Visitor Information -- Pushkar doesn't have its own tourist office. The rather useless RTDC office is located at the very mediocre RTDC Hotel Sarovar (tel. 0145/277-2040), and is open daily from 9am to 5pm.

Getting There -- Pushkar lies about 3 hours west of Jaipur; a deluxe bus here costs about Rs 125. Udaipur is 300km (186 miles) away by bus (Rs 300); Jodhpur 215km (133 miles; Rs 265); and Jaisalmer 550km (341 miles; Rs 1,050). Pushkar lies 145km (90 miles) from the closet airport, which is at Jaipur and is 400km (248 miles) from Delhi (Rs 500 by bus)

Getting Around -- Pushkar is easily explored on foot. There is no public transport system (and only a limited number of cycle- or auto-rickshaws) in town. If you prefer not to walk, the only option is to hire a small private taxi that costs in the region of Rs 800 to Rs 1,000.


Passport to Pushkar: Saying Your Prayers

Hard proof of Pushkar's pushiness lies in the passport control as you enter the town -- many foreigners (mostly Israeli hippies, hence the inclusion of falafels and pitas on the menu of even the most traditional Brahmin eatery) have come to experience its idyllic location and quaint, laid-back vibe and have never left, marrying locals and starting small businesses. As a result, there is now a moratorium on the length of time you can stay -- a maximum of 3 months. So even though this measure is not always enforced, have your passport on hand as you enter. For those who wish to walk onto the ghats lining the lake, you'll need an entirely different kind of passport: Brahmin priests will bully you into performing puja -- prayers that involve a scattering of flowers into the lake -- after which you will be expected to make a hefty donation (inquire at your hotel for the going rate or you will almost certainly be ripped off). The priest will then tie a thin red thread around your wrist, which you can brandish at the next Brahmin priest who will almost certainly approach you, but who will quickly retreat upon seeing your "passport." To experience Pushkar from a pilgrim's perspective, and not as a disenchanted tourist, try to gain a closer insight into what makes this an important place for Hindu pilgrims, and gain your wrist thread without being ripped off, call on Giriraj (tel. 94-1430-0053; puja fee Rs 150), a local priest who is also a licensed guide. His English isn't perfect, but he can throw some light on the history and background of the area, and help out with practical information; he charges Rs 350 a half day, and Rs 500 a full day.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.