Our Camel Safari. Pushkar, Rajasthan, India.
One of our favorite memories from our time in India was when we spent a few days in Pushkar, one of the oldest cities in India. Pushkar is located in the center of Rajasthan, in the northern part of the country that borders Pakistan. The city itself is located on Pushkar Lake, which makes for a very picturesque setting. Despite being one of the oldest cities, many of the temples in the city are relatively new because of the Muslim conquests in the area.
What to do in Pushkar? Here are a couple of things you must do when in this ancient city:
1. Visit Pushkar Lake –
According to Hindu theology, Pushkar lake is one of only five sacred lakes in India, making Pushkar one of the most sacred places in the country. As such, there are many pilgrimages to the lake, as it is believed that taking a holy bath in the lake will wash away sins.
Pushkar Lake is actually an artificial lake, created in the 12th century with the construction of a dam built across the Lam River. The lake is actually full of aquatic life. At one point, man-eating crocodiles used to make the lake their home. Despite the threat of death, pilgrims still bathed freely in the lake and some even considered it lucky to be eaten by a crocodile while taking a holy bath!
View of the Pushkar Lake between two buildings
Pushkar skyline: Some modern temples
Ruins in the outskirts of Pushkar city.
2. Take a Camel through the Thar Desert
One definite “must see” in Pushkar is to visit the Thar Desert, which is a huge desert that spans over 200,000 square kilometers towards Pakistan. The best way to do it? On the back of a camel.
We took a camel safari, which was a guided tour on camels that included a cooked meal and a night under the stars. Most guides are very knowledgeable about the history of the region, which makes for an educational tour. And, one of the most fascinating parts of the journey is the overnight stay in the desert. It is truly amazing how many stars you can see when you are in the desert far from the city lights!
Sunset on the Thar Desert