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Home >> Destination Guide India > Pushkar

DESTINATION GUIDE INDIA - PUSHKAR

 

ABOUT PUSHKAR CITY

11-kms from Ajmer (132 kms from Jaipur in the state of Rajasthan) on the edge of the desert lies the tiny tranquil town of Pushkar along the bank of the picturesque Pushkar Lake. This is an important pilgrimage spot for the Hindus, which has the only temple of Lord Brahma in the country and the world. Lord Brahma is known as the creator of the world as per the Hindu mythology.

The Pushkar lake also has a mythological significance associated with it. As per Hindu mythology, Lord Brahma was on his way to search for a suitable place to perform a "Yagna' (a fire sacrifice), while contemplating a lotus fell from his hand on the warth and water sprouted from that place. One of them was Pushkar where Lord brahma performed "Yagna".

As indicated by Pushkar's position as the starting point of the grand pilgrimage, the worship of Brahma was considered highly important at the end of the first millennium BC. Pushkar is the only pilgrimage shrine dedicated to Brahma in the whole of India. The function of Brahma - creating the world - has been completed, while Vishnu (the preserver) and Shiva (the destroyer) still have relevance to the continuing order of the universe. Brahma is also a god of the Aryan invaders and during Vedic times, his cult temporarily displaced the more ancient indigenous Shiva and Shakti cults. With the passing of the period of major Aryan influence, these deities reemerged more powerful than before.

There is the holy lake, which has 52 ghats and pilgrim taking a ritual dip in the lake is a common sight specially during the festival.

TOURIST ATTRACTIONS AND PLACES - PUSHKAR CITY

PUSHKAR FAIR

One of the most popular and colorful fairs of the Thar desert is the Pushkar fair, which begins on Kartik Shukla Ekadashi & goes on for five days till Kartik Purnima. The time of the fair coincides with the bright half of the moon during the months of October-November. 

These five days are a period of relaxation and merry-making for the villagers,Pushkar Fair despite being the busiest for them, as this is one of the largest cattle fairs in the country. Animals, mainly camels, are brought from miles around. Trading is brisk as several thousand heads of cattle exchange hands. All the camels are cleaned, washed, adorned, some are interestingly shorn to form patterns, and special stalls are set up selling finery and jewelry for the camels. Camels at the Pushkar fair are decorated with great care. They wear jewelry of silver and beads. There are silver bells and bangles around their ankles that jingle-jangle when they walk. An interesting ritual is the piercing of a camel's nose.

Races and competitions are organized. Camels lope across the sands sometimes throwing their riders on to the vast sands, amidst cheers and jeers from thousands of spectators. An interesting event is the camel beauty contest, where they are adorned and paraded. The camels preen before the crowds, enjoying every moment of the attention they get.

It is believed that for five days every year, all the gods visit Pushkar and bless the devout. This accounts for the unbelievable number of devotees who flock to the lake to wash away their sins.

PUSHKAR LAKE

It is semicircular lake around which there are 52 "Ghats". Pushkar LakeThe max depth of the lake is 10 mts. The lake is a holy place and is known as the king of the "Trithas". The bath at Pushkar is thought to be more important than at any other place. The holy dip in this lake on kartika Purnima is thought to be salvation giving. The man who BATHES in the Shukla Paksha of Karitha month and has the Darshan of varah will not take rebirth on this earth and enjoy the bliss of heaven. The people who have a holy dip at the lake on karitha Purinama, gain the fruit equal to do the Jap and Tap for one hundred years. There are many yajna spots which cannot be counted even by Vrihshpati, the teacher of the gods.

TEMPLES OF PUSHKAR

SAVITRI TEMPLE
The one-hour trek up to the hilltop Savitri Temple overlooking the lake is best made early in the morning; the view is magical.

VARAH TEMPLE
Originally built in the 12th century, Varah Temple was, like many others, destroyed by the bigoted Emperor Aurangzeb (who, it is said , was particularly upset by the huge idol here of Varah, the god with the body of a man and the head of the boar.) Reconstructed BY Raja Sawai Jai Singh II of Jaipur in 1727, the temple has an interesting and richly ornamented image house.

MAHADEVA TEMPLE
A Beautiful temple built in the 19th century, it was described by a British traveler of the time as "by far the most remarkable, for the elegance of its structure and the nature of its ornaments, of all the temples Pushkar boasts of." It is also noteworthy for its white marble Mahadeva image, with its five faces (and its traditional tufts of hair).

RAMAVAIKUNTH TEMPLE
One of Pushkar's largest and most intricate temples, the Ramavaikunth Temple was built in the 1920's and has beautifully sculpted images of no less than 361 different deities. The ornate outer gopuram over the entrance is said to have been built by a team of masons specially brought here from south India.

HOW TO REACH PUSHKAR

Air : Jaipur, the nearest airport is 138 kms. (86 miles).

Rail : Ajmer is connected to Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Udaipur, Abu Road and Jodhpur by regular trains. Two of the best trains of the Indian Railways, Pink City Express and Shatabdi Express connect Ajmer to Delhi and Jaipur.

Road : A dense network of bus service operates from Ajmer to key destinations around. Distances from important tourist centres are: -

- Jaipur: 138 kms. (86 miles).
- Delhi: 392 kms. (244 miles).
- Ahmedabad: 526 kms. (327 miles).
- Jaisalmer: 490 kms. (304 miles).
- Bikaner: 233 kms. (145 miles).

 
 
 

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