Pushkar and the Thar Desert, Rajasthan, India seen from the Saraswati Temple.
One of India's oldest towns, Pushkar, created by Lord Brahma according to legend, is also one of the five most sacred sites in the Hindu religion, so Pushkar not only hosts a good number of foreign tourists, but also Hindi pilgrims travelling to worship at one of the temples in the town (especially the unique Brahma temple) and bathe in the sacred lake as well as Rajasthani rural folk coming to trade camels and party in November's Pushkar Fair.
Pushkar and Pushkar Lake.
Unfortunately, due to the excessive number of visitors and facilities necessary to look after them, Pushkar's environment is gradually collapsing. Local authorities made matters worse in 2009 by attempting to expand the lake. Instead, the waters disappeared completely.
A local woman walking alongside Pushkar Lake.
The Pushkar bathing ghats with pilgrims dunking in the sacred lake.
The Pushkar Camel Fair. Next, Jodhpur Pictures.
In October/November the desert around the small Rajasthan town of Pushkar provides a magnificent setting for the world's largest camel fair. In addition to trading, camels are examines, paraded and raced while a circus entertains visitors. Pushkar is a sacred destination for Hindus and during the festival its otherwise tranquil lake is awash with thousands of devotees bathing in its holy waters.
Getting to Pushkar
Flights: the nearest airport is Jaipur's Sanganer, with many flights from Delhi, Mumbai, Jaisalmer and Udaipur.
Rail: Trains run to nearby Ajmer from all over Rajasthan but most importantly to/from Jaisalmer, Jaipur, Bikaner, Delhi and Mumbai.
Bus: Buses go to Pushkar from main Rajasthani towns and cities, as well as from Delhi.
Car/Taxi: it's an easy drive from Jaipur of 143 kms or Jodhpur 197 kms.