Weekend Escapes: Discover The Wonders Of Pushkar And Ajmer

From Pushkar Lake to Ajmer Sharif Dargah, plan your perfect weekend escape with our comprehensive guide
Decorated camels looking at the sky at the Pushkar camel fair
Decorated camels looking at the sky at the Pushkar camel fair Shutterstock

Pushkar and Ajmer are two of the most popular destinations in Rajasthan, India. They are known for their religious and cultural significance, as well as their scenic beauty and heritage. If you are looking for a short and memorable getaway from the city life, you can explore these two towns in just two days. Here is how you can make the most of your time in Pushkar and Ajmer.

Day 1: Pushkar

Silhouette of Camels against Golden light of the Sunrise at Pushkar Camel Fair (Pushkar Mela)
Silhouette of Camels against Golden light of the Sunrise at Pushkar Camel Fair (Pushkar Mela)Shutterstock

Pushkar is a small town that is famous for its sacred lake, its annual camel fair, and its only temple dedicated to Lord Brahma, the creator of the universe. Just 150 km away from Jaipur, Pushkar is easily accessible by bus, train, or taxi. Alternatively, you can also fly to the nearest airport in Sanganer, which is about 127 km away, and then take a taxi or bus to Pushkar.

Morning: Pushkar Lake And Brahma Temple

Pushkar Holy Lake at sunset
Pushkar Holy Lake at sunsetShutterstock

Start your day by visiting the Pushkar Lake, which is believed to have been created by a lotus flower dropped by Lord Brahma. The lake is surrounded by 52 bathing ghats, where pilgrims take a dip to wash away their sins. You can also witness the morning rituals and prayers performed by the devotees at the lake. You can also take a boat ride on the lake and enjoy the serene views of the hills and temples.

Next, head to the Brahma Temple, which is the only temple in the world dedicated to Lord Brahma. The temple is located near the lake and has a distinctive red spire along with a white marble statue of Brahma. The temple is also adorned with silver coins, flowers, and images of Brahma’s consort, Saraswati. You can enter the temple after removing your shoes and offering a donation. You can also participate in the aarti, which is a ceremonial worship of the deity with lamps and chants.

Afternoon: Savitri Temple And Pushkar Bazaar

After visiting the Brahma Temple, you can climb up to the Savitri Temple, which is situated on a hilltop overlooking the lake. The temple is dedicated to Savitri, the first wife of Brahma, who cursed him for marrying another woman. The temple offers a panoramic view of the lake and the town and is a great spot to watch the sunset. You can reach the temple by taking a cable car or by hiking up the stairs.

After enjoying the view from the Savitri Temple, you can head to the Pushkar Bazaar, which is a bustling market that sells a variety of items, such as clothes, jewellery, handicrafts, books, souvenirs, and more. You can also find some cafes and restaurants that serve local and international cuisines, such as Rajasthani, Israeli, Italian, and Chinese. Delectable street food, such as kachori, samosa, lassi, and malpua are also available to tantalise your taste buds.

Evening: Camel Safari And Cultural Show

As a culmination to your day in Pushkar, you can take a camel safari through the sweeping desert and quaint villages that dot the landscape. As you traverse the sandy dunes, seize the opportunity to interact with the local communities for a glimpse into the local culture.  Enjoy a cultural show which includes folk music, dance, and puppetry. End your evening with a magical camping experience under the star-studded sky, enjoying a bonfire and a traditional dinner.

Day 2: Ajmer

Ajmer Fort
Ajmer FortShutterstock

Ajmer, steeped in history, is renowned for its spiritual significance, notably the revered shrine of the Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti. This hallowed site, a symbol of communal harmony, draws both Hindus and Muslims in a shared reverence. Beyond its spiritual allure, Ajmer is also known for its historic forts and museums brimming with artefacts, lakes, and gardens. You can reach Ajmer by taking a bus, train, or taxi from Pushkar, which is about 15 km away.

Morning: Ajmer Sharif Dargah And Adhai Din Ka Jhonpra

Begin your journey by visiting the Ajmer Sharif Dargah, the final resting place of the 13th-century Sufi saint, Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti. The dargah is a complex that houses a mosque, a peaceful courtyard, an ornate gate, a tank, and a library. The main attraction is the mausoleum, which is covered with a gold-plated dome and a silver railing.

You can enter the dargah after covering your head and removing your shoes. You can also offer flowers, incense, and chadar, which is a symbolic cloth, to the saint. Immerse yourself in the soul-stirring experience of qawwali, where devotional songs echo through the complex, encapsulating the essence of Sufi mysticism.

Next, head to the Adhai Din Ka Jhonpra, a mosque brimming with history and legend. The mosque was originally a Sanskrit college, which was converted into a mosque by the Muslim ruler Qutubuddin Aibak, in the 12th century. The mosque is notable for its blend of Indo-Islamic architecture, with its intricate carvings and calligraphy, which reflect the cultural and artistic fusion of that era.

The mosque is known for its arched screen, which has intricate carvings of Quranic verses and floral motifs. The mosque also has a seven-arched wall, which has inscriptions of the names of the prophets and the caliphs.

Afternoon: Taragarh Fort And Anasagar Lake

Continue your Ajmer journey by climbing up to the majestic Taragarh Fort, perched atop a hill. This fort, a testament to the architectural prowess of the Chauhan dynasty, dates back to the 11th century.

The fort is also known as the Star Fort due to its three gateways that are named after the stars. The fort offers a splendid view of the city and the undulating Aravalli hills. Don’t miss the Bhim Burj, which is a large cannon that stands as a silent witness to battles of a bygone era. You can also visit the Miran Saheb ki Dargah, which is the tomb of a brave soldier who died defending the fort.

After exploring the fort, you can head to the Anasagar Lake, an artificial lake built by the Chauhan king, Anaji, in the 12th century. This lake is surrounded by elegant marble pavilions, gardens, and fountains, which the Mughal emperor, Jahangir, added in the 17th century. You can also take a boat ride on the lake and enjoy the scenic views of the hills and the city.

Evening: Soniji Ki Nasiyan And Daulat Bagh

Conclude your Ajmer experience with a visit to the Soniji Ki Nasiyan, a revered Jain temple dating back to the 19th century. The temple is also known as the Golden Temple due to its hall, which is decorated with gold and silver. The hall is an artistic depiction of the Jain mythology of Ayodhya city, which is the birthplace of Lord Rishabhdev, the first Jain Tirthankara. The hall has intricate sculptures, paintings, and models of the city, which are made of precious metals and stones.

After visiting the temple, you can head to the Daulat Bagh, a Mughal garden built in the 17th century by emperor Shah Jahan. The garden is located near the Anasagar Lake and has a marble pavilion, which is called the Baradari. The garden is a peaceful place to relax and enjoy the greenery and the breeze.

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