Umaid Bhawan JODHPUR North India 6 Logo Northindia (1)
Back to Listing

Pushkar

Located in the heart of Rajasthan’s Thar Desert, 11 kilometres from Ajmer, the town of Pushkar sits beside a lake said to be formed of the petals of a lotus dropped by Lord Brahma. The lake is surrounded by more than 400 whitewashed temples; the main temple is a beautiful ornately carved structure which dates back several thousand years and is one of the few temples in India dedicated to BrahmaPushkar is famous for its colourful annual camel fair and religious festival in October or November (the anniversary of the lotus-dropping), which is attended by 300,000 visitors, including pilgrims and sadhus who come to cleanse away their sins in the holy lake.

This exuberant and boisterous festival runs for a week, the first part of which is largely for the trading of goods and livestock, notably camels. There is up to 20,000 camels, horses and donkeys traded here each year, and the festivities are kicked off with a lively camel race. The 'second part' is much more religious, with many pilgrims and sadhus attending to cleanse their sins in the holy lake. The atmosphere is a riot of colour, extraordinary noise and activity: occasional events are staged in a central arena, a fun fair wheel tempts the daring and street upon street of stalls sell bright clothes, textiles, camel bells and street food.

Festivities include folk music, traditional dancing in colourful regional costumes, tug-of-war games, camel beauty pageants, and turban and moustache competitions. As an observer this is a truly fascinating event and you can spend days wandering around soaking up the sights and smells, stocking up on saris, woodcraft and jewellery, and rubbing shoulders with tribal artisans. In more recent years there has even been a friendly match between the local cricket team and willing tourists, for those who really want to get involved in the action!  

Thousands of people, both locals and foreigners, congregate in the swirling sands surrounding the town to absorb the incredible atmosphere or partake in holy rituals. As a result, Pushkar is far from unspoilt, but with up to 400 temples and 52 ghats to visit, it doesn't matter. Priests may ask you to make a "Pushkar puja" – an offering of rose petals strewn upon the lake, for a fee, of course – and tie a red thread around your wrist. The one-hour walk to the nearby summit of Savitri Mandir, ends in wonderful views.

Visitors can also experience the spectacle of the Pushkar Camel Fair from above by taking a hot air balloon ride for exceptional views over the town’s temples, ghats and striking desert landscape. If your visit does not coincide with the Pushkar Camel Fair, the town’s atmosphere is much more serene, and you can head out to explore the desert dunes on a camel back safari.

Features in the following itineraries

Pushkar Camel Fair, Pushkar, 1 Pushkar Camel Fair, Pushkar, 1
Pushkar North India Pushkar North India
Pushkar North India 1 Pushkar North India 1
Pushkar North India 2 Pushkar North India 2
Pushkar North India 3 Pushkar North India 3

Key

26.4902141,74.55495270000006,5
When preparing to travel, lay out all your clothes and all your money. Then take half the clothes and twice the money.
Susan Heller

Ampersand’s details preparation, attention to detail and interaction before and during our trip show exactly why good travel agents have a role in today’s internet/direct booking age. Shalmali was a delight to work with – before and during our trip.
- Mr David Wallace, North India
So many highlights to choose from! The hotels were amazing but Maya Villa was a highlight… I loved just hanging out in the hammock reading my book and watching the peacocks chase the cows!
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka
We have been on expensive and luxurious holidays in the past, but the service and communication Ampersand has provided has far exceeded those offered by other agencies.
- Susan Ford, India
I had a very lovely time and was looked after splendidly. My first visit to India could not have been better, save for being longer! But I shall return at some point and I shall look to you to make the arrangements.
- Matthew Nicklin, North India
We had a wonderful holiday - everything was perfect. Thank you for helping us to make a thoughtful plan to enjoy and make most out of our trip. The places we visited, the guides, the transportation and driver, the hotels selected... Everything was great!
- Jaime Benitez, South India
Without question, you put together the best trip I have ever taken. We were shown around like visiting dignitaries, the hotels were fantastic and the itinerary was just right. Everybody I know will hear about how amazing Ampersand is!
- Leslie Siben, India
Difficult to articulate just how good the service from you and your team really was. We know you will continue to do well and hope we have the chance to seek your assistance again before long.
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India
Everything you did for us whilst we were away was hugely appreciated, and Ampersand has been exemplary in every way. I'll always recommend you!
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka

From our Instagram

Spot mighty lions in #SouthAfrica’s game reserves with the help of our expert guides 🐾 🇿🇦
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience #KrugerNationalPark #SabiSands #Madikwe
.
(📸 @chris_fischer_photography)
Staying at the beautiful @GalOyaLodge means you will experience one of Sri Lanka’s lesser-known National Parks at its very best 🌿
.
Take a boat safari here to see swimming elephants and a striking sunset 🐘🌅
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
Set within an inviting oasis of elegant palms and eucalyptus trees, #Amanbagh stays true to its name 🍃(‘Peaceful garden’ in Sanskrit and Hindi) 🇮🇳
.
One of @jamesjayasundera’s favourite hotels in the world, #Ampersand believe that there’s no better place to enjoy rural #Rajasthan than this luxurious idyll
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
All smiles in #Vietnam 🇻🇳
.
Courtesy of the brilliant portrait photographer @rehahn_photography
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
Ampersand’s Top 10 Luxury Sailboats 🌊
.
@silolonasojournsphinisi @sailtigerblue @voyagemischief @alilapurnama @alexaprivatecruises @duniabaruadventures @lamimayacht @burmaboating @mutiara_laut @ultimateyachtsco
.
Explore our #Highlights to see our hotlist and get inspired to take your own nautical adventure 🗺🇮🇩 🇲🇲
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
Atmospheric rural villages, mirror-still lakes and gracious locals sum up #Myanmar (#Burma) for us 🌅
.
📸 courtesy of @zayyarlin84
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
Monks in #Myanmar (#Burma) 🇲🇲
.
Buddhism runs strong through the country’s veins - not only are 90% of the Burmese Buddhist, but many children are monks in training and call ancient monasteries home 🧘🏽‍♂️
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
Cascading rice terraces greet you in #Ubud 🍃🍃🍃
.
Balinese women make daily offerings of vibrant flowers and fruit to the gods 🍊🍐🍌🍎🌺💐
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
Our India specialists are off... ✈️
.
They’ll be whisked straight to the divine #TajLakePalace in #Udaipur upon arrival! 🇮🇳
.
Get in touch with us to stay at this heritage hotel, which has been a firm Ampersand favourite for years
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience

Let us keep you up to date

Sign up to our newsletter and never miss out on unmissable exclusive luxury experiences