Visiting Pushkar During the Monsoon Season
We visited Pushkar, India in August 2010 – smack in the middle of monsoon season which lasts from June until September. Monsoons conjure up images of flooding, misery, grey skies and a lot of time indoors but it doesn’t have to be so! Although it did rain nearly non-stop during the two days that we were in Pushkar, it was completely worth it. The picturesque sacred lake of Pushkar was full of water, trees were lush green, and people were roaming the streets, smiling, as if it wasn’t pouring cats and dogs.
As soon as we arrived in this sacred city for Hindus, we dropped off our bags, and rushed to rent a motorcycle so we can start exploring quickly. That’s when the rain began. At first it was just a drizzle and we thought to wait it out in the little shed where we rented the motorcycle but as time went by, the rain got heavier and heavier. Not wanting to waste time, we decided to just go for it. At that time, the water was already up to our knees!
Pushkar, a city of about 14,000 inhabitants in the Rajasthan region, is one of the most ancient cities in India and is one of the most sacred pilgrimage sites for Hindus. It is often referred to as "Tirth Raj", or the king of pilgrimage sites. In fact, a Hindu pilgrimage is considered incomplete without having a dip in the sacred lake of Pushkar. According to legend, all the gods visit Pushkar for five days every year and the lake washes away the sins of devotees. The world’s largest camel fair where around 50,000 camels are sold and raced takes place to coincide with the five holy days, which in 2012 will take place from November 20 – November 28.
Temples seem to be everywhere and astoundingly, there are 400 of them. The most significant one is the temple of Lord Brahma, one of the few in the world.
What To-Do and See in Pushkar
- Shop in Pushkar Bazaar, famous for its wide range of handicrafts
- Sit by the Holy Lake of Pushkar to get a spectacular view and sunset. There are 52 bathing ghats around the lakes and each one of them is said to have special powers
- Visit the 14th Century temple of Lord Brahma, or Jagat Pita Shri Brahma Mandir, the most important shrine. The steps leading to the main entrance are set in marble
- Visit Warah Temple, a temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu that was originally built in 1123-1150 but destroyed and then re-built in 1806
- Walk up the hill to visit the Savitri Temple, which takes about an hour and get a bird’s eye-view of Pushkar and the surrounding areas
- See or stay at the Man Mahal, the largest royal house in Pushkar that has been converted into a hotel
- See or stay at the Pushkar Palace, located on the edge of the lake and has amazing views of the lake, temples and hills. This site has also been converted into a hotel