several fun and adventure activities organized too. Right from the camel ride to paragliding and enjoying some thrilling moments on the Thar’s Golden sand, I enjoyed every activity that we did here. Camping again was a thrill. Ours was a 3 day trip which left with us lasting memories. We danced, sang songs, played games and shared stories with people who were just like us. Surprisingly, besides the number of locals here there was also an array of foreigners who were having an equal fun on the lands of Rajasthan. Of course, when you see them enjoying, you get a different level of satiation. They were not only participating in every activity but also relished on the Rajasthani food, as much as we did. You have to keep your calorie count aside and completely immerse yourself in the typical flavors of Rajasthan. Surprise element of this festival was the cricket match. I am not sure whether it was included in our itinerary but I was definitely not aware of this. We Indians are cricket buffs so we never shy away from cricket. Here a match was organized between foreign tourists and the local Pushkar club. This was super fun. Of course, we won this friendly match and our enthusiasm was at a different level altogether. Do go there, not just for the camel rides but also to partake in the different activities here.

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Buddhana Naik

25 October 2016

I went back to Pushkar Fair after 4 years. We wanted to give our children an experience that stays with them forever. The very atmosphere, sounds, smells, livestock, sunsets and the beautiful oasis village, everything is just perfect. It is nowdays a good idea to book the tickets online in advance to not miss out on this festival as finding any stay or accommodation at that time is very difficult. We booked nearly a month in advance and were delighted with the best tents here. I am so thrilled that my kids finally tried something desi. I am originally from Pushkar but live with my family to Gurgaon. Why wouldn’t I not want my kids to have a feel of my roots? It was a simple experience with too many surprises. Camel ride was an obvious fun. Rajasthani cuisines were out of the world. Every meal that we ate had a different local cuisine of Rajasthan. People cooking here did take an effort to keep our taste buds satiated. I very well appreciate the efforts taken by every member of the team right from the organizers to the cleaning and maintenance guys, all of them did a pretty well job to ensure that the guests were at an absolute comfort. To this date, I have tried several adventure activities but the quad biking that I tried here was very well set up. It is a good and a very cost effective package. If you want to experience something unique and apart from the rest of the world, this festival is meant for you.

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Shashikala Chopra

26 October 2016

I will not say, if you are in Pushkar during the fair days, you must visit this fare. Ask me why? Because, even if you have no such plans, you ought to be there to attend the Pushkar Camel Fare. It is an incredible experience that will help you carry with you so many memories home that you’ll just not be able to get over it anytime soon. Right from the food to the accommodation to the activities, everything was beyond perfection. Our tents were very well maintained. We were provided with all the necessary amenities in the tents in advance that we never have to ask for anything. There was sufficient water provided and the sheets and blankets were all neat and clean. Our camping experience here was indeed better than the ones we had at core camping sites. Further parasailing and camel rides were very well organized. I loved it. Food was delightful and very delicious. I’ll definitely recommend you to try this annual fair at least once in life to explore the true flavors of Rajasthan or rather a rural shade of India. Make sure you click several pictures with horses, camels and cattle here to ensure that you have a reason to come back again and again.

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Arindam Devar

26 October 2016

If I sum up my experience at the Pushkar Camel Fair or Pushkar Mela in one word then it has to be magical! Indeed, it was every bit magical for me! I have never experienced such humble and warm people elsewhere in my life. I work in Mumbai and you know people here have completely lost the personal touch. So, this for me was my high point of the 3 day Pushkar trip. Food again was a sheer delight. Every dish we ate was so well prepared that you cannot help but hog on more. You’ll actually experience the real flavors of the villages in Pushkar and other parts of Rajasthan. Delicious! I have eaten Rajasthani Thali before but that was at some restaurant in Delhi. When I compare the taste of the two, I can’t just help but fall in love with this place further. Stalls here sold some Rajasthani ornaments and clothes which were colorful and nice. I even bought few Rajasthani jackets for myself. Camel ride and Quad Biking were an absolute delight. I had never done these activities before but the instructor here made sure, we were all safe. Great experience! Definitely will come back next year!

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Ekaaksh Tagore

26 October 2016

. It wouldn’t be an understatement if I say that this was the best experience of my life. Of every activity that I did here, I completely enjoyed quad biking and enjoying some time on the golden sands of Thar desert. You know, I wouldn’t be lying if I say that I didn’t expect such informative instructors to be here. They were so well informed and knew how to carry out different atcivities. All in all, this experience was worth every penny that I spent. Strongly recommended for all!

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Andrea Johnson

25 October 2016

We have been in India for over a month now. I along with my husband started touring India from its Southern tip and progressed towards north. If I be honest to you, in this one month we ventured almost every known and popular site of India. So, last week we were in Delhi and our 2 week stay was left in India. I was shopping at the INA market where I was communicating with a lady from the Rajasthan stall. She told me about the Pushkar Camel Fair Adventure Festival which was to begin next week. I was so delighted by the description that she gave me that I knew, I wanted to get there. After getting all the necessary details from the web, we headed for Pushkar. For us, it was a 3 day and a two night tour at the Pushkar Mela. This indeed was the highlight of our India venture. There were cattle and camels everywhere. It was my first time at camel ride and believe me guys, it was super fun! Food, the typical Rajasthani food we ate was a delight. It gave an orgasm to my taste buds and I just couldn’t have asked for more. Though oily and a little spicy for my taste, I definitely ate more than I usually do. Indeed, I have done camping at multiple places in the world but the warmth and the hospitality we received here was unparalleled. On the whole, it was really cheap and a once in a while experience that will definitely be etched in my memories for many many years to come. I’ll definitely recommend it to my friends in London who fly down to India. Right from the people to the food and the activities that we did here, everything was beyond perfect. Kudos to the organizers!

What You Should Know More About Pushkar

  • Travel Advice:

    Travellers must remain aware of who they are hiring as guides. 
    Past experiences have led many to be involved in a scam wherein either their property was stolen or the services were overpriced. This can really trample one’s travel experience. Hence, it is essential that one plans well.

    Keep an eye out for pickpockets. 
    These disguise themselves as normal individuals just strolling across the town but they are the most dangerous. Keep yourself and your property well protected.

    Powercuts
    in Pushkar.
    Pushkar holds great traditional relevance. However, it is not as developed as India’s ultramodern cities such as Delhi and Mumbai. It remains backward in certain aspects. Chances are, you might experience powercuts during some period of the day. It is usually between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. So be prepared.

    Wild monkeys
    One of the most popular temples is the Savitri temple of Pushkar. It is located approximately 1km southwest of the Pushkar lake. Travellers are required to climb the hill in order to end their journey towards the temple. However, one must remain prepared to encounter monkeys on the way. Yes, you read that right. These are wild monkeys who will jump at the very occasion they sight food or sense threat.

    The drinking laws
    As far as drinking laws are concerned, alcohol in Pushkar is forbidden within city limits. A Doityourself solution would be to travel out of the city yourself and purchasing alcohol yourself. 

  • Our recommendations (What you can’t afford to miss):

    Pushkar lake
     Pushkar lake also known as the King of ‘Tirthas’ is believed to hold grave spiritual importance for majority of the devoted Hindus. Travellers all around the world come with the aim to experience a holy dip in the lake. Many believe, the dip taken in the Pushkar lake is equivalent to indulging in meditation and prayer for over hundred years. Other than that, this place which is surrounded with approximately 400 temples and 52 incredible palaces is a true beauty on earth. The lake itself is quite serene and calm by nature.

    Merta Bai
    It is quite clear now that the city is famous for its traditional temples and royal palaces. The Pushkar city which is more than 400 years old houses the Merta Bai temple. Apart from the holy significance that this place is symbolized with, there is much historic importance lying underneath the special beauty of this structure. 

    Man Mahal
     Don’t miss experiencing magnificence by visiting the ancient Man Mahal. Constructed at the time of Raja Man Singh of Amber, the Man Mahal is located in the Eastern side of Sarovar. 
     Man Mahal represents the royal architectural built that descends from the period of kings of Rajasthan. 
     Man Mahal is currently under the control of Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation and famously used as a place to flock tourists from all around the world.

    Camel Safari at Pushkar
    What better way of exploring the rich sandiness of Rajasthan by sitting atop of an Indian camel. There are numerous camel tours planned to suit the needs and interests of the visitors. These take you through the villages and primary locations in and around Pushkar. 

  • What will you like there

    Shopping in the Pushkar market: 
    You must not, at any cost miss at least one shopping session at the Pushkar market. The market offers a blend of ethnic, traditional and hippie culture and there is a lot to shop for. Clothings, leather bags, herbal products, jewellery and so much more at price that is quite affordable by most.

    Hot air balloon ride: 
    It’s quite okay if you feel like escaping the crowd every once in a while. Pushkar offers to experience its beauty in a method that will allow you to do just the same – hot air balloon rides. 
    Get a bird’s eye view of the beautiful desert and the sacred towns of Pushkar. The best time for you to take a hot air balloon ride is around the time of sun rise. Advanced booking is recommended as the rides get full almost immediately.

    Food trail at different cafes of Pushkar: 
    There is a wide range of roadside restaurants, cafes and eateries that offer a variety of different type of food items. Don’t miss the customary kachori of Sarweshwar or the Gulkhand Lassi near the Brahma temple. 

    Evening aarti at Varah Ghat: 
    Experience spiritual oneness by attending the famous evening aarti that takes place at Varah Ghat. The aarti usually commences from 7:00 p.m. in the evening and during winters, they start at 5:30 p.m. It truly is an experience of a lifetime.
    Pushkar holds a unique sense of identity among the numerous other sacred cities of India. This 400 year old city has a lot to offer and you must experience it at least once. 

  • Recommended reads:

    Government website : Rajasthan Tourism

    Books to read: Brahmas Pushkar  Ancient Indian Pilgrimage, Rajasthan, Delhi and Agra (Lonely Planet Country & Regional Guides)

Listings in Pushkar